Dalio Foundation: New York City Grants

OVERVIEW: The Dalio Foundation focuses on the northeast, especially New York City and Connecticut where the foundation is located. 

FUNDING AREAS: Education, health, environment, and the arts. 

IP TAKE: The foundation funds organizations that reflect the varying interests of Dalio family members. The foundation does not review unsolicited grant applications or fund individuals.

PROFILE: The Dalio Foundation was established in 2003 by Queens, New York native Ray Dalio, who runs one of the most successful hedge funds in the country, Bridgewater Associates. The Foundation’s giving is accomplished as a self-described “family activity that reflects the diverse philanthropic interests of Dalio family members.” The foundation “supports organizations at all stages of development, from start-ups in need of seed capital to well-established institutions that can bring big and novel ideas to fruition.” Meditation and mental health is a priority for Dalio, but the foundation also supports education, ocean exploration and awareness, scaling impact through computing, financial inclusion, child welfare and capacity building in China, and community activities and the arts.

Education is a priority. The foundation supports organizations such as Achievement First, a charter school network in New York, and Teach for America. Other past grantees include Bronx Success Academy Charter School, Harlem Children's Zone, Harlem School of the Arts, and New Visions Public Schools. Harlem Children's Zone received a grant to support a music education partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center.

The Dalio Foundation also supports a number of different higher education institutions in New York. NYU's Tisch School of the Arts has received funding to endow the Dalio Talent Identification Fund for film students. Dalio also funds New York University, Cooper Union, and New York Cornell Medical Center.

The foundation has also funded programming between the Robin Hood Foundation and Grameen America. Foundation support also goes to a wide range of interests, including social enterprises, medical research with a special focus on the heart and mind, brain science, meditation, and music heritage with an emphasis on jazz and blues.

Dalio’ funding of the arts and music appears focused on New York City. The foundation gives to prominent museums such as the Met, MoMA, and the American Museum of Natural History, in addition to more niche organizations like Ballet Hispanico of New York and El Puente de Williamsburg, a festival in Brooklyn.

Dalio is passionate about meditation and gives large sums of money annually to the David Lynch Foundation in Iowa. The foundation's grantmaking is more mainstream in New York City, where grants go to Alzheimer's Drug Discovery and the New York Center for Autism. The foundation also supports New York Presbyterian Hospital and projects and research across the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System.

Dalio also might be moving into public policy. The foundation has funded Volcker Alliance, a New York based organization dedicated to "rekindle[ing] intellectual, practical, and academic interest in the implementation of policy and serv[ing] as a catalyst for sustained government improvement." The Volcker Alliance was launched in 2013 by former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul A. Volcker. Volcker gives Dalio and Bridgewater high praise, and according to an Economist article, claims that Dalio "has a bigger staff, and produces more relevant statistics and analyses, than the Federal Reserve.”

Finally, the foundation has also supported the Central Park Conservancy and the ASPCA. 

Dalio grant amounts vary widely in size and range from a few thousand dollars to $10 million. The foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals or funding requests and provides no clear guidelines for grantseekers.


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