Druckenmiller Foundation: New York City Grants

OVERVIEW: The Druckenmiller Foundation, established by a retired hedge fund manager, gives to a diverse array of causes in New York City, though education and poverty are top priorities. 

FUNDING AREAS: Health, education, poverty, arts

IP TAKE: Druckenmiller largely prioritizes funding in New York City and New England with a particular emphasis on education, health, and child welfare. The foundation does not have a website and provides no clear guidelines for grantseekers. 

PROFILE: The Druckenmiller Foundation was established by Stanley F. Druckenmiller. Druckenmiller attended Bowdoin before starting his own hedge fund, Duquesne Capital, in 1981. Druckenmiller was also an acolyte of George Soros and was the lead portfolio manager of his Quantum Fund.  Druckenmiller was named America’s Most Charitable Man of 2009 by the Chronicle of Philanthropy after he pledged $705 million to endow his foundation in support of medical research, education, and the fight against poverty, particularly among children. The foundation prioritizes funding for education, health, poverty, and arts and culture.

Druckenmiller's New York City philanthropy supports Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ), the children's education and anti-poverty organization, where he serves as chairman of the board. The funds going to Harlem Children's Zone since 2006 may now total over $100 million. Druckenmiller once said of his philanthropy: "I like putting all my eggs in one basket and then watching that basket carefully.” This certainly appears to be his strategy with regard to Harlem Children's Zone. 

The Druckenmillers have also funded several other educational organizations in the city. Past grantees include Teach for America, Harlem Village Academies, Children's Storefront (a tuition free private school in East Harlem), Prep for Prep, and the Foundation for Newark's Future, the nonprofit working to improve Newark schools and most famously supported by Mark Zuckerberg. The foundation also supports Spence School, the K-12 all-girls private school. Fiona is an alumna of the school and so are the Druckenmillers' children. Fiona served as a trustee at Spence for many years. Barnard College, Fiona's undergraduate alma mater, has also received funding. 

Druckenmiller also funds antipoverty organizations in New York City, including Robin Hood Foundation. Druckenmiller and Robin Hood co-founder Paul Tudor Jones have been friends for years.  

The foundation also prioritizes funding for health. The Neuroscience Institute at NYU School of Medicine was established by a large gift. One of Druckenmiller's daughters is at NYU's School of Medicine. Furthermore, Fiona is a trustee at NYU Langione where the aforementioned Paul Tudor Jones also serves as a trustee. Fellow Bowdoin graduate and American Express CEO Kenneth Chanault is on the board as well. Other past grantees include Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and the New York Stem Cell Foundation. The couple also have a fellowship program in their name at the New York Stem Cell Foundation, where selected students receive $50,000 annually in stipend plus $2,500 annually for computer or travel expenses. The Druckenmillers are also principal sponsors of AIDS Walk New York.

With regard to arts and culture, the foundation gives to the Museum of Modern Art. Most grants are in the range of $25,000 to $50,000, and past grantees include the Museum of Art & Design, the American Museum of Natural History, the NYC Ballet, the Museum of Chinese in the Americas, and the NYC Botanical Gardens. Fiona is vice chair at the Natural History Museum.

Druckenmiller supports environmental causes, although much more modestly. Southhampton Animal Shelter Foundation and a few other select Long Island environmental groups in proximity to a Druckenmiller residence received small grants. 

Druckenmiller Foundation grant amounts vary widely in size and range from a few thousand dollars to $20 million. The foundation does not maintain a website and provides no clear guidelines for grantseekers.


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