Dalio Foundation: Grants for Environmental Conservation

OVERVIEW: The Dalio Foundation has assests close to $1 billion, and has given away over a hundred million annually in recent years. The foundation has been ramping up its giving, which includes its conservation grantmaking.

IP TAKE: Ray Dalio is one of the richest people in the hedge fund business, and has a keen interest in the environment. He's also signed the Giving Pledge. For these reasons, this funder should be watched closely by environmental groups. One recent development is the Dalio Explore Fund, which supports environmental research projects.

PROFILE: Since the Dalio Foundation was founded in 2003, it has performed its philanthropy as a family reflecting the "diverse interests of the Dalio Family." Originally established by Ray Dalio, who signed the Giving Pledge with his wife Barbara. Dalio was born in Queens and attended Harvard Business School and soon thereafter founded hedge fund company Bridgewater Associates. The company has grown to be one of the most successful hedge funds in the country and Dalio himself has a net worth of over $15 billion.

The couple conducts grantmaking through both the Dalio Foundation and their own interests under the Dalio Philanthropies umbrella. As a result, the foundation prefers to take a broad approach to philanthropy and invests in a variety of grantmaking interests, such as education, ocean exploration and awareness, environmental protection, deploying computing to scale solutions for disconnected communities throughout the world, meditation, mental health and wellness, healthcare, financial inclusion, child welfare and capacity building in China, and community activities and the arts, among others. Thus far, the Dalio Foundation has made over $1.32 billion in grants.

Through its environmental conservation grantmaking, the foundation has awarded millions to support a wide array of projects. Grants have ranged from $1,000 to $10 million; however, the foundation's largest awards support established, large organizations with a wide reach. Environmental grants support conservation organizations and often prioritize Connecticut, New York, and Florida. Funded work has included support for wetlands, waterfowl conservation, and ocean exploration. Past grantees include the National Geographic Foundation, the Nature Conservancy, the Camp Fire Conservation Fund, the Greenwich Land Trust, Greenwich Tree Conservancy and Garden Education Center of Greenwich.

It's worth noting that Dalio has served on the board of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), where he has donated at least $8 million. Other animal organizations such as the Greenwich Audubon Society and World Wildlife Fund have been supported by the foundation.

The foundation, however, does not offer detailed information on how to apply for a grant, but it recommends interested parties contact them. 


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