OVERVIEW: The Dalio Foundation is bankrolled by hedge fund billonaire Ray Dalio. While its global giving has mainly focused on helping orphans in China, the Dalio family has shown interest in other global challenges.
IP TAKE: This is a foundation that keeps an incredibly low profile, but it has very deep pockets. That coupled with a pledge of bigger giving to come, makes this a funder to watch.
PROFILE: Ray Dalio established the Dalio Foundation in 2003. Located in Connecticut, the foundation makes hundreds of grants per year. It predominately gives to projects that support mental health, education, and conservation. As a signatory of the Giving Pledge, Dalio and his wife Barbara are set to give away more than half of their money to philanthropy, and the Dalio Foundation’s giving reflects the interests of the Dalio family.
Without a built-out site, it is unclear what Dalio's giving priorities are. However, the site suggest that Ray Dalio prioritizes marine conservation and exploration, while Barbara supports equal opportunity in education within Connecticut public schools. As for their sons' giving proclivities, things are less clear. The foundation’s website states “other family members support a wide range of other 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.”
Inspired by a childhood trip to China, Dalio also established the China Care Foundation in 2000. In 2009, China Care partnered with Half the Sky Foundation, a Berkley-based non-profit concerned with the state of orphans in China. Collectively, the two organizations claim to have "cared for and provided life-saving surgeries for more than 560 medically fragile Chinese orphans" and helped provide safe homes for many orphans to live. Overall, the Dalio foundation has extended its support to several orphan advocacy organizations.
Additionally, the foundation has directed millions of dollars to the Beijing Dalio Public Welfare Foundation, a group "which seeks to promote best practices and develop expertise in philanthropy in China, to support social welfare projects and to contribute to a harmonious society."
Apart from supporting orphans, some of Dalio's largest gifts have gone toward polio eradication efforts. Dalio has also been a strong supporter of the Grameen Foundation, a microfinance organization that helps the poor across the world. On a smaller scale, the foundation awards grants to humanitarian organizations such as HALO Trust and the Save Darfur Coalition.
While this funder keeps a very low-profile, it will likely grow substantially in future years so grantseekers should keep an eye out here. The foundation does not accept unsolicited grant applications or requests for funding.
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