Druckenmiller Foundation: Grants for Higher Education

OVERVIEW: Now in its third decade, the foundation of retired hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller and his wife Fiona is a major operation, with around $1 billion in assets and tens of millions of dollars in annual giving. In addition to supporting specific schools, the foundation has gives on smaller, but still significant, levels to support students striving to get into and succeed in college. 

IP TAKE: The Druckenmiller Foundation tends to make a small number of large gifts (often to schools with family connections) rather than distributing its funds widely. The foundation lacks transparency, which restricts information regarding grantmaking and guidelines. It does not maintain a web presence.

PROFILE: Stanley Druckenmiller founded the hedge fund Duquesne Capital Management, which he ran until he retired in 2010. His retirement coincided with a huge uptick in his philanthropy, channeled through the Druckenmiller Foundation, which he runs with his wife Fiona, a Wall Street executive turned business owner. Founded in 1993, the foundation's recent tax filings show $1 billion in assets and giving in the neighborhood of $75 million per year. According to tax filings, the foundation broadly invests in college readiness, higher education, and K-12 education.

Like many philanthropists, Druckenmiller’s largest gifts in higher education stem from ties with his family's alma maters. Aside from giving more than $40 million to his alma mater, Bowdoin, he has given $17 million to Stanford, his daughter Hannah's school. Similarly, he gave $5 million to Brown University, which his daughter Tess attended. He has also made smaller grants to Barnard, his wife’s alma mater, and the Central European University, which was founded by his long-time friend George Soros.

Another key area of interest for the Druckenmillers remains medical research, and with the right program, universities stand to earn significant funding dollars in this area. For instance, New York University’s Neuroscience Institute, which works “to improve brain health through impactful discoveries and the translation of those discoveries into better clinical care and public health,” and was founded in 2009 with a whopping $100 million gift from the foundation.

Aside from grants to traditional educational institutions, the couple appears to be passionate about preparing kids for college and supporting them once they get there. In recent years, the foundation has provided major funding to College Summit in Washington D.C., a nonprofit organization with a stated mission to increase youth college enrollment rates in low-income communities. The Druckenmiller Foundation also has a special "Oakmont Scholarship," offered exclusively to current or former caddies at Oakmont Country Club to help pay for their undergraduate educations.

With a net worth well into the billions, Druckenmiller has been moving funds through his foundation rapidly. Unfortunately, the Druckenmiller Foundation has no website or publicly-available application process.

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