NET WORTH: $2.9 billion
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Carlyle Group, Co-Founder & Chairman
FUNDING AREAS: Public Policy, Education, Arts, Catholic church,
OVERVIEW: Daniel D'Aniello recently started a family foundation with his wife Gayle and made waves in 2014 for giving $20 million to the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, where he is co-chair. He has also donated millions to different universities, including his alma mater, Syracuse. D'Aniello follows what he calls his “five pillars” of philanthropy: faith-based giving, educational programs, free enterprise, the performing arts, and mental health research. Much of D'Aniello's past giving has been quite private, so the full scope of his philanthropy is likely greater.
BACKGROUND: Daniel D'Aniello was born into an Italian Catholic family and was raised by his mother and grandmother. D'Aniello went on to attend Syracuse and then Harvard Business School. He later worked in executive positions at Trans World Airlines, Pepsi, and Marriott before going on to cofound Carlyle Group, the successful private equity firm, with David Rubenstein and William Conway Jr. They made smart use of politically connected advisers, such as Bush 41, and accumulated their early fortunes by purchasing defense-oriented firms.
POLICY: D'Aniello recently gave $20 million to the D.C.-based American Enterprise Institute (AEI), to help the conservative think tank move into its first permanent office. D'Aniello's personal history is consistent with AEI's beliefs in "economic freedom," "opportunity," and "enterprise." D'Aniello's giving in this area sets himself apart from his business partners Rubenstein and Conway.
EDUCATION: D'Aniello has given in the millions to his alma mater, Syracuse, including a recent $20 million gift to support the construction of the National Veterans Resource Center to house Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). D'Aniello also set up the D'Aniello Entrepreneurial Internships, which provide entrepreneurial opportunities to top undergraduate and graduate students at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse. D'Aniello, who attended Syracuse on scholarship, has said that he wants to “provide that foundation for others who are at the stage I was when I was in college."
ARTS: D’Aniello chairs the Wolf Trap Foundation, which supports the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, a performing arts center located on national park land in Virginia, near where the D'Aniellos live. The couple recently supported a Wolf Trap fundraiser with $50,000 and have supported the Washington National Opera. D'Aniello mother worked as a pianist and church organist.
CATHOLIC CHURCH: D’Aniello’s major beneficiaries so far have been the local archdioceses of Washington and Arlington, Virginia. D’Aniello underwrote $4 million to expand a local seminary, and has contributed to a number of other church projects. He's a close friend of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who also grew up in western Pennsylvania.
LOOKING AHEAD: It is worth noting that D'Aniello has said that he is not planning on signing the Giving Pledge like Rubenstein has. He also has not promised to give $1 billion to Washington D.C., as Conway has. But D'Aniello still believes a minimum 50 percent commitment is not enough. Once the D'Aniello Family Foundation starts ramping up its giving, expect his giving to expand considerably.