James Dinan and Elizabeth Miller

NET WORTH: $1.8 billion

FUNDING AREAS: Education, Athletics, Health, Arts & Culture, NYC community.

OVERVIEW: Billionaire James Dinan and his wife Elizabeth move their philanthropy through the Dinan Family Foundation, which gave around $3.8 million recently. Grantmaking has a Northeast focus, with money following board memberships, and the family's schools. Dinan also chairs the Museum of the City of New York, which the foundation has strongly supported.

BACKGROUND: James Dinan was born in Baltimore in 1959. The family moved to Worcester, Massachusetts, when Dinan was a youth. Most of the family's savings went to education, and Dinan, as well as most of his other siblings, attended Bancroft School. Dinan earned an undergrad degree from Wharton and took a job with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Dinan also earned his MBA from Harvard. In 1991, with around $4 million raised from former colleagues, Dinan founded York Capital Management, which now oversees about $27 billion in assets. In 2014, Dinan purchased a minority stake in the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks. 


EDUCATION: Grantees have included Harlem Village Academies, Prep for Prep, and Wharton Fund. The foundation's grantmaking steadily supports Bancroft School, a private school where Dinan and three of his other siblings were students. Other funds have gone to Smith College, of which Dinan's wife Elizabeth is an alum, Juilliard School, School of American Ballet, Harvard, and Breakthrough Collaborative, which puts "low-income middle school students on the path to college and inspires high school and college students to become educators." 

HEALTH: Lately, modest sums have gone to outfits such as Dubin Breast Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Parkinson's Disease Foundation, Lynne Cohen Cancer Foundation, and Carter Burden Center for the Aging.

ATHLETICS: Though Dinan recently purchased a stake in a pro basketball team, on the philanthropic end, money from the Dinan Family Foundation has gone toward two main athletic causes: wrestling and horseback riding. In wrestling, outfits such as USA Wrestling and Hawkeye Wrestling Club in Iowa have received support. The story here, at least in part, is that the couple's son, Zach, is an avid wrestler who is on Harvard's wrestling team. As for horseback riding, the couple's daughter, Katie, is a competitive rider. Recent funds have gone to the United States Equestrian Team, Washington International Horse Show, and more. 

ARTS & CULTURE: Dinan chairs the board of trustees of the Museum of the City of New York, and sits on the board of directors of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. In 2011, the Museum of the City of New York received a $1 million grant, which followed a gift last decade of at least $5 million that established the museum's James G. Dinan and Elizabeth R. Miller Gallery. Funds have also gone to International Center of Photography, Perez Art Museum Miami, Katonah Art Museum, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and The Drawing Center, among others.

NYC COMMUNITY: Funds from the Dinan Family Foundation have gone to places such as Robin Hood Foundation, Central Park Conservancy, and New York City Police Foundation.

LOOKING FORWARD: It's worth mentioning that another site of philanthropy is Nantucket, where the family has a home. Dinan is only in his 50s and is still very much engaged in business, but should be watched for greater giving down the line.


The Dinan Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for contact, but below is an address: 

The Dinan Family Foundation

767 5th Ave., 17th Fl.

New York, NY 10153


York Capital Management