Stanley and Fiona Druckenmiller

NET WORTH: $4.6 billion

SOURCE of WEALTH: Duquesne Capital Management, Dreyfus, Quantum Fund

FUNDING AREAS: Health, Education, Environment, Arts, Community Development

OVERVIEW: Stanley Druckenmiller was named America’s Most Charitable Man of 2009 by the Chronicle of Philanthropy after he pledged $705 million to endow his foundation in support of medical research, education, and the fight against poverty, particularly among children.

BACKGROUND: Stanley Druckenmiller grew up in Pennsylvania, and attended Bowdoin College. He then went to University of Michigan for a Ph.D. in economics, but dropped out and took a position as an oil analyst at Pittsburgh National Bank. Four years later, he started his own firm, Duquesne Capital Management, but also worked for other financial firms, consulting for Dreyfus and working for George Soros at the Quantum Fund, a partnership that lasted over a decade. In 2010, he closed his $12 billion hedge fund and retired, citing the stress of managing large amounts of money, and the emotional toll of not performing up to his own expectations. 


HEALTH: Some of Druckenmiller’s largest gifts have been in the health field, including a $100 million gift to found the Neuroscience Institute at NYU School of Medicine, and another $45 million grant to the University. He has also made donations totaling more than $6 million to Memorial Sloan Kettering, $4.5 million to the National Stem Cell Foundation, $1.1 million to the Columbia University Medical Center, and $500,000 Doctors without Borders. The Druckenmillers are also principal sponsors of the NYC AIDS Walk, donating $25,000 per year for the past several years.

EDUCATION: As with many philanthropists, Druckenmiller’s largest gifts in education stem from school ties with his family. Aside from giving more than $40 million to his alma mater, Bowdoin, he has given $17 million to Stanford, his daughter Hannah's alma mater, where she now teaches. Similarly, he gave $5 million to Brown University, which his daughter Tess attended, and another $5 million to the K-12 Spence School in New York, which his wife Fiona and their daughters attended. He has also made smaller grants to his wife’s alma mater Barnard, and the Central European University, which was founded by his long-time friend George Soros.

Aside from grants to traditional educational institutions, the Druckenmillers have donated $1.3 million to College Summit, which helps schools raise their college enrollment rates by building a college-going culture, and another $500,000 to the Children’s Scholarship Fund, which expands educational opportunities for low-income families. They have also provided smaller grants to organizations like Teach for America, One Spirit Learning Alliance, and the Extra Mile Education Foundation.

ENVIRONMENT: Like much of his major educational giving, Druckenmiller’s environmental giving appears to be spurred by his children — in this case his daughter Hannah, who has a passion for environmental causes, and has worked for the National Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund. Druckenmiller’s largest contribution has been to the Environmental Defense Fund, and totals over $5 million. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has also been a recipient of Druckenmiller’s philanthropy, receiving a gift of $100,000. He has also given to both the Everglades Foundation and the Mississippi Audubon Society. For the most part, though, environmental causes do not seem to be a major part of his giving.

ARTS & CULTURE: Druckenmiller’s contributions to arts and culture are centered around the New York City metro area, and are predominantly to museums. The largest has gone to the Museum of Modern Art, which received $250,000. Most grants are in the range of $25,000 to $50,000, and have included the Museum of Art & Design, the American Museum of Natural History, the NYC Ballet, the Museum of Chinese in America, and the NYC Botanical Gardens

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: Druckenmiller is the Chairman of Harlem Children’s Zone, which was founded by one of his Bowdoin classmates. He has personally contributed somewhere in the range of $100 million to the organization, and helped raise millions more to support health programs, parenting programs, educational development programs and charter schools for low-income kids in Harlem and their families. He has also donated $1.2 million to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, and has contributed to organizations that focus on fighting poverty and building community in a number of places, including the Bay Area, Baltimore, and Livonia, Michigan. Internationally, he has supported Ubuntu Pathways, formerly Ubuntu Education Fund, which provides health and educational support to orphans and vulnerable children in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. 

HUMANITARIAN: The Druckenmillers have contributed to organizations like CARE USA, Save the Children Federation, and Human Rights Watch, which provide a variety of services, including disaster relief, fighting hunger, improving health and education, and economic development. Their giving in this area is not significant, totaling somewhere in the $1-2 million range.

LOOKING FORWARD: Recently, Druckenmiller has been touring college campuses, giving talks about how federal entitlements are helping his generation rip off the younger generations, so it is possible that he will start to become more involved in entitlement reform and financial education for young people. He may also look to support more organizations that are doing work similar to the Harlem Children’s Center, particularly in developing countries. His wife Fiona and daughter Hannah may also play key roles in where his money goes; Fiona is on the Leadership Council of the New York Stem Cell Foundation, and Hannah is a longtime proponent of environmental conservation and fighting hunger.