NET WORTH: $2.4 billion
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Lone Pine Capital
FUNDING AREAS: Education, Environment, NYC & CT Communities
OVERVIEW: Stephen Mandel is heavily involved in education and community support in Connecticut and New York, where he lives and works, though he is also involved in education nationally, as a member of the National Board of Directors for Teach for America. He has recently launched a fellowship program for public policy work, and become more active in supporting environmental causes.
BACKGROUND: Stephen Mandel graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, Dartmouth College, and Harvard Business School. He worked at Goldman Sachs and Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management before founding Lone Pine Capital in 1997. Since becoming a billionaire, he has launched two foundations.
EDUCATION: Mandel has contributed tens of millions of dollars to Teach for America, where he is on the National Board of Directors. He has been a major supporter of his alma mater, Dartmouth, and was formerly the chairman of the board of trustees. He supports a range of educational programs, backing a number of charter schools, and several development and tutorial programs that address everything from dropout prevention to helping kids get into college. He has given several hundred thousand each to New York City and Connecticut based organizations such as Building Educated Leaders for Life, Comprehensive Development, East Harlem Tutorial Program, and REACH Prep. He has made several major contributions to NYC Outward Bound and other organizations that give inner city kids a chance to experience the outdoors.
ENVIRONMENT: Though he has not awarded many grants in this area, the environment is one of the two major areas that Mandel’s Zoom Foundation prioritizes. It specifically mentions climate change, and the organization “has made investments in policy change and public awareness efforts that accelerate local and national strategies,” according to its website. Though it does not provide much information, Mandel launched a fellowship program in 2012, that supports high-level policy projects in Connecticut, many of which focus on the environment. Mandel has also supported Environmental Defense Fund.
HEALTH: Mandel has made a $1.5 million donation to his local Greenwich Hospital, and many funded organizations that offer community support in New York and Connecticut provide health clinics. Mandel has otherwise not been very involved in health-related causes, aside from several smaller donations to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
NY & CT COMMUNITIES: Mandel is a major supporter of organizations that provide community support services in New York City and Connecticut, particularly for children and families. The Fairfield County Community Foundation is probably the largest recipient, with over $9 million in grants. Other major recipients include the Children’s Aid Society, The Children’s Village, and Domus Kids. These organizations generally run programs such as health centers, job placement, food kitchens, and after-school programs. There are also opportunities for organizations that provide more targeted programming, such as Beat the Streets Wrestling, and several area Boys & Girls Clubs.
TIGER FOUNDATION & FIDELITY CHARITABLE GIFT FUND: Mandel does not only conduct his giving through the two foundations that he founded. He also gives substantial amounts to other financial sector philanthropists, such as Julian Robertson’s Tiger Foundation. He has also fed more than $100 million into the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund.
LOOKING FORWARD: While the Zoom Foundation reported nearly $937 million in assets and gave away some $46 million, almost all of that money went to a donor-advised fund at Fidelity Charitable, making it hard to track the full scope of this funder's work. He has also donated to Charities Aid Foundation, an organization that helps charities with their online fundraising, and supported the Fidelity Foundation, which is known for its charitable development, so we may be seeing more efforts to help charities become more effective. Outside of New York and Connecticut, Lone Pine also operates in London and Hong Kong, so grants for non-profits that focus on education and community support are available there as well.