What The Richest People On Wall Street's Charity Donations Say About Them

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Wall Street CEO’s and hedge fund managers are loaded.

One of the ways they stay that way is with charity tax write offs. Most of Wall Street’s donations are pretty run-of-the-mill. Fighting poverty. Ending hunger. Aiding education.

But some of them invest a large chunk of their time and money to causes they really care about.

You can tell the difference because the causes they donate to are random and specific, like spiritual awareness or golf – you’d have to be a big fan of the cause to donate. 

So we’ve deduced what some of Wall Street’s richest REALLY care about, based on their quirky charity donations.

Ackman cares about Jewish genealogy

Bill Ackman helped set up the Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute and contributes to the centre. The Ackman and Ziff families donated $1 million.

'We want our children to know, not only their living relatives, but those representing past generations for a greater connection to their family and ancestral origin and heritage,' the Ackman family said in a press release.

Ackman also cares about Newark, NJ kids.

In 2007 when three students from Delaware State University were murdered in a playground behind Mount Vernon Elementary School in Newark, Ackman put forth $1 million which Newark mayor Cory Booker used to beef police security equipment. Ackman had previously contributed to Booker's campaigns.

Blankfein cares about Harvard

The Lloyd and Laura Blankfein Foundation donated $620,000 to Harvard Law School.

They also donated $500,000 to their sons' school, Ethical Culture Fieldston School and $50,000 to Barnard College, Laura Blankfein's alma mater.

They made smaller donations of $1,000 to Dorot, a New York nonprofit that cares for the elderly, the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, and New York Cares.

Source: Bloomberg

Cohen cares about modern art

Art can be considered a donation to the greater good of society, too, in a way.

Since 2000, Steve Cohen has collected everything from Jasper John's 'Flag', to Willem de Kooning's 'Woman III', Andy Warhol's 'Turquoise Marilyn' and Damien Hirst's 'The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living'. It has been widely reported that he plans to set up a private museum in Connecticut where he lives.

In 2009, 20 of his paintings and sculptures were curated by Sotheby's for a two week exhibit. By doing so, Cohen let the world share in the enjoyment of gazing their eyes on his amazing collection.

Dalio cares about transcendental meditation

The Raymond Dalio Foundation donated $1.23 million to David Lynch's Transcendental Meditation group.

He also donated $250,000 to Jennifer Lopez's Maribel Foundation which aims to improve access to, and quality of healthcare available to women and children.

And he's a board member of The National Fish and Wildlife foundation, maybe because he likes to go bow-hunting for Cape buffaloes and water-hogs according to Fortune.

Jones cares about rhinos, ducks, and keeping hunting ethical

Tudor Jones tried to expand the wetlands at his farm in the Cheasapeake to create an eco-friendly area that ducks would like. Sadly his good cause was targeted (we believe unfairly) and he was made to pay a $1 million fine in 1990 for 'modifying' the wetlands. Part of the deal involved a $1 million donation to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Jones couldn't hunt ducks for 18 months.

In 2003, Paul Tudor Jones bought over Grumeti Reserves, a 340,000 acres national park bordering Serengeti National Park to put an end to poaching in the area and maintain biodiversity. Since partnering with Singita, Jones promotes eco-tourism at the site. He also set up the Grumeti Fund which has reintroduced Black Rhinos into the area. (Part of the funding also goes towards educating disenfranchised neighbouring communities.)

Jones is also chairman of the Everglades Foundation and Director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. His support of environmental conservation date way back to 1995 when he donated $500,000 to protect the Everglades in Florida from local farmers.

Druckenmiller is an outdoorsman who cares about education and golf

In 2009, Stanley Druckenmiller donated $100,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Concerned with education, Druckenmiller who is on the board of Children's Scholarship Fund, has made a donation of at least $1 million which goes towards grants for needy grade-school students.

He also made a $200,000 donation to Teach for America and through his Oakmont Scholarships program, his golf country club, which gave students 29 awards ranging from $4,500 to $14,500.

(That's a small part of his charity contributions. Druckenmiller also transferred $700 million to the Druckenmiller Foundation when he announced that he would be shutting down his hedge fund Duquesne Capital Management LLC.)

Einhorn cares about his family

David Einhorn has been on the Board of Directors of the Michael J. Fox Foundation since 2005.

In 2006 he donated all of his $659,730 earnings from the World Series of Poker's main event to Parkinson's research. Einhorn's grandfather had Parkinson's.

Fink cares about health and medicine

Laurence Fink and his wife Lori are dedicated to supporting children's health programs at NYU Medical centre. Their first gift established the Laurence D. and Lori Weider Fink Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Tisch Hospital. Larry is also Co-Chairman of the NYU Hospitals centre Board of Trustees.

They also donated $10 million to the Campaign for Children's Health.

Larry and his wife endowed the UCLA Anderson with $10 million to establish the Fink centre for Finance and Investments in 2008.

Griffin cares about his wife, Chicago, and classical music

The Griffin Early Childhood centre which opened in Chicago Heights this fall, is funded by a $10 million donation from the Kenneth and Anna Griffin Foundation. The centre with free preschool and parent programs, also free meals and bus service. The centre also offers $7,000 a year to parents who participate in the parent academy.

His Citadel Group Foundation contributes to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and often sponsors Corporate Night, an evening of concerts which helps raise funds for CSO.

Griffin who according to The New York Times Dealbook, had one of his first dates with his wife Anne at the Art Institute of Chiacago, made a $19 million donation to create the Kenneth and Anne Griffin Court. Given this massive donation it comes as no surprise that he has also reportedly spent $80 million on a Jasper John's painting. According to Chicagomag.com he also owns Paul Cézanne's Curtain, Jug and Fruit Bowl which cost him $60.5 million and Edgar Degas' sculpture, Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen which are both on display at the institute.

Kravis cares about the all-boys boarding school he went to and making a point

In the last week of September, Mark Zuckerburg made a $100 million donation to improving the education of Newark's public school students, the notoriously least educated students in the U.S. Not even a week later, Kravis donated $100 million to the Columbia Business School campus. Ha.

Henry Kravis has also funded the construction of Kravis Dorm at Eaglebrook School, an all-boys boarding school for middle school aged children, which he attended till 1960.

The Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership established in 2006, awards a $250,000 prize to recipients in the non-profit sector. The 2010 prize went to Pratham an Indian NGO which focuses on education. The prize is administered by his wife Marie-Josée Drouin.

Loeb cares about kids

A board member of Prep for Prep, a leadership non-profit that helps top tier students from minority backgrounds prepare for placements at independent schools. His contributions to the organisation remain anonymous. (Until now.)

Soros cares about lots of things including, most recently, toxic sludge victims

Born in Budapest, George Soros donated $1 million through his Open Society Foundation to support victims of a toxic sludge spill in Western Hungary.

The foundation also announced that it would match up to $100 million in donations by other contributors to Human Rights Watch over the next 10 years. The grant is to support and staff their regional offices around the world.

The foundation also announced a $11 million grant to various performing arts in New York city.

Steyer cares about making money in alternative energy

In 2008 Tom Steyer and his wife Kat Taylor, both Stanford alumni, donated $40 million to the University for energy research. The TomKat centre for sustainable energy will focus on making renewable energy affordable and environment friendly.

Steyer is also reportedly donating $5 million to No on 23 committee, which opposes California's Proposition 23 which if passed could repeal California's clean air legislation.

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