Bigger Things Ahead: Ray Dalio's Conservation Philanthropy

Transcendentally meditating hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio has got $15.2 billion to his name and has recently been pumping more assets into his family foundation. At the end of 2012, the Dalio Foundation's assets sat at nearly $600 million and it gave away around $29 million that year. Not bad for an foundation that mostly focuses on funding select Connecticut, New York and Florida-based organizations.

Dalio's got a particular passion for the environment and his Giving Pledge letter states that he's "wild about the wild." Here are three things to know about his philanthropy in recent years and where it might be headed:

1. His Giving Is Regional, But There Are Exceptions

Dalio and his wife Barbara and their foundation are based in Connecticut, where, unsurprisingly, a good amount of their grantmaking takes place. Recent grants have gone to the Camp Fire Conservation Fund, the Greenwich Land Trust, Greenwich Tree Conservancy and Garden Education Center of Greenwich. These gifts were generally around $10,000 or lower. In New York City, the Central Park Conservancy has received around $20,000 annually over the past few years. 

Still, the foundation has at times backed national organizations for regional work. In 2011, Dalio gave to the Nature Conservancy for a specific conservation initiative for the Connecticut River. Dalio has also given big to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, where he sits on the board. 

2. Personal Connections Matter

The Bainbridge Island Land Trust in Washington State has received more than $200,000 annually over the past few years from Dalio. The connection here seems to be that Dalio has worked with an architect named named James Carter who lives on Bainbridge Island in Washington State. 

3. It's Just Beginning

Dalio and his wife are signatories of the Giving Pledge, and so bigger and more professional grantamking seems inevitable. When that happens, we're betting the environment will be a major program area. 

Related: Dalio Foundation - Grants for Conservation