James Dondero, president and co-founder of Dallas, Texas based Highland Capital Management, has earned a well-deserved reputation as a very successful entrepreneur and businessman. Through his vision and business acumen has helped make Highland Capital a leading financial services company. Dondero is also a growing force in philanthropic circles. He consistently makes large donations to charitable causes and uses his experience and understanding of business to help them to grow and serve as many people as possible.
Dondero’s commitment to philanthropy includes making charitable giving an important part of Highland Capital’s mission from the very beginning. Through his foundation he has been able to deliver large-scale, strategic improvements and have a tangible impact on an array of charitable organizations in the Dallas community. James Dondero’s financial contributions and willingness to share his knowledge and expertise with a number of philanthropic organizations have enabled him to become a powerful, positive force for good and a hero of philanthropy to a growing number of people in Dallas, Texas and the surrounding communities.
Since moving from Los Angeles to Dallas in 1994 and relocating Highland Capital Management’s headquarters there, James Dondero’s profile has risen consistently. He has become a standard bearer in the city’s business and philanthropic community. Dondero has put down roots in Dallas and made it his home. Although Highland Capital’s customers are all over the globe, Dondero has chosen to focus his charitable giving on the communities throughout Dallas and surround areas that need help. This has encouraged the community to embrace him as one of their own local heroes.
Some of the organizations Dondero and his firm continue to support through their philanthropic efforts include The Dallas Zoo, The Family Place, Education Is Freedom, The Perot Museum of Nature and Science, SMU’s Tower Scholars program and countless other local charities that serve people in need. Most of the gifts Dondero gives to charitable organizations are made through Highland Capital Management’s philanthropic arm, the Highland Dallas Foundation, Inc. The organization’s mission is to support local organizations and people in the Dallas area by investing time, talent and resources in them.
Using his vision and a broad strategic approach to philanthropic work, Dondero gives to a wide range of worthwhile causes where he can have the most impact, plus he seeks opportunities to help nonprofits work together in order to maximize to number of people they can help to make meaningful changes in their lives. As part of James Dondero’s ambitious vision for his charitable giving, he has been working with former Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation CEO Linda Owen to connect with help as many local nonprofits and community partners as possible to maximize his organization’s multi-year grants impact.
Highland Capital Management recently gave $1 million challenge grant to The Family Place, Texas’s biggest provider of professional counseling, life-changing education and other services for victims of family violence. The Family Place also opened their first shelter for men and children victimized by family violence. The organization provides information to thousands of youth on teen dating violence and bullying prevention. The grant from James Dondero helped the organization reach the fundraising goal well ahead of schedule. All the Family Place’s programs are offered in Spanish and English.
James Dondero graduated from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. He began his financial services career in analyst training program at J.P. Morgan. Dondero later became a corporate bond analyst, as well as a portfolio manager at American Express. Next, he worked with Protective Life from 1989 until 1993, when he joined with Mark Okada to found Highland Capital Management.
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