James Dondero and Community Building

James, “Jim” Dondero is the Co-Founder and President of Highland Capital Management, a Dallas-based investment-advising company.

The company, which specializes in credit strategies (such as hedge funds, long-only funds, separate accounts, private equity, and collateralized loan obligations) has established its financial necessity in the community, and has done so by its proactive management ability. But James Dondero doesn’t let the pro-activeness and community stop there, instead striving to establish its community-supporting essence in additional ways via his active hand in philanthropy. Local charity continues to claim a grand role in the company, despite its global platform. A large extent of money is invested in giving locally.

Dondero went off in a search to find a philanthropic partner to help manage the yearly charity budget, which had climbed to more than $3 million. The search resulted in his meeting Mary Jalonick, President and CEO of The Dallas Foundation, a nonprofit organization in North Texas seeking to serve as a keystone link between donor and agency, and make passion projects possible. Together, the two worked to create a philanthropic plan that was both aspirational and effective. Thus, Highland Dallas Foundation Inc., which works in tandem with The Dallas Foundation, was born.

Dondero, having had the long-held knack for charity work as a supporter of veteran, education, and healthcare initiatives within the Dallas community made The Dallas Foundation all the more golden of a partnership. Through the collaboration, Jim was able to expand his philanthropic involvement and civic engagement to a number of new organizations, including The Dallas Zoo, The Bush Presidential Library, and The Perot Museum. These are just a few of the institutions listed to receive multi-year grants courtesy of Dondero, which Mary Jalonick says, “…are incredibly important to nonprofit organizations since they provide a sustainable source of funding for the long term.”

Most recently Dondero worked alongside The Dallas Foundation to hire Linda Owen, former president and CEO of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. Owen strives in her position to connect Dondero’s visions with nonprofit partners that aim to improve the quality of life in North Texas. Combined, the visions and their business-oriented machine of execution allow for optimal impact and community building.

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