James Dondero is not the typical entrepreneur because he has done philanthropist since he started his business. Dondero started a foundation in the Dallas area that has made an impact on the area and has made large improvements. This foundation, as well as Donfero’s, supports a non-governmental organization like The Dallas Zoo, The Family Zoo, The Perot Museum of Art, SMU’s Tower Scholars Program and Science Education is Freedom. His foundation is called the Highland Dallas Foundation, the philanthropic wing of Highland Capital Management. Dondero believes that his management company invests to an organization that advances the Dallas area in special ways.
Dondero does have a strategy behind his philanthropic activities. He makes sure that non-profit organization s unite to have a greater impact. One of his recent charity projects was given large amounts of money to one of the Dalla Zoo to one of their most recent exhibits. 18 years go, they had to eliminate the hippo habitat despite its habitat. When their oldest hippopotamus named Papa died, the management of the zoo felt that the habitat was no longer necessary. This did not sit well with the residents of Dallas. Despite their unhappiness, the habitat remained closed for a while. Recently, the management at the Dallas Zoo did finally listen to the concerns of Dallas residents.
The zoo leaders would make a new hippo habitat that was more modern in design. The problem is that the zoo needed $14 million to build a new habitat. With the help of Dondero, the zoo was able to build a new habitat that would now be known as the Simmons Hippo Output. Gregg Hudson, the CEO, and president of the Dallas Zoo feels that the new outpost is a sign that his organization has matured and that it can get support from the philanthropic circles in Dallas. Dondero says that the Zoo is just the kind of organization that his foundation likes to support. He is very glad to assist the Dallas Zoo to have new educational opportunities and to get people to experience the new outpost. The new hippo outpost showed how Dondero could improve the city of Dallas for its residents.