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James “Jim” Dondero has a heart as big as Texas when it comes to philanthropy. He is the co-founder and President of Highland Capital Management, a Dallas-based firm that is one of the largest and most experienced alternative investment managers. While he won’t be spotted among the charitable cognoscente at local fundraisers, his generosity has had a substantial impact on Santa Barbara County nonprofits. In 2011, with the guidance of the Santa Barbara Foundation, Jim formed a supporting organization, Highland Santa Barbara Foundation Inc., (HSBF Inc.) which has since distributed over $1.5 million dollars to twenty-seven organizations throughout the county in the areas of education, youth development and support for veterans. (Highland Capital Management L.P., has been responsible for the contribution of over $10 million dollars to charitable organizations throughout the world since 2005.)

Jim came to the Santa Barbara Foundation in late 2011 by way of a professional advisor referral. Desiring to work with a community foundation who excelled in donor service, he chose the Santa Barbara Foundation as one of three community foundations through which to work; the others being the Dallas Foundation and the Kansas City Foundation.

“Working with a sophisticated team from Highland Capital to set up the supporting organization and then assist them in managing their Santa Barbara giving has been extremely rewarding,” said Jan Campbell the foundation’s Chief Philanthropic Officer. “Together we have woven a process through which their philanthropic interests can be leveraged with our funding, to build community resilience and drive positive change. We are so grateful for their partnership.”

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