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Foundation History
Richard Davoud Donchian

The Richard Davoud Donchian Foundation was founded after Mr. Donchian's death in April of 1993. Extending Mr. Donchian's lifetime passion, its mission is to help others meet their potential and achieve high degrees of personal and professional success. Richard Donchian was an American of Armenian descent, with an unquenchable desire to share with others the rewards of his professional life, not only with those of his native country, but with the people of his ancestral country as well.

Richard Davoud Donchian enjoyed a successful and distinguished career in the financial services profession. In both his professional life and his personal life, Mr. Donchian exhibited a refreshing display of compassion and humility. Despite a lengthy list of accomplishments, none of them was won at the expense of those around him.

His faith and his character were never open for compromise. His dedication to each continues to influence the form and substance of Mr. Donchian's giving legacy.

The Foundation's Board of Directors is continuous in its efforts to preserve the Donchian legacy of leadership & integrity, as well as its commitment to learning and personal growth. Consequently, the Foundation concentrates its primary giving activities in the areas of ethical leadership in business and community affairs; education, personal development and literacy; and moral, ethical & spiritual advancement in all areas of life.

The directors also agree that grants should favor program innovation and tangible outcomes, with an emphasis on opportunities for significant and lasting social improvement.

Please visit the Past Initiatives section of this web site for detailed descriptions of some examples of the Foundation's grantmaking activities and focus.

Founder Biography

Richard Davoud Donchian was born in Hartford, Connecticut, in September, 1905, the son of Samuel B. Donchian and Armenouhi A. Davoud, both of whom migrated from the Armenian province of Turkey in the 1880's. Richard attended public schools in Hartford, the Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut, and graduated from Yale University in 1928 with a B.A degree in economics. Upon graduation, he entered the family's oriental rug business.

Although he appreciated studying about and collecting oriental rugs, he became more interested in the financial markets after reading the book about Jesse Livermore, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator. After suffering personal financial losses during the market crash of 1929, he began his study of technical analysis, believing that only the chartists made sense and money. While continuing to serve as a Vice President of the Samuel Donchian Rug Company, he became a securities analyst and account executive with Hemphill, Noyes & Co. in 1933.

During World War II, he participated in the invasion of Sicily and later served as an Air Force Statistical Control Officer in the Pentagon. After the war he returned to the world of investments as a private investment adviser and economic analyst, remaining self-employed until 1960. In 1948 his focus changed from securities to the trading of commodities. He created "Futures, Inc.," a pioneer publicly held commodity fund, based on the principle of diversification, an idea new in this field. He was later dubbed the 'father of modern commodities trading methods," having developed a technical trading method called "trend following," which presupposes that commodity prices will move in long sweeps like bull and bear markets. He used a mathematical system based on moving averages of commodity prices. During this period, he authored numerous articles on both securities and futures trading.

In 1960 he became associated with Hayden Stone Inc., as Director of Commodity Research. From then until his death on April 24, 1993, he was associated with the various configurations of Hayden Stone and Shearson Lehman brothers (now Smith Barney) and was a Senior Vice President. Also in 1960 he became responsible for writing a weekly technical newsletter entitled "Commodity trend Timing," which he continued to author for 19 years. In 1963 he was awarded a Chartered Financial Analyst degree from the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts at the University of Virginia.

Mr. Donchian was best known for his pioneer work in the field of commodity futures money management. He was a member of the Commodity Exchange, Inc., the New York Cotton Exchange, the New York Futures Exchange, the New York Society of Security Analysts, the American Statistical Association, the National Association of Future trading Advisers, the Financial Forum, and listed in Who's Who in America. In June 1983 "Managed Accounts Report" selected him as the first recipient of its "Most Valuable Performer Award," for outstanding contributions to the field of commodity money management.

Contact Us

For additional information about funding guidelines or other questions related to the Richard Davoud Donchian Foundation, please contact our foundation's administrative offices at:

44604 Wellsboro Drive
Ashburn, VA 20147

Email: {preferred method of contact}
Fax: (203) 547-6112

It is the request of the Donchian Foundation that, whenever possible, grant seekers use the on-line application form located in the Grants Requests section of this website. If submitting a question or description of a problem with the application, please make sure you first review the instructions, guidelines and FAQs. Your concern may already be addressed in one of those places.