Tondo Foundation is an Asia focused Private Foundation endowed by Richard Paul “Dick” Haugland - a philanthropist, scientist and entrepreneur.
Dick was an incredibly generous man who supported hundreds of thousands of people through various projects and organizations in Nepal, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, India and Thailand. Those who got to know Dick agree that he was a kind, naive genius. No matter what language, cultural and religious difference there might be, he connected with people. He loved teaching and developing curricula and he was brilliant at that.
With his company, Molecular Probes (founded with his wife, Rosaria) he invented some of the most effective fluorescent dyes used in laboratories around the world. The Alexa Fluor dyes the best available after many years. When he sold the company in 2003 he transferred a very significant sum into his foundation, the Richard P. Haugland Foundation, and kept adding assets to it until his death in October 2016. Following up on plans developed by Dick with Francesco Caruso, Dick’s long-time friend and colleague, the Richard P. Haugland Foundation was dissolved in 2017 and its assets were transferred to two new foundations in order to to carry on and expand on Dick's main charitable priorities: Tondo Foundation and Starfish Education Foundation.
The name Tondo comes from an impoverished neighborhood of Manila where the people of the temporary housing area had a profound impact on Dick and Francesco when they first visited it. The people of Temporary Housing in Tondo represent the type of community Tondo Foundation was created for. Incidentally, Tondo also means ensō in Italian, the unfinished circle in our logo. Dick had always been interested in this symbol for its representation of the beauty of imperfection and the strive towards continuous improvement.