Conrad N. Hilton Foundation: Grants for Global Development

OVERVIEW: A large foundation with a global scope, the Conrad Hilton Foundation focuses on Catholic Sisters, water and sanitation, and disaster relief.

IP TAKE: Smaller grassroots organizations will have to approach Hilton with a transformative and innovative project to if they want to step out of the shadows of the large global development NGOs Hilton tends to fund.

PROFILE: Conrad N. Hilton, founder of the Hilton hotel chain, established his foundation as a philanthropic trust in 1944. The Hilton Foundation tends to award the majority of its grants to big organizations with solid track records. Furthermore, this funder likes to foster its relationships with existing grantees over the long-term. 

Hilton's grantmaking largely supports domestic projects. In the global development space, Hilton spreads its grantmaking over a variety of programs. Its Catholic Sisters aims to advance “[h]uman development more widely and effectively.” Geographic priorities for this program include the US, Africa, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Hilton's Safe Water program awards grants to organizations working in water-stressed regions with large ultra-poor populations. Hilton is investing in organizations working to get potable water to rural and impoverished regions of sub-Saharan Africa, India, and Mexico. The foundation's  Disaster Relief and Recovery grantmaking varies depending on the size and scope of the disaster. In the past, the foundation has supported projects and programs related to the Syrian refugee crisis, the Ebola epidemic, and, Typhoon Haiyan. Hilton supports work in disaster preparedness, relief efforts, and long-term recovery work.

To get a better idea of the types of global development projects Hilton funds, peruse the foundation's Grants Database. In addition to its traditional grantmaking programs, the foundation awards the $2 million Conrad Hilton Humanitarian Prize to NGOs conducting "extraordinary work to reduce human suffering.”

The Conrad Hilton Foundation is proactive in its grantmaking approach but provides plenty of opportunities for grantseekers to be proactive themselves.


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