Questions About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

What is the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation?

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is a family foundation established in 1944 by the man who started Hilton Hotels. We provide funds to nonprofit organizations working to improve the lives of individuals living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage throughout the world.

In what areas does the Foundation work?

The majority of our funding is devoted to our program areas. Our work is focused on efforts to ensure healthy early childhood development and sustainable livelihoods for youth, support young people transitioning out of foster care, improve access to housing and support services for people experiencing homelessness, identify solutions to safe water access, and lift the work of Catholic sisters

When was the Foundation established?

International hotelier Conrad N. Hilton established the grantmaking foundation that bears his name in 1944.

How large are the Foundation’s assets?

The Foundation is one of the world’s largest, with $7.5 billion in assets.

How much has the Foundation awarded since inception?

We have awarded grants to date totaling more than $2 billion.

What is the annual grantmaking?

We awarded $207 million in grants worldwide in 2020. Additionally, the Foundation annually awards the $2.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to an organization doing extraordinary work to alleviate human suffering.

How is the Foundation governed?

The Hilton Foundation is governed by an 11-member board of directors, the majority of whom are direct descendants of our founder.

Who are the family members serving on the board?

Hilton family members currently serving on the board include Board Chair Hawley Hilton McAuliffe, Vice Chair Linda Hilton, Conrad N. Hilton III, Michael O. Hilton and Justin McAuliffe. See the full list of active board members here.

Nicole Gallagher and Nicky Hilton Rothschild currently serve as board interns, a program that prepares Hilton family members for board service. A number of other family members participate in Generations in Giving, a program that cultivates the philanthropic spirit among successive generations of Hilton family members.

Is the Foundation part of Hilton Worldwide?

No, the Hilton Foundation is separate from Hilton Worldwide. While both entities were founded by Conrad N. Hilton, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was established as an independent family foundation in 1944. We have always functioned as a private foundation. 

Is the Foundation the same entity as the Hilton Effect Foundation?

No. Hilton Worldwide launched the Hilton Effect Foundation in 2019 to honor the company’s 100th anniversary. 

Where are the Foundation offices located?

We have two office buildings in the greater Los Angeles area. Our Westlake Village campus serves as our primary headquarters. Our Agoura Hills campus was certified LEED Platinum in July 2013 and serves as a meeting and convening space. Most of our staff members have been working remotely since March 2020, in accordance with guidance from public health officials during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Questions About Our Grantmaking

How does my organization apply for a grant?

The Hilton Foundation is a strategic grantmaker. We initiate and develop long-term projects and partnerships to help us deliver maximum impact. We do not accept unsolicited proposals. 

The exception is our Good Neighbor Program, which accepts proposals for local, small-scale grants to nonproft organizations with IRS 501(c)(3) status doing important work in our local Conejo Valley community. Decisions on these grants will be guided by the same philosophy that guides our program grants—addressing the needs of individuals living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage. The primary geographic focus of these grants will be Agoura Hills, Westlake Village and/or Thousand Oaks.

Do you make grants to individuals?

We do not make grants to individuals.

What are the Foundation’s funding priorities?

The majority of our funding is devoted to our program areas. Our work is focused on efforts to improve early childhood development outcomes, support older youth as they transition from foster care, ensure opportunity youth can access career pathways, prevent homelessness, identify solutions to safe water access, help integrate refugees into society and lift the work of Catholic sisters.

Which congregations of Catholic sisters does the Foundation support?

We may choose to work with any congregation to advance the work of Catholic sisters globally.

What is the difference between the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s Catholic Sisters Initiative and the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters?

In 2013, the Foundation’s board approved a strategy to advance the lives and works of Catholic sisters worldwide. Programs funded in the U.S. target efforts to help congregations attract and retain new members, enlarge the pool of leaders and improve their fundraising capacity. Programs in Africa seek to expand opportunities for sisters to earn a post-secondary credential to enhance their influence and leadership skills.

Established in 1986 with funding from the Foundation, the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters is a separate entity with its own staff, governance structure and funding guidelines. The Fund for Sisters provides small grants (typically $10,000) to women religious throughout the world to support their direct-service ministries and to build the capacity of leadership conferences of women religious in the developing world.

Among religious bodies, does the Foundation support only Catholic institutions?

While the Foundation supports many Catholic organizations and institutions, our giving is not restricted to specific denominations or faith groups.

How have the Foundation’s funding priorities changed over recent years?

The program strategies approved in 2020 will guide our work through 2025. The board of directors reviews and updates the Foundation’s program areas periodically. Rooted in the life interests and last will of our founder, the Foundation pursues approaches that touch a diversity of people, places and needs. We invest in seven program areas, each involves partnering with grantees, generating new knowledge, giving voice to issues and joining with other to achieve measurable impact.

What is the relationship between the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize and Foundation initiatives?

While they all improve the human condition around the globe, the Hilton Humanitarian Prize is administered separately from the rest of our program activities. Prize nominees are submitted through open nominations and are not required to focus on our program areas. Following a rigorous vetting process, an independent international jury makes the final selection of the Prize recipient. We have, on occasion, subsequently invited some Prize recipients to partner with us in efforts that are directly related to our initiatives. Learn more about Prize nominations, or find information for grantseekers.