Questions about the Foundation
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.
To what extent is the Hilton family involved in the Foundation?
As per the Foundation’s articles of incorporation, direct descendants of Conrad Hilton constitute a majority of the board. Currently serving on the board are five family members (Conrad N. Hilton III, Hawley Hilton McAuliffe, Linda Hilton, Michael O. Hilton and Justin McAuliffe).
Steven M. Hilton joined our staff in 1983, serving in a variety of roles with increasing responsibility and ending his full-time tenure as president and chief executive officer of the Foundation at the end of 2015. Despite retiring from his day-to-day responsibilities, he remains involved in the governance of the Foundation as chair of the board of directors.
A number of other family members participate in Generations in Giving, a program we launched to cultivate the philanthropic spirit among successive generations of Hilton family members and prepare them for board service.
Is the Foundation part of Hilton, Inc.?
No, the Hilton Foundation is separate from Hilton, Inc. While both entities were founded by Conrad N. Hilton, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is a family foundation and was incorporated separately from the hotel corporation. We have always functioned as a private foundation, not a corporate giving program.
Is the Foundation the same entity as the Hilton in the Community Foundation in Europe?
We are a separate organization from the Hilton in the Community Foundation, which is based in the United Kingdom. While both organizations carry out charitable activities and have Hilton in their name, the two foundations are not affiliated.
Questions about 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.
Do you make grants to individuals?
We do not make grants to individuals. For access to a listing of foundation funding opportunities for individuals, please consult the Foundation Center.
What are the Foundation’s funding priorities?
The Foundation invests in 11 program areas, including providing access to safe water, supporting transition age foster youth, ending chronic homelessness, hospitality workforce development, disaster relief and recovery, helping young children affected by HIV and AIDS, and supporting the work of Catholic sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering.
Do you have geographic restrictions or focus areas?
We are a global funder, and our grant funds are distributed between domestic (U.S.) and international (outside the U.S.) organizations.
Does the Foundation give money to local organizations?
Our Good Neighbor Program recognizes the critical work being done in the local community near our headquarters in Westlake Village, California. These grants are guided by the same philosophy that guides all of our work—improving the lives of individuals living in poverty or experiencing disadvantage. The primary geographic focus of these grants is the Conejo Valley, extending northwest to Camarillo, Oxnard and Ventura.
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?
Our board-approved Catholic Sisters Initiative supports women religious to be recognized as global leaders in sustainable human development. This program has a geographic focus in the United States, Latin America and Africa.
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 $15,000 – $20,000) 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.
What is the relationship between the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize and Foundation program areas?
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 align with our programmatic work. 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 other work. Learn more about Prize nominations, or find information for grantseekers.