Press Release

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Announces More Than $19 Million in Grants, Approves New Catholic Sisters Strategy

October 17, 2018

(LOS ANGELES) OCTOBER 17, 2018 – The board of directors of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced today that 16 grants totaling more than $19 million were approved during the second and third quarters of 2018. The board also approved a new-five year strategy for the Catholic Sisters Strategic Initiative, beginning with grant approvals for the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate ($725,000) and Medicines for Humanity ($740,000).

Phase II of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s Catholic Sisters Strategic Initiative was informed by interviews in seven countries with over 200 stakeholders, including government officials, NGOs, and of course, Catholic sisters.

During the first phase of the Hilton Foundation’s Catholic Sisters Strategic Initiative (2013 – 2018), the Foundation invested $105 million, the largest of all of the Foundation’s Strategic Initiatives. The first phase focused on building the internal capacity of Catholic sisters’ congregations to improve membership, leadership and resource outcomes. Over the past five years, the team has achieved a number of successes, including a significant increase in the number of sisters with post-secondary credentials, who are now prepared to take on expanded ministry and leadership roles, and the beginning of a “Global Sisterhood.”

The vision for the next phase is for Catholic sisters to become recognized as global leaders in the provision of sustainable human development services, while remaining grounded in the vitality of their spiritual witness. The new strategy seeks to achieve this by investing in four intersecting portfolios:

  • Sisters’ Education: Increase the financial and human resources capacity needed to sustain congregations of sisters, their services and the organizations they are serving.
  • Human Development Services: Expand services to disadvantaged and vulnerable youth and young adults aged 15-25 and their families. Areas of focus include: education, food security, health care, human trafficking and youth entrepreneurship.
  • Knowledge: Research, gather, apply and disseminate information to improve practices of congregations and leadership conferences, expand and improve the quality of human development services, and increase collaborative partnerships.
  • Innovation: Create sustainable solutions to challenges to the vitality of sisters’ organizations and the sustainability of their human development services.

“This new phase will not only build upon key learnings and accomplishments from the first phase, but will also be mindful of the changing landscape for Catholic faith,” said Sister Jane Wakahiu, director of the Catholic sisters program of the Hilton Foundation. “The Foundation recognizes Catholic sisters are well-positioned to be vital actors and front-line workers to make significant, positive change for people and our planet.”

“We are proud to award more than $19 million to organizations supporting many of our program strategies and to approve the next phase of our Catholic Sisters Strategic Initiative,” said Peter Laugharn, president and CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. “Together with our partners, we can support Catholic sisters as recognized global leaders for advancing human development.”

Following is an overview of all grants awarded in the second and third quarters of 2018:

HomelessnessUniversity of Southern California’s Sol Price Center for Social Innovation will receive $1 million for continued support of the Homeless Policy Research Institute to coordinate and amplify local research to inform policy and program decisions aimed at ending chronic homelessness in Los Angeles County. Brilliant Corners was awarded $1 million to support the planning, evaluation and capacity needs associated with the operational merger and expansion of three divisions of the Los Angeles County Health Agency as they align, leverage and coordinate efforts to end homelessness.

Foster YouthChildren Now was awarded $600,000 to advocate for policies and increased funding to benefit transition age foster youth in California. The Children’s Aid Society was granted $900,000 to support caregiver recruitment and services for teens in foster care, and advocacy for transition age foster youth in New York City. Friends of the Children will receive $1.75 million to support No Matter What: Professional Mentoring Project for Children of Transition Age Youth. Good Shepherd Services was also awarded $1.095 million to support the Stepping Stones to Success program, which creates career and college opportunities for transition age foster youth in New York City. Public Counsel was granted $675,000 to support individual legal assistant and system advocacy to improve outcomes for youth in Los Angeles County foster care.

HospitalityNola Business Alliance will receive $1.5 million to build the capacity of the workforce system in the city of New Orleans to better coordinate with the hospitality sector and serve opportunity youth.

Substance Use PreventionNational Opinion Research Center was awarded $2.35 million to expand Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) training and implementation training for social work and nursing students and other youth professionals.

Catholic SistersThe Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate will receive $725,000 to support research projects and the continuation of the Visiting Scholars Program. Medicines for Humanity was granted $740,000 to provide capacity building support to strengthen the Catholic sisters’ work force and improve community level programs targeting vulnerable children.

Catholic EducationAlliance for School Choice, Inc. was awarded $1.1 million to create opportunities for disadvantaged students to attend Catholic schools. University of Notre Dame will receive $1.1 million to support educational access and success for vulnerable students in select states enrolled in Catholic schools.

Safe WaterStanford University was granted $1.684 million to test and assess promising strategies for improving water, sanitation and hygiene services (WASH) grounded in empirical evidence.

Young Children Affected by HIV and AIDSChildFund International was awarded $2 million to expand group parenting models and improve the quality of early learning in Kenya and Zambia. Finally, Theirworld will receive $1 million to support global advocacy efforts for increased early childhood development financing, including a targeted effort in Kenya.

For more detailed information on our grantmaking, please visit hiltonfoundation.org/grants.

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