OVERVIEW: The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was built from the Hilton Hotels fortune. Los Angeles-area grants revolve around homelessness and foster care issues, but other areas are considered at the local level as well.
FOCUS AREAS: Homelessness, foster youth, Catholic Sisters, substance use prevention
IP TAKE: This funder engages in long-term projects rather than award one-off grants to local groups in Southern California.
PROFILE: After Conrad Hilton founded the Hilton hotel chain, he started his own family philanthropy, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, in 1944. When he passed away in 1979, he left most of his estate to the foundation previously specifying that it should focus future grantmaking on providing relief to the suffering, comfort to children, and support to Catholic nuns without any boundaries of territory, religion, or race. Several generations of Hiltons currently serve on the foundation's board of directors.
The Hilton Foundation has two grantmaking programs specific to Los Angeles. Its foster youth program awards grants to organizations that help foster youth between the ages of 16 and 24 transition out of the foster care system to find success in college and career. Los Angeles grantees include First Place for Youth, First Star, and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
Hilton also conducts grantmaking through its homelessness program, which focuses on Los Angeles County. The program aims to help people who experience chronic homelessness in the county, thereby reducing costs to the public health and safety systems. Local grantees include the Ocean Park Community Center and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. While Hilton’s preventing substance use program, focusing on young people, has a nationwide approach, many of these grants also prioritize Los Angeles.
Grants range from $500,000 to $800,000, while quite a few others exceed $1 million. Most grantmaking prioritizes Los Angeles, but the foundation also invests in organizations across both the United States and the world. According to its website, the foundation aims to "…cultivate long-term projects and partner with organizations whose efforts are aligned with our program strategies.” Mostly well-established groups receive Hilton’s support in each grant cycle.
The foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals. The best way to contact the Hilton staff with general questions is through its online form or by phone at 818-851-3700.
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