Supporting the Sisterhood: A Look at One of Hilton’s Largest Grants to Date

The Conrad Hilton Foundation recently released its second-quarter grant list. Among the international grants were some pretty commitments that fall neatly into Hilton’s giving priorities. One of the largest recent grants made by foundation this year—and its third largest grant to date—was a $15.3 million give to the Marywood University.

Hilton’s support of the Catholic Sisterhood is well known. According to the foundation’s website, “More than 700,000 sisters around the world educate our children, care for the vulnerable, stand with the oppressed, promote peace, and advocate for justice.” In 1986, the foundation would take this commitment even further by establishing the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters. We may be just a little over half-way through the year, but the foundation has already committed over $22.6 million to support the work of Catholic Sisters around the world. To give you a comparison, the foundation has awarded $43 million in grants so far this year, across all of its grantmaking programs.

Related: Conrad N. Hilton Foundation: Grants for Global Development

The largest grant to date being the $15.3 million grant to Marywood. And it’s worth mentioning that this monster grant comes right on the heels of an $8.5 million grant Hilton made to the university in March of this year. That money went toward the further implementation of the Sisters Leadership Development Initiative, which focuses on helping sisters build their skills in technology, management, and mentoring. The initiative is expected to benefit more than 3,400 sisters serving in 10 African countries.

The latest Marywood grant will be used to expand the university’s Higher Education for Sisters in Africa (HESA) Initiative. The program is anticipated to help nearly 860 sisters across 10 countries in Africa obtain higher education credentials including Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Participants will earn these credential through online distance learning programs as well as onsite in Africa.

Additional grants to support Catholic Sisters include a $525,000 give to the Healy International Relief Foundation to support the education and professional development of sisters in Sierra Leone, as well as $225,000 to the School Sisters of Notre Dame to “strengthen advocacy efforts of religious congregations at the United Nations.”

As mentioned previously, Hilton’s support of the Catholic Sisterhood is pretty well known, so awarding over $16 million in related grants in this second quarter doesn’t come as much of a shock. But this latest round of grantmaking wasn’t all about the sisters.

Plan International received a $2.3 million grant for its Community-Led Action for Children program in Mozambique and Kenya. The Carter Center also received a 1:1 match grant for over $6.4 million in support of its trachoma elimination activities in Mali and Niger.

Related: Conrad N. Hilton Foundation: Grants for Global Health

The Conrad Hilton Foundation has always been attuned to alleviating human suffering around the world. Internationally, those priorities include Catholic Sisters, Safe Water, Avoidable Blindness, and Children Affected by HIV/AIDS. However, in addition to giving to project that neatly align with its giving priorities, Hilton did make a few smaller, but interesting grants in this latest round as well.

For example, Youth With a Mission was awarded $3,000 to support its leadership development program in Turkey, and the Nepal Youth Foundation received $10,000 for its Earthquake Disaster Relief Program.