Lyda Hill Foundation: Texas Grants

OVERVIEW: The Lyda Hill Foundation is the funding vehicle for the successful entrepreneur and granddaughter of an oil tycoon who supports scientific and environmental innovations in Texas and Colorado. 

FUNDING AREAS: Early stage bio-medical research, environment, ocean preservation, alternative energy, science and math education, cancer research

IP TAKE: In addition to the current foundation priorities, there are several other causes that are important to the founder. As a breast cancer survivor, she has contributed generously to cancer research in the past. Ocean and marine life preservation and medical device innovation also strike a chord with her.  

PROFILE: Established in 2013, the Lyda Hill Foundation is the funding vehicle of Lyda Hill, who describes herself as a “serial entrepreneur” and comes from a long line of successful business leaders in Texas. She is a Dallas native and the granddaughter of oilman and conservative Republican political activist, H.L. Hunt. In 1967, Hill launched Hill World Travel, which became the largest travel agency in Dallas and one of the largest in the country until she sold it in 1982. In the early 1990s, she made a significant investment in the Fort Worth Stockyards, a historic tourist area that highlights the city’s western heritage. In 1970, she became President of Seven Falls, a tourist attraction near Colorado Springs, and in 1995, she developed the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center in Colorado Springs. The foundation is “committed to investing in organizations that make game-changing advances in nature and science, empower nonprofit organizations, and support important advances in our local communities.” Grantmaking areas of interest are science, nature, community, and empowering nonprofits.

Over the years, Hill has been a big supporter of natural resources and the environment. She has given millions of dollars to the Nature Conservatory for marine conservation efforts. She has also teamed up with Pew Charitable Trusts and other funders to preserve ocean habitats. Early stage bio-medical research and alternative energy are also primary interest areas. Hill founded a women’s breast cancer care center, funded a venture capital fund for biomedical products and therapies, and supports science and math education programs for institutions that she is personally affiliated with.

Foundation grants are often in the millions of dollars, but the foundation awards smaller grants as well. The funder does not have an online database to review past grantees. Hill is a resident of both Texas and Colorado, so her charitable giving is focused in these two states. As a general rule, grants are not awarded to individuals, religious entities, or for scholarships

The Lyda Hill Foundation does not accept unsolicited grant requests. Nonprofits that are preapproved to apply for a grant may fill out an application form online. Nonprofits can reach out to the staff at 214-922-1100 with general questions.

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