Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation logo.jpg
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation logo
Founded 1944
Founder Conrad N. Hilton
Type Private foundation
(IRS status): 501(c)(3)
Method Endowment
Mission Improving the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people throughout the world

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is an American non-profit charitable foundation, established in 1944 by hotel entrepreneur Conrad N. Hilton. It remained relatively small until his death on January 3, 1979 when it was named the principal beneficiary of his estate. In 2007, Conrad's son, Barron Hilton announced that he would leave about 97% of his fortune (estimated at $2.3 billion),[1] to a charitable remainder unitrust which will eventually be merged with the Foundation,[2] of which he is currently a member of the Board of directors.[1]

Program areas[edit]

The Foundation's mission is derived from the last will and testament of Conrad N. Hilton that directs the organization to "relieve the suffering, the distressed, and the destitute."[3] The Foundation now focuses on six strategic areas: ending chronic homelessness, preventing teen substance abuse, helping youth make the transition out of foster care, providing access to safe water, support for the work of Catholic Sisters, and working with children affected by HIV and AIDS. The Foundation also funds five smaller program areas: confronting sight loss; overcoming multiple sclerosis; responding to disasters; nurturing Catholic schools; and educating students for hospitality industry.[4] Typically, the foundation awards large, long-term grants to nonprofit organizations.[5] “Increasingly, we are being more strategic in our areas of interest,” said Ed Cain, Vice President of Grant Programs. “We’re trying to make the biggest difference possible with the resources at our disposal, and making sure that these projects deliver tangible results.”[6]

Financial information[edit]

The Foundation's current assets are approximately $2.2 billion. Since inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants. Currently more than 50% supports international charitable projects.[7]


Conrad Hilton's grandson Steven M. Hilton, is currently the Chairman, President and CEO of the organization. He has worked at the foundation since 1983, and has served as its CEO since 2005 and as chairman since 2011.[8] In March 2014, Hilton announced his retirement for the end of 2015.[9] In his retirement announcement, Hilton said, “When I joined the Hilton Foundation in 1983, I couldn’t imagine the path that lay ahead. At that time, a handful of staff guided about $6 million in grants annually. Fast forward to today, and we have grown to a staff of over 50 and have awarded over a billion dollars in grants to improve the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people around the world.”[10]

Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize[edit]

The Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize is awarded annually by the Foundation. It was inaugurated in 1996 and is the largest humanitarian award in the world. Its annual award of USD 1.5 million is currently equal to any one of the six Nobel Prizes.[11]

The award is presented to a nonprofit organization judged to have made exemplary and extraordinary contributions in alleviating human suffering. Following initial background and legal review, the Hilton Humanitarian Prize staff conducts an extensive evaluation of the candidates, which is then submitted to an independent, international jury that makes the final selection.

According to the Foundation, "The Prize is not only intended to recognize and advance the efforts of the recipient organization, but also to call attention to the worldwide need for humanitarian aid and encourage others to expand their support." The creation of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize by the Foundation was inspired by the will of Conrad Hilton.

"There is a natural law, a Divine law, that obliges you and me to relieve the suffering, the distressed and the destitute. Charity is a supreme virtue, and the great channel through which the mercy of God is passed on to mankind. It is the virtue that unites men and inspires their noblest efforts.[3]

— Conrad N. Hilton

Prize winners[edit]


External links[edit]