Hunt Alternatives is a private family foundation located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded by sisters Swanee Hunt and Helen LaKelly Hunt in 1981, Hunt Alternatives has contributed more than $80 million to social change worldwide.
In 1992, the organization split into two entities: The Sister Fund, based in New York City, headed by Helen Hunt; and Hunt Alternatives, based in Denver, headed by Swanee Hunt. In 1997, after serving as ambassador to Austria for four years, Swanee Hunt returned to the United States, moving to Cambridge to found the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard's JFK School of Government. Hunt Alternatives has operated out of Cambridge since 1997.
With local, national, and international programs, Hunt Alternatives advances inclusive approaches to social change.
Hunt Alternatives' international program is The Institute for Inclusive Security, which uses research, training, and advocacy to promote the inclusion of all stakeholders, especially women, in peace processes. Members of Inclusive Security's Women Waging Peace Network, a network of 500 women peace builders, hail from more than 40 conflict areas around the world; they are government officials, directors of NGOs, movement leaders, scholars and educators, businesspeople, representatives of multilateral organizations, and journalists. Inclusive Security has worked in a wide range of conflict areas, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Colombia, Israel, Liberia, Palestine, Rwanda, Sudan, and Uganda.
The national program, Prime Movers: Cultivating Social Capital, is a fellowship program supporting leaders of social movements who engage masses to create a more just America. The program provides these leaders with financial support, capacity building, a peer network, policy and advocacy advice, and networking opportunities. Prime Mover fellows include Kevin Bales, Geoffrey Canada, Majora Carter, Jennifer Chrisler, Sara Horowitz, Van Jones, Bill McKibben, Paul Rieckhoff, Zainab Salbi, Rebecca Onie, Mark Hanis and Jim Wallis. Prime Movers work on a variety of social issues, such as children's rights, women's rights, GLBT and GLBT family rights, veterans' rights, and the environment.
The local program, ARTWorks for Kids, combines advocacy, outreach, convening, and grant making to support and strengthen organizations that serve and empower youth. The ARTWorks program includes a coalition of 30 organizations working in eastern Massachusetts to help young people stay on track by providing them with opportunities to be involved in the arts.