The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has announced a streamlining of its priority program areas.
In a message posted on the foundation's website, president and CEO Peter Laugharn announced that the foundation, after a lengthy review, had decided to focus its efforts in the U.S. on foster youth, homelessness, and hospitality workforce development, and its international efforts on disaster relief and recovery, safe water, and young children affected by HIV and AIDS, with a separate and continuing focus on Catholic sisters. According to Laugharn, those seven priority areas represent much of the foundation's work and grantmaking leading up to the review. In addition, the $2 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, the world's largest humanitarian award presented to nonprofit organizations, will continue to be awarded annually.
Over the coming months, the foundation will begin the process of transitioning out of several existing program areas, including substance use prevention, avoidable blindness, multiple sclerosis, and Catholic education/school choice. The board's decision follows a yearlong series of in-depth discussions, Laugharn wrote, and is not based on a negative evaluation of the work it has supported in those areas.
"The decision to transition out of a program area is never easy and must be approached thoughtfully and strategically," wrote Laugharn. "Our partners have been strong and steady, delivering brilliant work in often difficult conditions. We have the greatest respect for their knowledge, contributions, and progress."