Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world’s disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance use, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton’s support for the work of Catholic Sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. In 2015, the Humanitarian Prize was awarded to Landesa, a Seattle-based land rights organization. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.4 billion in grants, distributing $107 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2015. The Foundation’s current assets are approximately $2.5 billion.

At $2 million, the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize is the world’s largest humanitarian award and is presented to organizations judged to have made extraordinary contributions toward alleviating human suffering.

Established in 1996, the Prize is given to an organization, anywhere in the world, judged to have made extraordinary contributions toward alleviating human suffering—often operating at great risk, hardship or personal sacrifice. 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 to encourage others to expand their support.

“The Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize has helped fuel the success of world-class nonprofit organizations in their efforts to alleviate human suffering,” said Hilton Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Laugharn. “It is a tremendous honor and opportunity to bestow the Hilton Humanitarian Prize on such deserving organizations, and we look forward to doing it again.

Each year, the Hilton Foundation reviews hundreds of nominations from notable nonprofits across the globe, and an independent, international panel of distinguished jurors makes the final selection after a rigorous vetting process.

Nominee eligibility

  • Nominees must be organizations, not individuals.
  • Nominees must be established, nongovernmental, publicly supported charitable organizations. U.S. Internal Revenue Service tax-exempt status—or the equivalent for international organizations—will determine eligibility. (International nominees will be contacted by the Foundation for appropriate documentation.)
  • Nominees must be legally established for at least five years in order to be considered.
  • Nominees must have audited financial statements and an operating budget (expenditures) greater than U.S. $750,000.

Nominator qualifications

  • The nominator should have direct knowledge of the nominated organization’s work.
  • The nominator may not be an officer or employee—or any other individual receiving remuneration for his or her services from the nominated organization. Board members may nominate providing they receive no payment for their service.
  • The nominator may not be a family member of an officer or employee of the nominated organization.
  • The nominator may not be the founder of the nominated organization.
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