The Hearst Foundations

  • December 31, 2020

The Hearst Foundations provide support to nonprofit organizations that reflect the philanthropic interests of William Randolph Hearst. The two foundations are administered out of the headquarters in New York City, which reviews all proposals from organizations located east of the Mississippi River. Requests from organizations located west of the Mississippi are reviewed by the Foundation office in San Francisco. The charitable goals of the two foundations are essentially the same.

The Foundations have four main funding priorities.

The Foundations fund educational institutions demonstrating uncommon success in preparing students to thrive in a global society. The Foundations' focus is largely on higher education, but they also fund innovative models of early childhood and K-12 education, as well as professional development. Support is also considered for higher education scholarships and, on a limited basis, scholarships for post-graduate education.

The Foundations assist leading regional hospitals, medical centers, and specialized medical institutions providing access to high-quality healthcare for low-income populations. Preference is given to:

  • professional development;
  • programs improving access to high-quality healthcare for low-income populations;
  • programs developing and providing specialized care for the complex needs of elderly populations;
  • programs scaling innovative healthcare delivery systems to provide efficient, coordinated care; and,
  • research, particularly related to finding new cures and treatments for prevalent diseases, such as cancer.

Social Services
The Foundations fund direct-service organizations that tackle the roots of chronic poverty by applying effective solutions to the most challenging social and economic problems. The Foundations prioritize supporting programs that have proven successful in facilitating economic independence and in strengthening families. Preference is given to:

  • affordable housing;
  • job creation and training;
  • youth development; and,
  • literacy.

In limited cases, the Foundation supports organizations focusing on:

  • domestic abuse;
  • sexual abuse;
  • substance abuse; and,
  • food delivery and food banks.

The Foundations support cultural institutions that offer meaningful programs in the arts and sciences, prioritizing those which enable engagement by young people and create a lasting impression. Preference is given to:

  • artist development and training;
  • arts education programs that address the lack of arts programming in K-12 curricula; and,
  • science education programs that focus on developing academic pathways in science, technology, engineering, and math.

The Foundations provide funding for a broad range of activities including endowments, specific programs or projects, general operating support, capital grants, and challenge grants.

Grants are not provided to/for:

  • individuals;
  • organizations with operating budgets under $1 million;
  • organizations' local chapters (the Foundations typically fund initiatives at the national/headquarters level);
  • organizations lacking demonstrable long-term impact on populations served;
  • organizations undergoing leadership transitions or with new leadership in place for less than one year;
  • publishing, radio, film, or television;
  • tours, conferences, workshops, or seminars;
  • seed money or startup projects;
  • program-related investments (PRI);
  • organizations outside of the United States;
  • advocacy or public policy research; or,
  • special events, tickets, tables, or advertising for fundraising events.

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