Henry L. Hillman Foundation

Portfolio Approach: Philanthropic Vision in Action

~$48 Million
invested in Pittsburgh during the 4-year pilot

In 2012, Henry Hillman began thinking about a new way of grantmaking that borrowed from the financial world’s venture-based portfolio playbook.

A pilot approach was developed that spanned seven distinct areas of interest—independent philanthropic portfolios—that the Henry L. Hillman Foundation would invest in over the next four years. The strategy enabled the Foundation to take and reduce risks, react to pressing community needs, move ideas to scale, and spark innovative change.

Today, the Foundation conducts all of its grantmaking through this framework and manages a suite of portfolios, active through 2020, in six areas:

Growing the Food Economy

Improving access to and supply of healthy food for southwestern Pennsylvanians
~$12 million invested

Leveraging Technology and New Business Models

Advancing innovations that greatly improve the effectiveness of nonprofits and government in solving community problems
~$13.1 million invested

Building an Innovation Ecosystem 2.0

Reinventing the region’s innovation infrastructure through economic and workforce development initiatives for the modern economy
~$8.4 million invested

Renewing and Revitalizing Local Neighborhoods

Transforming disadvantaged communities through neighborhood-based investments in real estate, housing, art, and other public infrastructure to improve regional quality of life
~$8.4 million invested

Promoting Inclusive and Participatory Democracy

Making Pittsburgh a more equitable and welcoming region with high-functioning and participatory democratic institutions
~$1.7 million invested

Supporting Maternal and Child Health

Lowering rates of premature morbidity and mortality among the region’s most at-risk mothers and children
~$3.3 million invested