Frequently Asked Questions

Hillman Family Foundations

Can I apply to the Hillman Family Foundations itself for a grant?

No. The Hillman Family Foundations is an administrative entity that provides operational and program support for 18 foundations. Grants are reviewed by and made from the constituent foundations. For specific information on interests and application procedures, please visit the websites of each of those foundations.

If I sent a proposal to the Hillman Family Foundations, could it then be presented to each of the 18 family foundations?

No. Each of the 18 family foundations makes grants based on different program interests and geographic focus areas. You should apply to the foundation that is most relevant to your organization and project.

I saw the 990 tax return for Hillman Family Foundations. Does this report for all of the 18 family foundations together?

Yes. We file one tax return for all of the foundations. For information specific to each foundation, please visit the appropriate individual website.

Individual Foundations

What are your deadlines for grant applications?

The foundations take applications on a rolling basis and will communicate any deadlines for additional information during the due diligence and review process.

What is my first step?

The best way to get started in our process is to complete our online application. Please review the Application Process section of the website.

Can we set up a meeting to run several ideas by you?

While we would love to have the time to do this with everyone who requests it, there aren’t enough hours in the week. You are the expert, and we want to hear from you what your organization holds as its priorities and if you believe they are a fit with the interests of one or more of the Hillman foundations. Submitting an online application will be the best way to proceed.

How do we contact you if we have questions about submitting an inquiry or proposal?

All questions regarding the application process should be directed to; specific project-related questions should be directed to program staff.

How quickly do you respond to inquiries or grant applications?

We try to provide an initial response to each request within several weeks of the application’s submission.

How long is the grant cycle from submission to decision?

This varies greatly from foundation to foundation and by time of year when the application is submitted. The full grant cycle is unlikely to take less than 2-3 months including the full due diligence process.

Can you tell me if my project or organization is an area on which you are focusing?

The best information will be on the foundation websites, including program interests and geographic focus areas. Reviewing the summary information on what the foundation has funded in the past is helpful as well.

What is the typical grant size?

If you review the grants made in previous years, you can see that they vary based on the board’s interest in that program/geographic area and the funds needed for the proposed project. You should base your request on your need, but make sure that it generally aligns with the size of grants that foundation has made over the last several years.

Do the foundations make multi-year grants?

The foundations do consider multi-year grants but end up making relatively few of them.

Do the foundations fund individuals? Scholarships? Fundraising events?

Please refer to the application information on the website for the types of projects the foundations will and will not support.

Do you like to be added to our mailing list to receive newsletters, annual reports and the like?

It is very difficult to read the volume of newsletters and annual reports that we receive. We try to stay current, but more likely these are read when a request comes in front of us from your organization for consideration. We also frequently receive annual appeals (which we are not able to support).