Archive for the ‘Letter from the Chair’ Category

December 21, 2012 · by Tony Macklin · Letter from the Chair

December 2012

Thank you.

You’re likely reading this letter because you’re involved with a nonprofit or school. On behalf of our Trustees and staff, I wanted to first express our sincere gratitude for your dedication to your mission. Our family has had the profound honor of reviewing  and funding excellent projects that continue to inspire us years afterward.

Each year we’re blown away by the passion and skills of the nonprofit staff members and volunteers we meet. Some are fresh talents with innovative approaches and infectious energy. Others are seasoned veterans, practiced at solving complex community issues. We love sharing your stories and results with the rest of our family members who serve as Trustees. And, we feel fortunate that the family can often express our appreciation through a grant. Just a few highlights of our grantees’ stories include:

  • Thousands of children gaining higher quality educational experiences in school, after school, and in summer camps
  • Hundreds of teens and young adults learning new skills to reduce their violent and antisocial behaviors and increase their educational attainment and employability
  • Seven organizations taking deep dives into tough environmental challenges, often finding new ways to positively engage businesses and industries in solutions
  • Thousands of families who can’t make ends meet finding shelter, food, and caring support in areas ranging from small-town New England to inner-city Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

We awarded a little more than $3 million in our 2012/13 fiscal year, an increase from the previous two years as our investments grew slowly through the uneven economic recovery.  You can download our full list of grantees here and you can follow our blog and LinkedIn page for future stories about our grantees.

Other highlights from 2012 include:

  • Welcoming two family members – Sophie Hunt Hollingsworth and Elizabeth Hunt – as new Trustees and members of our Next Generation Fund
  • A day-long window into Cleveland’s comeback story, thanks to an excellent tour hosted by Neighborhood Progress, Inc. and a dozen other nonprofits and entrepreneurs
  • Investments in new technology to increase the efficiency of our operations and further lower the cost of doing business with the Foundation
  • Work on a new proxy voting policy to protect our investments and align them with our family’s values

Looking ahead to 2013, our Environment and Youth Violence Prevention committees are taking a fresh look at their grantmaking priorities. We’ll be in touch with some grantees and funding colleagues as we consider our changes, and we’ll welcome your feedback when we make them public in a few months. Outside of our initiatives, the majority of our grants will provide continued operating support or program support to previous grantees. We continue to believe this ongoing support is vital through uncertain economic times. We do welcome your grant inquiries, but know that we’ll invite very few for full proposals.

As always, feel free to contact our office at info@rahuntfdn.org or 412.281.8734 if you have questions.

With warm regards,

Dr. Terry Hunt
FY13 Executive Committee Chair

July 1, 2011 · by RAHF · Letter from the Chair

Thank you for visiting the web site to learn more about our family foundation. The 2011 fiscal year (ending May 31) marked the foundation’s 50th anniversary of honoring non-profits’ inspiring work with our grants.

Looking back

During the fiscal year, we welcomed two new Trustees to our Next Generation Group, Avery and Edward. Bea Carter, the first non-family member to serve as Executive Director, retired in early 2011 after 11 years of leadership.  Bea helped us develop our governance policies and internal management systems and provided wise counsel as we expanded our Special Initiatives. Her successor, Tony Macklin, brings 20 years of experience in grantmaking, community initiatives, and philanthropic advising.

The family couldn’t have managed the search process and leadership transition without Tod Hunt, Jr. as our Executive Committee Chair. Cousin Tod’s previous role in managing the foundation and knowledge of our family’s history, culture, and grantees made the transition incredibly smooth for the family, our staff, Bea and Tony.

We ended the fiscal year at $74.7 million in assets, right before the markets started to rapidly decline.  We made $2.8 million in grants, the majority of which were invited by our Trustees and the rest made through our Special Initiatives.  You can download the list of grants here.

Looking forward

We started the new fiscal year with our family’s annual summer meeting, held in New Orleans. Two days of site visits helped us learn first-hand about the region’s rebuilding efforts after multiple hurricanes and the 2010 oil spill. We left encouraged by the coordinated and persistent work of local residents, non-profits, and funders. And, we committed ourselves to applying the lessons we learned in our own communities.

The weak U.S. and global economies continue to affect the stability of the non-profits we care about and to depress the growth of our endowment. Unfortunately, we don’t expect our grants budget to grow significantly in the next couple years.

In response, our Trustees are choosing to provide continued operating support to a core set of organizations in the communities in which we live and have built businesses. We know these grants ensure our grantees have the flexible working capital they need to sustain their missions. This means that outside of our Special Initiatives, we’ll be providing few grants to organizations that are new to us. While we always welcome your letters of inquiry, please know that we’ll unfortunately be saying no far more than we say yes.

If you have any questions about our family foundation, please do feel free to contact our office in Pittsburgh at info@rahuntfdn.org or 412.281.8734.

Dr. Terry Hunt
FY12 Executive Committee Chair

December 1, 2010 · by RAHF · Letter from the Chair

During our 2009-2010 fiscal year, which ended May 31st, the Foundation paid out $2,824,070 in grants compared to $3,190,720 in fiscal year 2008-2009 and $3,809,051 the year before. The ’09-’10 reduction was more of a reflection of our newly-implemented trailing average approach to setting our grants budget compared to the ’08-’09 reduction, which was entirely economy-driven. As a family foundation established to operate in perpetuity, we adopted a trailing average methodology to smooth out precipitous declines in grantmaking capability due to economic downturns as well to ensure payout equity between generations.

The proportions of our allocations for General Grants are generally consistent with past years’ allocations:

FY06 FY07 FY08 FY09 FY10

19

19

20

19

22 

  percent to Human Services

17

19

13

14

14 

  percent to Arts and Culture

16

15

17

13

14 

  percent to Education

12

12

14

14

10 

  percent to Environment

8

7

6

5

  percent to Public Affairs/Society Benefit

7

9

8

8

  percent to Health

4

3

4

5

  percent to International Affairs, Development

2

1

1

1

  percent to Religion

Accounting for the remaining 21 percent of our fiscal year 2009-2010 allocations are our special initiatives in Community Development, Environment and Youth Violence Prevention, each at 7 percent.

The average market value of the Foundation’s assets for the 2009-2010 fiscal year was about $66.7 million compared to $64.8 million the year before. At $432,738, our administrative expenses were at a ten-year low, reflecting continued efforts to hold down discretionary items such as travel, conferences and computer upgrades. Excluding investment expenses and excise taxes, administrative costs accounted for .66 percent of the net value of our assets. Our payout for the year was at 5 percent.

With the implementation of a three-year trailing average to calculate our grants budget, we think we are on the right road to eliminating any future gut-wrenching allocation declines. But the current fiscal year has brought other challenges. Our Executive Director, Bea Carter, announced her desire to punctuate her 65th birthday by retiring in March of 2011. By then she will have been with us for eleven very productive years, the first five as our Program Officer. Bea created the infrastructure that has allowed us to become a strong family-run foundation. She has been a quiet stabilizing force behind a large family of individualists. She respected the diversity within our family and helped each of us direct our energies to our collective advantage as a foundation. She understood family dynamics and what it means to staff a family foundation. We will surely miss her.

I am pleased to announce that after nearly a six-month search process, we have found an able successor, Tony Macklin. Tony spent twelve years at the Central Indiana Community Foundation, most recently as its Associate Vice President. He opened a philanthropy consulting practice in 2008 when he moved to Pittsburgh with his wife, Alexis, who is director of the library and archives at the Heinz History Center. We are excited about the wealth of experience Tony brings to the Foundation as we continue our family-based philanthropy, and particularly as we bring on more members of our fourth generation of Trustees. Tony will be on board as of January 15, 2011. I hope you will help us welcome him in your future exchanges with the Foundation office.

Torrence M. Hunt, Jr.
Chairman, Executive Committee