Roy Arthur Hunt and his wife, Rachel McMasters Miller Hunt, established The Hunt Foundation in 1951. Following the passing of Mr. Hunt in 1966, his will created the Roy A. Hunt Foundation. The Foundation first met in 1967. The two foundations merged in 1994, however the original mission of the Hunt Foundation endures – to support organizations that strive to improve the quality of life.
The Foundation’s early grants went to schools that family members attended and to nonprofits for which they volunteered. From 1960 to 1993, about half of the giving went to the development and annual support of the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at Carnegie Mellon University. As more family members became Trustees, the grantmaking diversified to new communities and organizations.
Starting in 1996, the Foundation set aside money for grant programs that represent interest areas which the Trustees have in common. These have included:
- Three ongoing Initiatives in Community Development, the Environment, and Youth Violence Prevention
- The Next Generation Fund, a tool for Roy and Rachel’s great-grandchildren to learn and engage in philanthropy and grantmaking
- A multi-year partnership with the Henry P. Kendall Foundation and the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) in the late 1990s. The collaboration funded NPCA’s Business Plan Initiative, a joint venture with the U.S. National Park Service. MBA students from top U.S. business schools paired with National Park Service managers and staff to improve the short and long-term management of financial resources within each park. Building on the knowledge and insight gained through the initiative, NPCA formally established the Center for Park Management in 2002.
Thirty-one family members now serve as the Trustees of this family-led private foundation. They live across the country but meet in person each June and November to make grants to nonprofit organizations and educational institutions. As of March 2016, the permanently-endowed Foundation had $72.9 million in assets and has awarded $98.7 million in grants since its inception.
The Foundation is currently a member of: