I’m pleased to share with you the activities of the Roy A. Hunt Foundation for the 2019 fiscal year (June 2018 to May 2019). As I begin my fourth and final year as Chair of the Executive Committee, I continue to be excited by the work we are doing as a family of Trustees and proud of the relationships we have formed with our non-profit partners across the country.
Learning & Listening
Throughout last year the Board planned an ambitious Board agenda – a learning and listening tour. The Trustees wanted to better understand our work and potential by doing a deeper dive into the four main funding areas (Community Development, Youth Violence Prevention, Environment, International Development). Through remote learning, in-person meetings, and site visits, we are spending the next two+ years visiting grantees, learning from experts, meeting with our peers, and listening to those “doing the work”. Woven throughout this Learning Agenda is a focus on impact, allowing us to assess our performance as grantmakers, consider new ideas and innovations, and become more responsive to our non-profit partners.
We began this work at the June meeting in Boston, with feedback from RAHF grantees and other practitioners in the Boston area regarding best grantmaking approaches to support youth violence prevention Our off-site learning focused on the work of The Mulago Foundation, which identifies and funds high-performance organizations, tackling the basic needs of the very poor, typically in rural areas. The Mulago Foundation has a straightforward approach to impact, stressing getting out into the field (but staying out of the way), investing in organizations measuring impact, providing unrestricted funding to drive innovation and growth, and staying in the game (not abandoning a good thing).
We spent the better part of a day in Lowell, MA learning about the activities of UTEC (United Teen Equality Center – a drop-in center, school, counseling and mentoring, vocational training and social justice advocating program), Our Restorative Justice (a program providing marginalized youth and young adults with an alternative approach to justice that disrupts the school to prison pipeline ) and Center for Teen Empowerment (a program helping low-income, urban youth hone their understanding of the social problems they face and use their talents and skills to create change in their own lives and in their communities). We discussed opportunities for the Hunt Foundation to address youth violence prevention with its grantmaking; studied the role replicability plays in decision-making; and identified how the Hunt Foundation can support this work.
The following day we held a roundtable discussion with the help of Kate Grundy, Executive Director of The Devonshire Foundation, Det. Neva Grice, BPD, head of Neighborhood Policing, and Conan Harris, Sr. VP External Affairs with College Bound Dorchester and asked the questions: “What’s happening now in policing and public safety, in philanthropy, and in our communities that affects youth violence prevention?” “How can we work together to improve the lives of our youth?” “What is our most effective role as grantmakers?”
It was a full two days that generated many interesting ideas, with remarkable people and programs, and was the beginning of our appreciation of how we can make a bigger difference. I’m excited we’re on this journey and look forward to reporting back about what we’ve learned.
Grants & Investments
The total assets of the Foundation reached approximately $75 million by fiscal year-end. The Investment Committee has spent the better part of a year researching impact investing, has allocated a portion of the endowment for alternative funding, and continues to investigate ways to prudently earn for our future.
In FY19, we paid out a total of $3.45 million in grants to organizations across the United States. We will continue to look to fund grantees with the ability to measure their impact and strive to become better partners in their work.
As always, feel free to contact our office at email@example.com or 412.281.8734 if you have questions.