Letter from the Chair, July 2011

July 1, 2011 · by Foundation Staff · 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

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