The Hill-Snowdon Foundation (HSF) was founded by Arthur B. Hill in 1959 and was managed by family members on a volunteer basis for 40 years as a typical "kitchen table" family foundation. By 1997, the Foundation’s assets had grown significantly, and the Board decided that they should be more strategic in their grantmaking. HSF partnered with the Tides Foundation beginning in 1998 and through this relationship developed a new focus to its grantmaking and began developing more systematic policies and procedures.
The new focus for its grantmaking was grounded in a philosophy of justice and fairness for some of the most vulnerable members of this society, low-income families - particularly low-income, youth of color and low-wage workers. Specifically, HSF chose to focus on Youth Organizing and Economic Justice Organizing. The Foundation’s new focus was also grounded in the idea of a re-invigorated democracy, particularly for those people who have been marginalized or whose voices had been held silent in the decision making process to determine policies and practices that directly affect them. The Fund for DC was created in 2006 with the goal of strengthening the infrastructure for community organizing in the District of Columbia. Thus, the Foundation has adopted a core strategy of supporting community organizing in order to develop the leadership, skills and collective power of low-income communities to influence the decisions that impact their lives.
Today, HSF continues to follow this philosophy and strategy and further build on it by remaining flexible and responsive to new opportunities and threats that affect low-income families and communities. Most recently, the Foundation has begun investing in building the infrastructure for Black institutional and political power through its Making Black Lives Matter Initiative. The Foundation also joined with our colleagues to launch the Defending the Dream Fund to support grassroots organizing to resist the draconian and destructive policies of the Trump era and work towards a hopeful dream of a just, equitable and caring society. .
For more information, read Values to Vision to Action: The Hill-Snowdon Foundation Journey.