The Hilton Global Foundation, Hilton’s primary philanthropic arm, announced a commitment to grant a record $3.3 million in funding toward 13 organizations that are supporting career development, community resilience and environmental sustainability. The announcement also marks Travel with Purpose Week, Hilton’s annual global week of service for its more than 450,000 team members around the world.
Through funding provided by the Hilton Global Foundation, this year’s grantees are estimated to meaningfully impact more than 50,000 community members, provide nutritious food to more than 25,000 people, divert more than 450,000 pounds of food waste from landfills, preserve more than 150 acres of land and support more than 20,000 learning and career growth opportunities. This positive impact supports Hilton’s Travel with Purpose strategy and efforts to create five million learning and career growth opportunities while meaningfully impacting 20 million community members by 2030.
“The Hilton Global Foundation was created based on the belief that travel can be a powerful force for good. This year, we’re proud to commit over $3 million, our biggest contribution to date, towards grantees who are driving efforts that make communities better for those who live, work and travel there. The 2023 Hilton Global Foundation grant recipients have shown the positive impact that people and organizations can have when they work together,” said Katherine Lugar, president, Hilton Global Foundation. “Understanding the importance of building a sustainable future, the Hilton Global Foundation is proud to support organizations doing great work in our communities, and we look forward to seeing the impact they will continue to make.”
The Hilton Global Foundation was founded in 2019 on the belief that it can create a better world to travel by partnering with people and organizations that foster positive change. Grant funding provided by the Hilton Global Foundation will support various organizations that benefit the environmental sustainability of travel destinations, support the career development of youth and other underrepresented groups and fund projects that support the resilience of vulnerable communities around the world.
This year’s grant recipients include:
Career Development: Organizations and initiatives developing hospitality training, skill building or career opportunities with a specific focus on youth and other underrepresented groups:
DC Central Kitchen’s Culinary Job Training Program
- (United States) Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) is the largest national youth-serving organization in the U.S. The Hilton Global Foundation’s funding will support the Big Futures program, including the Beyond School Walls program, which will provide on-property mentoring opportunities between Hilton team members and youth to gain hands-on hospitality work experience.
- (Mexico) International Youth Foundation’s JuventudES program supports unemployed and out-of-school young adults at risk in Mexico City, Mexico, through hospitality and tourism employment training, along with personalized job placement assistance, all aimed at empowering them to pursue the life they desire.
- (United Kingdom) Down’s Syndrome Association improves the quality of life of people with Down’s Syndrome, promoting their right to be included on a full and equal basis with others. The Hilton Global Foundation’s contribution will support programs that provide hospitality employment opportunities to those with Down’s Syndrome. To date, 30 individuals from the program have been employed at Hilton hotels across the United Kingdom.
- (Morocco) Foundation Marocaine de L’Education pour L’Emploi is affiliated with Education For Employment, which provides young job seekers with demand-driven skills training, gainful employment and self-employment opportunities. Funding from the Hilton Global Foundation will support their ‘Yielding Opportunities and Unleashing Talents in Hospitality’ (YOUTH) program, which aims to improve the livelihoods and build the resilience of 4,000 underserved Moroccan youth.
- (United Kingdom) Only a Pavement Away connects employers in the hospitality industry with charities working with people facing homelessness, the previously incarcerated and vulnerable veterans to provide pathways to purposeful, long-term employment within the hospitality industry.
- (United Arab Emirates) SEDRA Foundation supports all aspects of inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities. The Hilton Global Foundation will support SEDRA’s ‘Hospitality for All by All’ program, which aims to bridge the educational and vocational gap for youth with cognitive disabilities and those from vulnerable groups in the Middle East and Africa regions.
- (China) beYoureyeS supports individuals with visual impairments by assisting businesses in establishing inclusive and accessible workspaces, including the development of hospitality training programs for hotels in Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen, China.
- (United States) DC Central Kitchen addresses poverty as the root cause of hunger and unemployment by providing innovative, job-creating food access programs and critical skills. Funding from the Hilton Global Foundation will support DC Central Kitchen’s Culinary Job Training Program, which will create up to 40 full-time, living-wage jobs with benefits for adults and opportunity youth who have experienced incarceration, homelessness, addiction and trauma.
Community Resilience: Organizations and initiatives supporting disaster recovery efforts and creating economic opportunities in their communities, including those enhancing responsible business practices and human rights initiatives
Scholars of Sustenance Indonesia
- (United States) Second Servings of Houston supports nearly 200,000 struggling Houstonians by redirecting surplus perishable food from over 400 food donors through 140 nonprofit community partners. The Hilton Global Foundation will help Second Servings nourish low-income families, seniors, the disabled and veterans while increasing their transportation capacity, allowing them to rescue an additional 400,000 pounds of food annually and identify 20 new community partner sites.
- (Indonesia) Scholars of Sustenance Indonesia is an organization dedicated to promoting food equity and reducing food waste in Indonesia. They achieve this goal by rescuing edible surplus food that would otherwise go to waste and distributing it to various communities in need. This initiative not only helps to alleviate hunger and food insecurity but also addresses the critical issue of food wastage. With the Hilton Global Foundation’s support, Scholars of Sustenance can continue rescuing surplus food, benefiting both local communities and the environment.
Environmental Sustainability: Organizations and initiatives reducing waste, increasing access to clean water and advancing Hilton’s destination stewardship goals to preserve and conserve travel destinations.
Whakatipu Reforestation Trust
- (Costa Rica) BioSur Foundation enhances rainforest protection, responsible ecotourism and ecological economic opportunities in the region of Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica, which is home to over two percent of the world’s biodiversity. Funding provided by the Hilton Global Foundation will allow BioSur Foundation to expand and preserve the vital ecosystems, springs and wildlife in the Rio Nuevo Nature Reserve.
- (Asia) World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) mission is to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature, including by conserving and restoring biodiversity. Through funding provided by the Hilton Global Foundation, WWF will support biodiversity efforts in key landscapes in Asia.
- (New Zealand) Whakatipu Reforestation Trust works to restore the native biodiversity of the Whakatipu Basin in New Zealand. Through support from the Hilton Global Foundation, the Whakatipu Reforestation Trust will restore 20 acres of the reserve with 22,000 indigenous trees and shrubs, preserving and conserving the unique local ecosystem and biodiversity that call the basin home.
In addition to the annual grants distributed by the Hilton Global Foundation, microgrants are being distributed to local organizations nominated by Hilton team members from Hilton’s nearly 7,300 properties around the world. This funding will go towards organizing volunteer efforts in communities that are home to Hilton properties.
The announcement corresponds with Hilton’s Travel with Purpose Week, an annual week of service across Hilton’s global corporate, managed and franchised locations. Travel with Purpose Week is dedicated to supporting Hilton’s Travel with Purpose Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy and the Hilton Global Foundation, while celebrating the positive impact created by more than 450,000 Hilton team members around the world.