Background
The foundation was originally established in 1944 as a Trust, with Conrad N. Hilton, the builder of the world's first chain of hotels, as the founder and grantor. On 21 February 1950, all assets were transferred over to a nonprofit corporation. The foundation remained relatively small until Mr Hilton's death on 3 January 1979 when in accordance to his Will, the bulk of his estate was left to the foundation.
Mission
The alleviation of human suffering, particularly among disadvantaged children.
Geographic focus
Africa (several countries), New York, Los Angeles
Programme areas
The foundation focuses primarily on the following activities:
• Hilton/Perkins programme
• Fund for sisters
• Hotel and restaurant management
• Water development
• Substance abuse prevention and research
• Domestic violence
• Homelessness
• Conrad N. Hilton humanitarian prize

Hilton/Perkins Programme
Provides direct service and educational opportunities for children who are multi-handicapped and blind, as well as training for teachers and support services for parents and family. Co-ordinates services for thousands of children, parents and teachers in the Asia/Pacific region, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and eastern Europe.

Fund for Sisters
Operates a grant awarding system under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Supports projects that have one or more Catholic Sister working full-time towards the alleviation of human suffering, mitigation of deprivation in the lives of youths and achieving systematic change.

Hotel and Restaurant Management
Awards benefits to the University of Houston to expand physical facilities, endow professorships, provide scholarships and enhance educational programmes in the field of hospitality education.

Water Development
Provides a minimum of 1,100 wet wells to hundreds or rural villages through the Afram plains through the Ghana Rural Water Project. Includes instruction for villagers on maintenance and repair or each well, health, hygiene and sanitation education. Technical assistance is provided in the construction of latrines and laundry pads.

Substance Abuse Prevention and Research
Teaches middle school students how to identify and resist the social pressures that lead to experimentation with drugs. Provides them with reasons not to use and builds social norms against such use.

Domestic Violence
Targets the legal system, healthcare providers and the religious community in an attempt to reduce the intergenerational violence, psychological problems, medical expenses and lost productivity caused by domestic violence.

Homelessness
Provides financial support to strengthen services for the homeless mentally ill, living in New York City.

Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize
Draws attention to exemplary efforts to combat the causes or effects of famine, wars, disease, extreme human affliction or man' inhumanity to man, by annually awarding the Conrad H. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to voluntary, charitable or NGOs. By focusing on a notable organisation the foundation hopes to motivate support for this cause and stimulate other organisations helping those in need.