Hearst Foundation: Social Service Grant

William Randolph Hearst Foundation

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Deadline: Rolling

Grant amount: More than US $100,000

Fields of work: Sustainability Food Access & Hunger Family Services Economic Services & Development Poverty Alleviation & Services Workforce Preparation & Job Readiness Domestic Violence Legal Services Reentry Services Affordable Housing Youth Development & Leadership Job Creation Correctional Systems & Prisons Show all

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Project / Program, Education / Outreach, General Operating Expense, Capital Project

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: United States

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NOTE: Here are the other priority pages for this funder: Education page, Health page, and Culture page.


The mission of the Hearst Foundations is to identify and fund outstanding nonprofits to ensure that people of all backgrounds in the United States can build healthy, productive and satisfying lives. Through its grantmaking, the Hearst Foundations support well-established nonprofit organizations that address significant issues within their major areas of focus—culture, education, health and social service—and that primarily serve large demographic and/or geographic constituencies. In each area of funding, the Foundations seek to identify those organizations achieving truly differentiated results relative to other organizations making similar efforts for similar populations. The Foundations also look for evidence of sustainability beyond their support.

Whether providing a scholarship to a deserving student, supporting a rural health clinic or bringing artists into schools so children can see firsthand the beauty of the arts, the Foundations’ focus is consistent: to help those in need, those underserved and those underrepresented in society. Since the Foundations were formed in the 1940s, the scale and capabilities of the grant making have changed, but the mission has not.

Social Service Grant

The Hearst Foundations fund direct-service organizations that tackle the roots of chronic poverty by applying effective solutions to the most challenging social and economic problems. The Foundations prioritize supporting programs that have proven successful in facilitating economic independence and in strengthening families. Preference is also given to programs with the potential to scale productive practices in order to reach more people in need.

Funding Priorities in Social Service

In the recent past, 15% of total funding has been allocated to Social Service. Organizations with budgets over $5 million have received 60% of funding in Social Service.

The Hearst Foundations are only able to fund approximately 25% of all grant requests, of which about 80% is directed to prior grantees and about 20% is targeted for new grantees.

Types of Support

Program, capital and general support


Minimum grant size is $100,000.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • The Hearst Foundations identify and fund outstanding nonprofits to ensure that people of all backgrounds in the United States have the opportunity to build healthy, productive and satisfying lives.
  • If a grant request is unsuccessful, an organization must wait a minimum of one year from the date of declination before reapplying.
  • Grantees must wait a minimum of three years from their grant award date before the Foundations will consider another request.


  • Preference will be given to:
    • Affordable housing
    • Domestic violence victims
    • Economic development with a focus on environmental sustainability
    • Food banks and food delivery, provided services are program-related
    • Job creation and job training
    • Legal services for those in need of legal representation
    • Prison education and reentry programs
    • Youth development
    • An organization’s national headquarters for wider initiatives instead of local chapters


  • In Limited Cases, the Foundations Fund:
    • Endowment grants, provided the organization has an existing endowment with the Hearst Foundations and a track record of strong performance and consistent stewardship
    • Faith-based organizations, provided that the services they offer are inclusive and fit within the Foundations' guidelines
    • Organizations lacking regional and national support
  • The Hearst Foundations do not fund organizations that are:
    • based outside of the United States
    • operating with audited expenses less than $2 million
    • undergoing leadership transitions or with new leadership in place for less than one year
    • not registered as 501(c)(3) organizations.
      • An IRS determination letter is required to receive funding.
  • The Hearst Foundations do not fund proposals seeking funding for:
    • festivals, tours, conferences, workshops or seminars
    • radio, film or television production
    • publications, books, magazines or newspapers
    • advocacy or public policy research
    • special events, tickets, tables or advertising for fundraising events
    • seed money or pilot programs
    • established programs lacking demonstrable long-term impact on populations served
    • program-related investments (PRI)
    • local chapters of national organizations (the Foundations typically fund initiatives at the national/headquarters level)
    • scholarship or fellowship recipients studying or residing outside of the United States

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This page was last reviewed May 06, 2024 and last updated February 29, 2024