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Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Becomes First US Donor to Innovative Humanitarian Relief Fund

  • 21 Oct 21


News Article

The Start Fund has been awarded US $2.5 million from its first US-based donor, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. 

The $2.5 million grant will enable the Start Fund to continue providing its lifesaving support, in addition to exploring adaptations that enable greater access to the Start Fund. These adaptations will include:

Accelerating locally led action by unlocking funding for more organisations

  • This will include support for local organisations to improve their compliance infrastructure and become members of Start Network, with access to the Start Fund.

Promote learning by incentivising innovative approaches to assessing Start Fund’s humanitarian action

  • A new grant will be developed to incentivise locally relevant approaches to assessing humanitarian action enabled though the Start Fund.


Sarah Smith, Interim Director Legacy Initiatives at the Hilton Foundation said:

"We are proud to support the Start Fund as its first US-based donor. The Start Fund has proven that earlier and more rapid responses can help save more lives, and we look forward to learning more about how this model can be expanded to include more local actors in these responses."


Lucretia Puentes, Head of Start Funds at Start Network said:

“Our partnership with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation will enable more early and rapid Start Fund responses to assist people affected by crises, while accelerating locally-led action by unlocking funding for more NGOs across the network. The Start Fund demonstrates how collective action by civil society, can lead to more effective and complementary humanitarian financing. The support of donors such as the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation acknowledges the importance of this, while providing opportunity for us to continue to learn and evolve so that the Start Fund can do even more, even better.”

In addition to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the global Start Fund is supported by the governments of the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Jersey, and the IKEA Foundation. If you are interested in learning how to support the Start Fund, please send an email to

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