Hunter Family Foundation

The Hunter Family Foundation (HFF), established in 1993, is a private family foundation committed to ensuring families have equitable opportunities to learn, steward, and enjoy the environment, and receive high-quality healthcare in their home communities. Its giving reflects the Hunter family values of trust, integrity, responsibility, and compassion. 

Hunter Familly Foundation group photo.Within its environmental grantmaking portfolio, HFF considers its relationship with Rare…rare. “Rare is rare for us because it’s international, and we typically fund locally,” shares Frank Baiocchi, HFF’s Executive Director. “It’s a cornerstone grant that holds a special place in our portfolio – helping us understand different ways people come together to affect behavior and systems change. Rare’s approach and models inform and deepen our work in all our granting portfolios.” 

The Foundation practices trust-based philanthropy – a progressive giving model that reimagines the relationships among funders, grantees, and the communities they serve. It seeks to rebalance decision-making and power imbalances that favor funders and make giving more democratic, inclusive, and effective. “Embracing this approach has allowed us to understand, at a deeper level, the needs and the assets of the communities we prioritize, and then try to leverage our power towards social change with partners like Rare,” Frank shares.  

Rare has partnered with the Hunter Family Foundation since 2011. Through its crosscutting support to Rare’s Center for Behavior & the Environment and Fish Forever program, HFF values the opportunity to learn from Rare’s behavioral and social science expertise and advance how it supports its grantees and their communities to apply and share their learnings. “Learning is at the core of everything Rare does and we do at the Foundation,” explains Frank. “We benefit from learning with and from Rare. Its confluence of expertise, humility, and ability to be nimble cultivates authentic relationships with community members and accelerates positive changes.” 

The Foundation sees it as part of its mission to help grantees scale their outcomes for a broader impact. “One of Rare’s most valuable traits is its ability to bring people together, over and over again,” Frank adds. “It’s such an important part of our work. Fish Forever is a testament to how communities can come together to have multiple significant financial, environmental, and social outcomes and work together, using what they have learned with Rare, to create change at the broader, systemic level. That’s exciting for us.”    

As the Hunter Family moves into strategic planning for the Foundation’s future, they stress that relationships based on trust, learning, partnership, curiosity, and leadership will remain core to their work. “To Rare, we say, please keep going! Keep learning, keep sharing, keep evaluating, keep adapting,” Frank stresses. “While Rare seems to make it look easy, we value the hard work that goes into co-creating meaningful opportunities, change, and action.”