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Houston Donor, Volunteer and Community Leader Named North America’s Outstanding Philanthropist

(Arlington, VA) Maureen Hackett, an innovator in Houston and U.S. philanthropy for more than 30 years, has been named the 2014 Outstanding Philanthropist by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

Maureen will receive her honor at the National Philanthropy Day® Honors: A Celebration of People and Impact event on Nov. 15 in Washington, D.C. at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

For Maureen, philanthropy has been an opportunity and an obligation to create impact for organizations committed to a more just and caring world.  She has given to a variety of causes—both through personal funds and her family foundation—but she is best known for her unique blend of innovative partnerships and dynamic personal leadership style.

Maureen is convinced that current challenges will demand new ideas and an expanded pool of creative talent.  While chair of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, she helped to establish the first-ever Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and created the first-ever endowed chair in Women’s Philanthropy in the world (named after her mother).

The mental health sector is central to Maureen’s philanthropy, and she has combined personal leadership, strategic giving and a mandate for results that has delivered significant results. She has given to The Menninger Clinic in Houston, a leading psychiatric institution and affiliate of Baylor College of Medicine, where she serves as a vice-chair. She is also chair of The Menninger Clinic Foundation.

In addition, Maureen supported the creation of the Mental Health Channel, the first web-based outlet devoted to mental health programming, delivered commercial free, 24 hours a day.  Together with her husband, she lobbied Congress to approve legislation that put mental health benefits on equal par with physical health benefits under health care plans. She recruited leaders from Houston corporations and insurance companies for the effort, and in response, several of those companies voluntarily changed their plans to improve equality in coverage for mental health care.

Maureen is currently chair of the Nantucket Cottage Hospital’s $75 million campaign and serves as chair and president of the Hospital Foundation.  The success of the campaign will transform healthcare on the island as transporting patients from Nantucket to the mainland is not only costly but can also be life-threatening.

Closer to home, Maureen served as chair of the Greater Houston Community Foundation (GHCF), an organization dedicated to leveraging the impact of Houston’s leading philanthropists.  During a period of critical growth, she guided the organization through a strategic re-visioning that increased funding, participation and community impact.

A devout Catholic, Maureen has partnered with a number of Catholic institutions in Houston to build facilities and establish programming to enhance the spiritual and academic foundation of young people.  She supports the education and development of leaders of faith and character with investments at Notre Dame, Villanova and Georgetown Universities.

“Philanthropy is never about the size of the gift,” said Maureen. “It’s about the commitment to changing the world around us for the better any way we can.  Effective philanthropy means knowing that sometimes you lead and sometimes you follow, but you always commit to the greater good of the cause.  The causes we serve demand nothing less.” 

The National Philanthropy Day® Honors recognize outstanding leadership, commitment and generosity in philanthropy. Miles of Scarves is one of six finalists who will be honored on National Philanthropy Day®. More information can be found at

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