About The Harris Foundation

William H. and Mattie Wattis Harris created the Foundation in 1960. Their daughter Ruth Harris Hite and her husband William N. Hite created the William N. and Ruth Harris Hite Foundation which merged into the Harris Foundation. Ruth Harris Hite was also a major contributor to the Foundation’s assets. The Foundation is located in Las Vegas, Nevada, and is governed by a board of trustees

Areas of Support
The William H. and Mattie Wattis Harris Foundation funds organizations that qualify for 501(c)(3) status in five areas:

1. Animal Welfare: sanctuaries, no-kill animal shelters, rescue, adoption and population control.

2. The Arts: children’s theater, documentaries, videos, and Community outreach.

3. Conservation: animal field research, protection of natural resources including conservation education       programs, documentaries, videos, and community outreach.

4. Educational Camps: environmental, health and special needs camps.

5. Preventative Health: animals for the physically challenged, children’s health, global populations, women’s health.

The Harris Foundation does fund operating budgets. See some examples of our grantee organizations through this link, or see what our grant giving criteria are.

Areas of Non-Support

  • Building funds or capital improvements
  • Construction projects
  • Humane societies
  • Individual scholarships and student loans
  • Legal defense funds
  • Lobbying organizations
  • Medical research
  • Organizations and projects which are funded 50% or more by taxation income
  • Private Foundations
  • Private schools
  • Religious organizations
  • Road improvements
  • Zoos

Grantee Spotlight:



Growing Colorado Kids

The mission of Growing Colorado Kids is to reduce hunger, improve nutrition, and provide experiential learning opportunities for refugee youth through organic farming.

Canyonlands Field Institute

Canyonlands Field Institute has been “Inspiring enlightened perspectives, passion and care for the Colorado Plateau since 1984.”

Canyonlands Field Institute is a non-profit outdoor educational organization that holds programs and trips designed to teach students and adults about the surroundings area. Website

The Smile Train

Unlike many charities that do many different things, The Smile Train is focused on solving a single problem: cleft lip and palate.
Clefts are a major problem in developing countries where there are millions of children who are suffering with unrepaired clefts.

The good news is every single child with a cleft can be helped with surgery that costs as little as $250 and takes as little as 45 minutes. Website

Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum of Albuquerque

Creating opportunities for inspirational discovery and the joy of lifelong learning through interactive experiences in science, technology and art.

We value experience that is direct and personal, that inspires curiosity, thoughtful activity and communication, that opens new dimensions and awareness of the world, that contributes to personal growth and the growth of personal meaning, that supports a learning community, and that underlies, encourages and sustains inquiry and lifelong learning. Website

Assistance League: Las Vegas

Assistance League of Las Vegas has been dedicated to effectively finding and fulfilling the needs of the Las Vegas community for more than 30 years.

There are many ways you can give to help the many children and adults in our city, who can benefit from our assistance. Website

Save the Manatee Club

Another organization we have been funding over the years. Mattie Wattis Harris always gave generously to the YWCA of Ogden, Utah, where she lived. Her concern with women’s health issues remains an important priority of the Foundation today. Website

Contact Us Today

Find out how we can help to support your causes.  


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William H. and Mattie Wattis Harris Foundation

6655 West Sahara Avenue, Suite B-118, Las Vegas, NV 89146

Call Us: 702.253.1317