Looking back on its first decade of existence, Richard C. Hunt (then President of the Viking Fund) laid out the following guiding principles used by its Board of Directors in overseeing its operation.
- To promote the "Science of Man" by aiding scholars and institutions throughout the world, without regard to nationality, race, or culture.
- To be equally concerned with projects in other disciplines likely to contribute to or extend the boundaries of anthropology as with those in more clearly recognized branches of the science: physical anthropology, archeology, ethnology, general theory and philosophy, and linguistics.
- To consider both the support of education of younger scholars and the publication of the results of research as significant facets of the promotion of the discipline.
- To encourage the submission for consideration by the Board of Directors of as many valid projects as possible.
- To weigh the opinions and recommendations, concerning petitions submitted, of scholars expert in the appropriate subject matter, region, or technique under consideration.
- To aid a number of scientific projects which could be undertaken with modest funds, rather than to expend the Fund's income on a few large projects, thus making as many grants for worthy projects as are possible within the limits of hte financial resources available.
- To allow maximum freedom of choice in the use of funds awarded by relying upon the integrity and scientific ability of grantees in the prosecution of their objectives.
- To require from each grantee only periodic reports of progress, a final report on accomplishments, and suitable acknowledgment of Viking Fund support in published results of resesarch as well as two copies of such publications for the Vking Fund Research Library.
- To develop within the home of the Viking Fund an anthropological institute or headquarters with facilities capable of undertaking those functions likely to stimulate and assist further development in anthropology.
- To keep to a minimum the Fund's administrative staff and expenses, so that research projects can receive the maximum benefit of available funds.
To measure how effective these basic assumptions were in helping the Fund achieve its intended goals, the Board of Directors -- seeking the opinion of a scholar "intimately concerned with the philosophy and welfare of the discipline" -- commissioned A.L. Kroeber to review its grantmaking activites and prepare the following report for inclusion in the Fund's 10th Anniversary Annual Report.