What we fund


In this section

            Areas we fund
            Grant types
            Recent grants

Areas we fund
The Community Grants Program funds proposals that address one or more of the issue areas below, including but not limited to the areas of particular interest noted. The Foundation is interested in impacting the wellbeing of children and youth across all these issue areas.  

  • Health and Well-being
  • Education 
  • Environment
  • Arts and Culture
  • Economy
  • Civic Engagement - with particular interest in problem solving at the local, regional or statewide level by means of practices that foster productive civic dialogue on issues of public concern, effective self-governance, enhanced participation in deliberative processes, and the respectful exchange of differing views.  Recognizing that complex and divisive issues often make fruitful public discourse difficult, we seek to support processes that encourage inclusive and civil debate among those with divergent perspectives

In all the areas above, we have a particular interest in proposals that advance the following:

  • Innovations that will support new ways of doing business that will reduce costs, create efficiency or increase impact.
  • Advocacy; especially proposals that advance the interests of low-income and disadvantaged populations, where applicants seek to collaborate, share strategic leadership, or develop resources to benefit the wider advocacy field.

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Grant types

Operating support
We recognize the value of flexible funding support, so we will continue to expand our number of operating support grants. Operating grants are unrestricted funds that support an organization’s general operations as a whole rather than a particular project or capacity-building effort.

Applicants for operating support must demonstrate:

  • Strong executive director, CEO or other senior staff (experienced, well-respected in the community, innovative, effective at management, leadership and communication, etc.)
  • Board provides clear direction and is actively engaged in governance and success (Board organized in support of fundraising and other strategic plan goals, regular performance review for ED, use of board self assessment tool, good working relationship between the board chair and senior staff, etc.). This includes 100% board financial giving to the organization, a requirement beginning in 2012.
  • Current, board-approved strategic plan, as well as consistent efforts at assessment and course correction.
  • Sound fiscal policy, including diverse funding sources. Reviewed financial statements and preferably audited financial statements are required to apply for operating support.
  • Track record of consistent program results or other accomplishments in furtherance of the organization’s mission

Project/Capacity support
Project-specific proposals will still be considered, but the most competitive applications will demonstrate persuasively why now is a strategic time for us to support such project work, and that there are clear and realistic plans for how the work, if ongoing, will be sustained beyond the grant period.

Project grants support a focused set of activities conducted during a specified period of time and with clearly stated deliverables that further the organization’s mission. All funds awarded must be used for the costs of implementing the project. Projects may include efforts focused internally – on building the strength of the organization - or efforts focused externally – on delivering programs or services that meet community needs. We are particularly interested in projects that advance innovation.

Multiyear requests
We consider both single year and multiyear requests of up to three years. Organizations interested in submitting a multiyear proposal must contact us prior to submitting a proposal. 

Grant amounts
The maximum grant awards are:
Regions - $20,000
Statewide - $25,000

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We accept Community Grant applications from organizations that:

  • Serve communities within our eight regions in New Hampshire which include select border communities in Maine and Vermont.
  • Are public charities, tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (Organizations that do not have public charity status may apply for grants if another tax-exempt organization acts as a fiscal sponsor)
  • Are public (state or municipal) agencies.

At this time we are unable to fund:

  • Religious programs (although faith-based organizations are welcome to apply for nonreligious programs)
  • Expenses already incurred or deficit reduction
  • Capital campaigns, major renovation or building projects, or land acquisition.
  • Replacement of public or government funding (In select cases, we will provide bridge support for organizations responding to a decrease in public funding, if the organization has a clear and realistic plan for long-term sustainability. Please contact us before submitting a proposal.)
  • Academic research
  • Programs to re-grant the funds to others
  • Project proposals that have been declined by the Foundation more than once
  • Grants to individuals
  • Multiple grant proposals from one organization at one time
  • Substance use disorder prevention, treatment or recovery supports services. The Foundation accepts proposals for this work on an invitation-only basis.

In general, an organization may receive one grant per year through our Community Grants Program.

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Recent grants
Check back soon for an updated list of grants we have distributed in 2014!

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Contact us:

Wendy Cahill

For questions, contact
Wendy Cahill at
603-225-6641 ext. 21249 or email


2016 Grantseeker Information Sessions

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Webinar Recording: Foundation Update for Nonprofits
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