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NH Food Bank distributes food in Colebrook, NH during COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Cheryl Senter.)

NH Food Bank distributes food in Colebrook, NH during COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Cheryl Senter.)

A message to our nonprofit partners about Foundation grantmaking in 2021

The Foundation will increase its grantmaking to help address continuing needs in our communities due to pandemic.

Nonprofits have been unwavering in their support for our communities during this time of incredible challenge, and will continue to be essential as we rebuild and recover.

Throughout the public health crisis, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation focused on supporting nonprofits to reduce the pain and hardship on our most vulnerable neighbors and working with public and private partners to reduce the impact on critical health care and social service systems. With support from Foundation donors, the Community Crisis Action Fund was created to help respond to the need, with one hundred percent of contributions going out into the community. And we partnered with the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits and Community Development Finance Authority to create a grant program to administer the state’s Nonprofit Emergency Relief Fund, to get federal relief dollars to nonprofits large and small.

This year, to help address continuing needs in our communities, the Foundation’s Board of Directors has increased our Charitable Disbursement Rate to 5 percent for 2021, increasing the amount available for grantmaking. The Foundation received a $6 million donation to the Community Crisis Action Fund from novelist and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott to help address the impact of the pandemic — all of which will be distributed to nonprofits. Many other Foundation donors are also continuing to make generous contributions to help our communities recover. The Foundation is increasing funding for scholarships, including additional resources for students of color and New Americans. And we are working again to support the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits’ annual NH Gives event, which raised a record-breaking $3.4 million for New Hampshire nonprofits last year. All of these efforts will complement and amplify other funding sources, including those from federal appropriations.

The Foundation will continue all current grant and scholarship programs, and will increase investments in select areas. We will support nonprofits’ work across a broad range of issues, focusing on the following four goals:

1. Reducing the impact of the pandemic on our most vulnerable neighbors and communities, funding services as well as efforts to improve systems that address impacts of the pandemic.

2. Advancing equity and racial justice, including building relationships to understand and support the needs of communities of color and others facing barriers to equity, and increasing funding for these communities.

3. Strengthening and stabilizing the nonprofit sector, providing unrestricted and multiyear grants across all issues, including arts and environment.

4. Increasing opportunity and advancing equity for children and youth, through our ongoing NH Tomorrow initiative, focused on early childhood, family and youth supports, substance use disorders, and education and career.

There are multiple ways for nonprofits to apply for funds from the Foundation. Foundation program officers are available to discuss potential avenues for your organization. (Contact your program officer.) Further details are also available on our website.

  • Express Grants: Applications are open now, with an increased maximum grant size of $10,000, for near-term projects with a quick turnaround — open to all types of nonprofits. Deadline to apply is May 20.
  • Community Grants: We will continue our multiyear unrestricted grant program starting with concept papers to be submitted by August 4 — open to all types of nonprofits.
  • Invited grants: We will make additional grants by invitation to increase investments in the following areas: Healthcare, food and hunger, housing and homelessness, civic engagement, and racial justice. If your organization works in these areas or otherwise serves those who have been especially vulnerable due the pandemic, feel free to reach out to the program officer for your region to discuss community and organizational needs.

We are humbled by the heroic work of New Hampshire’s nonprofits in responding to the multiple crises facing our state, and want to know how the Foundation can be a better partner. In the coming months, we will be reaching out to nonprofits to inform our long-term planning. We look forward to hearing your perspectives on how we can best support nonprofits in rebuilding from this challenging time, and how we can work most effectively together to create more just, strong and inclusive communities across the Granite State.