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People attend a rally for immigrant and refugee justice in Veterans Park in Manchester in May 2017. (Photo by Cheryl Senter.)

People attend a rally for immigrant and refugee justice in Veterans Park in Manchester in May 2017. (Photo by Cheryl Senter.)

A message to our nonprofit partners about ‘Together We Thrive’

We launch this plan with understanding of how far we have to go, and excitement about how far we can go, in partnership with New Hampshire’s nonprofits and generous donors.

The purpose of the Charitable Foundation is to help make New Hampshire a community where everyone can thrive. The future of our state, our shared prosperity and well-being depend on that. We need to draw on the potential, strength, ingenuity and grace of every person to make our state healthier, happier, more prosperous and a better place to live for all.

Our new strategic plan, “Together We Thrive,” focuses on advancing equity and racial justice to advance that purpose. It is deeply informed by learning and input from many people and organizations across the state, including many nonprofits. We are grateful to all who shared their knowledge and perspective.

We launch this plan with understanding of how far we have to go, and excitement about how far we can go in partnership with New Hampshire’s nonprofits and generous donors.

This plan touches every aspect of the Foundation’s work, and we welcome you to read it in full.

Here is what it means for our work with nonprofits and in community:

  • We will look to elevate community voices, share decision-making power, and co-create solutions in developing new grantmaking and initiative strategies. We will work to deepen relationships with grantees, to better understand and support your and your communities’ needs, and show up as a partner, working to better balance the power dynamic between funder and grantee.
  • We will sharpen our focus on equity, racial justice and economic security across our grantmaking, scholarships and initiatives. We will launch a community-led racial justice fund; increase funding for priorities named in the plan, including our New Hampshire Tomorrow initiative, civic health, environmental protection and pandemic response and basic needs; and will work to support nonprofit efforts to increase diversity, equity and inclusion and reduce bias.
  • We will continue our broad work as a community foundation, making grants across a wide range of issue areas, including health and well-being, environmental protection, education, housing and other basic needs, arts and culture, civic health and economic security. We will continue to fund advocacy and increase the use of the Foundation’s voice, alongside those affected by the challenges we seek to address.
  • Our existing application grant programs will not change in 2022. Our invited grants will have a sharpened focus on equity, racial justice, and economic security. New grantmaking opportunities will be added, including through the new racial justice fund and in the area of civic health. We will share details with you as the work evolves.
  • We will continue to emphasize unrestricted and multiyear grants. We will also continue to use the simplified applications and streamlining that we established at the onset of the pandemic.
  • We will continue to elevate nonprofits’ work with donors who give through the Foundation across all issue areas. As always, the best way to help us do this is by applying to one of our grant programs or contacting staff in our community impact department.

Many perspectives informed “Together we Thrive,” and we are grateful to all who helped shape this new plan, including:

  • A Community Listening Team comprised of people who have faced barriers to opportunity and who conducted interviews and surveyed more than 600 New Hampshire residents. This powerful work led us to prioritize children’s mental health and culturally appropriate care as well as leadership development for people of color and efforts to reduce bias. It also led us to double down on efforts to increase access to child care, housing and basic needs and to continue to use our voice to advance these and other issues. Read the team’s report.
  • The more than 50 nonprofits who responded to a survey to tell us how the Foundation is doing now in advancing equity and racial justice and how we can do better. Grantees called for us to expand our voice on these issues, and to provide leadership and support to nonprofit organizations as we work on these issues together — all of which is in the plan. Read the nonprofit survey.
  • A synthesis of research and reports from New Hampshire nonprofits on obstacles to opportunity faced by people of color in New Hampshire, along with action recommendations. This report informed our thinking about bringing a racial equity lens to our work, for areas to prioritize in the plan, and for our work going forward. Read the summary.

We have much to learn from all of you. We will continue to ask for your feedback. Please tell us when we make mistakes, when we get things right and where we can improve. A confidential grantee survey, administered by the Center for Effective Philanthropy will be sent to nonprofits later this month.

Thank you for all you do, and all you’ve done for our communities over these two challenging years. We all are working for better times ahead, and we look forward to working by your side.