The term “crowdfunding” may be new to the lexicon, but crowdfunding has always been an essential part of what community foundations do. Community foundations are comprised of hundreds — even thousands — of philanthropic funds that, pooled together and applied strategically, do a great deal of good for a great many people. The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is a hub where donors can learn about community needs and combine charitable resources to meet them. The 5,000 grants and scholarships made from the Foundation each year are all the result of the combined generosity of hundreds of people. In other words, they are funded by a very generous crowd. Here are a just a few recent examples.
- Kids went to summer camp. Kids from Manchester got to go to 10 weeks of summer camp at the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester’s Camp Foster thanks to generous grants from the Joseph G. and Jean E. Sawtelle, MacMillan and Flatirons donor-advised funds. So instead of staying home in the city during summer vacation, 7- to 13-year-olds were hiking, boating and swimming in New Hampshire’s lakes and mountains.
- Thousands of people got access to health care. About a dozen donors came together through the Foundation to support advocacy for expanding the state’s Medicaid program. The Rogers Family Trusts, Thomas W. Haas Fund, Pilot Fund, Josephine A. Lamprey Fund, Silent “E” Fund, Geoffrey E. Clark and Martha Fuller Clark Fund and Semolina Fund all supported advocacy efforts that were instrumental in extending health care coverage, including coverage for substance use disorders, to about 50,000 Granite Staters.
- Homeless veterans got transportation. The Linda and Marshall Audin and Rosebud donor-advised funds combined resources to provide transportation to veterans transitioning from homelessness at Liberty House in Manchester. Now those vets can get to doctors’ appointments, job interviews and work.
- A covered bridge was preserved and put to use. A bridge that was built by a master New Hampshire craftsman needed a new home after Heritage New Hampshire closed, and Kennett High School needed a bridge to improve access to athletic fields. The bridge was donated, and a generous crowd chipped in to pay for it to be moved and repaired. The donor-advised Marshall Family Fund and Bob and Jean Murphy Fund put in a combined $6,000, a Foundation historic preservation fund added $7,000 and that money boosted local fundraising efforts.
- Young people gained skills and experience while building trails. The Freeman-Martin Family Fund, the Fraxinus Fund and two anonymous funds supported the Upper Valley Trails Alliance in giving great team-building skills and work experience to 50 high school students who spent five weeks building and improving trails through the Trail Corps Program.
- A local land trust got a full-time director. Three donors chipped in to help the Five Rivers Conservation Trust hire a full-time director, greatly expanding that organization’s capacity and effectiveness in protecting natural resources in the Concord area.
- Families in the Upper Valley got dental and health care. A group of donor-advised and unrestricted fund holders combined resources to send $20,000 in critical operating support to the Good Neighbor Health Clinic. The Fraxinus Fund, Freeman-Martin Family Fund, Charles B. McLane Family Fund, Fergus Fund, Page Hill Fund and Almy Family Fund together helped people in need get critical care.