Enjoying a swim program at the Boys & Girls Club of Nashua. (Photo by Paiwei Wei.)
Strong, thriving kids grow into thriving adults who contribute to prosperous and healthy communities.
But right now, too many of our kids never have that chance.
Thousands of kids from low-income families lack access to everything from high-quality early childhood care and education to advanced placement classes in high school and enrichment activities. They fall behind their wealthier classmates by third grade — and many never catch up. They are less likely to go to college, less able to get good jobs and less ready to contribute to communities.
This is the trend that world-renowned sociologist Robert Putnam has labelled the “opportunity gap.”
Together, we can — and we must — narrow that gap. This is not only a social obligation, it is an economic imperative.
Vastly unequal access to opportunity — combined with an aging population and slower population growth — threaten New Hampshire’s long-term economic and social well-being. If we are to maintain our status as one of the best states in the country for children and families, all of our kids must have the chance to reach their full potential.
Together, we can make that happen.
Right now, New Hampshire’s opportunity gap is widening. Pockets of poverty are getting deeper. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 11 percent of kids in New Hampshire (or 28,000) are living in poverty — up from 6 percent in 2000. That is about equivalent to the combined populations of Portsmouth and Plymouth. (Under federal guidelines, a family of four with an income of $24,250 is considered to be in poverty.) And 44,000 of our kids, or 27 percent, are eligible for free and reduced-price school lunch. In some districts, more than half of all kids qualify.
Our kids struggle in other areas, too: New Hampshire’s young people have among the highest rates of substance use in the country, and our students graduate with the nation’s highest debt load.
But there are proven solutions. We know that when kids have access to a range of opportunities throughout their lives, they are able to thrive and to become adults who sustain their communities.
To increase youth opportunity from cradle to career, the Foundation is redoubling efforts on behalf of New Hampshire’s kids. We are investing in four proven areas: early childhood development; family and youth supports; substance use prevention, treatment and recovery; and education and career pathways. Each area of investment aligns with work being done by the public sector, nonprofits, education and business. Each area of this important work needs generous donor support.
To achieve the goals of New Hampshire Tomorrow, the Foundation has made a commitment to invest $100 million over a decade in grants and scholarships, build and support multi-sector coalitions and advance sensible public policy.
And — because the resources, partnerships and action needed to move the needle on this issue are far greater than one community foundation could provide — we are working to multiply those funds and efforts with additional resources from local and national partners.
LET’S WORK TOGETHER
New Hampshire is up to the promise of increasing opportunities for our kids. Working together, we can do this. We have the resources, the relationships and the long tradition of bipartisan cooperation needed to narrow the opportunity gap.
What are you up to? Please join us with your best ideas, your energy, commitment, voices and resources to make sure that every one of our children has access to the opportunities they need to thrive. For our kids. For New Hampshire tomorrow.
The Foundation is investing $100 million over 10 years in four proven focus areas to increase opportunity for New Hampshire’s kids — from cradle to career:
All kids receive high-quality early care and education
MEASURE OF SUCCESS: More 25- to 34-year-olds in New Hampshire have a quality education, strong earning power and the skills to contribute to the state’s workforce and communities
NEW HAMPSHIRE TOMORROW LEADERSHIP COUNCIL
President and Founder
Families in Transition
and Co-Chief Executive Officer
CCA Global Partners
Sister Paula Marie Buley
Early Learning NH
Mountain View Grand Resort
Foxfire Property Management
and The Duprey Companies
Dr. Stephen Gehlbach
Dean Emeritus, School of Public Health and Health Sciences
University of Massachusetts – Amherst
Community College System of New Hampshire
Endowment for Health
Founder and Principal
Four Tree Island Advisory LLC
Rt. Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld
The Episcopal Church of
Founder and Board Member
Former Senate President
New Hampshire State Senate
Southern New Hampshire Services
Former Governor of the State of New Hampshire
University System of New Hampshire
Rep. Latha Mangipudi
New Hampshire House of Representatives
President, New Hampshire
People’s United Bank
Founder and Chair
Chairman and CEO
J. Bonnie Newman
Business, Education and Government Leader
President and CEO
New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
Amanda Grappone Osmer
Concord School District
Business and Industry Association
President and CEO
New Hampshire College and University Council
Foundation Senior Strategic Learning and Evaluation Officer Yulya Spantchak analyzes New Hampshire's results in the most recent Kids Count report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The new data give New Hampshire much to celebrate — and point to areas where we can and should do more
Dr. Lisa DiBrigida of Amoskeag Health on a whole-family approach that helps children thrive
Medallion Fund scholarships helped Michelle Porter earn her degree in Welding Technology from Manchester Community College
Center for children with disabilities in Keene has been caring for children with complex needs for more than a half-century
Grants from the David M. Brooks Music Fund are sending new cellos, trumpets, trombones, flutes, violins and more to children in Manchester public schools; and guitars, keyboards, ukuleles and xylophones to public-school children in Laconia
New Hampshire Charitable Foundation announces five scholarship recipients for the Bill and Esther Levy Scholarship Fund
The Bill and Esther Levy Scholarships support students from A. Crosby Kennett High School in Conway — awarding $62,000 in scholarships in 2019
A few examples of recent grants making a difference in communities around the Granite State: Portsmouth Music and Arts Center builds community through the arts; Christa McAuliffe's legacy continues; Kids in Chichester get new playground equipment; Empower Coös Youth Grant Committee makes its first round of grants; Veterans get support and services; History is preserved in Manchester; The largest remaining dairy farm in the Monadnock region is conserved
Project LAUNCH, a coalition of nonprofits and public agencies, has been building a coordinated system of services and care to make sure that every child in Manchester has the social and emotional supports she needs to learn, thrive and grow: developmental screening that leads to earlier interventions; professional coaching and development for early childhood teachers; making behavioral health a routine part of pediatric visits; parenting classes and home visiting; a rapid-response team for children who have been affected by trauma.
Ralph Baer was an engineer and inventor whose "brown box" controller became the original prototype for much of modern video gaming. The Ralph H. and Dena W. Baer Scholarship Fund at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation will support the next generation of innovative thinkers from the Queen City, helping students from Manchester Central High School who want to study in technology-related fields
Results of the 10-year Coös Youth Study by the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire show that a strong civic culture and deep sense of community act as protective factors for young people in the North Country, even as the region struggles to adapt to a shifting economy and out-migration. Data will be used to inform grantmaking in the region
White Mountain Science, Inc.'s Mobile STEM Lab crisscrosses the North Country to bring STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics — programs to students who may not otherwise have the opportunity to dive into this modern curriculum. The mobile lab was launched with support from the Charitable Foundation's Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund
Tilly Players, after-school program at Boys & Girls Club of the North Country and After School Kids in Whitefield receive support from youth-led program of the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund
The Charitable Foundation invested $17.5 million to increase opportunities for young people through its New Hampshire Tomorrow initiative last year. Read our 2018 progress report
A decade-long collaboration funded by the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation has resulted in a coordinated system of care and services aimed at improving outcomes for every child in Coös County. A research brief about that work, “By Us and For Us, A Story of Early Childhood Development Systems Change and Results in a Rural Context,” has been published in the The Foundation Review, a national, peer-reviewed journal. Now, lessons learned in Coös County can be applied to other rural communities around the country to improve outcomes for children
The Fresh Tracks Medallion Fund is the newest of 26 Medallion scholarship funds open to learners of any age who are training in the trades or pursuing certifications in emerging technical sectors and other high-growth occupations
Gretchen Carlson, program manager at the Gundalow Company in Portsmouth, teaches children about the science and history of Seacoast waterways
Rene Lacasse of Claremont was an immigrant, a United States Navy veteran, a steel worker, a dad and a coach. He loved basketball, and he thought all kids should have the opportunity to play sports. Now, a fund in his name at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is covering registration fees for kids in need to participate in sports and other activities at the local community center
The Bishop family created a fund to honor their youngest son and give life-changing opportunity to kids in need
The Norman F. and Marilyn W. Jones Scholarship Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation will make its first awards this year
RAND Corporation study looks at strategies for wise investments in home visiting and preschool that will give more New Hampshire children the opportunity to thrive
Grant part of the Charitable Foundation’s 10-year New Hampshire Tomorrow initiative to increase opportunities for young people in need
New Hampshire Charitable Foundation's new director of education and career initiatives on advancing "65 by 25," the barriers too many kids face, and the tennis coach who changed his life
Funding from Foundation's Community Grants program is now focused entirely on providing multiyear operating support to nonprofits working all over New Hampshire
Here are just a few examples of what happens in New Hampshire communities when people give, and work, together
Giving hard-working New Hampshire kids a roadmap to success
The Sundman family's quiet generosity has helped dozens of young people from Littleton to go to college. Now, David Sundman is expanding the scholarship fund created in his mother's honor by giving through an IRA charitable rollover. Foundation senior philanthropy advisor Linda Gray explains that the fund will help Littleton students for generations to come
Youth Risk Behavior Survey is critical in understanding young people's risk factors for addiction — and in tailoring efforts to help them stay healthy
During October, "Solutions Journalism" series explored "hub-and-spoke" lessons from neighboring Vermont, how Manchester's ACERT team is helping children who have been exposed to trauma, and more
University of New Hampshire senior Riley Kenney shares his reflections on his summer internship at the Charitable Foundation
Lakes Region Child Care provides high-quality early education to 424 infants and children from 28 towns
Members of the Makin’ It Happen Coalition for Resilient Youth see drugs and alcohol as a clear and present danger to their generation. They are deflecting that danger with a potent weapon: the optimism of the young
When this bank president was a young, single mom, nonprofits helped her family and helped her build a career. Now she is a tireless champion for the nonprofit sector
Foundation recognized for helping build statewide infrastructure for early childhood education
New Hampshire residents to get job training for high-demand fields thanks to $250,000 grant from Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation
New Hampshire Charitable Foundation will award workforce-training scholarships over three years
Matt Faucher of Berlin is earning an associate degree in IT with help from a Foundation scholarship. New Hampshire's "dual admission" program means all of his credits will transfer toward a bachelor's degree at one of the state's public universities
Dartmouth-Hitchcock has implemented screening tool for substance use with teens, young adults and obstetrics patients with help from Foundation grants
Foundation's Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund offers opportunity for young people to have a direct voice in their communities via new grantmaking program. Applications open until May 4
Emily Eng is able to "create music more deeply, to dive into the art more passionately" and develop the leadership skills to conduct orchestras with help from a Foundation scholarship
Progress made for New Hampshire kids on scholarships, advocacy, early education quality improvements and more
Coös County students are engaging community members in conversations about values, activities and resources that create positive school and community experiences for local youth
Elizabeth Heath on how a nonprofit organization changed the course of her life, and how she is paying it forward
Mallory Fredriksen of Alstead is studying to be a dental hygienist with help from a Charitable Foundation scholarship
CCA Global Partners ‘big’ brothers and sisters mentor kids right at the office
Dr. Kelley White talks about the profound effect of the state's drug crisis on her young patients, and how the "screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment" protocol is helping
David Brooks loved music. He left a legacy to make sure New Hampshire kids get the chance to love music, too
Mentors help our kids to thrive. Hundreds of New Hampshire kids are on waiting lists, hoping that caring adult will come along to spend some time with them
A generous family donated the 2,086-acre Beaver Brook Forest to the Charitable Foundation. Now, the land is in process of being conserved forever, and charitable resources generated by the sale are already at work in New Hampshire communities
Photographer Becky Field, who has been documenting the lives of immigrant and refugee families since 2012, has partnered with the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to establish Different Roots, Common Dreams Scholarship Fund
A $3 million anonymous gift to a donor-advised fund will help moms and babies affected by substance use
Community colleges are key to boosting economic opportunity
Community Foundation Opportunity Network is working to ensure that all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential
Nancy and Paul Amato use a donor-advised fund to support their community and pass on a tradition of giving to the next generation
Leaders in education, business, philanthropy and government came together with a shared goal in mind that 65 percent of New Hampshire adults have a high-value credential or post-secondary degree by the year 2025
“Quig” was a beloved artist, musician and frame-maker in the Monadnock region. A group has created a scholarship in his name at the Charitable Foundation to carry on his legacy
Court Appointed Special Advocates' greeting cards (including this one by Foundation receptionist and artist Terri McKinnon) support CASA's mission of helping the state's most vulnerable children
Scholarships awarded from fund created by family and friends
State ranks first overall on child well-being in 2017, but averages mask vast discrepancies in access to opportunity and outcomes for kids
The Foundation awards about $5.5 million each year in scholarships. Meredith Peck of Plymouth wrote recently to let us know how she is doing
Sara Colson of the Business and Industry Association explains how BIA-Foundation partnership is working to create pathways to education and careers, increase number of people with college degrees and credentials and boost NH economy
When school closes for the summer, so does school lunch. NH nonprofits are teaming up with the USDA and local community organizations to make sure that none of our kids go hungry during summer months
The Foundation is helping to improve the quality of, and access to, early childhood education centers. The effort is part of our 10-year New Hampshire Tomorrow initiative
Bishop Rob Hirschfeld of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire on the ways the church is working to equalize opportunity and help more kids to thrive
On teaching to exacting standards, fighting like a wolverine, and answering the phone at all hours. Lessons on narrowing the opportunity gap — from my mother
RAND Corporation study, "Investing in the Early Years," shows positive financial returns for investments supporting young children
Foundation supporting Spark NH's communications efforts as part of its New Hampshire Tomorrow initiative to increase youth opportunity
Americans fundamentally agree on many things. Perhaps first and foremost: all of our kids deserve a shot at achieving the American Dream.
Partnership for Drug Free New Hampshire launches campaign to change the way we think and talk about addiction
And how are New Hampshire's kids doing?
New Foundation Director of Early Childhood and Family Initiatives talks about the promise of the youngest, the growing momentum in an important field, and dirt-road living…
Workforce Accelerator 2025 to help ensure 65 percent of New Hampshire adults have degrees or high-value credentials needed to thrive in the workforce
A former “little” brother tells his story about how mentoring made a big difference
As part of its New Hampshire Tomorrow plan, the Foundation is funding family resource centers to boost parents' skill as "first teachers"
Christina Lachance joins Foundation as director of early childhood and family initiatives
Dick and Lorraine Lavalliere offer an additional $500,000 in matching funds to grow Medallion scholarship pool
“New Hampshire Tomorrow” commits $100 million to improve social and economic outcomes
Five (okay...six) questions for Richard V. Reeves, Brookings Institution data wonk and award-winning writer on stagnant social mobility – and what we can do about it
Regular visits with doctors can keep teens off drugs and alcohol
First scholarships awarded from fund created by family and friends
Community foundations from coast to coast working together on issues critical to kids and communities
New data show that New Hampshire does well on average. But disparities in opportunity are wide
MoCo Arts and the Keene Housing Kids Collaborative are making it possible for all kids to dance and act and succeed
Philanthropy’s catalytic role in fighting New Hampshire’s addiction crisis
The Foundation invested more than $11 million in grants and scholarships last year as part of its New Hampshire Tomorrow youth opportunity agenda
Jay McSharry is in the restaurant business and Amanda McSharry is in the web design business. Both are in the business of making their community stronger.
Foundation VP of Community Impact Katie Merrow outlines how the Foundation is working to increase opportunities for our kids – and help businesses to thrive – in this "Business Monadnock" article
Life of an Athlete program is keeping kids off drugs and alcohol
Author Robert Putnam says unequal access to opportunity is hurting our kids
Foundation's New Hampshire Tomorrow initiative aims to help all kids thrive
Bonnie Draper's generosity transforms one Boys & Girls Club's scholarship program
Kids in Plymouth getting homework help, family-style dinners – and much more
Youth Leadership Through Adventure teaches kids to be leaders, deepens their connection to community — and, in so doing, keeps them off drugs and alcohol
Foundation scholarships help Paige Libbey prepare for a STEM career in New Hampshire
Grant helps Circle Program install solar panels on cabins, boosts girls' skills and confidence
The Fred Kocher Scholarship of the New Hampshire High Technology Council gives students the boost they need to study STEM — and stay in New Hampshire
Volunteers in elementary school classrooms help with academics and more
The Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund invests $5 million to improve early childhood outcomes in the North Country
You can help
Please join us to ensure that all of New Hampshire’s kids have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Together, we can build a stronger New Hampshire tomorrow.