Three-year-old Rawson Phillips at the Country Day School in Colebrook with parents Morgan and Devon Phillips. (Photo by Cheryl Senter.)
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.
Contrary to our cherished myths about social mobility, if you are born poor in the United States, you are increasingly likely to stay poor. For children of color who are born poor, the likelihood of staying poor is even greater. This is not how the American Dream is supposed to work.
Thousands of kids from struggling families lack access to everything from high-quality early childhood care and education to advanced placement classes in high school and enrichment activities. 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 labeled the “opportunity gap.”
Together, we can — and we must — reverse these trends. This is not only a social obligation — it is an economic imperative.
Vastly unequal access to opportunity threatens New Hampshire’s long-term economic and social well-being. Income inequality in the U.S. has reached its highest levels in more than five decades, and New Hampshire is among the states where disparities are growing the fastest.
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.
Overall, New Hampshire does very well by our kids. But too frequently, the ZIP code a child lives in — or the education of her parents, the color of her skin, the structure of her family — plays an outsized role in predicting her success. And New Hampshire’s opportunity gap is widening. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 11 percent of kids in New Hampshire (or 27,000) are living in poverty — up from 6 percent in 2000. (Under federal guidelines, a family of four with an income of $25,750 is considered to be in poverty.) And 43,000 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 college 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, the Foundation is 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 at least $100 million over a decade in grants and scholarships, to build and support multisector coalitions and to advance sensible public policy.
And — because the resources, partnerships and action needed to make lasting change are far greater than one community foundation could provide — those funds and efforts are being multiplied with additional resources from local and national partners.
LET’S WORK TOGETHER
Working together, we can increase opportunities for New Hampshire’s kids. New Hampshire has the resources, the relationships and the long tradition of bipartisan cooperation needed to narrow the opportunity gap and increase mobility from poverty. 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
‘I didn’t know these doors were open to me.’ Partner post from Reaching Higher NH about how schools are promoting equitable access through homegrown career pathways.
Camp Doucet was enjoyed by thousands of Nashua children for decades. When it fell out of use, the nonprofit association that managed it decided to create two funds to benefit children and families in the Nashua region forever.
We can build a more perfect community if we all work together. Here are stories of how people in New Hampshire are doing just that.
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 $78,500 in scholarships in 2022.
A network of 16 nonprofit family resource centers from Gorham to Peterborough provides critical and ongoing support to thousands of New Hampshire families.
David C. Prescott saved for years to create a scholarship that will help New Hampshire students for generations.
Christina Kim Philibotte is the chief equity officer for the Manchester School District. A Foundation grant to Manchester Proud helped support the creation of her position. She spoke to the Foundation’s Lois Shea about her work.
The expanded child tax credit helped move millions of American children out of poverty.
The Foundation, through a partnership with national funders and NH Housing, made grants to a number of nonprofit organizations in New Hampshire that were doing outreach to families to let them know about their eligibility for the credit — and to help them apply.
As a youngster in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Hussain Amiri collected and sold firewood and made carpets to help support his family, then studied at night. After enduring war and trauma, his family arrived in Concord with only what they carried and very little idea of what to expect. Now, he is studying at Plymouth State University for a career in computer science and working as a case manager at Building Community in NH, helping refugees as they build new lives in New Hampshire.
Marina Ngalula is on the cusp of realizing her childhood dream of becoming an engineer — so she can build useful things that improve people's lives.
Christina joins the Foundation as director of early childhood and family supports. She talks with colleague Lois Shea about promising developments for families and children, her love of her home state of New Hampshire — and why she is optimistic for the future.
Devon and Morgan Phillips could do their work in emergency medicine during the height of the pandemic in 2020 because their children's early childhood center was there to care for their kids. Early childhood education is critical infrastructure that benefits everyone in our communities.
Public K-12 schools deliver on the very American promise of an education for all — no matter how much money your parents have, or where you live, or the color of your skin or if you get around on your feet or in a wheelchair. But the public good that is public education is being imperiled in New Hampshire in ways that put children’s education and the well-being of our communities and our economy at risk.
After 13 years at the Charitable Foundation, Tym Rourke to join national healthcare consulting firm to advance health equity and integrated behavioral healthcare.
Events of 2020 exacerbated inequities, increased urgency for work to ensure that young people are able to reach their potential.
Network of Child Advocacy Centers around the state provide a child-centered, consolidated approach to help children at the center of abuse allegations.
In recent years, the Charitable Foundation has made investments that helped push statewide policy change and funding, build coalitions and secure significant federal dollars to help improve outcomes for young children. Christina Lachance, who had been leading that work, has now taken the helm as director of the New Hampshire Council For Thriving Children.
The support that mentoring programs provide to young people may be more critical than ever during this time of social isolation. These nonprofits have met the moment with tenacity and creativity to keep mentors connected with the kids who rely on them.
New Hampshire Charitable Foundation announces six 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 $66,500 in scholarships in 2020.
Many children who rely on intervention counselors like Amber Roux have had a lifetime’s worth of obstacles and traumas thrown at them before their tenth birthdays. Generous support from Charitable Foundation donors has helped to keep those counselors in Franklin's schools.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many community college students — who have jobs in industries like hospitality and food service — were laid off. Already-tight budgets were stretched to breaking. A grant from the Foundation's Community Crisis Action Fund and Pathways 2025 fund is helping students meet emergency needs, from tuition assistance to groceries to utilities — and stay in school.
In real and alarming ways, the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the inequities in our communities. New Hampshire Tomorrow is about increasing opportunity for young people who currently have the least access to opportunity. As the effects of this crisis continue to unfold in our communities, that work becomes even more urgent.
Report details efforts to increase opportunities to help more young people in New Hampshire reach their potential.
Lakes Region Family Resource Center is one of 18 in New Hampshire that provide wraparound services to help families thrive.
Kaylee Downs of Rochester is earning a degree in fire science from Lakes Region Community College with help from Charitable Foundation Scholarships.
Matthias Page of Claremont, an ocean engineering and mathematics major at the University of New Hampshire, is working his way through school with help from a Charitable Foundation scholarship.
More than 400 New Hampshire people and families have set up scholarship funds at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to help other New Hampshire people get the education they need.
Charitable Foundation Student Aid program helps some 1,500 students each year get the education they need to achieve their dreams.
New Hampshire had among the largest increases in income inequality in the country from 2017 to 2018, as measured by the "Gini coefficient." Charitable Foundation Senior Strategic Learning and Evaluation Officer Yulya Spantchak examines how the U.S. measures up against other developed countries when it comes to wealth distribution, and how New Hampshire ranks compared with the rest of the country
Nisha Patel, who led the U.S. Partnership on Mobility from Poverty, spoke with the Foundation's Lois Shea about why poverty is about more than economic hardship, why the narratives about poverty in the U.S. need to change, and why she is optimistic that the American Dream can be restored
The People’s United Community Foundation has aligned its New Hampshire grantmaking with the priorities of “New Hampshire Tomorrow,” the Charitable Foundation’s initiative to increase opportunity for young people — helping more kids go to summer camp, enabling more kids to get mentors, supporting wraparound services for struggling young families, and more
Weekly grocery deliveries are being made to children during summer break and school vacation weeks; high school cross-country skiers will be able to participate on teams and enjoy New Hampshire’s official state sport; new art will be installed on the Franconia ArtWalk — and much more. The Charitable Foundation’s Express Grants program, which has a streamlined application process and short turnaround time, provides small grants (less than $5,000) to nonprofits in need of flexible funding to help with specific projects and programs
The Austin17 House in Brentwood is a place where young people feel connected, and heard, and celebrated
Brandon Pierre is a mentor with the Mayhew Program. Mayhew doesn’t change people, Brandon says. It gives boys “an authentic, honest belief in themselves — which allows them to change their future.”
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 three 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
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
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
Our long-term prosperity demands focused attention on increasing opportunities and lowering obstacles for children and youth
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.