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Local Works Marketplace in Bethlehem, NH. Photo by Cheryl Senter.

Local Works Marketplace in Bethlehem, NH. Photo by Cheryl Senter.

Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund announces $1 million in grants to support efforts in the North Country

Recent grants are supporting innovative economic development programs, afterschool programs, outdoor education,locally grown food and more.

CONCORD, NH (PRESS RELEASE) – The Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation recently awarded 10 grants totaling $1,020,466 through its competitive application program.

Grants are supporting innovative economic development programs, afterschool, home visiting and parenting programs, outdoor education and summer camp for kids, community access to locally grown food and more.

The Tillotson Fund is one of the largest permanent rural philanthropies in the country, distributing nearly $3 million in grants annually to municipal, educational and nonprofit organizations throughout northern New Hampshire and bordering communities in Vermont and southern Quebec.

The Tillotson Fund was established at the Charitable Foundation in 2006 with a bold vision: to serve as a catalyst for the region to move toward sustainable community and economic development. In pursuit of that vision, the Tillotson Fund has identified three priority areas for grantmaking: education, economic development and basic needs.

Economic development grants recommended by the Tillotson Fund Advisory Board included $50,000 to support the operations of the Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network in Bethlehem, NH.

For more than 20 years, the Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network has helped people in the North Country become economically self-sufficient.

With networking, classes on business development and marketing, grants for business needs, computer access, incubator office space, farmers’ markets — and two retail locations for entrepreneurs to sell their products — the organization helps launch and strengthen small businesses.

“A thriving economy is essential for building stronger communities,” said Kirsten Scobie, director of the Tillotson Funds. “When small businesses have access to the resources and support needed to succeed, everyone wins – small businesses provide jobs and make our communities more vibrant, local residents have access to more products and services. And the economy is strengthened by keeping dollars local.”

Grant awards were made to the following organizations:

  • Appalachian Mountain Club of Boston, Mass. received $250,000 (over three years) to support the continuation of Building Sustainable Communities in Coös County comprehensive educational programs for youth, pre-K through 12th grade.
  • Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire of Durham, NH received $131,226 to support the Tracking Changes in the North Country research project.
  • Cooperative de Solidarite de Dixville of Dixville, Quebec received $40,000 to support start-up costs associated with the acquisition and renovations for a locally owned cooperative restaurant and general store in Dixville.
  • Family Resource Center of Gorham, NH received $60,000 to support operations for the afterschool, home visiting and parenting programs in the Berlin and Gorham school systems.
  • Kismet Rock Foundation of Berlin, NH received $25,000 to support 25 Berlin and Gorham students to attend summer programming in 2016.
  • Municipalite regionale de comte de Coaticook, of Coaticook, Quebec received $296,740 (over three years) to develop and implement a workforce retention and regional agriculture development plan.
  • New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association (Granite State Woodland Institute) of Concord, NH received $17,500 to support an economic impact study of New Hampshire’s sawmill industry.
  • Office municipal d’habitation de Coaticook of Coaticook, Quebec received $100,000 to support the new construction of a multifunctional residential and commercial building in downtown Coaticook.
  • Wholesome Wave of Bridgeport, CT received $50,000 to continue building a coordinated system of affordable access to locally grown fruits and vegetables in Coös County and throughout New Hampshire.
  • Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network of Bethlehem, NH received $50,000 (over two years) to support general operations at the Berlin WREN site.

The Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund accepts proposals from eligible organizations providing services in Colebrook, Pittsburg, Clarksville, Stewartstown, Dixville Notch and other towns in Coös County, as well as bordering communities in Quebec and Vermont. The Tillotson Fund is updating its grantmaking priorities for the next application cycle to reflect its new strategic plan. The next application deadline is Friday, July 15, 2016; updated application materials will be available in April. To learn more about these changes, nonprofits are invited to attend two information sessions: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Indian Stream Health Center in Colebrook, NH and Thursday, April 14, 2016 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at North Country Education Services in Gorham, NH.  For more information or to register, visit www.nhcf.org or contact Jean Clarke at 800-464-6641 ext. 238 or wrna.pynexr@aups.bet.

About the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation

The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation was created in 1962 by and for the people of New Hampshire, and is dedicated to strengthening communities across the Granite State. The Foundation manages a growing collection of 1,700 philanthropic funds created by generous families, individuals and businesses, and awards more than $30 million in grants and scholarships every year. The Foundation invests charitable assets for today and tomorrow; works with generous and visionary citizens to maximize the power of their giving; supports critical work happening in New Hampshire communities and leads and collaborates on high-impact initiatives. For more information, please visit www.nhcf.org or call 603-225-6641.