Guidelines

The Anna B. Stearns Charitable Foundation supports projects and organizations that address one or more of the Foundation’s major interests:

  • to strengthen the education, independence and capabilities of young people, especially girls, and of women and their children;
  • to support the healthy development of girls as the foundation for their adult lives; and
  • to protect and preserve the natural environment.

Types of Support

The Trustees support organizations and programs that offer opportunities and services that lead to independence and self-sufficiency for women, children and youth. The Foundation looks for efforts that stress prevention rather than remediation.

It funds programs in education, job training, social services, economic self-sufficiency, and community organizing which will enable women to provide for themselves and for their children. The Trustees are particularly interested in funding organizations that can demonstrate through clear program evaluation that they have a significant impact on the lives of women and children in a cost-effective manner.

Because the Trustees have a special focus on supporting programs and services for girls, the Foundation is particularly interested in all-girls programs in education, enrichment, mentoring, peer leadership, sports and fitness, civic participation, teen pregnancy prevention, and avoidance of domestic violence. Mixed-gender youth programs that can establish an understanding of, and the ability to meet, girls’ needs will also be considered.

With the exception of grants to environmental organizations in geographic areas supported by the Foundation’s benefactor, the Trustees strongly prefer to fund environmental or arts projects that also include other priorities of the Foundation, such as opportunities for girls, education, employment or community service opportunities for low-income urban youth.

The Trustees recognize the importance of advocacy, both as a technique for obtaining services for underserved individuals and groups, and as a means of changing public policy. In general the Foundation chooses to fund advocacy when it is a natural outgrowth of direct services, or where it is directly tied to the major interests of the Foundation.

One-time and multiple-year grants are awarded in amounts up to $30,000 per year to private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Awards are normally made for program support, special projects, technical assistance, staff development, and general operating support on the basis of clear organizational objectives, including future financial goals.

Exclusions

The Trustees also have identified areas where, because of limited funds, the Foundation is not able to provide support: individual day care programs, crisis intervention, family preservation programs, homeless shelters, housing development, medical services, substance abuse, and ex-offender programs. We recognize the importance of these services for women and their families and encourage the applicant to seek other public and private funding sources.

The Foundation does not fund the core educational programs of public, private, parochial or charter schools. However, collaborative programs including schools as partners with other organizations are eligible.

The Foundation does not fund arts programs that bring performances or exhibitions to schools, or that take students to galleries or performances.

The Foundation normally does not support capital campaigns or endowments.

Geography

The Foundation makes grants in the Boston area and in Northern New Hampshire. In Greater Boston, grants normally are made to organizations serving low-income residents of Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, and Chelsea.

The Anna B. Stearns Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, North Country Region, supports education and service programs benefiting women and children, as well as environmental organizations and projects in northern New Hampshire. The Fund is managed through NHCF’s Community Grants Program. To learn more, visit www.nhcf.org.