NH Charitable Foundation: Meeting poverty, addiction and NH’s need head on

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Richard Ober, President & CEO of the Foundation, during their respective remarks tonight.
Richard Ober, President & CEO of the Foundation, during their respective remarks tonight.

MANCHESTER, NH — Nearly 1,000 people from a wide range of industries and sectors — nonprofit, business, education, government, philanthropy —  came together June 4 at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s Annual Meeting to talk about progress made and the challenges New Hampshire faces.

The Annual Meeting, which was held at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, highlighted the breadth of projects and programs facilitated by the Charitable Foundation, including an Endowment for Health initiative to help communities integrate immigrants, a pitch competition to help nonprofit leaders develop new skills, a fellowship to encourage strong public service, and critical scholarships supporting the next generation.

“We understand that our responsibility as Granite Staters goes beyond taking care of ourselves and our families and businesses. We know we have to step up — with our time, our talent, our treasure, our voice — to take care of our communities, and to help our vulnerable neighbors,” said Foundation President and CEO Richard Ober.

“That spirit is needed more than ever given the challenges we face. Too many kids living in poverty. Addiction destroying too many families. Our workforce not prepared for the jobs of the 21st century. Too many critical nonprofits struggling to stay afloat. That’s where this network for good comes in,” Ober continued. “Working together, across sectors, across party affiliation, across generational divides. Being part of something bigger than ourselves. That is the New Hampshire way.”

Matt Pierson, chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Directors speaks during annual meeting.
Matt Pierson, chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Directors speaks during annual meeting.

The Charitable Foundation, New Hampshire’s statewide community foundation, awarded more than $32 million in grants and scholarships last year. The Charitable Foundation administers nearly 1,700 philanthropic funds established by New Hampshire individuals, families and businesses. The Foundation received new contributions of more than $30 million from generous New Hampshire donors in 2014.

“From 2010 through 2014, the Foundation granted $129 million to nonprofit organizations doing good works in our communities and $25 million in scholarships to help New Hampshire students realize their full potential,” said Matt Pierson, chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Just last year, the Charitable Foundation made more than $26 million in grants to 3,200 nonprofit organizations and provided more than $5.5 million in scholarships and loan awards to 1,700 New Hampshire students.

The Foundation funds areas of critical need in New Hampshire including prevention of substance use disorders, health care, education and workforce development. Grants also support the arts, environment, civic engagement and economic development.

The Foundation is working with partners to increase opportunities for New Hampshire’s kids through early childhood development, innovations in public schools, mentoring, preventing and treating alcohol and drug addiction, and increasing access to post-secondary education and pathways to work.

“Helping every young person achieve his or her promise is not only a social and moral obligation — given our aging population and workforce demands, it is an economic imperative,” said Ober, who discussed the Foundation’s efforts to help New Hampshire’s young people from cradle to career: “New HampshireTomorrow: Investing in Our Kids.”

Speakers highlighted additional Foundation initiatives, scholarships and grants that are helping to strengthen New Hampshire communities.

Student Scholarships
Harrison Durfee of Troy, a recent graduate of Franklin Pierce University, thanked Foundation donors for scholarship funds that helped him pay for college. 

“I will never forget the opportunity that this generosity has allowed me,” Durfee said, and vowed one day to give back in similar fashion.

Scholarships are awarded from the Foundation’s 375 scholarship funds which have been established by generous individuals, families, organizations and businesses to help students pursue their educational goals.

Caroline Gross Fellowship
Public servants talked about the impact in New Hampshire of the Caroline Gross Fellowship Program, which is administered by the Foundation. Now in its 21st year, the Caroline L. Gross Fellowship honors an extraordinary elected or appointed official in New Hampshire state or local government who demonstrates leadership ability and the highest standards of performance in public service. The fellow attends an intensive, three-week program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Stephen Shurtleff, New Hampshire House of Representatives Minority Leader, was announced as the 2015 Caroline Gross Fellow. 

“I believe that not just I, but my whole team, are providing better service to New Hampshire as a result of this fellowship and this program,” said Hon. Tina Nadeau, Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Superior Court.

Entrepreneurs’ Foundation of New Hampshire
Matt Rightmire, Managing Director of Borealis Ventures, and Cheryl Van Allen, executive director of Community Toolbox, Inc., talked about the Entrepreneurs’ Foundation of New Hampshire, a Charitable Foundation initiative bringing the nonprofit and business sectors together in a model of innovative philanthropy. Including three grants awarded this spring, EFNH has distributed $210,000 in grants to 13 organizations during a series of nonprofit pitch competitions since 2011.  

Community Toolbox, which provides low-income homeowners with critical repair services, received a $25,000 grant from EFNH this spring. That grant, Van Allen said, will “allow us to double — or maybe even triple — our reach in the community this year.”

Endowment for Health Immigrant Integration Initiative
Kelly Laflamme of the Endowment for Health and Kate Bruchacova of the Lakes Region Partnership for Public Health talked about an Endowment project that the Foundation is supporting to help connect immigrants to their new communities.  

“In doing so,” Laflamme said, “we strive to make our communities healthier, our lives richer and our economic future stronger.”


About the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
Established in 1962, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is driven by a vision for a stronger, more just, and resilient Granite State. In pursuit of this vision, the Foundation invests charitable assets for today and tomorrow; connects donors to effective organizations, ideas and people; and leads and collaborates on important public issues. Annually, the Foundation awards nearly 5,000 grants and scholarships totaling $32 million. Based in Concord, the Foundation roots itself in communities across the state through its staff, board of directors, and eight regional advisory boards. For more information, please visit www.nhcf.org or call 603-225-6641.


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About Carol Robidoux 5218 Articles
Journalist and editor of ManchesterInkLink.com, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.