NH Center for Public Interest Journalism Awarded $30,000 Tillotson Fund Grant

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Neil Tillotson’s philosophy was simple: “Be humble, be creative and be kind.” When he passed away in 2001 at 102, he left the bulk of his assets for charitable purposes. His wife Louise established the donor-advised Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation in 2006.

CONCORD – The Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation has awarded $30,000 to the New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism to increase in-depth independent news coverage in Coös County and surrounding communities.

This is the second year that the Tillotson Fund has invested in the Center and its nonprofit news website InDepthNH.org to provide additional unbiased coverage of important issues in the Coos County area.

“We are thrilled to accept this grant and appreciate the support we continue to receive from the Tillotson board of directors,” said Nancy West, a veteran New Hampshire journalist who founded the Center three years ago.

West said the Tillotson Fund has helped further the news outlet’s growth during its first critical years.

“The Tillotson Fund really understands the need for increased local news during a tumultuous time in the business in which New Hampshire has lost more than half of its news jobs,” West said. “We believe that democracy is threatened without a vibrant press and will do our part to fully inform people and encourage civil conversation and civic engagement.”

InDepthNH.org shares its original reporting with North Country newspapers and news outlets across the state. “It’s important to us that the struggles and successes of Coos County and surrounding towns are reported to a statewide audience and that readers up north are fully informed about issues that affect them, but are decided in Concord.”

West said the growth in readers and coverage continues at the Center. The Help Wanted sign is out for a part-time director of development to help raise funds to work toward sustainability and for freelance reporters and ad salespeople. For more information, email West at nancywestnews@gmail.com.

“This year, we will be covering people, businesses and ideas that are important to Coos County and the state as well as growing the Center’s financial foundation so we can do even more in the future,” West said.

This grant was one of 28 grants totaling $1,488,600 awarded recently through the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s competitive application program.

Established in 2006, the Tillotson Fund is one of the largest permanent rural philanthropies in the country, distributing more than $3 million in grants annually to support projects that focus on community revitalization. Grants are awarded to municipal, educational and nonprofit organizations throughout northern New Hampshire and bordering communities in the United States and Canada.

“There are extraordinary people up here doing important work, and it is an honor to be in partnership with them,” said Phoebe Backler, Foundation senior program officer for the Tillotson Funds. “It is truly inspiring to talk with leaders from across the region about their vision for developing vital, prosperous communities.”

Grants recommended by the volunteer Tillotson Fund Advisory Committee include $80,000 to the Family Resource Center in Gorham for general operating support. The Family Resource Center provides essential services and program coordination for families with small children, including home visiting, developmental screening and parenting strategies workshops. The center also provides after-school care and a variety of other programs and services.

Kids will get backpacks filled with nutritious food to keep their bellies full for the weekend. Residents will stay informed with more in-depth news coverage. A local dental clinic will get much-needed upgrades so it can better care for its patients. And more.

Grant awards were made to the following organizations:

After School Kids, Whitefield, NH received $5,000 to provide after-school programming in Whitefield for students in 4th through 8th grades.

 Appalachian Mountain Club, Boston, MA received $206,000 (over three years) to continue providing sustained, place-based outdoor academic and youth development programming for youth, kindergarten through 12th grade.

Brighton Community Forum, Island Pond, VT received $20,000 to expand summer performances and concerts into a year-round series of community events in Island Pond, Vermont.

Canaan Schools Canaan, VT received $30,000 to further discuss and explore shared models for providing high-quality public education and extra-curricular opportunities for students, kindergarten through 12th grade, living in northern Coös County and bordering communities in Vermont.

 Cohos Trail Association, Lancaster, NH received $2,200 to explore and map out the relocation of a portion of the Cohos Trail to enhance the hiking experience.

 Coös County Family Health Services, Berlin, NH received $100,000 to purchase dental equipment and upgrade the Coös County Family Dental clinic in Berlin.

Coös Cycling Club, Gorham, NH received $20,000 to continue expanding and improving the non-motorized multi-use trail network on Pine Mountain in Gorham, New Hampshire.

Coös Economic Development Corporation, Lancaster, NH received $20,000 to conduct a feasibility study assessing the renovation of two buildings for use as commercial and workforce housing space in Whitefield, New Hampshire.

Family Resource Center, Gorham, NH received $80,000 (over two years) for general operating support.

Governor’s Institutes of Vermont, Winooski, VT received $3,000 to provide scholarships for low-income students from Essex County, Vermont and Coös County, New Hampshire.

New Hampshire – JAG, Manchester, NH received $14,000 to provide a paid summer trail crew experience for up to 20 teenagers from Berlin and Woodsville.

New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism, Barrington, NH received $30,000 to increase in-depth independent news coverage in Coös County and surrounding communities.

New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, Durham, NH received $105,000 (over three years) to provide technical assistance to North Country businesses.

North Country Chamber Players, Inc., Franconia, NH received $18,000 to provide support for community concerts, band residencies and other musical enrichment activities in Coös County for the Chamber’s 40th anniversary.

North Country Community Recreation Center, Colebrook, NH received $50,000 to support capacity-building and general operations.

North Country Health Consortium, Littleton, NH received:

  • $300,000 (over three years) to provide general operating support.
  • $62,500 to continue supporting Youth Leadership through Adventure and other strategies of the substance prevention network throughout North Country high schools and middle schools.

North Country School Principals Association, Gorham, NH received $30,000 to build the foundation for a coordinated trauma-informed system of care in Coös County.

Northern Community Investment Corporation, St. Johnsbury, VT received $15,000 to support a part-time project manager and leverage USDA funding for business planning and customer analysis for the Androscoggin Food Cooperative.

 Northern Forest Center, Concord, NH received $100,000 (over two years) to support operations and advance policy and advocacy work that strengthens the Northern Forest region’s economy and communities in Coös County and surrounding communities.

SAU #7 – Colebrook, Pittsburg and Stewartstown, Colebrook, NH received $6,886 to support the Farm to School program and to expand opportunities for students to grow, prepare and eat local foods.

Secret Sock Society, Franconia, NH received $1,100 to support 5th-grade students from throughout the North Country for a day of winter sports at Cannon Mountain Ski Area.

Town of Colebrook, Colebrook, NH received $94,784 to support the replacement of emergency communications equipment serving the northern borders of New Hampshire and Vermont and southern Quebec.

Vermont Foodbank, Barre, VT received $9,325 to continue supporting its Backpack program, which provides Brighton and Lunenburg Elementary School students with food for the weekend.

 Vermont River Conservancy, Montpelier, VT received $18,000 to purchase adjacent land, build a parking area, and install signage to further develop recreational access to the Nulhegan Basin hut and trail systems.

White Mountain Science, Inc., Bethlehem, NH received $78,500 (over two years) to support the mobile STEM Lab afterschool programming in Coös County.

White Mountains Community College, Berlin, NH received $49,450 to support comprehensive sustainability planning for the Child Development Center.

White Mountains Community College, Berlin, NH received $19,855 to conduct a study of the Androscoggin River Watershed focused on habitat restoration, land protection and transportation infrastructure recommendations.

The next deadline for applications to the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund is Thursday, July 19, 2017. Please visit our website for more information and updated grant program goals: www.nhcf.org/Tillotson.

About the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is New Hampshire’s statewide community foundation, founded in 1962 by and for the people of New Hampshire. The Foundation manages a growing collection of 1,900 funds created by generous individuals, families and businesses, and awards more than $40 million in grants and scholarships every year. The Foundation works with generous and visionary citizens to maximize the power of their giving, supports great work happening in our communities and leads and collaborates on high-impact initiatives. For more information, please visit www.nhcf.org or call 603-225-6641.

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