The Harry Chapin Foundation was established in 1981 in honor of the American singer-songwriter and humanitarian, with seed money from his former manager, Ken Kragen, and another American songster, Kenny Rogers.
The foundation’s mission is “to support organizations that have demonstrated their ability to dramatically improve the lives and livelihood of people by helping them to become self-sufficient.” The foundation pursues this through three avenues of giving: Community Education Programs, Arts-In-Education Programs, and Agricultural and Environmental Programs, with maximum grants of $10,000 for a one-year period. (Grantees are welcome to reapply for additional annual funding.)
It’s evident where support for conservation programs fits into this schematic, but it’s also valuable to pay attention to that “community education” focus. That’s because the Harry Chapin Foundation views its environmental programs through a lens of community education (both youth and life-long learners). The "agricultural" element of the giving area also should not be ignored, particularly in how local food sources relate to conservation.
The Harry Chapin Foundation supports programs anywhere in the U.S.—though it acknowledges that about two-thirds of its overall funding goes to organizations in New York State.
Recent Agricultural and Environmental Programs grantees include:
- $5,000 to Midwest Organic Sustainable (Spring Valley, WI);
- $4,000 to the Sylvia Center (Kinderhook, NY);
- $3,000 to Garden Share (Canton, NY);
- $3,000 to Garden Raised Bounty (Olympia, WA);
- $2,500 to the Four Corner Schools of Outdoor Education (Monticello, UT);
- $2,500 to the Regional Environmental Council (Worcester, MA).
The Harry Chapin Foundation has an open application process (and takes the New York/New Jersey common application). Its board meets to consider applications three times each year.