Henry E. Niles Foundation: Grants for Global Development

OVERVIEW: Henry E. Niles Foundation primarily supports projects that address education, economic self-sufficiency, access to healthcare, public health and sanitation.

IP TAKE: This foundation funds organizations with pilot projects or those that test innovative program approaches to global development challenges. The foundation prefers outfits hustling to get additional funding from other sources. So while its grantmaking reflects some measured risk, it does not necessarily want to be an organization’s sole financial supporter.

PROFILE: In 1952, Henry E. Niles took a leave of absence from his post at the Baltimore Life Insurance Company to serve as the deputy director of the United States Technical Cooperation Mission to India. While abroad, he advanced the mission’s efforts to provide economic and technical assistance around the country. The Henry E. Niles Foundation seeks to nurture and “[uplift] people in need.” It prioritizes giving to education, economic self-sufficiency, access to healthcare, public health and sanitation. 

While the majority of the foundation's grantmaking is focused on the northeastern United States, it makes occasional grants to support international efforts in its areas of interest. In the past, the foundation has supported early childhood development and education programs in developing countries.

The foundation supports small and large organizations alike; however, larger organizations enjoy the wealth of larger grants. Most grants range from about $5,000 to $50,000, but on occasion, Niles awards grants of up to $100,000 in “unique situations” or for programs capable of significant impact in one or more of the foundation’s areas of grantmaking interest.

Applications are accepted throughout the year and are reviewed by the board in the order in which they are received. The board meets 10 times a year to review grant applications and make funding decisions.

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