Harry Chapin Foundation: Grants for K-12 Education

OVERVIEW: The Harry Chapin Foundation focuses on community education, arts-in-education, agricultural and environmental programs. Its aim is to improve people’s lives by promoting self-sufficiency.

IP TAKE: The Harry Chapin Foundation places a strong focus on agriculture and environment, but also funds community and arts education programs. It accepts proposals from non-profit organizations across the U.S.  

PROFILE: The Harry Chapin Foundation was established in 1981 to honor the iconic American singer-songwriter and activist by the same name. It was founded with seed money from his former manager, Ken Kragen, and the singer Kenny Rogers. Based in Huntington, New York, Sandy Chapin, Chapin’s widow, runs foundation, which aims to support organizations that “dramatically improve the lives and livelihood of people by helping them to become self-sufficient.” The foundation supports community and arts education programs, but more than half of their awards fund organizations concerned with agriculture and environment, many of which reach K-12 populations.

In its more than 35 years of funding, the Harry Chapin Foundation has awarded over 500 grants ranging in amount from a few hundred dollars to a maximum of $10,000. About half of the organization’s funding prioritize the greater New York area, while the other half supports programs in other parts of the U.S. Only 501-c nonprofits are eligible for funding. Grants are awarded yearly, and the foundation sometimes considers grant renewals. One recent Chapin grantee is the Grow a Row program in New Jersey, which provides produce to those in need and educates children about farming and healthy eating. It has also funded programs in public and private schools that serve underprivileged populations.

This foundation accepts and reviews proposals. Applicants should consult the guidelines posted on the foundation’s website.   


  • Sandra Chapin, Chairperson
  • Leslie Ramme, Executive Director