OVERVIEW: The New Mexico Community Foundation is the only statewide community funder in the state and focuses grantmaking on rural and Native American areas, community leadership, civic engagement, education, and emergency basic needs.
FUNDING AREAS: Rural development, native philanthropy and entrepreneurship, community leadership, civic engagement, education, emergency basic needs
IP TAKE: Although the New Mexico Community Foundation doesn’t actually accept unsolicited grant applications, it does encourage grantseekers to reach out with an introduction and to describe their funding needs.
PROFILE: Established in 1983 by a small group of volunteers that put in their own donations to establish grantmaking programs for the state of New Mexico, the New Mexico Community Foundation (NMCF) awards grants throughout the state. The funder awards grants through donor-advised funds and special program initiatives. The community foundation aims “to steward resources, build partnerships, and create opportunities that transform lives and communities throughout New Mexico.” Grantmaking areas of interest are rural development, native philanthropy and entrepreneurship, community leadership, civic engagement, education, and emergency basic needs.
NMCF largely emphasizes rural and Native communities in its grantmaking. It also has traditionally committed a significant portion of its grantmaking to social justice strategies like advocacy, community organizing, and civic engagement. The funder supports training and professional development in nonprofits, as well as collaboration among nonprofits for its civic initiatives. Education grantmaking is largely focused on early childhood and getting parents, elders, and the community involved in educating youth. The foundation also regularly awards emergency grants to help individuals and families with homelessness, domestic abuse issues, economic stability, and other basic needs.
Foundation grants tend to be between $5,000 and $25,000. Find a list of recent grants on the funder’s website. Although there are at several community foundations in New Mexico, NMCF is the only one that practices statewide giving. The foundation directs grants to many different cities, small towns, and rural areas in New Mexico.
The foundation does not accept unsolicited grant applications, but it does welcome brief, one-page letters of inquiry at any time of the year. NMCF reviews these letters on an ongoing basis. Direct general inquiries to the Santa Fe-based staff at 505-820-6860 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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