Thornburg Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Thornburg Foundation focuses grantmaking on New Mexico in the areas of environmental conservation, national and international public policy issues, and human services and opportunities for children and youth.                                                                                        

FUNDING AREAS: Early childhood development, food and agriculture, government reform

IP TAKE: Unsolicited proposals are not welcome, but communications are open to New Mexico-focused nonprofits.

PROFILE: Established in the late-1990s, the Thornburg Foundation is based in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is the family foundation of Garrett Thornburg. This is a separate entity from the charitable arm of Thornburg Investment Management, a privately held firm established in 1982. This family foundation is funded by Garrett Thornburg, who contributes mutual-fund shares he has earned from his ownership interest in Thornburg Investment Management. This foundation “invests in enduring solutions to help solve problems affecting people and our planet.” Grantmaking areas of interest are early childhood development, food and agriculture, and government reform.

Key focus areas for this foundation are environmental conservation, national and international public policy issues, and human services and opportunities for children and youth. To pursue its strategic initiatives, the foundation identifies problems that have at least one identifiable root cause as well as a viable solution that promises enduring change. It expects to see measurable results within three-to-five years. Early childhood development grantmaking is focused on the birth-to-five demographic in New Mexico. Areas of funding typically include family support, home visiting, child care, and pre-kindergarten. Thornburg’s food and agriculture program aims to build a resilient and diverse farm and ranch economy and to offer residents healthy food options. Grants typically go to programs that support healthy food access, eco-friendly farm practices, ranching on public lands, and rural farmer support. The third big area of support for this funder is the transparent and ethical representation of government. It also aims to increase civic participation and accountability in New Mexico government.

In a recent six-year period, the foundation contributed at least $9.1 million in grants. Thornburg tends to give out about $1.5 million per year across about 40 organizations. Community funded grantees include The Food Depot, Gerard’s House for Grieving Children, and Literacy Volunteers for Santa Fe. Grantmaking is focused on the state of New Mexico and especially the Santa Fe area.

Thornburg does not accept unsolicited grant applications. However, nonprofits that believe their organizations or programs aligns with one of Thornburg’s missions are encouraged to reach out to the most appropriate initiative officer by email. The foundation’s general phone number is (505) 467-7853.


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