Considering that New Hampshire has been a U.S. state since 1776, it’s no surprise that many philanthropic foundations here have deep roots and long histories of giving. While the Cogswell Benevolent Trust isn’t the oldest foundation in New Hampshire, it is a very well-established funder worth learning about for local nonprofits.

Here are the basics to know about the Cogswell Benevolent Trust, including the funder’s history, grantmaking preferences, and how to apply for a New Hampshire grant.

Cogswell History

Born in 1864 in Henniker, New Hampshire, Leander A. Cogswell is the founder of the Cogswell Benevolent Trust. He was an innovator in the shoe business and also a benefactor who was interested in improving the town that he was a lifelong resident of.

Cogswell passed away in 1928, at which time this trust was created, with three trustees appointed to handle grantmaking operations. Today, the foundation is based in Manchester, New Hampshire, and has three trustees and an office manager on staff.

Cogswell Interests

The Cogswell Benevolent Trust has broad topical interests within the state of New Hampshire. It considers many types of local nonprofits when awarding grants but often sticks to basic needs, such as food pantries. Other top interests are youth development, health, arts and culture, and out-of-school education programs.

This is a great funder to know for equipment needs, facility upgrades, and program support. However, Cogswell does not typically fund general operations, start-up costs, feasibility studies, film productions, or conferences.

Applying for a Cogswell Grant

Cogswell has a straightforward grant application process and welcomes unsolicited inquires from New Hampshire nonprofits throughout the year. The funder does not have any deadlines and accepts applications at any time by mail.

For nonprofits submitting applications, Cogswell wants to know what other foundations you are applying to and how much you are requesting from them, so be sure to include that information. Just one copy of your application is sufficient, sent via regular U.S. mail. The foundation’s trustees meet monthly to review requests, and they have a policy of not funding the same organization for multiple years in a row except for emergencies.

More New Hampshire Funders

The Cogswell Benevolent Trust is just one of many locally-focused funders to know in New Hampshire. In our Boston and New England Funding Guide, we profile many others that prioritize statewide needs, such as the Bean Foundation, Doris L. Benz Trust, Lane and Elizabeth C. Dwinell Charitable Trust, and the Fuller Foundation. This is a region of the country where many prominent families have long-standing philanthropic traditions and like to keep their money close to home, with local grants and scholarship commitments. Therefore, private family foundations, like the Cogswell Benevolent Trust, are great places to start if your nonprofit is in need of support.

Share with cohorts