What We Fund

father and child smiling

Cowell is a grantmaking organization that invests in communities that are committed to achieving lasting, positive change for children and families living in poverty. We fund solutions and invest in the achievement of specific organizational and community goals. Because we are interested in touching the lives of community members on multiple levels, we invest in projects, programs and initiatives that impact the following areas:

  1. Families and Communities. Family Resource Centers and other community building efforts play a pivotal role in bringing together opportunities, resources and services that empower residents to improve their well-being. Comprehensive programs that promote early literacy, parent education, family economic success and health and wellness are integral to our vision of how to support strong families. We invest in these strategies to support families in raising children who are ready to learn and thrive and to ultimately encourage residents to become catalysts for positive change in their communities.
  2. Education. We sustain neighborhood public schools that strive for improvement in learning and performance while taking into consideration the needs, aspirations and humanity of each student. We support work that’s aligned with the standards and goals set by the State; but, more fundamentally, we invest in the development of schools and districts that foster teamwork, adaptation and growth among all their members, including teachers, students and families. English language development, social-emotional learning and deep content knowledge in the core academic subjects are all embraced within our vision of equitable student achievement.
  3. Youth Development. Youth Development programs unlock the promise that is inherent in all youth by equipping them with the skills to reach their full potential. We support organizations that provide safe places for youth to explore their interests and aspirations, develop leadership skills, build confidence and resilience, and solidify a commitment to lifelong learning and community engagement.

In addition to direct, Place-Based grants, we award Resource Capacity Building grants to advance the fields of Families and Communities, Education and Youth Development.

Cowell also awards grants to support:

  • Leadership Development, which is key to building resilient leaders who can shape and guide their organizations and communities. These investments often supplement operating and program grants and are critical to building the capacity of leaders and successful organizations.
  • Select Opportunities including affordable housing, workforce development and other community assets that fall outside our primary investment priorities.