Name of Foundation: Tow Foundation
Location: New Canaan, Conn.
Contact Info: www.towfoundation.org Phone: 203.761.6604
Coverage Area: Connecticut and New York
Subject Area: Youth crime violence prevention, cancer research, higher education, medical innovation, cultural institutions, and vulnerable families.
Assets: $110.9 million (2011)
Last Year Total Giving: $10.8 million (2011)
In a Nutshell:
Based in Connecticut, the Tow Foundation was started in 1988 by Claire and Leonard Tow, both leaders at the cable company, Century Communications. The company is now part of Cablevision. The foundation’s early interests included medical research, cultural institutions and higher education.
They diversified their interests by supporting juvenile justice efforts in the state of Connecticut. Guided by the philosophy that no child is beyond help, their Juvenile Justice Initiative concentrates investments in programs that work with children and families who are in or at risk of involvement with Connecticut’s juvenile justice system. They work toward systems reforms with the goal of providing vulnerable youth and families with opportunities to succeed and become productive members of their communities. The foundation has chosen to focus their efforts on this area due to the amount of work that needs to be done and because there is so little private sector involvement.
The foundation supports advocacy efforts within the juvenile justice arena. They were the first private foundation to fund the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance, a coalition of advocates, public defenders, service providers, and parent-led groups that have fought for change and achieved numerous legislative victories.
How to Apply: The Tow Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals. If your organization fits the criteria outlined in the foundation’s Juvenile Justice Initiative guidelines, organizations can send a letter of inquiry (maximum two pages) with an explanation of your organization’s mission and a brief description of the project for which you seek funding. They do not accept letters of inquiry for Invited Projects.
After receipt of your letter of inquiry, foundation staff will contact you by mail, email or phone to discuss your project’s eligibility, seek additional information or arrange an introductory meeting before you are invited to submit a full proposal.. The Tow Foundation Board of Trustees meets quarterly.
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