Since its inception, Frog Rock has supported organizations in Westchester County serving low-income children. Initially, our grantmaking was broad in focus, providing funding in areas ranging from medical and mental health services to educational remediation and recreation programs. This open-ended grantmaking strategy enabled us to learn about the needs of the children we wish to help, and introduced us to many wonderful service providers in the county.
Our philanthropy has been greatly influenced by the work of Dr. Jack Shonkoff at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. Dr. Shonkoff is a leader in the work identifying the impact of early childhood experiences on the development of a child’s brain architecture. Experiences of positive relationships with adults, rich learning opportunities, and safe environments all work to promote healthy brain development and build a foundation for all future learning, behavior and health.
Dr. Robert Anda, Co-Investigator of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study takes this work further. Utilizing data collected from over 17,000 Kaiser Permanente members, the study shows that the incidence of trauma and stress experienced during childhood correlates strongly with the likelihood of serious mental and medical health issues in adulthood.
We consider this new understanding of brain development and the critical importance of the early childhood years to be compelling reasons to focus much of our grant making on efforts to improve the quality of care given to young children in low-income communities, both at home and in away-from-home settings.
In an effort to increase the impact of our grant making, our focus has narrowed to these areas of support for low-income children in Westchester County:
- Early learning and development – Programs and services for young children, prenatal through age 5, and their families, which address social, emotional and cognitive development
- Intellectual and personal enrichment – Programs which utilize innovative education strategies, usually in collaboration with schools, to expand opportunities for learning and growth beyond academic basics
- Early childhood systems change – On a selective basis, advocacy work and broader based initiatives focused on systemic change to improve outcomes for children in New York State.
Organizations must be classified as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and as public charities under Section 509(a). Individuals and for-profit organizations are not eligible for funding, and government agencies are not generally funded. Churches and religious organizations may be eligible to receive funding for activities that are non-sectarian and benefit the larger community.
Grants must serve primarily low-income children in Westchester County, New York, and will not be considered for less than $10,000. One-year and multi-year requests will be considered. Examples of the types of grants awarded include:
- New programs or continuation/expansion of existing programs
- Organizational capacity building
- Collaborative efforts with and technical assistance to other nonprofits
- Operating support in some circumstances
- Capital projects in some circumstances
Examples of projects we will not fund include:
- Work that does not fit our funding priorities
- Institutions that discriminate, in policy or in practice, on the basis of age, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, race, religion, marital status, disability, veteran or other legally protected status
- Scholarships or grants to individuals
- Programs or research to address specific physical conditions, or medical or psychological diagnoses
- Sectarian religious activities, political lobbying or legislative activities