The Brindle Foundation: An Early Childhood Funder for Nonprofits in New Mexico

Santa Fe is one of the premier hubs of philanthropy in the American Southwest, thanks to the large number of private, community and corporation funders based here. One notable funder in this mix is the Brindle Foundation, a small family foundation that’s been doing big things for early childhood education. Martha Ann Healy established it in 2002 as a successor to the M.A. Healy Family Foundation.

From its earliest days, this funder has aimed to do things differently in terms of grantmaking and grantee relationships. Here are a few examples of what that looks like in practice:

A Single, Targeted Focus

Unlike many family foundations that spread their grants around multiple interest areas, the Brindle Foundation has a singular focus. In a recent year, approximately 95 percent of Brindle grants went toward its early childhood initiative, with just 5 percent to discretionary grants. However, Brindle has several interests within the realm of education, such as healthcare, family support, home visiting, early learning/child care, workforce development, advocacy and organizational capacity.

Currently, the Brindle Foundation is focusing on three topics within its early opportunities initiative. One is direct services for babies and toddlers up to age three in the New Mexico counties of Santa Fe, San Miguel, Mora, Rio Arriba and Taos. The second is promoting early childhood policy, advocacy and awareness campaigns at the statewide level in New Mexico. Finally, this funder supports New Mexico nonprofit colleges and universities that teach infant and early childhood development in higher education settings to build the local workforce. In a lesser way, social justice and protecting the natural environment are also topics of interest to this foundation.

Strong Community Affiliations

Although first-time grants rarely exceed $15,000, much of this funder’s power comes in its strong affiliations. For example, Brindle is a member of the New Mexico Early Childhood Funders Group, Bay Area Early Childhood Funders Zero to Three, and the National Center for Family Philanthropy. It also supports early education issues through affiliations with Santa Fe Mayor's Children, Youth and Families Community Cabinet, Santa Fe County Health Planning and Policy Commission, and the J. Paul Taylor Early Childhood Task Force.

This is a well-connected funder that believes in collaboration and the potential of pooling funds for greater impact.

A Dedication to Capacity Building

The Brindle Foundation is committed to capacity building support for area nonprofits. In addition to the funder’s annual grantmaking cycles, Brindle provides technical assistance grants to help local nonprofits improve their professional development, address technical challenges, and improve infrastructure.

This locally focused foundation supports communities all over New Mexico, but is particularly partial to causes in Santa Fe. In the past, the online portal for new applications has opened up in late July through mid-September. Learn more about the Brindle Foundation and how to apply for a Brindle grant in our full funder profile, which is linked in the Southwest section of Inside Philanthropy.