The Lyme Foundation received an unrestricted gift of approximately $500,000 in late 2017 from the estate of Freda and Hank Swan, longtime residents of Lyme who were active in the community and wanted to support the mission of the Lyme Foundation. 

After careful deliberation, the Lyme Foundation has decided to use this gift to support both its ongoing work as well as special, one-time initiatives that will “maintain or enhance the quality of life in Lyme, NH.”

Specifically the Lyme Foundation will target $200,000 of the Swan gift to its general fund to support its annual grant-making program. Each year the Lyme Foundation commits approximately $35,000 - $40,000 for such purposes, with most grants in the range of $1,000 to $5,000. This gift will increase the Foundation’s annual grant-making budget by approximately 25% per year.

In addition, the Lyme Foundation expects to allocate $300,000 in 2019 from the Swan gift for one-time grants that will have a significant impact on the quality of life in Lyme. 

A special committee has been formed to encourage, support, consider, and recommend grant proposals from eligible organizations and individuals for the Swan grants. The committee is comprised of current board members as well as members of the Lyme community. Ultimately all decisions for the Swan grants will be made by the Trustees of the Lyme Foundation. 

Members of this committee include the following individuals: 

•    Simon Carr, Lyme community member
•    Kate Cook, Lyme community member
•    Peter Glenshaw, Chair, Lyme Foundation
•    Lisa Hayes, Lyme Foundation
•    Abbe Murphy, Lyme community member
•    Matt Prince, Lyme Foundation
•    Tom Yurkosky, Treasurer, Lyme Foundation

Process & Timeline

The Lyme Foundation intends to make the Swan grants through a multi-step process that will begin in mid-August 2018 and conclude by mid-March 2019. The process is designed to accomplish certain goals, including broad engagement with the community about possible ideas for grants as well as the criteria for the grant-making; a reasonable but defined timeline for submitting applications that navigates family and personal demands during the holiday season; and a deliberate but not overly long decision-making process.

The steps and timeline are as follows:

  • Announcement (August 20, 2018)

  • Community Engagement (August 21 – October 15, 2018)

  • Preparation of Application Guidelines (October 16 – November 5, 2018)

  • Release of Application Guidelines (November 6, 2018)

  • Application Deadline (January 15, 2019)

  • Decision about Swan grants (On or about March 15, 2019)

Community Engagement
See below for more details. 

Preparation and Release of Application Guidelines
Following input from the community and reflection by the Swan Committee, a formal application will be prepared for all interested parties and released by November 6, 2018. 

We will be making formal decisions about who is eligible to apply for these grants by November 6, 2018. For now, we are open to discussions and ideas from a wide-range of organizations (e.g., non-profit, for-profit, cooperatives) as well as individuals. Prospective applicants must only be able to discuss how their potential application might “maintain or enhance the quality of life in Lyme, NH.”

Submission of Applications
Applications are welcome anytime from November 6, 2018, to January 15, 2019. During this period, we hope to be able to provide feedback to any interested applicant. We do expect it will be a competitive process with more applications than funds available.   

The Swan Committee will meet with the Trustees in January 2019 and share their insights about the applications. The Swan committee will make recommendations to the Trustees in February 2019 and the Trustees are expected to award the Swan grants in March 2019.

Community Engagement

During the late summer and early fall of 2018, the special committee will hold a series of events to discuss potential applications for the Swan grants. These exploratory conversations are intended to help both applicants and the special committee define suitable ideas. These conversations are recommended but not required for organizations or individuals interested in applying for the Swan grants.

Members of the Swan Committee will appear at the following locations to meet with anyone with potential grant ideas:

•    Tuesday, August 21, Latham House Tavern, Dowd’s Inn, 6-7:30pm
•    Saturday, August 25, Lyme Flea Market, 9-11am
•    Sunday, Sept 2, Post Pond picnic area, 3-5pm
•    Saturday, September 15, Converse Free Library and Lyme School soccer fields, 9:30-10:30am
•    Vestry, Lyme Center Baptist Church, Monday, October 1, 7:30 - 9:30am
•    Friday, October 5, Lyme Post Office (near Stella’s), 10-11am 

In addition, members of the committee welcome invitations from community organizations that serve Lyme to discuss ideas of interest for the Swan gift.