Bessie Minor Swift Foundation

Our Mission

Contribute to an informed and active citizenry by supporting programs that promote literacy and educational enrichment.  We focus our work in Washoe County, Nevada; Ada County, Idaho; and, the North County area of San Diego County, California, and will only consider applications from non-profit organizations in those counties.

Examples include programs that promote:

  • Literacy, reading and writing skills
  • Programs focused on literacy, sciences and interdisciplinary efforts


The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation awards grants to programs that provide direct service to:

  • help with the implementation or expansion of literacy programs for children who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading
  • develop programs in the literacy, STEM, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) and Interdisciplinary areas for preschool, primary and secondary school-aged students
  • develop reading and writing skills at all age levels

2024 Grant Plans

Since 2008 we have been inspired by the creativity, commitment and results nonprofits have achieved in our communities.  We are so thankful for all of those accomplishments.

In 2024 we will accept applications from January 1 through February 15.  We will accept applications only from Washoe County, Nevada; Ada County, Idaho; and the North County area of San Diego County, California.  We look forward to getting to know nonprofits, schools and libraries in these areas and hearing about your proposed programs.  For more information explore the website and keep an eye out here as the end of the year approaches.


2022 Awards

In 2023 we took a “gap year” to refocus our grant program.  Through our 2022 funding process a total of $85,928 was awarded to 33 organizations. Details of these awards can be found in Grant History.  Since inception, 424 awards have been granted for a total of over $865,000.  Over 15 years the Foundation has awarded grants as follows:

Grants have fallen into categories as follows over those years:

While grants have been primarily given for Literacy programs in the past, STEM, STEAM and Interdisciplinary projects are on the rise.

Contact Us


Sterling Foundation Management

12030 Sunrise Valley Drive

Suite 450

Reston, VA 20191