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 areas.

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 Awards

For 2024 a total of $83,002.21 was awarded to 24 organizations. The maximum award was increased this year to $5,000, thus introducing a larger gap between the number of awards and the dollars granted.  Details of these awards can be found in Grant History.  Since inception, over 445 awards have been granted for a total of $950,000.  Over 17 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