About Us

The Friends of the Hamilton Schools Foundation was founded in 1993.  Its first mission was to provide funds for projects not covered in the Hamilton district’s budget. That first year we gave $200 to Washington School. The very next year we received over $20,000 in contributions from community businesses and organizations, large and small, and also from several community-minded individuals. At that time we began giving student scholarships and teacher grants. During those early years we supported “Artists in the Schools” and became the conduit for funding the Daly sidewalk construction, playground equipment at Washington, high school soccer, and preservation work on the Grantsdale Bell.  In the late 90s more community members noticed our good work and started making bequests, and we now have endowments in their names.

Each school year we have granted about $3,500 for a range of classroom enrichment activities from Shakespeare in the Schools to field trips to the Big Hole Battlefield; our funds have been used to purchase cameras and software and a greenhouse; they have funded physics experiments, books, and native speakers. We give three $500 scholarships each year to teachers for their continuing education. 

However, our emphasis is on academic awards. In the past years, the Foundation annually has awarded over $40,000 in scholarships to deserving graduates of Hamilton High School. Last year that figure reached almost $80,000. This year we will reach a magic number: When all the awards this year are made, we will have given over $1,000,000 since our modest beginnings twenty years ago.

Our foundation is secure, but we continue to need community support. We are a very good investment. We have a solid endowment with very little overhead. We have no executive director; the board does the work, and we pay only our insurance, our accountant, and our CPA firm. However, to maintain our public nonprofit status, an internal revenue law states that every year we continue to need a little new money.  Please think of us when you consider what organizations are worthy of your individual support.