Stevenson School Student Philanthropy Project

The Stevenson School Student Philanthropy Project aims to encourage friendly and informative interactions between Stevenson students and the Monterey County nonprofit community. This project is funded by Iva Winton and Bryan Hillstrom ’69.

Funding Recipients

  • Sol Treasures $15,000
  • Interim $10,000
  • Gateway Center $9,000
  • MCRCC $6,000
  • Sober Living for Women $5,000
  • Sober Living for Women $5,000
  • Interim Inc $10,000
  • Community Human Services $10,000
  • Birch Bark Foundation $10,000
  • Community Homeless Solutions $10,000
  • Big Sur Land Trust $5,000
  • Save Our Shores $5,000
  • Jacob’s Heart $10,650
  • CASA $6,000
  • Monterey County Rape Crisis Center $4,000
  • Rancho Cielo $4,900
  • Max’s Helping Paws $4,000
  • VNA $5,650
  • Read to Me Project $2,800
  • Found for Monterey County Free Libraries $4,000
  • Catalyst Kids $4,500
  • Housing Resource Center $2,500
  • Community Human Services $10,000
  • Suicide Prevention Services $5,000 
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center $5,000 
  • Coastal Kids Home Care $3,000
  • Foundation for Monterey County Free Libraries $2,000

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but the seeds that you plant.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

Our Mission

The Stevenson School Student Philanthropy Project encourages friendly and informative interactions between Stevenson students and the Monterey County nonprofit community. We seek to build up, embrace, and empower our local community by providing support to organizations that are assisting with essential services. This year we hope to fund programs that support:

  • Physical and mental healthcare services that support populations such as, but not limited to, veterans, youth, the elderly, homeless, and migrant workers.
  • Education programs focused on increasing access to safety, prevention, and treatment are encouraged to apply.

A conversation that started at Reunion Weekend 2019 grew into a student project that would not only change the lives of our participating students, but would help create change throughout our community. Stevenson parents Iva Winton and Bryan Hillstrom ’69 had the honor of helping distribute funds from their family foundation but were finding it a difficult task. Iva had an idea. What if she turned over the job to a group of Stevenson students so they could learn about their community, gain experience in philanthropy, and be part of making a difference in the lives of others. From that, the Stevenson School Philanthropy Project was born.

Year one, Iva and Bryan tasked the students with allocating $25,000 to organizations with the only requirement being they are located in Monterey County ($50,000 is available for the 2022-23 year). The first year we had 16 applications for funding and granted funds to 5 local organizations. By the second year, we had 30 applications and were able to grant funds to 10 local non-profits. We are now entering our third year.

Sounds great but how does it work? Every September students apply and are selected to be leaders of this project. Members also must complete an application to participate. Beginning in September, the students meet weekly and together with staff leaders, develop a mission statement, draft a grant application, advertise the opportunity to the non-profit community, field applications, create a rubric system to score the applications, consult with grant professionals to learn about best practices, interview finalists, and make final recommendations for funding.

Our students put in countless hours reading grants, advocating for organizations they felt passionate about, listening to others, compromising with one another, and analyzing budgets to come to their final decisions.

Applying for Funding


Organizations must be a 501(c)3 organization located in Monterey County. Applicants must display a high level of responsibility and sound governance.

What we will fund:

We have $50,000 in total funding which will be granted to multiple qualifying organizations. Grant sizes may range from $100-$50,000 depending on how many organizations are selected.


  • Friday, January 12, 2024. 5:00 p.m. PT: Grant proposals due
  • January 12–March 27: Proposal review period
  • March 27–April 5: Zoom or site visits with finalists.
  • April 23: All organizations notified of final grant decisions
  • May 4: Philanthropy Project celebration breakfast at Stevenson School. Students, their families, Stevenson Administration, and grantees are invited to attend.*Dates subject to change.