In 1996, an anonymous donor contributed the largest single gift in the history of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation (NHCF) with the intent that the gift be used to address alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) problems in New Hampshire. The NHCF Board of Directors established a nine-member Substance Abuse Advisory Committee to provide recommendations on how to create maximum impact with this generous gift.
After almost a year of meetings, review of critical documents and data, and discussions with national, regional, state and local leaders, the NHCF Board of Directors adopted the recommendation of the Advisory Committee and that an organization be created to focus on ATOD policy, thereby maximizing the impact of the gift. New Futures was established to:
- Foster the development of resources statewide to inhibit the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs by children and adolescents;
- Stimulate public awareness of ATOD to build broad public support for policy reform;
- Enhance public understanding of the extent of ATOD problems in New Hampshire, including the impact on healthcare, crime and worker productivity;
- Foster dialogue among state and community leaders to support comprehensive approaches to ATOD problems including the review of policies that affect access to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs;
- Facilitate collaboration and integration of community prevention and treatment programs;
- Convene community leaders to enhance statewide planning, program development, and outcomes measurement.
In 1999, a decision was made by the New Futures Advisory Committee to maximize resources and focus on two goals: reducing underage alcohol problems and increasing access to treatment.
In October 2000, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Board of Directors and the New Futures Advisory Committee recommended that New Futures become a 501(c)(3)(h) organization.
In March 2001, an independent Board of Directors was recruited to guide and govern New Futures. On July 1, 2001, New Futures was officially obtained status as a 501(c)(3)(h) not-for-profit organization in New Hampshire.
Since its creation in 1997, New Futures has grown an adapted to the changing alcohol and drug policy landscape in New Hampshire, much of which has been shaped by New Futures over the years.