The Community Foundation awards grants to hundreds of nonprofits to support programs and services that improve our communities through arts and culture, civic and education, the environment, and health and human services. There are several different types of grants available through the Foundation.
Nonprofit organizations generally apply for funding to support a specific program or project. Nonprofits may apply for cycle grants three times per year, in January, April, and September. Funding decisions are made about two months after each application deadline.
The Cycle grant application enables applicants to save information in a Nonprofit Profile for current and future grant applications, and allows applicants to save and return to grant applications in-progress.
The Women & Girls Fund supports programs that provide opportunities for women and girls to develop life skills, enhance economic self-sufficiency, build self-esteem, and promote personal growth.
Each year, The Women & Girls Fund invites nonprofits to apply for grants for programs that work to address women’s needs and contribute to the welfare of children. Nonprofits may apply for grants from The Women & Girls Fund once per year, in early March. Funding decisions are made about thirty days after each application deadline.
The Community Foundation has allocated a minimum of $55,000 to distribute to public charities and faith-based organizations in its 20-town service area for year-end critical-needs grants. More may be available based on need. Grants are made possible through the Draper Foundation Fund, and the Marion Wm. & Alice Edwards Fund.
The deadline for submitting a grant application was October 12, 2018.
The 2019 Year-end Critical Needs grant application will be available in Fall 2019.
The Youth Fund provides grants to youth-oriented nonprofit organizations based on recommendations from area high school students who participate in the Foundation’s Youth in Philanthropy (YIP) council. The Fund supports organizations that serve youth, including bullying and substance abuse prevention programs.
The YIP Council invites grant applications in the Spring.
The Edwards Community Endowment Program (ECEP) is a matching-grants program designed to assist northwest Connecticut nonprofits with the establishment of endowment funds or to increase established endowments. The project is made possible through a grant from the Marion Wm. and Alice Edwards Fund.
The purpose of Project is to assist nonprofits in establishing an endowment or adding to an existing Foundation fund. Selected non profits receive a $1 match for every $4 raised with a maximum $20,000 match per organization. All funds generated through the project are placed in a permanent named fund.
- Nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organizations in the Foundation's 20-town service area that have been in existence for a minimum of three years
- Organizations that wish to: (i) establish their first organizational endowment, or (ii) raise additional capital to supplement an existing endowment, and (iii) have this endowment managed by the Foundation as a permanent, named fund for the benefit of the organization.
Guidelines and Application
ECEP applications for the program are accepted on a rolling basis. Organizations are selected for participation through a competitive application process. Each participating organization must raise a minimum of $16,000 in endowment gifts to be eligible for an initial match of $4,000. Organizations unable to reach the $16,000 minimum goal during the allotted time do not receive matching funds; however, monies raised will be placed into a temporary fund at the Foundation until the organization reaches a decision as to how and by whom the fund will be managed.
Cash and marketable securities can be counted toward the endowment project match. Funds from existing reserves, operational pledges, or any funds re-directed by a participating organization’s Board of Directors that are specifically earmarked for current operational uses do not qualify. Money that has been earmarked by the donor for an endowment or established as an organizational endowment may be considered.
Deferred gifts, such as charitable remainder trusts and bequests, are excellent ways to grow endowment funds, but they may not be counted as pledges for the purpose of the Edwards Community Endowment Project.
The primary criterion used in evaluating applications is how the organization plans to supplement the endowment fund once it has been established. Special consideration is given to organizations that:
- Incorporate endowment-building strategies in overall development efforts
- Demonstrate involvement and leadership of Board members in endowment fundraising
- Provide marketing plans that incorporate endowment-building and planned giving
- Demonstrate organizational stability and track record in raising various types of funds.
Organizations receiving grants from the Edwards Community Endowment Project are not eligible to reapply for participation in the project. Organizations whose applications are denied may reapply in subsequent years.
Organizations interested in applying for participation in the Edwards Community Endowment Project should contact Foundation staff for more information about establishing an organizational endowment, investment and spending policies, administrative fees, and eligible gifts.
Your Community Foundation manages many Donor-advised funds. These funds are established by donors to support specific charitable interests. Some of these funds are established as a bequest to provide support for area nonprofits in perpetuity. Others support the community as needed and at the recommendation of an anonymous fund holder.
Grant applications for Donor-advised funds are managed on an invitation-only basis based on the wishes of the fundholders. Application invitations are non-transferable.