The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the community foundation for 29 communities in Greater Hartford, awarded more than $33.3 million in grants to the region’s nonprofit agencies and educational institutions in 2016.
“At a time when our state and many of our communities face significant fiscal challenges, once again, through the support of our generous donors, the Hartford Foundation was able to award a record breaking 2,287 grants amounting to $33.3 million this past year,” said Judy Rozie-Battle, senior vice president. “We are proud to work together with our donors, nonprofits, and community partners to ensure Greater Hartford residents continue to have access to opportunities that enrich their lives.”
According to the latest estimated, unaudited numbers, the Foundation ended 2016 with total assets of $918 million in 1,153 funds. The Foundation received gifts totaling nearly $14.2 million with 35 new funds, from 1,691 individual gifts, the highest number in the Foundation’s history. Since its founding in 1925, the Foundation has awarded $687 million in grants.
The Foundation’s 2016 grantmaking was based on the recognition that a vibrant and strong Greater Hartford region requires that all residents, especially those with the greatest need, have equitable opportunities to achieve and flourish. In order to make this possible, the Foundation provided support to nonprofit and public entities that work to ensure everyone has access to the supports and services they need to thrive. The Foundation invested 31 percent of its grants in education-related work including Pre-K, K-12 education, summer programs, and new and renewed college scholarships. Grants for family and social services received 27 percent; health – 9 percent; arts and culture – 13 percent; community and economic development, including housing and workforce development – 12 percent; and general nonprofit support – 8 percent.
Below are some examples of grants for a wide variety of activities that support our residents and create more vibrant communities in Greater Hartford.
- In July 2016, the Foundation surveyed area nonprofits to determine the projected impacts of state budget cuts. While the vast majority planned to seek other funding (83%), more than half were considering reducing services (55%) or reducing staff (44%). By the end of the year, the Hartford Foundation responded with Transitional Operating Support (TOS) grants of nearly $1.4 million to 18 agencies, helping them to continue providing critical services such as emergency shelter, food security and employment support. In comparison, 2015 TOS grants totaled $120,000 and $200,000 in 2014.
- Recognizing that important services are provided by smaller nonprofits that lack substantial funding and organizational development support, the Foundation launched the “Building on Success” program, a two-year initiative that combines capacity building support and small grants to nonprofits. The program includes quarterly group learning sessions, individual organizational consultation, and grant support of $10,000 over two years.
- The Nonprofit Support Program (NSP) helps strengthen nonprofit organizations in our region by providing tools and knowledge for agencies to build strong boards, plan for their futures, evaluate programs, improve finances and update technology. In 2016, 22 directors attended the Executive Management Institute, 47 nonprofit staff across 12 agencies completed classes in financial management, and 25 nonprofit teams received strategic technology training. In addition, 78 grants totaling $1.9 million were awarded to support technical assistance (such as strategic planning and board development), strategic technology, financial management and other issues critical to building capacity within our local nonprofits. In total, more than 225 area nonprofits were supported by NSP.
- The Foundation is working with seven of the region’s most challenged school districts. With grants totaling more than $3 million and technical support provided in 2016, Bloomfield, East Hartford, Hartford, Manchester, Vernon, Windsor and Windsor Locks public schools are integrating partnerships between schools, parents and community members to support student success, each creating unique programming to meet their education goals. For example in Windsor Locks Public Schools high school students are developing “learning pathways” to connect personalized learning with their career interests through a variety of internship opportunities.
- More than 10,000 Greater Hartford school-age children took part in summer learning programs through 57 programs, supported by $790,000 in grants from the Foundation. The Hartford Foundation targets summer program funding to support the participation of youth from Hartford and East Hartford and youth with disabilities from throughout the Greater Hartford region. While offering parents a safe, affordable option for their children, the programs also support summer learning in a variety of ways. By promoting reading, writing and other learning activities, programs supported by the Foundation are designed to help prevent summer learning loss by helping students retain and build on skills gained during the school year as well as to grow developmentally.
Family and Social Services
- The new Early Childhood Collaborative website and virtual learning network provides research and proven practices to help those working with young children and their families in our region learn, share and work together to improve children’s lives. The site includes the latest research and expert opinions, and draws from the Foundation’s decades of experience in the field, both virtually and in-person. This website brings together partners who work in various sectors of early childhood, including early care and education, family support and engagement, health, mental health and more.
- Leveraging additional funding from a private foundation, the Hartford Foundation supported All Our Kin to collaborate with six local agencies serving 125 home-based providers and the over 500 infants and toddlers in their care. All Our Kin will work with these agencies to expand and improve the services and supports available to their home-based provider network ensuring that young children in their care receive high-quality early learning experiences.
Community and Economic Development
- The Career Pathways Initiative was launched in January. These nine collaborative programs (which include nonprofits, adult education, higher education, and employers) have begun to help hard-to-employ residents overcome barriers to earning a stable living wage. Single parents, at-risk youth, immigrants, homeless heads of household, former offenders, and others have committed to classroom learning, internships and mentoring as they prepare for careers in medical support, manufacturing, construction, food service, and more.
- The Foundation matched funds from the state and the Kellogg Foundation to develop two-generation hub sites in Hartford and East Hartford. The “2gen” approach addresses both a parent’s workforce goals and the needs of young children. Hartford is among the first in our nation taking on this innovative approach to supporting employment.
- More than 1,500 Greater Hartford individuals and families who are homeless or facing homelessness will receive much needed help thanks to the work of six area nonprofit agencies and funding of more than $1.1 million from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. These grants support both short-term and long-term strategies to address homelessness. Foundation funds will allow organizations to continue services, expand services, and create a more collaborative and coordinated way to address the issue of ending homelessness.
- For more than 50 years families have been able to avoid financial ruin caused by medical bills from an illness or accident with support from the Newton C. and Elsie B. Brainard Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. The Brainard Fund benefits residents of Greater Hartford who have assets to preserve, but who face medical and health care costs that would otherwise have devastating financial consequences. In 2016, 18 families’ medical cases were supported by grants totaling nearly $309,000.
- Hartford Events Grants administered by the Greater Hartford Arts Council received $160,000 in grants from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving to support a wide variety of events throughout the capitol city. Grant funding is awarded to those events that connect culture and community, promote economic activity, serve wide-ranging populations and make the arts accessible to all. Events include foundational cultural programs such as First Night and the Riverfront Recapture RiverFest, activities that celebrate the city’s many cultural communities and traditions, as well as the production of musical, theater and performance pieces.
- The Hartford Foundation awarded a three-year, $45,000 grant to the Sonia Plumb Dance Company to support the Apprenticeship Feeder Program. The Apprenticeship Feeder Program would allow Black and Latino high school graduates between18 and 20 years of age, who cannot afford to attend a four-year school, continue their dance education while participating in a paid internship program.
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. In 2015, the Foundation celebrated ninety years of grantmaking in the Greater Hartford region, made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations. It has awarded grants of $687 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.