Developing vibrant communities is one of the three priority areas in our strategic plan. But what comprises a vibrant community? It comes down to quality of life — everyone wants a great place to live, learn, work and raise a family. They want safe neighborhoods, rich cultural experiences, and everything in between.
As a broad-based community foundation, we are uniquely positioned to listen and respond to a range of perspectives as we work towards this ultimate goal. Through the diversity of our donors’ voices, we are rooted in the priorities and ambitions of our residents; and through the grantmaking process, we become aware of the range of needs that must be addressed.
Our broad-based grantmaking supports a variety of areas that reflect the diverse needs and interests of our region.
We respond to requests for funding from nonprofits that promote arts and culture, family and social services, education, health and mental health, housing and economic development, the environment, and human rights.
We also recognize that significant disparities exist in our region by race, ethnicity and income. Equal distribution of resources will not result in equal outcomes: Some individuals and communities simply need more attention and support in order to have an equitable opportunity to thrive and contribute. Our grantmaking and strategic efforts are guided by this recognition.
We will prioritize the people and places with the greatest need, and proposals that increase access to opportunity for all residents.
Through our work and partnerships, we will also identify and address important challenges to community vibrancy.
For example, through Metro Hartford Progress Points, we have seen that economic hardship is increasing in both our cities and suburbs; yet 47% of the region’s new affordable housing was built in low-opportunity areas. With sufficient affordable housing available in only 6 of the 29 communities in Greater Hartford, we will look to support collaborations and investments in this area.
Related: Learn about our recent grants to alleviate homelessness.
Our region’s progress also requires broader awareness of critical issues and meaningful civic engagement by diverse residents. Our key strategies aim to support both across all of our efforts; because when we consider people and social issues in their greater context, we can take more intentional and equitable steps to coordinate systems for change.