Over the past two remarkable years, in which the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism exacerbated many longstanding challenges, our work has progressed and is now defined by two strategic priorities: dismantling structural racism and advancing equity in social and economic mobility for Greater Hartford's Black and Latinx residents.

As an organization, we are a "work in progress." We are listening closely to residents, donors and nonprofits, learning from the past, and committed to a more equitable and inclusive future, for our Foundation and the region. 

As your community foundation since 1925, we are here for good. With a $1.2B endowment and $45M+ in grants awarded last year, we are dedicated to improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of Greater Hartford residents.

A letter to the community from our President and Board Chair

To create a vibrant region, we must take steps to

In Greater Hartford and across the country, Black and Latinx communities as well as other communities of color face persistent disparities, which create barriers to health, wellbeing and wealth building.


By listening and engaging with the community, and considering all available research and information, we have identified five interdependent outcome areas for our work that will help us achieve our strategic priorities. In this annual report, you will learn about some of the progress we made toward these goals in 2021.

Our Outcome Areas

Higher Opportunity Neighborhoods

Higher Opportunity Neighborhoods

Employment Opportunities

Employment Opportunities

Basic Human Needs

Basic Human Needs

Arts and Culture

Arts and Culture

Civic and Resident Engagement

Civic and Resident Engagement


Erika Frank

Senior Community Impact Officer

"The pandemic reinforced the importance of quality affordable housing, small business, and community building. Together, we will seek to ensure all residents can participate in neighborhood growth and vitality."


National research has linked neighborhood beautification to increased community safety, social connectedness, and phyiscal and psychological health in addition to higher property values.


$230,960 awarded

1,350 residents engaged

1,252 hours volunteered

58 organizations collaborated

28 public art pieces installed

9 lots cleared

5 green spaces developed


Hartford Small Business Emergency Grant Program

In 2021, we partnered with the City of Hartford, Capital for Change, and other technical assistance providers to offer three rounds of small business emergency grants totaling $2.9 million dollars.

  • $1.3 million to Black / African American owned businesses
  • $917,000 to Hispanic / Latino-owned businesses
  • $1.4 million to women-owned businesses

1,480 jobs maintained

The Foundation invested a total of $1.1 million into the program.


Operating a small business during the pandemic


Joel Hicks-Rivera

Senior Community Impact Officer

"Preparing Greater Hartford's residents for sustained living-wage employment requires urgency, creativity, and a commitment to interventions across a continuum of care."

Co-investing in Opportunity Youth

Opportunity Youth are people ages 16 to 24 who face barriers to employment and education.

Research demonstrates that focused, holistic approaches can help opportunity youth connect with school and work, sometimes preventing a disconnection before it begins. In 2021, we partnered with Dalio Education and the City of Hartford to develop a multi-year, $9.85 million co-investment strategy to support this expanding group.

Summer Programs

The Foundation supports summer programs that offer an array of fun and enriching options for young people, including the chance to build work experience. These programs also remove a barrier to employment for parents by providing summer childcare.


$826,000 awarded

41 agencies
including 7 for the first time


5,894 from Hartford

685 with disabilities

158 paid counselors in training

Returning Residents

For years, the Foundation has worked with Community Partners in Action and its nonprofit and government partners to connect returning residents to employment, housing, and civic life.

The Foundation has supported The Greater Hartford Reentry Welcome Center since its opening in 2018, with four multi-year grants totaling $1.4 million, as well as a multi-year evaluation.

By June 2021, the center saw 783 returning residents, including 301 end-of-sentence clients, a critical group who receive few supports.


Dawn Grant

Senior Community Impact Officer

"Too many of our neighbors struggle to make impossible decisions: whether to buy food, pay for childcare, or make the rent. The pandemic only made those choices harder."

Addressing Basic Human Needs

The pandemic had a demonstrable impact on mental health, housing, food security and other basic needs. To help address these issues, we awarded many grants, including the following: 

Mental Health: Ebony Horsewomen received a $25,000 to train 20 BIPOC mental health professionals and expand counseling services.

Ending Homelessness: We awarded a three-year, $300,000 grant to the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness to help people find a safe place to stay other than a shelter.

Food Security and Other Needs: We awarded $600,000 in grants to 75 nonprofit agencies and municipal governments, serving all 29 towns in our region, to support food security and other basic human needs.

Hartford Family Center Network

The Foundation launched the Brighter Futures Initiative in 1990 with a 25-year, $35 million commitment to help Hartford’s young children be ready for school through six neighborhood family centers. In 2021, we awarded a grant of $915,000 to The Village, which in turn will be shared among the community-based agencies managing the Family Centers. In 2022, we're transitioning to a more flexible funding model as the needs of Hartford’s children and families continue to change, and the capabilities of Hartford’s social service agencies continue to grow.


Cynthia Sanchez

Community Impact Manager

"Arts provide opportunities for learning, economic growth, community resilience and resident wellbeing. When the arts are accessible to all and truly representative of our community, we all benefit."

The arts are vital to our community.

The Hartford Foundation supports Greater Hartford's arts sector in several ways -- supporting organizations that seek to better connect with the community and helping organizations along an internal journey toward equity -- all to ensure that the arts remain accessible to everyone. Here are some of the grants we awarded in 2021:

The Amistad Center for Art and Culture, supported in part by a $30,000 grant, launched Amistad on the Go, traveling throughout the community with items from their 7,000-piece collection that tell the African American story.

Playhouse on Park received $20,000 to implement Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training for boards and staff of Playhouse on Park and the Music School at Sound Crossing, to help identify new leaders of color and diversify audiences.

Voce, Inc. was awarded an Access Grant of $10,000 to support their Voices of Hartford choral program. They recruited 12 young male BIPOC singers from Hartford and paid each a stipend to take part in community concerts.

The Artists of Color Unite! advisory committee continued its work to improve equitable access to resources for artists of color. They recommended a grant of $179,500 to expand the Artists of Color Accelerate fellows program.


Cierra Stancil

Senior Community Impact Officer

"Policies and programs can only be successful if they take into account the voices of the community they are intended to support."

Providing support for community engagement.

The Hartford Foundation is committed to enhancing inclusive opportunities for residents of our region to create positive, lasting change.

A three year core support grant of $150,000 will allow the Blue Hills Civic Association to implement its new strategic plan and strengthen its capacity.

An Access Grant of $18,090 was awarded to Friends for Equity in Avon Schools, a group of parents and residents advocating for an inclusive school culture.

Support for Greater Hartford's Latinx Community

The Hispanic / Latino population grew from 13.4% to 17.3% of the total population of CT.

44% of people living in Hartford are Latinx.

Connecticut's voter participation rate:

Hispanic 42.4%

Overall 60.5%


Make the Road Connecticut: $100,000 over three years to support organizing around educational issues, civic education, and elevating community safety issues for immigrants.

Connecticut Students for a Dream: $100,000 over three years to support youth-led community organizing and campaign management in Hartford.

San Juan Center: $93,680 over three years to continue a partnership with Capital Community College producing a video series on public policy, voting and community action topics.


$1.25 billion


$45.2 million

$894 million since 1925


$24.5 million


82 new funds

1,464 total named funds




ADMINISTRATIVE (operating costs)





12.1% in the Corporate Portfolio and 14.7% in the Trust Portfolio.

*Does not include grants from agency endowments.


The Hartford Foundation expanded its impact, awarding $45.2 million to a broad base of nonprofit organizations.

Grants by Outcome Area

How 2021 Grants Were Directed

TOTAL GRANTS* $45,156,873   |   INDIVIDUAL GRANTS 3,262

*Does not include grants from agency endowments.

**Many of our donor-directed funds are aligned with the Foundation's strategic framework.

COVID-19 Response Fund

When COVID-19 struck, we launched coordinated fundraising and emergency grantmaking functions. The third phase of our COVID Response took place in 2021 and focused on vaccine equity and learning loss. Read about all of our COVID-19 Response work here.

COVID-19 Response Fund, 2020-2021:

275 GRANTS awarded

$10.77 MILLION of funding awarded

547 DONATIONS made to the fund

American Rescue Plan Act

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provided an infusion of federal dollars into state and local governments to help reverse the negative economic and social impacts of the pandemic. This created a tremendous opportunity to recover and rebuild even more equitably but required that dollars be applied effectively. The Hartford Foundation commissioned research to capture how our state, municipalities, and local school districts are using ARPA dollars.

Read our ARPA report to learn more.



Change the makeup of who benefits from opportunity and who makes decisions about practice, policy and allocation of resources.


Support and lead efforts to change organizational and systemic policies and practice to advance racial and ethnic equity.


Support and lead awareness, education, training and movement building to address individual, organizational and systemic biases.

Opening Our Doors Wider

Tara Sundie

Community Impact Manager

"We are a learning organization, so we value hearing from nonprofits about how we can be more accessible, especially organizations that are more proximate to the community."

Faith-Based Grants

In June, we awarded 33 grants totaling $300,000 to organizations helping residents disproporationately affected by COVID-19 or systemic racism, or advancing community engagement in racial and social justice.

Access Grants

We launched Access Grants in 2021 for organizations that can help in our goal of dismantling structural racism. Last year, we awarded two rounds of Access Grants totaling more than $1.1 million.

Community Leadership

Judy McBride

Director, Strategic Partnership Investments

"We've learned that we must listen intently, speak plainly, and remain flexible. This work demands humility, collaboration, and commitment."

Greater Together Community Funds

In 2019, we launched one of the most ambitious participatory grantmaking programs in the nation. By the end of 2021, the Greater Together Community Fund advisory committees had made 136 grants totaling nearly $500,000. The Foundation's Board recently approved an additional $1.45 million in funding.

Connecticut Urban Opportunity Collaborative (CUOC)

In January 2021, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and Fairfield County's Community Foundation formed a partnership known as CUOC. Together, they develop strategies to dismantle structural racism and advance social and economic mobility, creating an actionable plan that builds on each organization's strengths.

Nonprofit Capacity Building

Amy Studwell

Senior Community Impact Officer

"We are committed to supporting our region's access to skilled volunteers and innovative programs, empowering the nonprofits addressing significant challenges in our community every day."

Promoting Volunteerism

In 2020, the Foundation launched a partnership with Catchafire to connect professionals to volunteering opportunities. Based on its success over the past two years, we recently expanded the program.

Small Agency Program

Our Small Agency Program was launched in 2016 to focus on the specific needs of smaller nonprofits. In 2021, we supported 25 agencies with $144,000 in general operating support, strategic planning, and other small projects.

Action Fund for Racial Justice

Director of Development, Outreach and External Relations

"With options such as creating your own fund, contributing to the Action Fund for Racial Justice, or joining a giving circle, the Foundation provides a broad range of opportunities for you to realize your philanthropic vision."

Dismantling structural racism requires a long-term commitment

Launched in June, the Action Fund for Racial Justice is a current-use fund designed to address ongoing community needs. By the end of 2021, the Fund received donations exceeding $500,000 and grants were awarded to nonprofits working to dismantle barriers to opportunity for commuities of color. 

Giving Circles

The Hartford Foundation's three giving circles bring together individuals with a shared passion for their community. Last year, the giving circles focused on topics including housing equity, disparities in healthcare access, and small businesses, and made grants to local nonprofits. 

Learn more:

Black Giving Circle Fund | Catalyst Endowment Fund | Latino Endowment Fund

Our new scholarship website

Hartford Foundation Scholarship Program

In 2021, we awarded $1.8M in scholarships to 600+ students.

Last October, our team launched a new scholarship website to help students and parents find scholarships and other opportunities.


United on the Road to Justice

On September 28, more than 400 people joined us in person and virtually for our annual event. The highlight was a conversation with Heather McGhee, activist and author of The Sum of Us. The evening also included performances from Hartford artists and stories about our grantees and donors.

Community Conversations

Groups of neighbors are coming together across Greater Hartford to address racism and inequity as they are revealed in their own towns. Before the main Greater Together event, the Foundation invited people from twelve towns who are engaged in this work to join a conversation with Heather McGhee about what they have learned in their fight against racism and the benefits of working across town borders.

Our Internal Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

In 2021, we renewed our commitment to improve our culture and invite wider staff input on a variety of Foundation initiatives. We embraced a new approach to recruiting that led to a richer candidate pool. Our DEI Advisory Group developed goals for 2022, which includes engaging a Chief Diversity Officer on demand, and embedding DEI into every facet of our work.


everyone has equitable claim and everyone has equitable benefit

An inclusive community is a healthy community. For nearly 100 years, the Hartford Foundation has strived to create a more equitable Greater Hartford, one where every resident's contributions are valued and all residents have an opportunity to succeed.

Charter Oak Cultural Center Youth Arts Institute