Do you meet our basic guidelines?

Our grant process begins with a conversation. Before you call, the interactive tool below will help you determine if you meet our basic guidelines.


Grantee Criteria
Is your organization a 501(c)(3) nonprofit?

The Hartford Foundation only grants awards to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and in some cases, to public agencies, when Foundation special projects are involved. In some instances a grant may be made through a fiscal agent.


Does a significant portion of your organization's services benefit residents of the Hartford Foundation's 29-town region?

As a community foundation, we only make grants that benefit residents in our funding region. If your organization is in Connecticut but does not serve our funding region, you can find the community foundation that serves your town through the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy.

Does your organization operate under best practices for governance? (Do you have a board that meets regularly? Do they provide financial oversight of the organization's resources?)

The Foundation looks for organizations that have highly functioning governance structures in place. Here are some resources that can help support your efforts to use best practices:

Are your board of directors and staff representative of the racial/ethnic diversity of the region you serve?

The Hartford Foundation believes that having diverse viewpoints leads to richer perspectives and better understanding of the needs and solutions critical to serving a more diverse client population. We expect agencies that serve a broad spectrum of the population to have boards and staff that reflect that diversity. This is a critical factor to reviewing any grant request.

We encourage you to consider participating in Leadership Greater Hartford's Leaders on Board program, which can connect your organization with trained and committed individuals looking to serve on a board.

Your organization meets our basic guidelines. The next step is to read our grantmaking guidelines and our key policies to better understand our grantmaking.

If you have questions or believe you are ready to begin the application process, please review our grantmaking process and then give us a call at 860-548-1888 to speak with Tara Sundie, Community Investments Associate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why focus on Race, Place and Income (RPI)? 

We recognize there is a wide disparity of wealth in our region. The Foundation's focus on RPI reflects our commitment to working with community partners to develop strategies to reduce disparities in opportunities many residents, particularly those living in underserved communities of color, experience based on their race, where they live, and income. They experience the most disparity in quality of life and opportunities for success.  

Our strategic priority areas are based on data (these logic models are two examples), documenting disparities in educational attainment, community safety, access to housing, employment, and economic stability, and other challenges affecting quality of life. In some towns where there is limited racial diversity, the disparity may take the form of inadequate access to social supports. 

Statistically, Hartford has needs that outpace other towns. Accordingly, a significant portion of our grants will support work serving residents in the Capital City. However, disparity is not limited to Hartford, and we welcome ideas that address disparities by race, place, and income in any of the 29 towns in our region.

How does your organization’s mission and proposed project contribute to reducing disparities impacted by RPI? 

We invite you to develop approaches that can reduce one or more disparities using local data and research. What are you doing or can you do to positively affect the disparity in opportunity experienced by underserved residents? What evidence can you show that suggests the strategies will work? 

Proposals need not address all three areas in their approach. You may focus on reducing disparities reflecting challenges among residents as a result of their race, where they live, or income, or a combination.

Does your project contribute to the strategic priority areas and specific outcomes the Foundation has identified? 

We continue to build our knowledge and activities around these outcomes and welcome your contributions. Each outcome area focuses on specific people and places that face the greatest disparities. Many of these issues are interrelated and strategies may address more than one.

  • Increasing employment opportunities for underserved Black and Latinx residents living in the region
  • Increasing the number of residents living in higher-opportunity neighborhoods in Hartford and the region
  • Increasing community safety and resilience, or
  • Decreasing barriers to student progress in the region’s highest-need school districts.

Here are four examples

Can you demonstrate how your approaches contribute to these RPI outcomes? 

We want to hear about your institutional experience and track record addressing these issues, as well as community perspectives, research and data that support your approaches. 

What other supports might I receive from the Foundation? 

In working with our nonprofit and other partners, we want to explore how we can support organizational development as well as your proposed program.

We invite you to review capacity building opportunities offered through our Nonprofit Support Program. We also recommend reviewing our resource list and looking to the ReCenter, as well as discussing your ideas with Foundation staff.

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