Civic Engagement Project: Get Out the Vote

*The deadline for RFP has passed. Thanks to all who submitted proposals.


Request for Proposals


Consistent with Hartford Foundation’s Vibrant Communities strategic priority, our region’s progress requires broader awareness of critical issues and meaningful civic engagement by diverse residents. Research shows consistently low rates of voter registration and turn out among particular populations in our region, referred to as “underrepresented voters.”[1] The lowest rates of voter participation in the Greater Hartford region are documented among: 1) people of color, particularly Hispanics of any race and Black voters, 2) young people, especially those between the ages of 18-24, and 3) residents of Hartford. The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is pleased to announce funding to enhance local efforts to engage underrepresented voters in the Greater Hartford region. 

The Hartford Foundation Civic Engagement Project: Get Out the Vote Campaign is a nonpartisan initiative of the Hartford Foundation to increase the voter engagement of historically disenfranchised community members, drawing upon the strength of nonprofits and individuals committed to improving  the quality of life for all. Voter registration activities supported by the Hartford Foundation must be available without regard to the voter’s political preference.  Information or other assistance regarding registration or voting shall not be withheld or refused on the basis of support for or opposition to particular candidates, parties or policy position.

Get Out the Vote’s objectives are to increase voter engagement work and improve models for nonprofits to register and engage voters in ongoing activities. Our grants seek to support organizations in reaching people whose voice is underrepresented, connecting them to the upcoming elections via nonpartisan voter engagement activities and providing information about additional opportunities to have a voice in their community.

What are nonpartisan voter engagement activities?  Nonpartisan voter engagement activities might include (but are not limited to):

  • Voter registration
  • Having new and existing voters sign “pledge to vote” cards and other commitment tools
  • Participating in “Get Out the Vote” (GOTV) activities on Election Day (including primaries)
  • Other related civic education efforts that promote civic engagement

General Eligibility for Get Out the Vote Grants:

  • Significant portion of the work will benefit residents of the Hartford Foundation’s 29-Town Region
  • Have an ability to engage underrepresented voters. Communities reached should include people from one or more of the following target groups: 1) people of color, particularly Hispanics of any race and Black voters, 2) young people, especially those between the ages of 18-24, and/or 3) residents of Hartford.
  • Can conduct the work for this grant from August 1, 2018 to July 31, 2019.
  • Are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.  Community groups that are not incorporated can use another 501(c)(3) organization as a fiscal agent.
  • Board of directors and staff are representative of the racial/ethnic diversity of the region served.

Grants Include:

  • A project grant of up to $10,000.
  • Training and support for conducting nonpartisan voter registration, voter pledge activities, and other voter engagement.
  • Resources, materials, and tools for a successful voter registration and pledge to vote program. 

Expectations of Grantees:

  • Commit to engaging at least 300 people in the upcoming election, including:
    • Registering at least 200 people to vote;
    • Collecting at least 100 signed pledge to vote cards or through other similar commitment tools; and
    • Following-up on signed pledges or other similar commitment tools, and track and report outcomes.
  • Designate a primary contact for coordination and communication on this project.
  • Attend a required training on nonpartisan voter engagement, by at least the person designated as primary contact and up to a total of three staff members. Training will be scheduled between August 6-17, 2018 exact date TBD. Information will be provided after the training for anyone who is interested, but unable to attend.
  • Support voter turnout in State primaries on August 14, National Voter Registration Day on September 25, and Election Day on November 6, 2018. 
  • Participate in periodic check in calls with other grantees.

To Apply:

Grant applications and all attachments should be submitted to our Grants Administration Team via no later than Friday, July 13, 2018.  Please include “Civic Engagement Project: Get Out the Vote” and your agency’s name in the email subject line. Questions about the application process can also be directed to Grantees will be notified of funding decisions on August 1, 2018. 


The deadline for submitting proposals has passed


Submissions must include the following:

  • Signed Hartford Foundation coversheet, narrative application, Demographic Data Report and Board of Directors Information, and Line item project budget (template provided)
  • Current annual operating budget for the organization (income and expenses)
  • Most recent financial audit, IRS Form 990 or 990-N

Key Dates:

  • Application deadline: July 13, 2018
  • Grantee notification: August 1, 2018
  • Grant period: August 1, 2018 – July 31, 2019
  • CT Primaries: August 14, 2018
  • National Voter Registration Day: September 25, 2018
  • Mail In and Online Voter Registration Deadline: October 30, 2018
  • Registration Cut-Off In All Towns: October 30, 2018


About the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving:

The Hartford Foundation is the community foundation for the 29-town Greater Hartford, Connecticut region, dedicated to improving the quality of life for area residents. One of the oldest and largest community foundations in the country, the Hartford Foundation receives gifts from thousands of generous individuals, families and organizations, and works with them to help them achieve their charitable goals. Since 1925, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $720 million and provided a host of other support and training services to a broad range of area nonprofit organizations. Through its Nonprofit Support Program, the Foundation also helps improve the capacity and performance of the region’s nonprofit agencies.

[1] Data is drawn for the following sources U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, November 2016, Connecticut Secretary of State’s Office, DataHaven Community Wellbeing Survey, 2015.


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