Hartford Foundation 2023 Grantmaking Tops $50 Million

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the community foundation for 29 cities and towns in Greater Hartford, awarded $50 million in grants to the region’s nonprofit agencies in 2023. Since its founding in 1925, the Foundation has awarded more than $998 million in grants.

“At a time when many of our communities continue to face significant fiscal challenges, the Hartford Foundation was able to provide a meaningful source of support through local nonprofit organizations,” said Hartford Foundation President/CEO Jay Williams. “Our work continues to evolve as we listen and learn from residents and create more opportunities for nonprofits to lead this work. None of this would be possible without the unwavering support of our Board of Directors, donors, and other community partners who have joined us in making progress toward our goal of dismantling structural racism and creating equitable social and economic mobility.”

The Foundation organizes its work around five strategic outcomes, including efforts to increase the number of Hartford residents living in higher opportunity neighborhoods within and outside of Hartford, provide for the basic human needs of residents, increase employment opportunities for residents of color, increase civic and resident engagement, and increase equity and inclusion in the arts sector.

Individuals, families, and several organizations opened a total of 26 new funds, and the Foundation received gifts totaling nearly $22.5 million.

The Hartford Foundation’s 2023 grant investments included the following:

The Foundation continues to invest in ongoing efforts to support opportunity youth, who are individuals 16 – 24 who are currently disengaged from school or work. In 2023, the Foundation approved $4 million in grants to COMPASS Youth CollaborativeOur Piece of the Pie, and Roca, Inc. The funding will allow these organizations to provide individualized, trauma-informed, high-touch support to the young people they specialize in working with.

To help more Greater Hartford families become first-time homeowners, the Foundation awarded the Housing Development Fund (HDF) a $600,000 grant toward its Homeownership Equity Fund. This grant will allow HDF to provide between 25 and 35 BIPOC households in towns served by the Foundation with zero-percent loans for down payments and closing costs. The grant includes $100,000 in collaboration with Foundation donors through their donor advised funds which includes investments from the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund – Beatrice Koopman, Dorothy Koopman and Rena Koopman, Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund – Elizabeth Schiro, and the Jackson-Batchelder Family Fund.

The Foundation awarded a $400,000 to  Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (SINA) to assist in its work to restore economic vitality and improve the quality of life for the benefit of the people who live, work, visit, study and play in the neighborhoods of South Central Hartford.  The grant is part of a portfolio of grants intended to increase the number of Hartford residents living in higher opportunity neighborhoods that includes several community development organizations, nonprofit developers, Community Development Financial Institutions, and organizations and programs supporting neighborhood assets (e.g., green spaces, resident-led beautification efforts, and neighborhood businesses). In this portfolio, the Foundation also provided a $300,000 grant to HEDCO, Inc. to help enhance its work to support Greater Hartford small businesses by offering a range programs and services including technical assistance programming and support services as well as loans and grant opportunities. 

As part of its work to create workforce opportunities for Black and Latine residents in Greater Hartford, the Foundation provided four grants totaling $1.4 million. The Open Hearth received a $550,000 grant to support its Working Man’s Center to help its clients to prepare, pursue and secure employment in the modern workforce. Forge City Works received a $300,000 grant to support its culinary workforce development initiatives, Girls for Technology received a $300,000 grant to support its Advancing Economic Mobility for People of Color through Entrepreneurial, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (ESTEAM) Career Pathways program. MakerspaceCT received a $300,000 grant to support its Engineering Primer Program (EPP).

Responding to rising workforce needs, the Hartford Foundation joined Capital Workforce Partners, the City of Hartford, United Way of Central and Northeastern CT, along with other public and private funders to increase the talent pipeline. The newly created Hartford Youth Career Navigation System helps young adults investigate career options and achieve sustainable employment. The Foundation awarded the final matching funds to hire a Career Navigation System Coordinator, who will help manage a network of outreach workers, mentors, teachers, and case managers.

As part of its work to create career pathways and promote post-secondary success, the Foundation awarded Hartford Youth Scholars a $250,000 grant to provide academic and mentoring support to students before entering 7th grade and continuing through college graduation. ReadyCT, a nonprofit that sits at the intersection of business and K-12 public education received a $250,000 grant to support its career-connected learning programs in East Hartford and Hartford public schools. The Foundation also awarded $200,000 to Hartford Promise to support its Integrated College Success Model 2.0 to increase the number of Promise Scholars in Hartford Public High Schools and enhance academic persistence for college enrolled Promise Scholars. Hartford-area universities including Central Connecticut State University, University of Saint Joseph,  University of Hartford, UCONN Hartford, Charter Oak State College,  and Goodwin University received $220,000 in grants to support scholarships and wraparound supports for area students and the Connecticut State Community College received a $140,000 grant for its students from the Greater Hartford region.

As part of its efforts to decrease barriers to student progress in the region’s highest need districts, the Foundation provided a total of $965,000 in grants to support the offices of family and school partnerships at East Hartford Public Schools ($270,000), Manchester Public Schools ($175,000), Vernon Public Schools ($260,000), and Windsor Public Schools ($260,000).

In August and November, the Foundation awarded more than $574,000 in Emergency Assistance Grants to 65 nonprofit organizations throughout the region. Emergency Assistance Grants are supported by both the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund at the Hartford Foundation and Foundation-directed dollars. Part of the Foundation’s Basic Human Needs portfolio, these grants focused on increasing access to food and addressing immediate needs essential to wellbeing. These grants prioritized nonprofits that serve neighborhoods and towns in the region with a higher percentage of residents living in poverty and seek to reduce barriers to equitable access to basic needs.

To ensure access to a range of health services in the region, the Foundation awarded three grants to three larger multiservice mental and physical health care providers. The Hispanic Health Council (HHC) received a $600,000 grant to support its mission and strategies to promote equity and address health disparities for Hispanics, Latinos, and other vulnerable communities. Community Health Resources received a $600,000 grant to support its broad array of mental and behavioral programs and services to better meet the mental health, substance use and co-occurring needs of residents.

In collaboration with the City of Hartford, the Hartford Foundation provided more than $224,000 in Love Your Block (LYB) grants to support 26 resident-led neighborhood beautification projects in 12 neighborhoods. In 2023, Former Mayor Luke Bronin and the Hartford Foundation announced an agreement to extend the Foundation’s support of the Love Your Block initiative for another three years. The Foundation will provide $299,000 over three years, which will support the overall ‘Love Hartford: A Citywide Resiliency and Civic Pride Initiative.’

In an effort to support Greater Hartford residents in taking ownership around the needs in their communities and encourage inclusive civic engagement, the Foundation created a Greater Together Community Fund in each of the 29 towns it serves. Since the initiative was established in 2019, the Foundation has invested $180,000 in each Community Fund. In 2023, 26 of the resident-led committees made 179 grants totaling nearly $700,000 to support local needs.

To further its work in building a more diverse arts community, the Hartford Foundation has awarded the Greater Hartford Arts Council (GHAC) a $600,000 grant to support Black- and Latine-led arts organizations and artists in Greater Hartford. Half will support GHAC’s grantmaking to arts organizations with the other half dedicated to strengthening GHAC’s operations, and grantmaking capabilities. Through its grantmaking programs, GHAC addresses power imbalances that exist in arts and culture grantmaking. The Foundation also provided grants to several arts organizations led by artists of color including a $25,000 grant to HartBeat Ensemble to support its Youth Play Institute, a paid internship for marginalized youth in Greater Hartford, as well as a $130,000 grant to Spectrum in Motion Dance Theater Ensemble Inc., and $120,000 to ActUp Theater Inc. to support their missions. 

In support of its commitment providing access to high quality, rigorous data to inform action on issues critical to the region, the Foundation awarded grants to two leading nonprofit organizations focused on expanding nonprofit and resident access and understanding of data. CT Data Collaborative received a $260,000 grant to support all data users’ access to data literacy supports, high-quality public data, and secure data sharing and integration processes. DataHaven received a $300,000 grant to support its mission to empower people to create thriving communities by collecting and ensuring access to data on well-being, equity, and quality of life.

In 2023, the Foundation’s Nonprofit Support Program (NSP) Program, which seeks to increase stability, effectiveness and resilience of nonprofits and nonprofit leaders to meet mission and community needs, provided more than $2.25 million to Greater Hartford nonprofits, including $858,000 in grants for strategic technology, and $161,000 to support the Catchafire skills-based volunteer matching program. 

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding towns. Through partnerships, the Foundation seeks to strengthen communities in Greater Hartford by putting philanthropy in action to dismantle structural racism and achieve equity in social and economic mobility. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $998 million since its founding in 1925. For more information, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.