Hartford Foundation Perception Study: Results and Action

April 10, 2015

We asked, you responded

92% of respondents identify the Foundation as a respected organization.

90% of stakeholders see the Foundation as a trustworthy organization.

86% see us as responsible stewards of donated funds.

89% of grantees think the Foundation helps strengthen their nonprofit organizations.

85% of current donors say that the Foundation manages its endowment well.

Our research also found

25% are unaware of the Foundation’s impact on education.

32% could not name a specific Foundation program or grant that has had significant impact on our region.

Only 48% said they thought the Foundation “moves quickly and efficiently.”

40% are not aware of the effectiveness of our scholarship program.

Only 50% are aware of the effectiveness of the Hartford Area Child Care Collaborative.

51% are not aware of the effectiveness of the summer program initiative.

The Pert Group, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving Quantitative Survey Report, November 2014

We're listening.

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving recently completed research with our community stakeholders (including donors, grantees, community leaders and others) in order to better understand how you feel about the Foundation and our work. More than 500 of you responded to the survey. We are very grateful for your time and insight.

The results were very revealing. We are pleased you have a deep trust in our commitment to the community and we share a foundation of mutual respect. But there is low awareness about the services we offer and the impact we make. Our longstanding legacy remains being a responsible steward for positive change in the communities we serve, but the message received through our perception study was loud and clear: We need to do a better job of telling you who we are, what we do, and the difference we are making.

Our stakeholders want to hear more from us - and see more of us - in specific and meaningful ways.

We're responding.

We are taking your comments to heart and making changes. We will remain prudent, carefully and consciously making decisions regarding the funds entrusted to us to positively impact the quality of life in this region. At the same time, we recognize that there are ways we need to be more agile and responsive. In the coming months, we'll be introducing new measures to show:

Better and clearer impact. We plan to share additional progress updates and publish periodic impact briefs around our strategic priorities so that you can more easily see the changes occurring in our community. We'll update our monthly e-newsletter, focusing on a single topic that highlights grantees' and donors' work and the impact on the region. And, this summer, you'll see an entirely new website, one that is more approachable and streamlined, where storytelling plays a central role.

Expanded outreach. While we always welcome you at our offices, we'd like to come to you more often. You'll see us more visibly out and about in the community, and get more direct contact with our staff. Convening groups, such as "Listen and Learns" for grantees, have always been part of our charge, and we're committed to continuing and increasing this role. Just one example is an upcoming series of "Donor Dialogues" where you can learn about the range of charitable options we offer and how the Foundation's endowment is invested.

Stronger connections and responsiveness. You'll notice quicker responses to your questions. Our new electronic application process has shown good results and we'll continue to streamline our application processes; we'll conduct regular surveys to hear about your experience. For those of you who are new to us, we are creating a "welcome kit" to familiarize you with the ins and outs of the Hartford Foundation.

"The Hartford Foundation's impact and actions are strengthened by insights such as these. We will continue to be informed by, and responsive to, the community we serve."

-Linda J. Kelly, President

Continuing the discussion.

Quite simply, we want to continue the conversation, and want to hear more from you. We've created an email specifically for your feedback: HowAreWeDoing@hfpg.org. Please share your thoughts and comments with us, so we can continue to serve you better.

More than anything, we are committed to being your community foundation - a trustworthy steward of your philanthropic dollars, an accessible source of support for you, and your partner in leadership - addressing issues that impact the quality of life in our region, together.

"This input from our stakeholders is critically important, and we will be infusing it into our work in 2015 and beyond."

-Yvette Meléndez, Board Chair

About the Foundation.

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, founded in 1925, is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. It receives gifts from thousands of generous individuals, families and organizations, and in 2014 awarded grants of more than $32 million to nearly 700 area nonprofit organizations.

For more information, visit hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.