Friday, October 31, 2014

The Community Foundation awards more than $2.4 million to Greater New Haven nonprofits

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, the permanent endowment and largest grantmaker to nonprofit organizations serving the Greater New Haven region, announces that it has awarded $2,405,044 in one-year and multi-year grants to 43 nonprofits serving its 20-town region.

These grants are the culmination of The Community Foundation’s largest, annual competitive grants process, which began in March with 123 applicants requesting $9.2 million in total funding. This competitive process is only one element of The Foundation’s overall grantmaking, which is expected to exceed $20 million in total competitive and non-competitive grants in 2014.

“Each year The Community Foundation’s competitive grantmaking process highlights all the great work being done by nonprofits in our community and poses very difficult decisions for us in choosing which grants to support. As always, in making these decisions we have sought to find a balance among our community’s many opportunities and needs,” said William W. Ginsberg, president and CEO of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

Grants broken down by category are as follows: protecting the environment (1 grant for $20,000), supporting arts and culture (3 grants for $120,500), promoting civic vitality (4 grants for $183,000), boosting economic success (4 grants for $170,000), nurturing children and youth (6 grants for $278,000), meeting basic needs (7 grants for $355,000) and providing quality education (9 grants for $350,000). Because The Community Foundation has a sizable number of preference funds that support health services, the largest number of grants was made in the category of ensuring health and wellness (9 grants for $882,544), as in years past.

In seeing greater evidence that there is a transition occurring in the manner in which homeless shelter services are funded and delivered, The Community Foundation awarded several grants to nonprofits serving the homeless population in the region to ensure individuals and families at risk of being homeless or who are chronically homeless do not experience an interruption in services. These grant recipients include: Christian Community Action, Columbus House, Community Soup Kitchen, Connecticut Veterans Legal Center, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, New Reach and Youth Continuum.

In alignment with emerging strategies identified by The Foundation’s Board of Directors, two grants were awarded to address issues of 1) incarceration and community reentry and 2) immigration integration. The Connecticut Women’s Consortium received $160,000 to support trauma-informed, gender responsive training and technical assistance to four agencies that provide services to formerly incarcerated individuals reentering the Greater New Haven community. That grant follows a decision by the Board earlier in the year to award $50,000 to The Transitions Clinic Network to serve the reentry population. To support immigration integration, JUNTA, which ensures that the rights of immigrants are respected and protected and that the Latino population is better represented in all segments of the community, received $50,000 for its general operations.

“The Community Foundation is committed to making New Haven and the region a welcoming community to all including the most vulnerable among us. This means ensuring that nonprofit organizations are prepared to serve the most vulnerable populations like undocumented immigrants and those returning to the region after incarceration. We want to ensure that these individuals have access to well-coordinated and quality services and that they have the tools they need to become civically engaged citizens. The Community Foundation has a long history working in these two areas and is committed to making more strategic investments that will lead to positive outcomes for individuals and the community,” says Christina Ciociola, Senior Vice President for Grantmaking & Strategy.

Illustrating how preference funds are used to support requests that align with donor intent, distributions from the Konopacke and Phelps Funds were used to support a local animal shelter and services for the aging, respectively.

Thanks to the Lillian and Henry Konopacke Fund, a grant was awarded to Animal Haven Inc., a private, nonprofit no-kill shelter for homeless cats and dogs located in North Haven. The Konopacke Fund was created in 2013 by bequest of New Haven native Henry Konopacke, who worked as a machinist at the Winchester Repeating Arms Factory. The fund states a preference to assist nonprofit animal shelters in the Greater New Haven area. The grant will be used to train staff and upgrade Animal Haven’s facility to prevent disease, ensure animal health and wellbeing and serve as a model for other shelters in Connecticut.

The John P. & Cora E. Phelps fund was established in 1962 as a preference fund by bequest of Emma P. Pelton, in honor of her grandfather and mother. A grant to the Town of Hamden was made possible from the fund for the Hamden Phelps Community Project, which provides short-term or emergency support to needy senior residents.

“Honoring donor intent is central to The Community Foundation’s grantmaking,” says Angela Powers, senior vice president for Development, Stewardship and Donor Services at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. “We are very pleased to have identified grants that will make our community stronger in ways envisioned by Mr. Konopacke and Ms. Pelton.”

This year, as in the past, the responsive grant process for the Lower Naugatuck Valley was carried out collaboratively with The Community Foundation’s affiliate, the Valley Community Foundation. In addition to The Community Foundation’s $2.4 million, 12 Valley grants totaling $420,304 were awarded by the Valley Community Foundation, including one joint grant by the two foundations to Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven to help reestablish its literacy program in the Valley.

A complete list of grant recipients is available at

This is a press release from Tricia Caldwell, communications manager for The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

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