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Community Investment Grant

Grants to Greater New Britain, Connecticut Nonprofits for Arts,
Community Development, Education, and Human Services

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Community Foundation of Greater New Britain (CFGNB)

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Grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 and capital grants of up to $50,000 to Greater New Britain, Connecticut nonprofit organizations for programs that improve the quality of life for residents in eligible counties. Applicants must submit a Letter of Intent prior to submitting a full application. Program areas include arts, culture, heritage, community and economic development, health and human services, and education.

The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain makes two types of investments from unrestricted and field of interest funds:

Improving Lives and Conditions: The Foundation invests in programs and services that improve the quality of life for the citizens of Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington.

Investing in Organizations: The Foundation invests in projects/programs that help organizations deliver valuable services to the community more effectively or that strengthen the ability of an organization to achieve its mission. This type of proposal might include, but is not limited to:
- Staff development – training and professional development that helps staff to deliver services more effectively.
- Strategic, fundraising or other plans and direction-setting – The Foundation supports both planning and implementation of plans.
- Technology and equipment - The purchase of equipment or technology upgrades will be considered, but only as a component of a comprehensive program to move to a needed level of organizational effectiveness and efficiency.

Community Response Grants:
The Foundation invests in organizations with Community Response grants across a broad range of fields. Collaborations and cooperation among local organizations for the betterment of the region are encouraged. Interest areas for Community Response grants are outlined below:

Arts, Culture and Heritage: The Foundation believes that when it supports arts, culture and heritage programs, it enhances the quality of life for all residents in those communities and invest in the long-term economic vitality and well being of the Greater New Britain area. Proposals designed to achieve the following results are encouraged:
- Strengthen the organizational capability of the area’s arts, cultural & heritage organizations in order to increase effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability and successful contributions to the economic vitality of the communities they serve
- Collaborations between or among arts organizations as well as projects/programs which promote regionalization of the arts

Community and Economic Development: The Foundation believes that supporting community and economic development efforts adds to the strength and stability of neighborhoods and the citizens that live within them. Proposals designed to achieve the following results are encouraged:
- Address transportation issues within and between communities that improve the quality of life for citizens
- Develop both employment skills/training and the acquisition of soft and interpersonal skills needed to attain and maintain employment
- Improve the physical environment to promote civic vitality

Education: The Foundation believes that having a quality education fosters success in life. The Foundation is interested in making learning accessible to students of all ages and reducing the achievement gap. Education proposals designed to achieve the following results are encouraged:
- Foster school-community partnerships that demonstrate measurable improvement on student academic achievement, attendance, or which address summer learning loss in order to ensure student success and keep students engaged in school
- Improve literacy skills among adults so they can become active and contributing members of their community
- School initiated enrichment programs that provide learning opportunities for youth outside of the school day. (See the “Grants for Programs in Schools” and “School System Requests” bullets under the Limitations and Restrictions section of this document for additional information.
- Provide college readiness services for those in need or workforce training for those who may not attend a two or four year university

Health and Human Services: The Foundation believes that having access to services that help maintain or improve health or which help citizens to access basic human services are fundamental to the quality of life. Proposals designed to achieve the following results are encouraged:
- Increase use and availability of resources and access to services that address basic human services that are fundamental to the quality of life
- Improve access to mental health/counseling services and create supportive communities for those facing mental health issues and their families
- Help senior citizens to maintain their independence through access to services and/or resources, transportation, education, and housing
- Address homelessness by helping those at risk to access and maintain safe and affordable housing

First Years First Initiative: In 2005, the CFGNB established the First Years First Initiative, a long-term investment aimed at increasing the school readiness skills of young children so they may progress successfully from prek through grade 3. Proposals that address the following strategies will be considered:
- Skill Development: Improve literacy, early learning and development skills for families with young children.
- Parenting Education: Improve parenting education and skills that increase parents’ knowledge of child development, the importance of early education, and enhance their skills so that children are supported and ready to learn and succeed in school.
- Advocacy/Public Policy: Support advocacy and public policy that promotes the importance of and access to high quality early childhood outcomes and leverage resources to support this. As part of its role as a proactive community leader, the Community Foundation created the First Years First Initiative in 2005 to prepare the children of Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington for success in school and in life by enhancing their early childhood development experience.

There are three proposal types offered:
- Grant Type A: Program or Project Proposals
- Grant Type B: Capacity Building Proposals
We choose to invest in the infrastructure of organizations that deliver valuable services to the community. An attractive candidate for this type of investment is a group that shows long term, high promise where enhanced capacity and sustainability will create increased human gain. Proposals should focus on the needs of the organization that will strengthen its ability to achieve its mission.
- Grant Proposal C: Capital Grant Proposals
The Foundation will consider funding capital campaigns or building renovations. A capital request is a proposal for funds to construct a new facility, renovate or add to your current facility, or purchase and/or renovate another existing facility for use by your organization. Requests to support the purchase of general equipment also fall into this category. As an investor, we view every capital grant application in terms of the ways in which the improvement you seek can enhance your ability to achieve stronger results for those you serve. We want to know how the improvement will be used to increase efficiency or effectiveness in your organization.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178051

Estimated Size of Grant:

Typically, grants range between $5,000 and $25,000 per year. However, grant awards vary depending on the scope and type of project.

In general, capital campaign grants will not exceed our history of funding at the level of up to $50,000. Exceptions to that level may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis with regard to the size, scope and overall community benefit of the project.

Term of Contract:

In general, Foundation grants are one year in duration; multi-year grants may be considered.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Grants are made to nonprofit organizations that have tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code or that are a qualified entity eligible to receive grants from community foundations under the IRS Code.

The Foundation will consider funding a grassroots group, if it has a governing body and a fiscal agent with the appropriate tax status.

Limitations and Restrictions:
- Geographic area: Community Foundation grants are available to nonprofit organizations that provide services in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. Organizations that seek funding to provide services in these four communities but which are headquartered elsewhere must both a) collaborate with local agencies in program delivery and b) have a local partner in submitting the application.

- Grants for programs in the schools: Requests from organizations seeking to provide services in a public school setting will be considered if the proposed program enhances or directly benefits a specific aspect of the curriculum or if it is directly related to the school improvement plan. A letter confirming that the project is a priority for the district and that public funds will be sought to continue the program once the Foundation grant is complete should be submitted and signed by the school principal and/or Superintendent.

- School system requests: Requests that come directly from schools must be approved and signed by the Superintendent. Any program funded by the CFGNB that serves an individual school as a successful pilot project should, if possible or applicable, be duplicated in other schools in the system.

- Multi-department/branch grantees: Large organizations with many branches or departments (e.g. universities, hospitals, libraries) must submit requests from the office of the President, Executive Director, or other authorized officials based on the policies of the organization.

- New submissions by previous grantees: Generally, any organization that has previously been awarded a grant is not eligible to submit another proposal as long as funds remain unspent from that previous grant or if required reports have not been submitted.

- Multiple or repeat submissions: Each organization is limited to one grant proposal for consideration during a single grant cycle. If a proposal does not receive funding, it cannot be resubmitted for future consideration, except by invitation.

- Operating Grants: The Foundation may invest in an organization with an operating grant to strengthen an organization and/or make possible an expansion of the critical services it provides. Organizations selected for this type of grant must have a strong track record, be financially stable and improve the quality of life in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and/or Southington.

- Capital Grants: As an investor, the Foundation views every capital grant application in terms of the ways in which the improvement sought can enhance the ability to achieve stronger results for the population served. The Foundation is, therefore, less focused on the new or revamped space to be created or the new computers or van to be purchased. They are the means, not the end. The Foundation wants to know how they will be used to increase efficiency or effectiveness in the organization.

Additional guidelines for capital campaign requests are as follows:
- Capital campaign requests will be considered once an agency has reached 75% of its funding goal in gifts and pledges, so as to assure the project’s initial planning & funding assumptions are substantially met;
- CFGNB prefers that if capital campaign grants are awarded, they be made on a “Challenge Match” basis to ensure that funding leverages other dollars needed;
- Grants will be paid once matching and/or other conditions are met and confirmation is received that work has begun and the proposed capital project is underway.

Generally, the Foundation does not make grants for:
- Sectarian or religion-based activities
- Previously incurred expenses
- Annual or endowment campaigns
- Performances or one-time events
- Conferences
- Advertising
- Political activities
- Direct support of individuals
- Camperships or scholarships for academic or enrichment programs

Exceptions may be considered on a case by case basis.

Pre-Application Information:

All grant applications must begin with a Letter of Intent (LOI) of up to two pages in length, summarizing the program or project for which funding is being sought. Letters of Intent should be submitted by January 1 or July 1 to coordinate with grant application deadline.

For those invited to apply for funding after an LOI has been reviewed, grant application deadlines are February 1 and August 1.

If an LOI is received after the deadline, staff will work to accommodate the applicant as best they can.

Assembling a project plan that includes other partners is strongly encouraged. A one-year hiatus is required of a grantee agency after it has received three successive years of grant awards for any project from the Foundation’s discretionary funds, This policy does not apply to organizations that receive funding through a Foundation initiative. Additional exemptions will be treated on a case-by-case basis.

For more detailed grant application guidance and information or to discuss your proposal before submitting a Letter of Intent, please call or e-mail Kaylah Smith, Program Associate.

To discuss applying for funding through the Foundation’s First Years First Early Childhood Initiative, please call or email Joeline Wruck, Director of Community Initiatives and Program Services.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Letters may be emailed to Kaylah Smith.

Letters for the Foundation’s First Year’s First Early Childhood Initiative should be emailed to Joeline Wruck.

Kaylah Smith, Program Associate
860.229.6018, x305

Joeline Wruck, Director of Community Initiatives and Program Services
860.229.6018, x307

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Connecticut: Berlin, New Britain, Plainville, and Southington