Grantmaking is at the heart of what we do. For nearly 50 years, the Foundation and our donors have made grants to programs and charitable institutions, both Jewish and in the community at large, in Greater Hartford, in the U.S., and around the world. In FY20, the Foundation awarded $4.5 million in grants. These grants fund innovative projects, community-wide initiatives, and a broad range of programs and institutions.
Grants from Community Action (Unrestricted) Funds are awarded through a competitive grant application process; grants from Donor Advised Funds are made upon the recommendation of donors, after review and approval by the Foundation Board; and grants from Designated Funds are made automatically each year to fulfill the charitable interests for which the funds were originally created.
While the Foundation and our donors make grants to a myriad of organizations, our four areas of priority are: Jewish education, Jewish outreach and engagement, non-profit capacity building, and seniors and aging.
The Foundation’s Responsibility
The Jewish Community Foundation has a responsibility to invest its community grant dollars in the long-term strength and vitality of our community. Grants should support strategic programs and services that address a clear need in the Greater Hartford Jewish community. The Foundation does not fund ongoing operations, but rather looks for unique opportunities that – without the Foundation’s support – might not be possible. The Foundation’s commmunity grants generally focus on Jewish organizations in the Greater Hartford area, for one or more of the following purposes:
- seed funding for innovative programs or programs that fill a need or service gap in the community
- capacity building support
- in limited circumstances, one-time programs (maximum $10,000)
Community Grant Making Process
The Foundation accepts grant proposals on a rolling basis. They are reviewed by Foundation staff and a Grants Committee comprised of volunteer community members, and approved by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Grant decisions are typically shared within 3-6 months of submission, depending on the follow-up required. The Grants Committee generally meets 4 times per year. Grant proposals are due the first week of the following months: August, November, March, and May. Prior to applying, the Executive Director or chief staff person should consult with the Foundation’s grants department.
When Applying to the Foundation, Consider the Following:
- A limit of one grant application from an organization will be considered each grant cycle.
- Focus on the strategic impact of the grant and its alignment with the long-term goals of the program and/or project. Grant reviewers require a comprehensive understanding of the “why” behind the proposal, not just the “what”.
- Put yourself in the position of the grants committee member who is not familiar with your program. Anticipate the questions they might have and endeavor to address these in the written proposal.
- Do not apply for a grant for a project to which you’ve already committed.
- The logic model and indicators are important in the consideration of any grant.
- The submission of a grant does not guarantee funding in part, or in whole, by the Foundation. The Foundation reserves the right to fund a grant at whatever level it deems appropriate.
- Questions about the grant application process should be directed to the grants department at firstname.lastname@example.org.