Published in The Day

By Erica Moser

The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut announced this week that its four Women & Girls Funds gave a record $324,784 in 2021 grants, a 44% increase over 2020 grants, to more than 40 organizations.

The largest grant amount of the four, $217,300, is through the Southeast Area Women & Girls Fund. This fund is giving $49,000 to the Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund, mostly for campaign support for the 2022 session and to work with The Narrative Project on a communications strategy, but also for a program on gender equity.

Always Home is getting a grant for homelessness prevention and shelter diversion of single mothers and children, Girl Scouts of Connecticut will use its grant to expand scouting for military families affiliated with the Naval Submarine Base in Groton, and Defy Ventures will use its grant for in-prison entrepreneurship training, to prepare women for reentry to society after their release.

"As we put the greatest challenges from the pandemic behind us, women — especially women of color — are still dealing with the consequences of inequity in our healthcare and economic systems," CFECT Foundation Program Jennifer O'Brien said in a news release. "The Community Foundation grants focus on advancing equitable policies and supporting more vulnerable members of our community with services addressing immediate needs."

The Windham Area Women & Girls Fund awarded $62,999 to organizations such as Connecticut Legal Services, Higher Edge, Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, and Sexual Assault Crisis Center of Eastern Connecticut.

The $24,485 awarded through the Northeast Area Women and Girls Fund is going toward legal advocacy for domestic violence victims, a postpartum support group, a teen empowerment group, and more.

The Norwich Area Women and Girls Fund awarded $20,000, spread across Safe Futures, Madonna Place and St. Vincent de Paul Place.

To date, the four funds have awarded $2.7 million in grants to 584 programs. To view all 2021 grantees and their programs, visit