The grants we make annually through a competitive process reflect our vision of a healthy, thriving, sustainable Eastern Connecticut with greater equity for all.

The Community Foundation is dedicated to integrating the values of equity and social justice into our grantmaking and community initiatives. Our board and staff have undertaken a process to listen and learn, and to integrate what we are learning, as well as constituents’ voices, into our strategic priorities: Basic Needs & Rights, Youth Empowerment, Environmental Conservation & Education, and Animal Welfare.

We prioritize funding for programs that seek to eliminate racial and economic disparities in our region and that engage the voices of constituents of color and other end-users of services in program planning. Examples include youth-led social change and environmental justice programs.

Priority is given to programs and initiatives that:

We strive to ensure that all youth live in a safe and supportive environment, and have access to high quality, emotionally, intellectually, culturally and environmentally rich learning opportunities.

Priority is given to programs that:

  • Enhance quality early childhood education and intervention services;
  • Support access to programs that promote social-emotional health, encourage mentoring and address disconnected youth;
  • Enhance educational opportunities in science, literacy, arts and culture to reduce educational disparities;
  • Support college and technical education access, especially for first generation students, as well as job readiness skills for youth; and
  • Support youth-led social change.

We strive to ensure that the region’s residents have access to social and health services, healthy nutrition, stable housing, job training and education, and arts and culture.

Priority is given to programs that:

  • Seek collaborative approaches that change inequitable systems;
  • Promote individual and family economic security;
  • Increase food security and access to nutritious food;
  • Promote housing equity and homelessness diversion;
  • Improve access to healthcare and human services, especially in communities of color;
  • Promote healthy relationships and address domestic violence; and
  • Increase access to arts and cultural experiences, especially those that advance equity in content and through engagement.

Preserve the Environment & Advance Animal Welfare

We strive to foster an understanding of and promote action on the relationship between the health of the natural world and the health and well-being of our residents.

Priority is given to programs that:

  • Preserve and protect environmentally significant lands, waterways and wildlife habitats for the benefit of the ecosystem and for the health, livelihood and enjoyment of local residents;
  • Engage youth, especially youth of color, to help develop the next generation of environmental stewards;
  • Promote environmental justice to ensure a healthy environment for all communities;
  • Provide for care and humane treatment of animals, especially of domestic animals in low-income households.

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