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 our 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 mentoring programs that encourage relationships between youth and caring adults
  • Support access to programs that promote mental and physical health as well as those that address disconnected youth
  • Enhance educational opportunities in science, literacy, arts and culture, especially those that use experiential learning
  • Support post-secondary education access and job readiness
  • Support youth-led social change and elevate the voices of youth in program planning

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:

  • Promote individual and family economic security
  • Increase food security and access to nutritious food
  • Decrease homelessness through programs that promote diversion and intervention
  • Improve access to healthcare and human services, especially in communities of color
  • Promote healthy relationships and address domestic violence
  • Utilize arts and culture experiences to educate and improve overall quality of life

We strive to foster 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 not only of the ecosystem, but for the health, livelihood and enjoyment of local residents;
  • Engage youth, especially youth of color, in environmental education to help develop the next generation of stewards of the environment; and
  • Focus on environmental justice: the fair distribution of environmental benefits and burdens and meaningful participation of all communities in environmental decision-making.

We strive to ensure adequate protection, care and humane treatment of animals and wildlife.

Priority is given to programs that:

  • Provide support of veterinary care for domestic animals, including spay and neuter services, for low-income families and abandoned pets
  • Encourage responsible pet ownership and the adoption of abandoned animals
  • Support of healthy wildlife as well as their natural habitats
  • Make positive, therapeutic connections between people and animals

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