Fairfield County’s Community Foundation has announced the details for its most recent grantmaking cycle, which distributed funds to area nonprofits this summer. Competitive grants totaling $1,274,091were awarded to 59 nonprofit organizations who align with the Community Foundation’s result areas and its vision to close the opportunity gap in Fairfield County by eliminating disparities in income, education, employment, housing and health.
The Community Foundation’s strategic plan, now in its second year, focuses on fostering a vital and inclusive community where every individual has the opportunity to thrive while promoting philanthropy as a means to create lasting change in Fairfield County.
“The dedication and generosity of our donors to advance our mission to close the opportunity gap in Fairfield County is humbling, inspiring and exciting. It is gratifying to announce the distribution of over $1.2 million during this grantmaking season to nonprofits who are creating lasting change and working collectively to close the opportunity gap in Fairfield County. Helping to advance the work of these critical nonprofit organizations is a privilege and an honor for Fairfield County’s Community Foundation,” stated Juanita James, CEO & President, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.
The Community Foundation’s result areas drive where the organization focuses its competitive grantmaking, community leadership work, and fundraising efforts. The types of grants include specific program support, capacity building support and general operating support. The following is a breakdown of recent grants by result area:
Result Area: All Fairfield County residents have safe, stable, healthy and affordable housing in communities of opportunity
Total Grants Awarded: $266,250
In this result area, the Community Foundation awarded grants to organizations that represent the Community Foundation’s ongoing commitment to supporting and sustaining thriving communities and ensuring equitable access to safe, healthy and affordable housing for all Fairfield County residents. Grantees include Bridgeport Rescue Mission ($10,000); Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness ($25,000); Exchange Club Parenting Skills Center ($15,000); Five Frogs, Inc. ($15,000); Housing Development Fund, Inc. ($10,000); Inspirica, Inc ($20,000);
Neighbor-to-Neighbor ($5,000); Open Door Shelter ($20,000); Operation Hope ($25,000); Pacific House ($20,000); Person-to-Person ($20,000); Rapid Results Institute ($9,250); STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way ($15,000); Supportive Housing Works ($25,000); The Hartford Food System ($10,000); and United Way of Western CT-Danbury Office ($22,000).
Rapid Results Institute, for example, will be utilizing its grant to support their participation with a team from Fairfield County in the CT Youth Homelessness 100-Day Challenge. Housing Development Fund, Inc. will be concentrating on its First Time Homebuyer Program and utilizing the grant in that regard.
Result Area: All Fairfield County older youth and young adults have training and credentials that lead to meaningful career opportunities
Total Grants Awarded: $172,500
Young people in Fairfield County often graduate without the skills or preparation needed to secure a living-wage job. By aligning youth with educational tools and job opportunities, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Thrive by 25 aims to empower every young adult to achieve self-sufficiency by age 25 — strengthening the future of our whole community. Several organizations advancing that objective were selected for grants, including: Abilis, Inc ($25,000); Cardinal Shehan Center ($20,000); Connecticut Science Center ($20,000); Construction Workforce Initiative ($22,500); Family Center Services ($20,000); Laurel House ($20,000); Norwalk Community College Foundation ($20,000); and Today's Students Tomorrow's Teachers ($25,000).
With these grants, Abilis, Inc. will be supporting their Life Skills Satellites in Stamford and Ridgefield, while Family Center Services will be focusing this funding on their Reaching Independence through Employment Program (RITE).
Result Area: All Fairfield County students graduate with a high school degree and are prepared for post-secondary education and employment.
Total Grants Awarded: $277,000
In this result area, the Community Foundation awarded grants to organizations that represent an ongoing commitment to education support to close the opportunity gap. The grants were awarded to Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich ($25,000);Community Center, Inc. ($20,000);Creative Youth Productions, Inc.($25,000);English Learner Support Services of Fairfield County ($22,000);Stamford Peace Youth Foundation ($15,000); United Way of Coastal Fairfield County for their Norwalk ACTS - Cradle to Career initiative ($50,000) and for their Bridgeport Prospers initiative ($30,000);United Way of Western CT($30,000);United We Dream, Inc.($25,000);University of New Haven($15,000); and Wakeman Boys & Girls Club ($15,000).
United We Dream, Inc. will be supporting its College Access Program focusing on Fairfield County high school partnerships.
Result Area: All Fairfield County women and girls are economically secure, healthy and safe
Total Grants Awarded: $510,823
Through Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls (FWG), philanthropists come together to invest in sustainable solutions that support the safety, health and economic security of women and girls across Fairfield County. The Fund for Women & Girls awarded $319,663 for its continued commitment to the Family Economic Security Program through the Housatonic Community College Foundation. Additional grants were made to Bridgeport Generation Now ($1,360); Bridgeport Hospital Foundation ($40,000); Connecticut Women's Education & Legal Fund for the CT Collective for Women and Girls ($15,000) and for its Legal Education Program ($17,000); Family & Children's Agency ($30,000); Liberation Programs, Inc. ($40,000); Norwalk Community Health Center ($30,000); People for the American Way Foundation ($1,000); Stamford Museum & Nature Center ($5,000); Women's Campaign School at Yale University ($1,800); and YWCA Greenwich ($10,000).
Bridgeport Hospital Foundation will direct this grant to their Prenatal Care: Not Just for Babies program and Liberation Programs, Inc. will be supporting a Craft Traine Family Therapist.
Result Area: Advocacy, Capacity Building and Environment
Total Grants Awarded: $47,518
Nonprofit organizations received a total of $47,518 as part of the Community Foundation’s Community Advocacy and Capacity Building and Environment initiatives. Those organizations receiving grants include: Bridgeport Generation Now ($1,500); Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County ($2,000); Connecticut Council for Philanthropy ($17,629); Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees ($1,250); Greenwich Historical Society ($5,000); Long Island Community Foundation for The Long Island Sound Stewardship Fund ($14,439); Norwalk Education Foundation ($1,500); Partnership for Strong Communities ($1,200); Remarkable STEAM, Inc. ($1,000); and Supportive Housing Works ($2,000).
Supportive Housing Works will use its grant to enhance its Fairfield County 100-Day Challenge to End Youth Homelessness.
As a valuable best practice in the grantmaking process, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence educates and informs nonprofits on Results Based Accountability as a framework for articulating and measuring the changes they are working toward. The Center for Nonprofit Excellence is celebrating its 10th Anniversary of service to Fairfield County’s nonprofit community. A celebration is scheduled for November 13th at the Westport Public Library. In addition, on September 24th at The Water’s Edge at Giovanni’s in Darien, Forward Fairfield County: A Day of Data-Driven Conversation, will offer presentations and discussions about two new research studies — the 2019 Fairfield County Community Wellbeing Index and new research from The Fund for Women & Girls. Save the dates! Details will be announced soon.
A complete list of grantees and information about applying for a grant from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation is available at fccfoundation.org.