The Community Foundation performed a comprehensive review of its competitive grant making process during the first six months of 2018. While the Community Foundation remains committed to supporting programs and services across a broad array of focus areas and categories, certain guidelines and application requirements have changed.
Any organization considering the submission of an application in the competitive cycle should attend an information session.
2018-2019 Competitive Grant Application Cycle:
NEW REQUIREMENT for the 2018-19 Cycle – organizations submitting an application MUST attend an information session.
- Grant Information Sessions – July 19 – 5:00 p.m., at Essex Library, Essex; July 24 – 9:00 a.m. at the deKoven House, Middletown; and August 16 – 9:00 a.m. at the deKoven House, Middletown. To register for a session, click the session date or see our web calendar.
- Application Materials will be available July 23 on the website
- Applications due – September 13, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. in the CFMC offices.
- Grant Award Announcements – December 28, 2018
Questions about the competitive grant cycle and application process should be directed to Thayer Talbott, Vice President, Programs & Operations.
- Grants are awarded to 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations and 170(c)(1) governmental agencies serving the various communities of Middlesex County.
- Grants will be awarded to organizations that provide positive impact on the community within the focus areas identified below and will be a minimum of $500.
- Grant awards cannot be used retroactively to pay costs for programs or services that have occurred in the past.
- Applications from previous grantees are welcome; continued funding will be considered by the Grants Committee, but is not guaranteed.
- The Community Foundation instituted a “three-year-grant/one-year-off” requirement beginning with grants awarded during the 2009-2010 Competitive Grants Cycle; agencies receiving grant awards for three consecutive years may not apply to the competitive cycle for one year.
What the Community Foundation funds
The Community Foundation is particularly looking for grants that add value to, and have a positive impact on, the health and vitality of the Middlesex County community. Grant applications should address a need within the focus area and demonstrate impact on the organization, project, community or persons served.
The Community Foundation seeks applications for projects that possess some of the following elements:
- Address a documented need or concern of the focus area;
- Recognize and build on a community’s or organization’s strengths and assets;
- Build the capacity of community organizations and/or individuals to help themselves;
- Foster cooperative approaches to community issues through collaborations based on shared visions and mutual responsibility;
- Serve as a catalyst for attracting other resources, such as matching gifts; and
- Build infrastructure within the organization in order to meet its mission.
Normally, the Foundation will not award grants to:
- Capital Campaigns
- Building Programs
- Fund Debt Reduction
- Political Organizations and Campaigns
Focus and Impact Areas
Focus and Impact areas have been established by donors and the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Grants are available across the various focus areas which include:
- Animal / Human Resources & Welfare: Grants to this focus area provide for the needs (food, health and shelter), services (training, rescue and adoption) and educational programs provided by organizations dedicated to helping animals and their human friends.
- Arts: Grants will help enrich the county’s quality of life with participatory and/or audience-oriented artistic activities. Grants may include, but are not limited to, special projects, productions or activities.
- Education: Education is an essential part of the overall vitality of the community. Grants are awarded to support opportunities both within and outside the formal education system to promote learning at any age, creating possibilities for self-sufficiency, personal growth and discovery, and better preparing our workforce for the future.
- Environment: Grants to this focus area will enhance, protect or increase appreciation for the quality of the environment, including botanical beautification, of a specific area, the Connecticut River Estuary or the whole of Middlesex County.
- Heritage Enhancement: Grants to this focus area will increase public understanding of the rich heritage of communities in our county. Desirable projects would help the public develop a better sense of where we came from and broaden appreciation of our local stories and history.
- Human Services: Grants to this focus area provide for basic human needs (food, clothing and shelter), and opportunities for self-improvement for persons in need.
- At-Risk Boys and Young Men: Established in 2013, the At-Risk Boys Fund’s mission is to provide grants for programs that help young men and boys reach their full potential. The Foundation’s At-Risk Boys Fund Grants Committee is interested in programs which focus on prevention, education, self-respect and self-confidence, skill development, and enhance positive work and life experiences.
- Women and Girls: The Foundation’s Sari A. Rosenbaum Fund for Women and Girls Grants Committee is seeking proposals that empower women and girls to be self reliant and to reach their potential. Programs should be models in providing meaningful opportunities and services to women and girls.