Community Foundation Awards Nearly $2 Million in Grantmaking Focused on Building Thriving Communities in Eastern CT

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

NEW LONDON, CT -- The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut announced today its grants of $1,943,371 to 145 nonprofit organizations to ensure a healthy, thriving, sustainable Eastern Connecticut for all who live and work in this region. Led by its strategic priorities and donors’ interests, this cycle of grants is focused on addressing a wide variety of needs and basic rights in our community. They range from protecting families from homelessness and domestic violence, opening doors for students to pursue education and job training, increasing food security and agricultural sustainability, and strengthening the region’s environmental health and resiliency, to providing for the care and rehabilitation of pets and wildlife.

Through this year’s grantmaking, the Community Foundation and its donors recognized the added value of supporting advocacy efforts aimed at policy change. “We believe that awarding advocacy grants to support strategic systemic changes, in addition to our annual one-year grants that address the challenges we are encountering today, will help to increase equity in our region now and in the future,” said Community Foundation president and CEO, Maryam Elahi. Also, of note this year is an increase in dollars going to support youth empowerment, basic needs and rights and environmental programs in Windham County.

Following its commitment to greater support for area nonprofits, the Community Foundation continues to award larger grants, including seven multi-year grants* (totaling $435,000) that are designed to allow organizations more flexibility to think strategically for greater impact. “We are thankful that a growing family of generous people see the Community Foundation as a solutions-focused partner to help lift up their neighbors and communities and invest in and advocate for our wonderful cultural and open space gems,” said Maryam Elahi. 

Grant highlights from the Foundation’s four strategic focus areas and across its Foundation’s 42-town footprint include:

  • The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut - $10,000 for advocacy work at the State Capitol, with state agencies, and with the U.S. Congress to impact climate change and water quality challenges.
  • Immigration Advocacy & Support Center - $17,500 for legal case management, clinics and consultation for local immigrants in New London.
  • Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs - $7,500 for New London’s Green New Deal aimed at connecting residents of low-income communities to green energy jobs.
  • Windham Regional Community Council - $20,000 for Grow Windham, an urban farming and leadership program to foster career and life skills in youth in Windham.
  • Project Oceanology - $10,000 for “6th Grade at Sea,” a unique combination of hands-on, experimental, STEM-focused learning in Project O laboratories and aboard their floating classroom for all 6th graders at Norwich’s Kelly STEAM Magnet Middle School.
  • Northeast Opportunities for Wellness (NOW) - $1,000 to provide access to fitness, nutrition and athletic programs for youth in northeastern CT who cannot otherwise afford them.
  • Ledyard CHAIN (Ledyard Citizens Helping Animals In Need)- $6,000 for vet care and spay/neuter to increase animal control adoptions into forever homes.
  • New England Innocence Project - $10,000 to prevent wrongful convictions through education and collaboration with the New London Superior Court and other local partners.

*2019 Multi-Year Grants:

  • Always Home - $75,000 for preventing family homelessness through shelter diversion ($25k/year for 3 years).
  • Safe Futures - $75,000 for Family Justice Center Model Project ($25K/year for 3 years).
  • Connecticut Humane Society - $75,000 for New London County and Windham County outreach for at-risk pets ($25K/year for 3 years).
  • High Hopes Therapeutic Riding - $45,000 for organizational long-term sustainability planning and strategies ($15K /year for 3 years).
  • Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center - $60,000 to establish long-term sustainability and manage greater impact in the local community ($20K/year for 3 years).
  • Three Rivers Community College - $30,000 for environmental research, fieldwork, and hands-on learning internship opportunities for community college students in STEM disciplines ($10K/year for 3 years).
  • The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut - $75,000 for strengthening regional resilience via designs and projects that protect the environment and people of New London County (over 2 years).

Please visit our website for a complete list of grantees.

About the Community Foundation
Serving 42 towns and comprised of 517 charitable funds, the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut puts philanthropy into action to address the needs, rights and interests of the region, focusing on four priority areas: empowering youth, promoting basic needs and rights, preserving the environment, and advancing animal welfare. The Foundation stewards net assets of more than $93 million and has awarded more than $59 million in grants and scholarships to nonprofits and students since its founding in 1983.



Jennifer O’Brien
Program Director
The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut


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