CT Philanthropy Digest - Spring 2020

Wednesday, May 6, 2020


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CCP Supports Funders and Nonprofits in Response to COVID-19 >>

CCP Welcomes New Officers and Board Members and Thanks Long-standing Directors for Their Leadership >>

Philanthropic Organizations Partner with State to Distribute PPE >>

#GivingTuesdayNow and The Great Give® >>


Grants and RFPs for Organizations >>

Other Funder Responses >>

Funds for Individuals >>








CCP Supports Funders and Nonprofits in Response to COVID-19  

To best support the philanthropic community during this crisis, the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy has compiled quick resources for funders and nonprofits, hosted weekly discussions to update funders on issues of high interest, started collecting data, and worked with state leaders to help coordinate response efforts.

Coronavirus Resources for Funders and Nonprofits. CCP curated online resources including: virtual learning opportunities offered by local and national experts; COVID-19 response funds; COVID-19-related funder news; philanthropy best practices during a disaster; updates and resources related to federal policy; communications resources; and more. Visit the Resource Pages >>

Weekly Updates. Since late March, CCP has hosted weekly check-in calls for its members. These calls include updates directly from state leaders, as well as nonprofit and community leaders on issues of high interest. Topics have included food security, bolstering the childcare sector, health equity, and long-term recovery efforts. On this Friday’s call, Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D.of the Department of Mental Health will discuss emergency mental health planning and support during the COVID public health emergency.

Coordinated Response to COVID-19. It’s critical that the philanthropic sector coordinates with state leaders and nonprofits to ensure the most effective and efficient use of resources. CCP is working with the Governor’s office to identify high-priority needs through the state’s Emergency Management Structure and ensure philanthropic resources are deployed strategically. We are also working to identify additional resources to support the COVID-19 response, like supporting work that can leverage FEMA dollars or other federal funding.    

CCP Welcomes New Officers and Board Members and Thanks Long-standing Directors for Their Leadership

The Connecticut Council for Philanthropy recently elected Elaine V. Mintz, vice president of operations, Fairfield County's Community Foundation, as its new board chair to succeed outgoing chair Kathryn Luria, senior vice president of community affairs and director of philanthropy, Webster Bank. Also joining CCP’s executive board leadership are: Vice Chair Tiffany Donelson, vice president of programs for Connecticut Health Foundation; Secretary Lauren Patterson, president and CEO of New Canaan Community Foundation; and Treasurer Paul Suter, vice president of operations for Children’s Fund of Connecticut. In addition, CCP welcomed six newly elected members to the Board of Directors: R. David Addams, Joseph Rivero Baker, Mary Kay Curtiss, Judy Hartling, Jill Hutensky, and Susan Thomas. Read more and access board bios >>


Thank you Paul, Janice, Kathy, Rick, Judy, and Fahd

CCP relies on our members to provide leadership and guidance to the organization. We are deeply grateful to outgoing board members Paul Ballasy, Janice Elliott, Kathryn Luria, Rick Porth, Judy Rozie-Battle, and Fahd Vahidy. We especially thank Paul, Kathy, and Fahd for their 20 collective years of leadership on CCP’s board of directors, each serving as officers over their tenure. We are particularly grateful to Kathy Luria of Webster Bank for her two years as chair, providing leadership to the board during CCP’s 50th Anniversary year and a period of organizational transformation.

CCP’s work benefits from member engagement. If you are interested in getting more involved in CCP, let us know! We are always looking for new leaders. Contact boardnominations@ctphilanthropy.org.        

Philanthropic Organizations Partner with State to Distribute PPE

A partnership between the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and New Britain medical equipment manufacturer OKAY Industries, Inc., has provided 4,000 face shields for more than a dozen regional nonprofits. The CT Community Nonprofit Alliance coordinated the face shields distribution. “Getting PPE to essential workers in Hartford, whether they work for the City, essential businesses, or non-profits, is an important part of our response to coronavirus,” said Mayor Luke Bronin. “We are very grateful to Governor Lamont and the State, CBIA-CONNSTEP, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, OKAY Industries, and all of our other partners who made this large-scale distribution possible" Read more >>   

#GivingTuesdayNow and The Great Give®

May 5 was #GivingTuesdayNow, a day focused on raising critical funds for local nonprofits in response to the overwhelming need caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This giving day, organized by the same people who created #GivingTuesday, coincided with the start of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven’s The Great Give® 2020, the eleventh major community-wide giving event benefiting Greater New Haven's nonprofits. The event occurs over an intense 36 hours from 8:00 AM on May 5 to 8:00 PM on May 6, 2020. The online resource has strengthened nonprofits serving Greater New Haven by advancing knowledge about their work and increasing giving to their organizations, with nearly $10 Million raised since The Great Give® began. This year, nonprofits and the people they serve are experiencing the unprecedented impact of COVID-19. Social distancing guidelines and safety mandates have resulted in increased demand for services for some and lost revenues from fundraising event cancellations and closures for others. The Great Give provides a way to come together and support community online. Matching funds are provided by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, the Valley Community Foundation, New Alliance Foundation, Liberty Bank Foundation, Branford Community Foundation, Guilford Foundation, and other generous sponsors. Learn more >>    



Find information for grants and RFPs for COVID-19-related needs. Links are provided to funder sites for updated information, current deadlines, and how to apply. Check eligibility and deadlines carefully.

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation

  • AWARDED ON ROLLING BASIS: Northwest Corner Gives: COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund>>
    Rapid modest grants are available to those organizations working on the frontlines of the pandemic. Grants will be awarded for basic needs such as rent, food, infant supplies (diapers and formula), utilities (heat, gas), medication, and child care.

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and United Way of Greater New Haven

  • ONGOING INQUIRY: Greater New Haven COVID-19 Community Fund >>
    The Community Foundation will work in partnership with United Way of Greater New Haven to proactively identify potential grant recipients, solicit guidance on potential recipients from community advisors and recommend final awards. To share information about your organization’s needs, please see the United Way’s website and enter your organization’s needs.

The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, United Way of Southeastern Connecticut, and United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut

  • MAY 8: Application deadline: Neighbors for Neighbors Fund >>
    The Fund’s resources initially will be directed to organizations providing direct assistance to high need, vulnerable populations -- including low-income individuals, residents without health insurance and/or access to sick days, communities of color, and individuals with disabilities, among others -- to address immediate basic needs such as healthcare, food, shelter, childcare and other supports to ensure stability and well-being. A second round of grantmaking from this Fund will open in Summer 2020. 

Community Foundation of Greater New Britain

  • CONSIDERED ON ROLLING BASIS: Emergency Community Initiative Fund >>
    The Foundation has two funding options for local organizations serving the residents of Berlin, New Britain, Plainville, and Southington. Nonprofits can request emergency community initiative funding of up to $5,000 for initiatives proposed to respond to community needs in order to help the most vulnerable during this crisis.

Community Foundation of Middlesex County

  • ROLLING PROCESS: Live Local Give Local Emergency Fund Grants Program >>
    This fund will support nonprofit organizations, schools, or local town services in Middlesex County. Given the unique nature of current events, grant applications that focus on established programs and services addressing immediate and basic needs will be the priority at this time. In the future, if funding allows, requests for support for mid‐to‐long term recovery and rebuilding efforts after COVID‐19 will be considered.

Connecticut Community Foundation; United Way of Greater Waterbury

    The new fund is designed to be flexible and nimble in action to support trusted, frontline community organizations that meet the basic needs of local residents in Greater Waterbury and the Litchfield Hills.

Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority

  • FY 2021 CHEFA COVID-19 Grant Program will focus on funding statewide efforts that are currently, or plan to be, launched by 501 (c) (3) CT nonprofit entities within the next few months to respond to the crisis. The efforts can be focused on statewide programs to support Connecticut communities and residents or can be sector specific statewide funds focused on one or more of CHEFA’s four core priority areas of healthcare, education, childcare, and cultural. Organizations may contact Betty Sugerman Weintraub, CHEFA Grant Program Manager, for more information at 860-761-8428 or bweintraub@chefa.com.

Fairfield County's Community Foundation

  • CONSIDERED ON ROLLING BASIS: Fairfield County COVID-19 Resiliency Fund >>
    The new Resiliency Fund supports local nonprofits and helps to alleviate the social and economic consequences of the global pandemic, and to prevent the widening of disparities in education, employment, housing, and health.

Foundation for Community Health

  • CONSIDERED ON ROLLING BASIS THROUGH JUNE 8: COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Program >>
    The initial phase of funding will focus on strengthening community safety nets, helping our most vulnerable community members with preparedness, and supporting organizations’ capacity for risk communications and/or telework solutions.

Funders’ Collaborative for Youth Organizing

  • REVIEWED ON A ROLLING BASIS: COVID-19 Youth Organizing Rapid Response Fund >>
    For organizations that will be working to support youth organizing groups that engage young people of color, low-income young people, and gender-oppressed young people, in collective action for social change. Grants will be up to $2,000 and determined by organizational budget and need. 

William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund

Greenwich United Way
ROLLING BASIS: Greenwich COVID-19 Community Relief >>
This fund provides disaster relief and recovery efforts for Greenwich residents experiencing economic hardship due to the COVID-19 health crisis. Grant applications are still being accepted for nonprofit local agencies supporting relevant relief efforts. Grant applications are still being accepted for non-profit local agencies supporting relevant relief efforts and can be submitted to Robert Moore at rmoore@greenwichunitedway.org

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

    The Fund will provide flexible resources to organizations throughout the region that serve residents who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of the outbreak.

Haymarket People’s Fund

  • CONSIDERED ON ROLLING BASIS: Urgent Response Funding >>
    In response to the current moment, Haymarket has increased its funding for urgent response grants to help grassroots, social change organizations respond quickly to unforeseen crises or opportunities that critically affect its organization and constituency.

Main Street Community Foundation

  • ROLLING BASIS: COVID-19 Response Fund >>
    Phase 1 – The Foundation is currently providing rapid response grants in support of nonprofit organizations on the front lines providing basic needs to local residents. When they move into Phase 2, grant efforts will focus on the operating needs of local nonprofits in collaboration with other funders. 

Meriden-Wallingford Community Foundation and United Way of Meriden and Wallingford (non-members)

Nellie Mae Education Foundation

  • ROLLING IINQUIRY: Rapid Response Fund: Racism is a Virus Too >>
    This fund was created to respond to the hate crimes and bias against Asian American communities resulting from COVID-19. The Foundation has allocated resources to support community-based organizations (CBOs) that provide services for AAPI communities. This grant opportunity is no longer open.

New England Grassroots Environment Fund

  • ROLLING BASIS: Rapid Response Seed Grant Program >>
    This program is available to grassroots groups responding to local needs and building resilience in their community in response to the COVID19 pandemic and associated events.

City of New Haven’s Department of Cultural Affairs and the Arts Council of Greater New Haven

  • ROLLING BASIS: New Haven CREATES Relief Fund >>
    The New Haven Creative Sector Relief Fund will distribute immediate financial assistance to individual creatives and arts institutions most impacted by the Coronavirus 2019. Applicants can apply on a rolling basis to receive up to $1,000 based on their financial situation, with a priority for low-income individuals and small-budget arts organizations.

United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut

  • ROLLING BASIS: United Way Neighbors in Need Fund >>
    Funds for eligible organizations to apply for one-time funding to support residents who have been adversely impacted by the pandemic. Priorities include organizations providing services that address basic human needs such as: food, shelter, safety from domestic violence/sexual assault, mental/physical health, rent/mortgage or utility assistance, or other identified needs; and organizations providing childcare to essential workers.

Valley Community Foundation, Valley United Way, Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Valley Health & Human Service Council

  • NEXT GRANT CYCLE TBA: Valley Community COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund >>
    The Fund will provide flexible resources to organizations throughout the Valley that serve the Valley region, especially to those who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of the outbreak.

Yale Community for New Haven Fund

  • ON GOING: Yale Community for New Haven Fund >>
    Through the new fund, Yale will support the delivery of healthcare, assistance to local businesses, community educational needs, and area not-for-profits focused on such pressing issues as the well-being of children and families, homelessness, and food insecurity.  The fund will focus initially on agencies providing healthcare and basic-needs services to those most affected by COVID-19.  


Many other foundations are responding to this crisis. The following organizations have shared how they are responding.

Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford
(3/26/20) The Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford and the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford and have established the Jewish Hartford Rapid Relief and Recovery Fund to address urgent community needs in the wake of COVID-19. Initially, the Fund will provide financial and human resources to help community partners.

Middlesex United Way
In response to COVID-19, Middlesex United Way has launched the 2020 ALICE Fund, a direct assistance fund, to ensure individuals and families in Middlesex County who are affected by the pandemic receive the much-needed support they need.

NewAlliance Foundation
(4/10/20) The NewAlliance Foundation is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with an accelerated grant cycle and expedited process, allowing flexibility in expenditure of grants awarded in March, and other supports. Learn more >>  

New Canaan Community Foundation
(3/18/20) The New Canaan Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund will mobilize private resources to support the emergency financial needs of New Canaan families, primarily through referrals of partner nonprofit organizations, schools, and town government.

United Way of Coastal Fairfield County
(3/20/20) Neighbors in Need Emewrgency Fund >>
Through the local fund and its statewide efforts, United Way is donating nearly $200,000 across Fairfield County to aid those hardest hit, with support ranging from virtual tutoring to basic needs like food, rent, and utilities.

United Way of West Central Connecticut
United Way of West Central Connecticut has established the COVID-19 Community Response Fund to address the short- and long-term consequences of the pandemic.  


City of New Haven’s Department of Cultural Affairs and the Arts Council of Greater New Haven

  • ROLLING BASIS: New Haven CREATES Relief Fund >>
    The New Haven Creative Sector Relief Fund will distribute immediate financial assistance to individual creatives and arts institutions most impacted by the Coronavirus 2019. Applicants can apply on a rolling basis to receive up to $1,000 based on their financial situation, with a priority for low-income individuals and small-budget arts organizations.

Perrin Family Foundation

  • MAY 8: Submission deadline: Youth Voice & COVID-19 >>
    PFF is looking for submissions from young people from across Connecticut that will be shared on an ongoing basis on our social media platforms. Young people have been just as hard-hit by the economic impact of COVID-19, so all young people who submit an aligned submission will receive a stipend of $250. Due to the overwhelming response, new submissions are no longer being accepted.

Samuel Adams and Greg Hill Foundation

  • ROLLING BASIS: Restaurant Strong Fund >>
    Grants to Connecticut restaurant workers who are impacted by closures due to COVID-19.

Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation

  • ROLLING BASIS: Artist Relief.org >>
    A coalition of more than twenty national arts funders, including Connecticut's Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, has launched an emergency relief fund that will provide millions of dollars to artists struggling financially in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States.

Connecticut United Ways (15 independent United Ways in CT)

  • COVID-19 Response Fund >>
    Connecticut United Ways COVID-19 Response Fund will get cash into the hands of people who are financially struggling as a result of the pandemic. Individuals must contact their town's Social Services office to access information on eligibility for available funds. Learn more >>

United Way of Milford

United Way of Western Connecticut

  • ONGOING: ALICE Emergency Fund >>
    United Way of Western CT has launched the Fund to immediately address the urgent need of access to food for individuals and families living in the 15 cities and towns that they serve affected by COVID-19's catastrophic effect on its region. Read the FAQs for who is eligible >>  


Find news about CCP Members and other Funders responding to the Coronavirus pandemic on CCP's Coronavirus Resources for Funders and Nonprofits >>     



  • Four Federal Aid Packages. Since the coronavirus was introduced into the United States over two months ago, Congress has passed four separate packages to address a wide variety of issues. While a majority of the relief will target businesses, individuals, families and health care, certain provisions in each bill have relevance to the charitable sector. Council on Foundations has summarized each bill and highlighted specific provisions.

  • Additional PPP Loans Available for Nonprofits. Congress approved an additional $370 billion to support small businesses and nonprofits, including $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $60 billion of which is allocated for small banks in hopes this will help to reach the many small businesses and nonprofits that were shut out of the first round of loans. With this passage, the US Treasury released new guidelines about organizational eligibility. Nonprofits are encouraged to act now and explore how to apply for this round, as the funds will go quickly


  • Reopen Advisories. Governor Ned Lamont has appointed members who will serve on the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group – the panel of local health, business, workforce, and education experts will consult with his administration and legislative leadership on the reopening of Connecticut’s economy and education system as the nation emerges from the unprecedented public health emergency caused by COVID-19.  The Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group is a separate entity from the multi-state, regional council that the State of Connecticut has joined with the governors of several other states from the northeast.
  • Long-Term Recovery Committees. The state has asked local communities to establish Long-Term Recovery Committees (LTRC) to aid residents in the recovery process for access to housing, food, health care, and other supports. A wide range of partners are working with the state, including the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, the Council of Small Towns, and Regional Councils of Government, as well as nonprofits and partners in philanthropy. Among the organizational leaders involved are Gian-Carl Casa, president and CEO of the Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance and Karla Fortunato, president of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy. Philanthropic organizations, especially those with deep knowledge of Connecticut communities, are also primary partners in the recovery process. Documents posted on the Connecticut Recovers website, 2020 Recovery Structure and a Long-Term Recovery Presentation, describe the long-term recovery process and unmet needs coordination, and lists the Long-Term Recovery Coordinators for the 5 regions identified by State Department of Emergency Management & Homeland Security (DEMHS). 

    (4/29/20) Governor Lamont Urges Local Governments and Community Partners to Establish Long-Term Recovery Committees >>

Census 2020


We've highlighted a few upcoming webinars and some especially helpful resource materials appropriate for funders and nonprofits. You can find more materials and information on CCP's Coronavirus Resources for Funders and Nonprofits >>



  • Independent Sector | CARES Act: How to Apply for Nonprofit Relief Funds >>
    Independent Sector has teamed with nonprofit experts to create a resource to help nonprofit organizations understand how the CARES Act will apply to them and how to proceed with filing for assistance. This resource also includes 5 Important Tips for Nonprofits and Top 11 Questions about Relief for Nonprofits under the CARES Act.
  • National Council of Nonprofits | Nonprofits and Coronavirus, COVID-19 Resources >>
    The National Council of Nonprofits keeps an updated webpage with information and resources that nonprofits can use to prepare and respond, including resources for funding, keeping equity front and center, and advocacy for nonprofit missions.
  • Nonprofit Finance Fund | COVID-19 Tools and Resources for Nonprofits >>
    The Nonprofit Finance Fund's resources include a Cash Flow Tool to help nonprofits determine monthly and weekly cash flow projections, and a Scenario Template to quickly determine operating and surplus/deficit. They have also posted, at no charge, their core webinar content and three COVID-19 financial health webinar recordings Understanding Debt and Managing Through Uncertainty: Parts I and II.   


The UConn School of Business recently honored Alumna Kathy LuriaCCP's immediate past board chair, by featuring her in their Alumni Blog. Kathy is the senior vice president, community affairs and director of philanthropy for Webster Bank, and oversees $5 million in philanthropic and economic development initiatives. She organizes the bank’s far-reaching projects, including a record-setting campaign that last year raised $1.7 million for the United Way. In addition to her work at Webster, and 7 years of CCP Board leadership, Kathy serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Working Cities Challenge Advisory Council. For the last 12 years, she has served as a UConn adjunct faculty member, teaching business communications at the Waterbury campus. Read the article >>

Jill Hutensky, senior vice president, Hartford market manager for Bank of America, and Marlene Ibsen, president & CEO for the Travelers Foundation and vice president of community relations for Travelers, have been recognized in the Hartford Business Journal's 2020 Women in Business Award. Hartford Business Journal selected 15 remarkable women who are making a significant difference within their organization and the community. The honorees demonstrate business savvy, confidence in themselves and their organizations, and a strong track record of professional success. The rescheduled Women in Business celebration will be held on Wednesday, June 3, from 11:30 AM to 1:45 PM, at the Hartford Marriott. 

Read Jill Hutensky's profile: B of A’s Hutensky Bridges the Intersection of Business and Community >>

Read Marlene Ibsen's profile: Ibsen Matches Community’s Needs with Travelers’ Resources >>

Common Impact, a national nonprofit leader for corporate skills-based volunteerism, has announced the appointment of four new executives to its Board of Directors, including Janelle Woods-McNish, director of service and giving at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. The board appointments follow Common Impact’s recent announcement of new virtual skills-based volunteer programs to support companies and nonprofits in continuing to engage in skilled volunteering during the COVID-19 restrictions and period of economic uncertainty. In her 12 years at Harvard Pilgrim, Janelle has transformed the Corporation’s community involvement model. Woods-McNish also serves on City Year Boston’s Board of Directors. She has received the 40 under 40 award, Emerging Leader and Rising Star in Business from the Boston Business Journal.  Read more >>

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation has made appointments to its Board of Directors and the Board’s Investment Committee. “We are delighted to welcome three talented leaders as part of this exciting new chapter for our organization,” said Nick Donohue, president and CEO of Nellie Mae. “Their perspectives and insights will be incredibly valuable as we reshape our grantmaking through a race equity lens to ensure that all students across New England have access to an excellent public education.” Betty Francisco, appointed to the Board of Directors, is the co-founder of Latina Circle, a Boston-based network that is advancing Latina leaders into positions of power and influence across industries. Jessica Jones and Juliette Menga are new advisory members of the Board’s Investment Committee. Jessica is managing director for Hedge Funds at Dartmouth College’s Investment Office. Juliette is a director and associate portfolio manager at Alternative Investment Group, an independent investment firm based in Southport, CT. Read more >> 


Connecticut Council for Philanthropy (CCP) is an association of grantmakers committed to promoting and supporting effective philanthropy for the public good.

CCP's members are foundations, business and corporate giving programs, bank trusts, donor-advised funds, and individual philanthropists. CCP members grant more than $1.2 billion from assets of more than $8.2 billion.

The Connecticut Philanthropy Digest (Digest) is brought to you by the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy. The Digest is a summary of recent activities by Connecticut foundations and grantmakers, and is compiled and distributed regularly to media outlets, local legislators, foundations and grantmakers, and other CT leaders to raise the profile of philanthropy throughout Connecticut. News about Connecticut funders may be submitted to CCP for consideration.