FAQs About Applying for Grants - Strengthening Nonprofits - The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

Frequently Asked Questions & Basic Criteria for Applying for Funding

Below is a list of questions and answers about eligibility criteria, types of grants available, grant application processes and more.

If you still have questions after reviewing the information below, contact Denise Canning at dcanning@cfgnh.org or 203-777-7076.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get money from The Community Foundation for personal needs?

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven does not make grants or loans to individuals. For students, there are a number of scholarships available; funding for scholarships is sent directly to the educational institution on the student’s behalf.

Is my project eligible for funding?

All grant seekers must meet a minimum level of criteria to be eligible for funding through The Community Foundation's competitive grant processes.

What types of grants are available?

The Foundation offers multiple funding opportunities that require an application process throughout the year. Criteria and deadlines vary. Please view our Grants You Can Apply For page to review these funding opportunities. Distributions from permanent unrestricted and preference funds, Community Foundation initiatives and some donor advised funds make grants under this category possible.
Scholarships administered by The Community Foundation are determined by committee.

Resources from designated and most donor advised funds are distributed directly to organizations specified by the donor and are not open to an application process.

How do I apply for a grant?

Applications are available online on the Grants You Can Apply For

page. As each grant process is unique, details about how, when and where to submit an application are posted on that page and are included in the application packet. All grant processes must be submitted online.

What are the deadlines for grant applications?

Deadlines vary for submission of grant applications. Potential applicants are encouraged to visit the Grants You Can Apply For page frequently for a schedule of deadlines. 

How do I apply for a responsive grant?

  • The application review process for responsive grants occurs in two-stages and takes approximately six months, beginning in the Spring of each year.
  • In the first stage, your nonprofit organization must submit an application online by the deadline indicated on the Grants You Can Apply for page. 
  • Your application is reviewed and scored by community reviewers and Foundation staff using a score sheet. Based on the scoring, applicants are either encouraged or denied from participation in the second stage.
  • If your application is denied, you can contact Foundation staff to discuss your scores and you will have the opportunity to re-apply during the next grant cycle.
  • If your application is encouraged, the second phase includes a site visit to your organization and a full review of your application.
  • Responsive grant applications are considered by The Community Foundation's Board of Directors in October of each year; notification of award or denial is sent by the end of that month.
  • Upon notification of awards, grant recipients are asked to sign an agreement delineating the terms of condition of the grant and payment plan.

Can I apply for a grant from a donor advised fund?

Not directly. Grants from donor advised funds are made to nonprofit organizations based on the donor’s wishes and areas of interest.

What if I have questions or need help?

Register for the Grantseeker Information Webinar on Thursday, February 9, 2017 from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm. Click here to receive a reminder email when registration opens (include contact information).

You can also email Denise Canning, Grants Manager, or call her at 203-777-7076.

Can anyone help me write a grant proposal?

We do not provide direct assistance with writing proposals. However, we can suggest that you contact the Connecticut Council of Philanthropy, the Connecticut Association of Nonprofits, the New Haven Free Public Library and the Foundation Center, all of which frequently conduct or sponsor workshops on proposal writing, among other services. You may also find relevant information in our Nonprofit Management Resource Center

Why didn't my project receive funding this time?

While there is no guarantee that The Community Foundation will fund a specific grant request, it is committed to funding organizations that present opportunities for partnerships and that demonstrate an ability to leverage resources. The Foundation looks for leadership, strong evaluation and clearly articulated goals and measures when reviewing projects for which funding is requested.

Can you refer me anywhere else for funding?

There is a Nonprofit Philanthropic Resource Center (NPRC) at the New Haven Free Public Library. NPRC is a Cooperating Collection of the Foundation Center, which is the nation's leading authority on institutional philanthropy. NPRC is located on the first floor of the Main Library, 133 Elm Street, New Haven and is open during regular library hours. No appointment is necessary, but if you would like to arrange for an orientation of resources or instruction on one of the databases, please call 203-946-8130 ext. 211 or email Seth Godfrey.

Another good resource for both individuals and organizations is the Foundation Center. It does not provide funding, but it is well equipped to provide online resources to help grantseekers identify appropriate funders and develop targeted proposals. Visit its Web site to find a location near you.

How often can my organization apply?

The Foundation does not set a limit on the number of times an organization can apply for funding (generally we prefer that organizations use discretion and submit requests only for top-priority projects and programs). The exception to this rule is if you are awarded a grant through the Year-Round Small Grants process. That process requires that grant recipients wait two years before applying for funding through that process again. 

Who reviews my grant request?

Community reviewers and Foundation staff review all incoming grant inquiries for the Responsive Grants cycle. Smaller committees typically review grant inquiries for funding requested from specific funds. The Foundation's Board of Directors votes to approve funding for grant requests. 

Can I meet with The Foundation before applying?

Generally, no. Your grant inquiry will serve as an introduction and summary of your project. Upon review, staff may either invite your application or contact you if a meeting or more information is necessary.

How much money should my organization request?

There is a wide range in the dollar amounts of grants awarded. You should determine the amount of funding you need for your project and submit an application for that amount.

Q: Are administrative/shared expenses supported by competitive grants?

The Community Foundation believes in investing in strengthening the infrastructure of nonprofit organizations by supporting general operating costs, which include administrative and shared expenses. Administrative and shared expenses are supported by competitive grants, and the funding level of this support is considered on a case by case basis depending on the request. Administrative and shared expenses are typically at least 10% of the overall request.

Basic Criteria for Applying for Funding

You must be a tax-exempt organization

You must be defined as a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) or any applicable statute of the Internal Revenue code. While grants are occasionally made to governmental agencies, local nonprofits receive priority. Requests will be considered from groups that do not have tax-exemption status, provided that they have a fiscal agent with the appropriate tax status. In projects involving a partnership of agencies, a single agency with the appropriate tax status and financial management capacity must assume the role of lead organization. Individuals are not eligible for grants but can be eligible for academic scholarships.   

Exception:
Residents of New Haven, West Haven, East Haven or Hamden are eligible to receive a grant from the New Haven Neighborhood Leadership.  

You must provide services within our 20 town area:

  • Ansonia
  • Bethany
  • Branford
  • Cheshire
  • Derby
  • East Haven
  • North Branford
  • North Haven
  • West Haven
  • Oxford
  • New Haven
  • Guilford
  • Hamden
  • Madison
  • Milford
  • Seymour
  • Shelton
  • Wallingford
  • Orange
  • Woodbridge

You must adhere to a policy of non-discrimination [Doc, 702KB] on the basis of:

  • age
  • sex
  • religion
  • national origin
  • sexual preference
  • in all aspects of organizational operations including hiring, leadership and service provision.

Projects that do not generally receive consideration

  • religious activities
  • endowment campaigns
  • lobbying
  • travel
  • previously incurred debts
  • funding deficits

Grants available for capital campaigns are limited 

Requests for capital projects (building, equipment, vehicles, and other depreciable items) will be evaluated as to their ability to enable the organization to more significantly serve its constituency.  Typically, The Foundation awards only one large capital grant per year.

Most grants are made for one to three years. The Foundation doesn't provide permanent funding for projects. Most grants are made with continuing support contingent upon availability of support and progress towards stated outcomes. There are times, however, when requests for longer-term funding are considered and supported, in accordance with The Community Foundation's strategic goal to put community assets on solid ground.

How can we help?

Sarah J. H. Fabish

Vice President for Grantmaking & Scholarships 203-777-7075 Email Sarah

How can we help?

Denise Canning

Grants Manager 203-777-7076 DCanning@cfgnh.org

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70 Audubon Street
New Haven, CT 06510
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Contact

203-777-2386
ContactUs@cfgnh.org

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