Civic Vitality

Community Impact - Promoting Civic Vitality and Social Justice

The Foundation's investment in civic vitality and social justice includes grants to support nonprofit local news, state advocacy, direct services, and community organizing. The Foundation also strengthens civic vitality through the strategic initiatives to support formerly incarcerated residents and for the integration of recent immigrants


Work We Fund 

New Haven Indpendent Founder and Editor Paul Bass behind the mike of WNHH radio.

Informing the community

The Community Foundation is a founding investor of the Online Journalism Project (OJP), publisher of New Haven Independent, one of the country’s first nonprofit online hyperlocal news sites. Our funding continues to support the Independent, along with the other OJP online publications, the Valley Independent Sentinel, and the Branford Eagle. All three news sites have become primary sources of news for their respective communities during this era of declining coverage from commercial print newspapers.

Learn more about the rise of non-profit journalism in the age of new media.


Data research for community action

The Foundation is a core funder of The Greater New Haven Community Index, a comprehensive study of the well-being of the region. 

The Community Index uses scientific polling surveys and datasets from the U.S. Census and other government agencies to measure the well-being of neighborhoods and towns. The result is an invaluable resource for policy makers, community leaders, nonprofit executives, and anyone in the general public who wants to better understand the health and quality of life in Greater New Haven neighborhoods and towns. 

The Community Index is a produced by DataHaven, whose mission is to improve quality of life by collecting, interpreting and sharing public data for effective decision-making.

The Community Foundation also published The Community Progress Report (2016), which presents the data findings of The Community Index through the lens of The Foundation's eight issue areas. 

Community gardens enage, beautify and feed neighborhorhoods. Photo credit Ian Christmann.

Community Engagement

The Foundation has invested more than $2 million in New Haven Community Gardens and Community Greenspaces since the program’s inception in 1995.

The New Haven Land Trust now maintains 45 community gardens in New Haven that create opportunities for local students and residents to meet each other and learn about producing nutritious food.



Making a difference - stories from our grantees

An inside look at life on parole »


A national campaign to change the conditions of people coming home from prison is kicking off at the New Haven Free Public Library with a screening and discussion of the PBS/Fronline documentary, “Life o n Parole.”

Building Connections Through Local Media »


Voices of people starting over after coming home from prison are heard on “Criminal Justice Insider,” a new Foundation-sponsored show on the New Haven Independent 's WNHH radio station.

Recent Grant Awards

  • Animal Haven - $58,853 to support the purchase and installation of new indoor and outdoor kennels for dogs.
  • Center for Children's Advocacy - $20,000 to support the Racial and Ethnic Disparities Reduction Project to reform the policies and practices of the education, law enforcement and juvenile justice systems that draw Black and Latino youth in New Haven out of school and deep into the juvenile justice system.
  • Connecticut Veteran's Legal Center - $50,000 to provide general operating support for free legal services for low-income veterans to help overcome legal barriers to housing, healthcare and income.
  • Connecticut Voices for Children - $105,000 to provide general operating support to promote the well-being of all of Connecticut's children and families by identifying and advocating for strategic public investments and wise public policies.
  • Jewish Federation of New Haven - $30,000 to provide general operating support for community-wide programming that helps people in need in Greater New Haven, in Israel and around the world, as well as nurtures and sustains programs that enrich the local Jewish community.


70 Audubon Street
New Haven, CT 06510



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