Responsive Grants

Responsive Grants

The 2019 responsive grants application process is closed.


Watch the Grantseeker Information video below to learn about the process, eligibility requirements and other important information about applying for a grant:

Download the powerpoint presentation from the webinar


Watch the Nuts & Bolts video below to learn more about Responsive Grant applications (project support, capacity building support and general operating support):


Application links are below. Please read the following in its entirety before applying.

The responsive grants application process is open to all requests for organizational support and projects that serve our twenty-town region. Three types of responsive grants are available: general operating support, project support, and capacity building support. There is only one grantmaking cycle per year for responsive grants from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and the Valley Community Foundation.

Informational webinars introducing grantseekers to The Foundation's grant processes and responsive grant applications will be available in February. Check here for the updated schedule.

Process Overview

The Responsive grant application review process occurs in two-stages and takes approximately six months.

During the first phase applications are reviewed by staff and community reviewers under grant staff guidance. Reviewers are recruited from the region across gender, age, ethnicity and background and may include past grantees, donors, representatives from area funders, subject matter experts, volunteers from our Neighborhood Leadership Program and New Haven Healthy Start Program and other community representatives.  

Each confidential application is reviewed by three people; a scoring metric (see samples below) is used to create a common framework from which decisions to move applications forward are made, and an average of all three scores determines an application’s overall score. Final decisions as to which applications move forward to the second stage are made by the Board with staff recommendations. After the first phase review, applicants are either moved forward to the second stage or denied. 

In the second stage, professional reviewers and staff analyze each application; analysis includes a site visit, document review and interviews with the applicant. Staff presents analysis and recommendations to the Board for discussion and a final decision. Notification of award or denial is sent by the end of October. Upon notification of awards, grant recipients are asked to sign an agreement delineating the terms of condition of the grant and payment plan.

Staff is available throughout the process to provide guidance and feedback to applicants.

General Operating Support (GOS) 

General Operating Support is defined as a grant made to further the general mission and work of an organization, rather than for a specific purpose or project. General Operating Support gives nonprofits flexibility to direct their spending where it is needed most and allows greater focus on achieving an organization’s mission.

Only organizations that have been incorporated for at least five years AND have received a Responsive grant from either The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven or the Valley Community Foundation are eligible to apply for a General Operating Support grant.

An applicant's® profile will serve as part of the application. Each application is read by three people and scored using the GOS Application Merit Scoresheet [PDF].


Project Support

Project Support is defined as a grant made for a specific new or existing project. Project Support applications are available to organizations that are new to either The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven or the Valley Community Foundation and those organizations that have received a Responsive grant in the past.

Each application is read by three people and scored using the Project Application Merit Scoresheet [PDF].


Capacity Building Support

Capacity Building Support is defined as a grant for short term financial assistance to build the infrastructure of an organization for long term success.  Requests for capacity building include but are not limited to board development, strategic planning, evaluation and capital expenditures including equipment, building renovations or relocation. 

An applicant's® profile will serve as part of the application.

If your organization is in need of capacity building support in the amount of $7,500 or less, click here for information about our Year-Round Small Grants program.

Each application is read by three people and scored using the Capacity Building Application Merit Scoresheet [PDF].


For All Responsive Grant Applicants

Nonprofits demonstrating strong management and a good track record of accomplishments will be given priority consideration to receive a Responsive grant. Refer to The Community Foundation's Guiding Principles for Nonprofits: Leadership, Evaluation and Sound Management [PDF, 219KB].

Documents that may be needed to complete your application (depending on type of grant for which funding is applied):


70 Audubon Street
New Haven, CT 06510



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