Basic Needs Fund

Est. 2020 by Karen Pritzker

Attention Donors: Triple Your Gift!

Help the Basic Needs Fund reach its goal of raising $3 million so that more grant resources are available for basic material needs in Greater New Haven – now and in the future.

Photo courtesy of Connecticut Food Bank (now Connecticut Foodshare)

Every dollar you give is now matched with two more, adding up to three times the impact! (For example: $1,000 Donation + $2,000 Match = $3,000 total contribution to the Basic Needs Fund).

To make a gift, please use the secure credit card processing form below. Checks can be mailed to The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, 70 Audubon Street, New Haven CT 06510; please put Basic Needs Fund in the memo line.

About the Basic Needs Fund

The Basic Needs Fund was established in April 2020 to help ensure that all Greater New Haven area residents have the basic material needs of daily life. As an endowment, the Basic Needs Fund is addressing the needs of today and providing permanent resources for future generations.


The fund is governed by an advisory committee (“The Committee”) composed of representatives from three constituent groups: givers to the fund; cooperating funders; and organizations that provide basic material needs.

Guiding Principles

We believe in the inherent dignity of all people and that the most basic material human needs of food and water, safety and shelter, and access to essential services should be available with compassion to everyone. Our collective power is realized when it is built on trust and respect, mutual support, empathy, solidarity, and participatory and inclusive practices. We are committed to realizing the greatest possible good with all the financial and non-financial assets we have available.

Basic Needs Definition

The Committee has defined basic needs as material needs that include but are not limited to shelter, food, clothing, hygiene items, non-prescription drugs and other essential health care not covered by insurance, home utilities, physical safety, transportation and communication tools.


The purpose of the fund is to help ensure that all New Haven area residents have the basic material needs of daily life, such as but not limited to: food, shelter, hygiene items, safety and communication tools -- and to promote the dignity of people who need financial assistance. The Basic Needs Fund will work towards this purpose by making grants in active coordination with other major funders; and through public advocacy and education on the state of basic needs in Greater New Haven.

Grantmaking Process

Howard, a former cook at Community Soup Kitchen, serving meals outside Christ Church, New Haven. Contributed photo.

A collaborative, leveraged, problem-solving approach will be taken in regard to grant making to achieve maximum impact on specific challenges. Multi-year commitments are considered when appropriate to put new or expanding programs on firm footing. Cooperating funders may present unfunded, basic needs requests for consideration. Grants will be made without a set schedule and after community needs are discussed and researched.

Basic Needs Grant Awards

More than $1 million has been raised for the Basic Needs Fund. See the previous year's grant recipients. Thank you to all who made it possible!

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    Basic Needs Fund