North Green, New Haven Credit: Chris Randall

Stepping Forward

Responding to COVID-19 and Advancing Racial Equity

The Community Foundation launched Stepping Forward in January 2021 to respond to the historic impact of COVID-19 and to advance racial equity in Greater New Haven. Stepping Forward committed $26 million to these efforts, building on The Foundation’s long-term support for creating opportunity and equity.

Stepping Forward Announcement Press Release

What Stepping Forward Has Done

Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen prepares food to go. Credit: Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen

Immediate resources for Community Needs

Nonprofit Support and COVID Response

Adapted to Support and Sustain Our Nonprofit Sector

  • Simplified grant application process and received more applications from small and new nonprofits.
  • Awarded general operating support grants aligned with Stepping Forward’s goals and informed by community members with relevant lived experience.
  • Presented increased training and capacity programs for local nonprofits.
  • Continued to invest in The Great Give 36-hour fundraiser for nonprofits – 2020 Raised $3.6 million; 2021 $3.5 million; 2022 $3.4 million.

Increased Resources for Immediate Needs in Response to COVID

  • Raised and distributed $4.4 million to 164 nonprofit and community organizations with the COVID-19 Community Fund in partnership with United Way of Greater New Haven.
  • Increased discretionary resources for nonprofits from $2.9 million in 2019 to $6.5 million in 2020, $6.6 million in 2021 and $4.75 million in 2022.
Vineyard Project Launch Credit: Angel Starr Photography

Immediate and long-term resources for change

Racial Equity

  • Established the Black Futures Fund, a permanent endowment.
  • Launched the Vineyard Project for Black Futures to raise resources and tell the story of Black achievement.
  • Created the Racial Equity and Creative Healing grant program for Greater New Haven artists, projects, programs, and communities.
  • Invested in people of color and women entrepreneurs and small business owners.
  • Created the Nonprofit Leadership Program for next-generation leaders of color in nonprofits.
  • Provided $200,000 to the Progreso Latino Fund’s 20th anniversary campaign.
  • Supported The Prosperity Foundation.
  • Offered free Racial Equity Institute community workshops.

Equitable Entrepreneurship and Career Pathways

Inclusive Growth

  • Increased investments in minority and small business support through The Community Foundation Mission Investments Company (TCF-MIC).
  • Received $8.75 million to create the New Haven Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.
  • Partnered with Yale, the City of New Haven, Liberty Bank, and others to promote inclusive growth.
  • Awarded $684,000 to 15 Programs that Offer Pathways to Careers in Growing Fields for a More Inclusive Economy.
  • Awarded $200,000 through the Community Fund for Women and Girls “Pathways to Economic Success for Women” program.
  • Made continued investments in New Haven Promise and ConnCAT.
East Rock Credit: Chris Randall

New Endowed Funds

Permanent Resources for Long-term Change