How Does Stepping Forward Change Grantmaking at The Foundation?

  • Stepping Forward more than doubles the amount of discretionary resources available through all grant processes.
  • Small nonprofits and organizations new to The Foundation have increased access to funding.
  • Stepping Forward creates new grant programs and increases funding for existing programs and efforts to respond to COVID-19 and to advance racial equity.
  • Responding to COVID-19 and advancing equity is a priority for the Foundation's discretionary grantmaking.

What is Not Changing?

The Foundation will remain responsive to the broad spectrum of charitable needs and opportunities in Greater New Haven.

What New Programs are Being Offered?

A note about new and enhanced programs – The programs below are part of the initial rollout of Stepping Forward. Program additions and enhancements are anticipated as The Foundation continues to engage in and collaborate with the community.

  • Grants for Racial Equity + Creative Healing through the Arts.
  • Nonprofit Leadership Development for People of Color.
  • Grants to support those working, advocating and organizing to change inequitable systems and structures in our society.
  • Grant funding and peer support for Black-led mentoring and leadership programs for girls.

What Existing Programs are Being Enhanced?

  • COVID-19 relief grantmaking.
  • Responsive grants and small grants have increased resources.
  • Grants and investments to promote inclusive growth.
    • Career pathways, education and training grants.
    • Building an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • Funding has been added to the NAACP homeownership program.
  • The Foundation Fellowship Program will be focused on issues of racial equity in philanthropy and developing the pipeline for next generation of nonprofit leadership.

How Does The Foundation’s Focus on Equity Change its Grantmaking?

The grantmaking changes will not eliminate any nonprofits who were previously eligible from receiving grants. The Foundation, however, will use the lens of COVID relief and equity as part of its review to evaluate the work of nonprofit organizations in grant applications and reporting.

What are the Specific Changes to Existing Grant Programs?


– Up to $2,500 for non-profit events. Currently for virtual events only

What’s New?

  • Money for technology to host virtual events

Small Grants

– For organizations with budgets under $2 Million that need a smaller grant with a short turn-around time

What’s New?

  • Grant maximum increased from $7,500 to $15,000
  • General operating support (flexible funding) grants, in addition to program and capacity building grants, are now available through the small grants program.

Responsive Grant Program

- To further the general mission and work of an organization, rather than for a specific purpose or project. Average grant size is between $20K-$30K per year. Multi-year grants are available.

What’s new?

  • More funding is available.
  • Grants are only for General Operating Support (flexible funding)
  • There are no pre-requisites to submit an application. Organizations that are new to The Foundation or that do not have a past grant history with The Foundation may apply.

All Current Grant Programs

How Can Our Nonprofit Help with Stepping Forward?

The Foundation anticipates that Stepping Forward will evolve as we learn more working with the community. In the months ahead, The Foundation will be looking to engage with nonprofit organizations and community leaders as it adapts programs. Let us know if you would like to be involved; be sure you're on The Foundation's mailing list.

How Can We Help?

Christina M. Ciociola

Senior Vice President for Grantmaking and Strategy


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Denise Canning

Director of Grant Operations


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