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Community Foundation Awards Over $2.5 Million in Grants to Greater New Haven Nonprofits

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, the permanent endowment and largest grantmaker to nonprofit organizations serving the Greater New Haven region, has awarded $2,522,265 in one-year and multi-year Responsive grants to 48 nonprofits serving its twenty-town region. These grants are the culmination of The Community Foundation’s largest, annual competitive grants process, which began in March. The competitive process is only one element of The Community Foundation’s yearly grantmaking, which is estimated to reach $23.9 million in total competitive and non-competitive grants by the end of 2015. 


“As is true each year, The Community Foundation’s 2015 grantmaking decisions reflect both our understanding of the key challenges and opportunities facing our community and our commitment to carry out the intent of generations of donors who have built the community’s endowment. The Community Foundation is privileged to support many great organizations doing great work in our community,” said William W. Ginsberg, President & CEO of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. 

The Foundation’s Responsive grants come as a welcomed relief to some nonprofits impacted by recent budget rescissions in state funding. The rescissions are expected to curtail the services nonprofits are currently providing and thereby directly impact the region’s most vulnerable residents in the near future. In the first round of rescissions, human services took a disproportionately large hit. 


“Many of the 2015 grant applicants working in the social service and health sectors cited poor economic conditions affecting their organizations as well as the clients they serve. While the economy might appear to be improving, the nonprofit sector in our region and those served by the sector are not feeling the benefits of an improving economy. Most report high demand for services and inadequate sources of funding,” says Christina Ciociola, Senior Vice President of Grantmaking & Strategy.


As one example of The Community Foundation’s new grants, the Connecticut Food Bank received $80,000 toward the construction of a new food distribution center and headquarters.

“Over the past 10 years, the Connecticut Food Bank has experienced an 80% increase in the demand for emergency food assistance, and now nearly 500,000 Connecticut residents are food insecure,” says Paul O’Leary, Chief Operating Officer of the Connecticut Food Bank. “The need for support is especially acute within New Haven County, which has the highest food insecurity rate (14.4%) out of the state's eight counties.”


Another grant recipient, Liberty Community Services, was awarded $40,000 to support a joint strategic planning process with EMERGE CT to provide affordable housing for formerly incarcerated individuals also involved in a transitional employment program. The grant aligns with The Community Foundation’s reentry strategy aimed at creating a region where formerly-incarcerated individuals are empowered with opportunities so that they can successfully reintegrate, making them less likely to reoffend, and reducing the ripple effect on their children, family and the community as a whole.


“This grant will enable us to have a more holistic housing and employment program for individuals returning to this community from incarceration,” says John Bradley, Executive Director of Liberty Services. “It will also assist us in identifying best practices in this field of work so that returning citizens can become contributing members to the community.”


Women’s Health Research at Yale received a $150,000 multi-year grant to support its heart and cancer research. Funding for this grant was made possible by two Community Foundation funds: the John A. & Edna M. DeLeon Fund for cancer and heart disease research and the Nellie Ward and & Edith P. Rausch Fund for cancer research.


“Women remain underrepresented in clinical studies of cardiovascular disease and cancer,” says Dr. Carolyn M. Mazure, Director of Women’s Health Research at Yale. "Yet these disorders are the greatest cause of mortality in women. This grant will strengthen our infrastructure, allowing us to generate new research that advances treatments and provides new information on these disorders for the benefit of the community.”


As in years past, the responsive grant process was carried out collaboratively with The Community Foundation’s partner in philanthropy, the Valley Community Foundation, which serves the towns of Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton. The Community Foundation and Valley Community awarded three grants in partnership to BHcare, Healthy Eyes Alliance and Rape Crisis Center of Milford.


BHcare will use its funding to begin the planning and development of a Family Justice Center in New Haven that will serve as a safe location where survivors of domestic violence can receive the services they need in one setting.

“Such a facility has the power to be transformative to our region’s domestic violence survivors, who are often in need of multiple services at one time. Coordinating and collaborating on services such as shelter, advocacy, medical and legal under one roof minimizes the need for survivors to repeat their story, which can further traumatize,” says Roberta J. Cook, President/CEO of BHcare. 


A complete list of grant recipients is available at


Thanks to the generosity of three generations of donors, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven awarded over $22 million in grants and distributions in 2014 from an endowment of more than $460 million and composed of hundreds of individually named funds. In addition to its grantmaking, The Community Foundation helps build a stronger community by taking measures to improve student achievement, create healthy families in New Haven, promote local philanthropy through® and encourage better understanding of the region. The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven’s 20 town service area includes: Ansonia, Bethany, Branford, Cheshire, Derby, East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Milford, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton, Wallingford, West Haven, Woodbridge. For more information about The Community Foundation, visit, find us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at  

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