One of the oldest nonprofit foundations — The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving — recently celebrated its 85th anniversary by giving $850,000 to libraries in 29 towns in Connecticut.
Ironically, it was in 1936 that The Hartford Foundation awarded its first grant — for $900 — to a Connecticut library, according to foundation president, Linda Kelly.
In 2009, the foundation awarded 1,425 grants totaling $25.5 million. The majority of those went to family, social services and education projects, said Kelly.
It also became necessary to implement an emergency lifeline for nonprofits last year. The foundation set aside $2.5 million, said Kelly, for transitional operating support grants, a program first developed in the 1990s. All of the $2.5 million was given to organizations experiencing shrinking revenue dollars and increased needs for their services, Kelly said.
"At the rate we're going, we may exceed it this year," she noted, adding that she sees what she calls "the basic human needs" area increasing in urgency as the economy worsens.
According to Kelly, a great deal of the foundation's money comes from families who made their fortune in the region and want to give back to their communities.
"We've very fortunate to have generous donors in this region. Our grants in recent years have remained in the $25 million range," she said.
To ensure that grants are properly managed, Kelly relies on program officers who monitor the status and progress of programs. Many of her program officers, she said, come from nonprofits.
Typically, grants are approved 60 days from their time of submission by a board of directors, Kelly said. The foundation tends to award large, multi-year grants to organizations with track records.
There are, however, exceptions.
Recently, the foundation became the "underlying funder" for CTMirror.org, said Kelly, a new online news nonprofit developed to help the journalism industry transition away from print. It helped, Kelly said, that the Knight Foundation matched the project "dollar for dollar" for its innovation in coming up with a new way to provide reporting.
On July 27, YWCA Hartford Region and the Chrysalis Center will celebrate the five-year anniversary of Soromundi Commons, a supportive housing facility that provides emergency shelter, transitional and permanent housing to help the at-risk and homeless move towards self-sufficiency. This facility provides care on site, from shelter to permanent housing, along with supportive services including case management, health care, and a community learning center.
Students in the nurse assistant at Middlesex Community College's downtown Meriden Center will soon benefit from a new allied health lab, thanks to a $12,537 major gift from The Meriden Foundation, along with $3,000 contributions from both The CUNO Foundation and the James H. Napier Foundation. The new lab will enhance MxCC's certified nurse aide program and will be ready when classes begin Sept. 15. The lab will house two patient care areas with hospital furniture, mannequins, blood pressure and phlebotomy simulation trainers, and patient care equipment. Patient and bed linens were donated by Middlesex Hospital.
The Cigna Foundation has awarded a $5,000 grant to help defray operating expenses for the AmeriCares Free Clinic of Norwalk, which serves low-income children and adults without health insurance.
The Cigna Foundation is an independent charitable affiliate of Cigna, a global health service company. AmeriCares Free Clinics provide quality health care to uninsured area residents in a setting where all individuals are treated with dignity and respect. Since 1994, clinics in Norwalk, Bridgeport and Danbury have provided $30 million in health care services to the communities.
The Channel 3 Kids Camp Celebrity Golf Tournament is accepting registration for players and event sponsors. Proceeds from the 13th annual golf tournament will benefit the Channel 3 Kids Camp, whose mission is to provide opportunities to children, families and communities through educational and recreational programs that promote diversity, learning, and growth. The year-round program serves over 4,000 children, ages 6-16, primarily those who typically do not have the financial abilities to attend a camp. The Channel 3 Kids Camp is owned and operated by the Almada Lodge-Times Farm Camp Corp., an independent board of community volunteers, and is supported by grants from foundations and companies and donations from individuals and businesses. It is 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. To sign up to play or get details about sponsorship opportunities, go to www.channel3kidscamp.org.