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Updated: August 7, 2020 / 2020 40 Under Forty Honorees

Erika Frank


Erika Frank

Age: 33

Company: Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

Title: Senior Community Investments Officer

No. of years with current company: 10

Town where I live: New Britain

Town where I work: Hartford

College: Undergraduate, University of Georgia; Graduate, Simmons College

Highest degree: Master’s degree in library and information sciences

Erika Frank is a senior community investments officer at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, where she helps manage the Foundation’s grantmaking, including its investments in community and economic development.

Frank has helped launch many initiatives at the Foundation, including general operating support, HFPG Impact!, the Career Pathways Initiative, and most recently, the COVID-19 Response Fund. She started her career as a classroom teacher and strategic partnership development assistant at Hartford Public Schools.

What’s been your biggest professional accomplishment so far in your career?

My biggest professional accomplishment has been shepherding the Foundation’s journey as a national leader in providing multi-year general operating support grants. Although considered a best practice, only 25% of U.S. grants are awarded as operating support. Our leadership in this area has been featured in industry publications and conferences.

How are you involved in the community?

I sit on the board/advisory committees of the Fund for Greater Hartford, LISC Connecticut, and the Workforce Solutions Collaborative of Greater Hartford. For several years I was a volunteer tutor at Literacy Volunteers of Greater Hartford.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I enjoy cooking, traveling, spending time with friends and family, hiking and generally being active outside. My friends and I frequently get together to play board games.

How did dealing with the coronavirus pandemic help you grow as a leader?

It is said that ‘progress moves at the speed of trust.’ Helping to manage our COVID-19 response taught me how critical trust is. Trust in the sincerity and ingenuity of our team, our leadership and, most importantly, our nonprofit community, helped us to respond quickly, effectively and with compassion.

Four reasons why you deserve to be a 40 Under Forty:

Led the implementation and evaluation of the Foundation’s first general operating support program, providing flexible dollars to key nonprofits.

Helped shape the Foundation’s strategic focus on inclusive community and economic development.

Led the development and implementation of the Foundation’s first impact investing program, HFPG Impact! Greater Hartford.

Co-led the Foundation’s COVID-19 response grantmaking totaling more than $6 million, including a partnership with stakeholders to provide $1.3 million in emergency grants to small neighborhood businesses in Hartford.

Fun Fact 

Served as general manager of WUOG, the University of Georgia’s student-run radio station.

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