Apply For a Grant

2024 Annual Grant Making Process Guidelines

The mission of the Branford Community Foundation (BCF) is to connect people who care with causes that matter, for the purpose of preserving and promoting the quality of life in Branford, Connecticut, now and for generations to come. BCF is dedicated to our core values of integrity, inclusiveness, responsiveness, and accountability.

We fulfill our mission by building and maintaining a charitable endowment and making prudent grants that serve to address the ever-changing needs of the Branford community. Through the gracious giving of donors who are committed to our mission, we fund worthy programs that promote the quality of life in Branford.

Timetable for Annual Grants

The 2024 annual grant application will be available on January 22, 2024. The deadline to submit a completed application to the Branford Community Foundation (BCF) for consideration for funding is March 15, 2024.

 

 

Potential applicants are encouraged to attend an information session, to be held by Zoom on Thursday, February 22 at 10:00 am. RSVP to Administrative Assistant Amy Paris aparis@branfordcommunityfoundation.org and a zoom link will be provided. Organizations unable to the session meeting should contact Program Director Jennifer Mullett with questions about the grant guidelines or application process prior to submitting a grant.

Grant Review Process

The Community Investment Committee (CIC) of the Branford Community Foundation is charged with reviewing the applications and making recommendations for funding to the Board of Directors. CIC may request more information from applicants during the grant review process. Grant award decisions will be announced by May 31, 2024.

Important Information

  • Grants are awarded to 501(c)3 not-for-profit organizations and 170(c)(1) governmental agencies serving the Branford community.
  • Grants will be awarded to organizations that positively impact Branford within the focus areas identified below.
  • Grant awards cannot be used retroactively to pay costs for programs or services that have occurred in the past.
  • Applications from previous grantees are welcome; continued funding will be considered by CIC, but is not guaranteed.
  • All final reports from previously awarded grants must be provided prior to submission of a new grant.

What the Branford Community Foundation Funds

The Branford Community Foundation looks to fund organizations and projects that strengthen and improve Branford in the following focus areas:

  •  Arts (music, dance, theatre, visual, community performances)
  • Basic Needs (food, emergency financial assistance, fuel and heat support, shelter)
  • Civic engagement (historical preservation, volunteerism, community events and enhancements)
  • Education (literacy, job training, collegiate scholarships)
  • Environment (public spaces and land, recycling, animal and wildlife support)
  • Health (mental health services, senior services, social services, health education, substance abuse prevention)
  • Youth (access to summer camps, children in need, early childhood education)

2024 Guiding Principles in Reviewing Grant Applications

The Board of Directors has prioritized the following issues for our 2024 competitive grant making process:

  • Basic needs, including food insecurity, shelter, emergency financial assistance, childcare.
  • Consider supporting organizations and populations that are disparately impacted and that BCF may not have previously supported.
  • Mental health services, including prevention, intervention, and substance misuse.
  • Programs that create joy in the Branford community.
  • Child and youth development services.
  • Strive for high impact in the Branford community.


Additional Information

BCF holds several “field of interest” funds, including funds dedicated to basic needs, animals, environment, cultural arts, and music. During the application review process, the CIC works to match applications with corresponding fields of interest funds and donor intent.

BCF seeks grants that enhance the quality of life in Branford. Grant applications should address a need within the focus area and demonstrate impact on the organization, project, community, or persons served.

Applications should include some of the following elements:

  • Address a documented need or concern of the focus area.
  • Recognize and build on a community’s or organization’s strengths and assets.
  • Build the capacity of community organizations and/or individuals to help themselves.
  • Foster cooperative approaches to community issues through collaborations based on shared visions and mutual responsibility.
  • Serve as a catalyst for attracting other resources, such as matching gifts.
  • Build infrastructure within the organization in order to meet its mission.

In 2023, BCF awarded 25 grants through its competitive grant making process. These grants mostly ranged from $1000 to $8,000 with an average award being around $3,400.

Branford Community Foundation will not award grants to:

  • Debt reduction
  • Endowments
  • Individuals
  • Lobbying
  • Political organizations and campaign
  • Replace government funding sources

Your responsibilities if you are awarded a grant: 

  • BCF expects to be recognized in all related press releases and publicity.
  • BCF requires all grantees to submit a final report no later than February 1, 2025 prior to the new grant application cycle deadline.

Additional Funding Opportunities

Emergent Needs Grants: BCF understand that projects and emergencies arise that cannot be accommodated by an annual grant cycle. We reserve a small pool of funding for these types of grant applications, and applicants must clarify why the application was not submitted through the Competitive Grant process. Contact Jennifer Mullett, Program Director, for information.

  • Concept is innovative and/or new to the Branford community.
  • Organization cannot operate or move forward on a major initiative without emergency funding (ex. unexpected building repairs).
  • Concept is created/ need arises after March 15, 2024 and required completion timeline is prior to April 30th, 2025.

Sponsorships:BCF is proud to partner with GSB to support organizations serving the Branford community through sponsorship of qualifying events. Sponsorships are a single event (i.e. gala, road race, etc.) or a series of individual events held by an organization over a given time period, to increase visibility or for fundraising. Sponsorship guidelines and application are available for review through the online grant portal. If you are unsure if your event qualifies for sponsorship, please contact Amy Paris, Administrative Assistant.

Scholarships: Scholarship awards for graduating seniors from Branford High School are reviewed and recommended by the Branford High School Guidance office. Questions about scholarships may be addressed to (203) 315-6730.


Photo by Bill O’Brien