Strategic grants from the Community Foundation are prioritized around efforts that center on equity and aim to change the systems and structures that are at the root of inequities in Fairfield County. Learn more about the areas that we fund under our strategic plan.
Strategic grantmaking occurs in two cycles, spring or fall. In most cases, grant requests may be submitted in either the spring or fall cycle with the following exceptions:
- Program support for school year programs that serve the same cohort of children/youth for a school year must be submitted in the Spring Cycle
- Proposals under the result “All Fairfield County residents have equitable access to high-quality, culturally competent physical and behavioral health services.” must be submitted in the Fall Cycle.
Timeline for grant Cycles
Spring grant cycle:
- LOIs submitted between January 15 – February 15
- Invitations to apply in early March
- Applications due at the end of March
- Decisions reached in early July
- Grant term: July 1st – June 30th
- Reports due: January 15th (interim) and July 15th (final)
Fall grant cycle:
- LOIs submitted between July 15 – August 15
- Invitations to apply in early September
- Applications are due end of September
- Decisions reached in early January
- Grant term: January 1st – December 31st
- Reports due: July 15th (interim) and January 15th (final)
In addition to aligning with our key result areas, prospective grantees must meet the following additional eligibility criteria:
- Currently have tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(c)(3) organization and public charities under IRS Section 509 (a). Organizations without tax exempt status will only be considered if operating under a fiscal sponsor with tax exempt status under IRS Section 501(c)(3).
- Be located within Fairfield County or directly benefit residents of Fairfield County.
The Foundation will not consider requests:
- from organizations that have an open competitive grant with the Foundation (meaning you have not submitted a final report).
- to support religious proselytization or partisan political purposes.
- capital campaigns or capital projects.
- deficit financing
- annual appeal
- fundraising event
- open space purchase
- for-profit, parochial, charter, private, or individual public schools
- nonprofit endowment
- specific individual.
Four-step application process
Step 1: Login to or Create an account
FCCF is using a new grants management system to receive and process all the documentation related to competitive grants, including Letters of Inquiry (LOIs), applications, grant agreements and reports. First-time users will need to set up an account before being able to access the online LOI form.
To access a tutorial on how to set up an account, click here.
Step 2: Complete Eligibility Screening online
Step 3: Submit a Letter of Inquiry online
Our Letter of Inquiry (LOI) begins with a required quiz to determine your basic eligibility. Once you have determined that you meet the basic eligibility requirements, you can complete the remaining sections of the LOI. In addition to asking you to provide some basic organizational information, the LOI will ask you to describe the grant request and indicate the result area to which your proposed program or project contributes. Nonprofits may only submit one LOI in any given cycle.
If you are interested in being considered for a general operating support grant, you should contact your Program Director during an open LOI period.
An invitation to submit one full application is at the discretion of program directors.
Step 4: Invitation to submit a full application
Staff will review your LOI. If the proposed project meets the Community Foundation’s priorities, you will be invited to submit a full grant application online. An invitation does not in any way guarantee a grant award.