Collaborative Solutions to Changing Community Needs

Dec 06, 2023

The following podcast episode was originally published by HAYVN. As a female-focused coworking, shared office and meeting room space in Darien, HAYVN is committed to providing advice to help business owners and professionals grow, thrive, and succeed.


In this episode of the HAYVN Hubcast, we get to learn more about the world of regional nonprofits and grants with our guest Lutonya Russell-Humes. We’ll explore the key elements that make a non-profit successful and how they can drive maximum impact for their communities.

Lutonya is the Vice President of Grants and Programs of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, an organization that works closely with community organizations, nonprofits, businesses, and philanthropists to address challenges and identify opportunities to create a stronger, more vibrant community. She brings with her deep experience in helping families, establishing solid community relations, and building trust through clear communication and action.

With a current lens and focus on racial equity through systems change, Lutonya shares these key insights about her work and outreach with the Fairfield County Community Foundation:

Place-based focus: What sets them apart is their place-based approach. Their initiatives are tailored to the specific needs of the communities they serve, and constant communication with community partners is foundational to their work.

Accessible grant process: The Foundation’s grant process is remarkably accessible, requiring initially only a Letter of Intent. This inclusivity ensures that organizations of all sizes can engage in the process.

Partnership as a pillar: Lutonya emphasizes the importance of viewing relationships with the community and benefactors as true partnerships.

“You need to have partners that reflect nuanced variables that contribute to whatever problem you’re trying to resolve.”

Lutonya Russell-Humes
Vice President of Grants and Programs

Lutonya and the Fairfield County Community Foundation are an example of what it means to be part of a community, responding to its needs and contributing to its growth. This commitment aligns seamlessly with HAVYN’s work, where our entrepreneurial community is not just thriving, but also making a positive impact. Listen in to this episode for insights into building partnerships, navigating the grant landscape, and driving meaningful change within communities.

Email Lutonya at