Hartford Business Journal Special Editions

Giving Guide 2021

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3 HARTFORDBUSINESS.COM | OCTOBER 25, 2021 From Our Founding Sponsors: Are You Ready to LIVE UNITED? UNITED: adj.; joined together for a common purpose or action. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed much about our lives. Some have experienced moments of resiliency, strength and compassion they might not have thought possible. Others have been challenged in new and unanticipated ways. For many, it has been difficult to stay connected to our loved ones, to our colleagues and to our neighbors. And still others have experienced all of this and more in the nearly two years of the pandemic. As we return to some of our pre-pandemic activities, we know that things are different now. For many children, adults and families, recovery from the economic, educational and health impacts of the pandemic will not be immediate. Racial disparities persist. Going "back to normal" is not enough. There have been few times more important than now to be United, to come together and to build back better than before. And LIVING UNITED, is how we will get there. LIVING UNITED is rooted in the belief that together, we can do more than any single person or organization can do alone. Together, we will continue to ensure that immediate needs are met while also finding long-term solutions to challenging problems. With your support we will ensure that children succeed academically; people get good jobs and are connected to financial education and savings opportunities; and people are healthy and basic needs are met when times are tough. Current and future community leaders live in every town in our service area. We are committed to authentically engaging with you as partners, donors and volunteers. We can only eliminate disparities when everyone has the opportunity to create new solutions to challenges facing our region. There are so many ways to get involved. Give your dollars, your time (or both) to help improve conditions for local children and families with United Way. Join us this year as we work to build a better normal with more equitable outcomes for all. We are ready to LIVE UNITED. Are you? Together We Can Make a Difference When I wrote an introduction to last year's Giving Guide, we were finding our way through the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism. At the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, we sharpened our vision and formed new partnerships to help dismantle racist structures and to participate in rectifying the disinvestment in many of our communities. We took up this work not just because it was the right thing to do, but because it would help repair the social and economic damage caused by COVID-19, and safeguard our shared future. 2021 has proven to be nearly as challenging. Rather than returning to normal, we are building a new normal. The Delta variant is a serious concern. Vaccination rates remain low in pockets of our community. Schools and businesses continue to struggle even as they re-open. As your community foundation, we have expanded our work to dismantle systemic racism and increase social and economic mobility, particularly among communities of color. We are working with local leaders (including the the City of Hartford and the Hartford Public Schools, the CT Conference of Municipalities, and municipal leaders in Alliance Districts) on their specific plans for use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and other public dollars. ■ We joined with the City of Hartford and Dalio Education to invest nearly $10 million to support COMPASS Youth Collaborative, Our Piece of the Pie and Roca, Inc. to provide individualized, trauma-informed, high-touch support, particularly for Black and Latinx youth who are disconnected from education and employment. ■ The Foundation contributed an additional $300,000 in support of round three of the Hartford Small Business Emergency Grant Program. Foundation dollars augment federal funding administered by the City of Hartford to stabilize Hartford businesses owned by women and people of color, with our funding specifically designed to support businesses that are not always the recipient of other federal and state aid programs. ■ We are enhancing our investment in grassroots, local nonprofits. Our Access Grants program supports smaller organizations dismantling structural racism and enhancing social and economic mobility for Black and Latinx residents in our region. Our new Faith Community grant project awarded $300,000 to 33 faith organizations to support their ability individually and collaboratively in meeting the critical needs of Greater Hartford residents. The Love Hartford Initiative supports Hartford residents working to clean and beautify our capital city. To date, 16 towns have completed their inaugural Greater Together Community Funds grantmaking recommendations with 96 grants totaling nearly $350,000 going to nonprofit organizations. ■ On June 1, the Foundation launched The Action Fund for Racial Justice to engage donors in supporting organizations on the front lines of advancing racial justice. This new fund enhances our immediate ability to support nonprofits in our region. Upholding our commitment to get dollars into the community quickly, the Action Fund has already provided more than $160,000 to supplement the Foundation's endowment dollars on nine grants, supporting communities of color in youth employment, college retention and completion, family wealth building, arts and culture, and more. ■ Despite all that 2021 has thrown at us, we are undeterred. I am encouraged as nonprofits, policymakers and grassroots resident groups are reaching out to us to share their ideas on addressing structural racism and barriers to equitable social and economic mobility. We encourage you to join us through the Action Fund or your own philanthropic plans; visit us at hfpg.org. We believe that, working together, we can make a difference. Jay Williams President Hartford Foundation for Public Giving Paula S. Gilberto President and CEO United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut

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