Liberty Bank Website Button

20th Anniversary Grant Contest

For our birthday, we invited YOU to make wishes. And oh boy, did you ever!

We’re delighted to share that we’ve received 83 entries to our 20th Anniversary Grants competition—wow! Thanks to all of you who sent in your videos and entry forms. We’ve done a few sneak previews, and can’t wait to sit down and look at all of your videos to find out what great ideas you have in mind for those $20,000 grants.

The first step of our competition is now over, and we are unable to accept any more submissions. Stop back to this page on June 26, when we’ll post the 20 videos selected to move on to the semifinals!


Grant Criteria

Three grants of $20,000 will be awarded—one in each of our priority funding areas:

  • Education for economic success
  • Affordable and supportive housing
  • Basic needs, such as shelter and food

The big idea behind these grants is to help you build capacity. We want you to think about how your agency could leverage that $20,000 to accomplish one or more of the following goals:

  • Become stronger and more sustainable
  • Boost capacity—human, financial, programmatic, etc.
  • Leverage additional resources
  • Address a challenge or take advantage of an opportunity
  • Maximize impact on your clients and communities

Grants are not intended to fund day-to-day agency operations.


The 20th Anniversary Grant Competition is open to nonprofit agencies that have received grants from the Liberty Bank Foundation since January 1, 2012.

In addition, agencies serving or located in the Naugatuck Valley and providing programs in our priority areas—education for economic success; affordable and supportive housing; or basic needs, such as shelter and food—may also participate. 

Eligible agencies

Round 1 — Video Entry

Submit a 3- to 5-minute video that describes how your agency would use the $20,000 grant.

Don’t freak out! Your video doesn’t need to be fancy or professionally produced. It won’t be judged on production values; it will be judged on how convincing you are in making your case. (If you watched our video, you know fun yet informative and demonstrative is not expensive or hard to do.)

In fact, you can shoot your video with a selfie stick and a cell phone if you want. Get one of your children, or a high school/college volunteer to make the video for you. They’re geniuses when it comes to telling a story using technology.

We want to see folks at your agency (staff and clients), view what you do in action, and see how the grant will make all the difference. Convincing is what counts. Also remember that if your video makes it to the finals, it will be judged and voted on by the public. Make sure your video speaks to them, and not just our staff.

Here’s what you should include (besides your enthusiasm):

  • Tell us your priority. Into which of the three priority funding areas does your project fall -- education for economic success; affordable and supportive housing; or basic needs, such as shelter and food?
  • Describe your project. How will it enable your agency to accomplish one or more of the five goals – get stronger… boost capacity … leverage additional resources … address a challenge … or maximize impact?
  • Share your vision. What will be different if your project is successful—for your agency, your clients, your staff, your cause, and/or your community? 
  • What’s your secret sauce? Why should the foundation choose your agency/project to receive this grant, from among all the agencies competing for it? 

Submission deadline was 4pm Friday, June 16, 2017. Round 1 of our competition is now over, and we are unable to accept any additional submissions.

Round 2 — Semi-Finalist Selection

Foundation staff will review all videos and select a maximum of 20 agencies as semi-finalists, with a minimum of 5 agencies in each funding priority area. A list of semi-finalists will be communicated to all applying agencies by June 26, 2017

If you’re a semi-finalist, you’ll be asked to fill out a more complete grant application detailing your project and to submit it by July 24, 2017.

Thereafter, foundation staff will review the semi-finalists’ applications and recommend nine (three in each priority area) as finalists for approval by the foundation’s board of directors in mid-August. All semi-finalists will be notified of their status by August 23, 2017 and will move to the online competition for finalists.

Round 3 — Finalists

The nine finalist videos will be posted online on September 1, 2017. Between September 5 and September 15, Liberty Bank customers, employees, and the public will be encouraged to vote online for the most compelling video in each of the three priority areas. The foundation will use social media, website postings, email, and marketing materials in Liberty Bank branches to spread the news about the competition and to encourage people to vote. Finalist agencies are encouraged to conduct their own marketing campaigns to promote the competition and ask for the support of their donors and friends. Voters can vote once per day throughout the voting period.

Voting will end at 4 p.m. on Friday, September 15. In each priority area, the agency receiving the most votes will be the recipient of the $20,000 grant. The three winning agencies will be announced at our 20th Anniversary Luncheon to be held on Friday, October 6, 2017. All agencies eligible for the competition are invited to attend this event.


We will promote the online voting among the nine finalists through social media, website postings, email, press releases, and marketing materials in the 55 Liberty Bank branch offices. Finalist agencies are encouraged to link to our website from theirs, and to promote voting among their donors and friends. 

We will work with each of the three recipient agencies to publicize their grants and projects within their service areas. 

Important Dates

4/24/17           Initial application period opens

6/16/17           Deadline to upload videos and complete online form

6/26/17           Semi-finalists selected; all participants notified of status

7/24/17           Deadline for semi-finalists to submit applications

8/23/17           Finalists selected; all remaining participants notified of status

9/1/17             All finalist videos and summaries posted on foundation website

9/5/17             Public voting period opens at 8 a.m.

9/15/17           Public voting period ends at 4 p.m.

9/20/17           Foundation board ratifies voter selections

10/6/17           Winners announced at 20th Anniversary Celebration Luncheon


If you have questions about our 20th Anniversary Grant Competition, please contact any of us using the links below. We’re eager to see your videos and hear about the amazing things you’re hoping to do for your agency. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate our 20th birthday than by making three wishes come true!

Good luck!

Sue Murphy, Executive Director, (860) 638-2959
Toral Maher, Program Officer, (860) 638-2961