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Grants

Applying for a Grant

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Carefully review our
Grantmaking Guidelines below.

This document provides the latest important information about our funding priorities, eligibility requirements and the application process. If it looks like your program is a good match for our priorities, go to step 2.


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Call us at 860-638-2961

When you call, we can determine if your program or project is a good fit within our funding priorities, and whether it makes sense to apply. We can also provide guidance as to how much is reasonable to ask for.

Do not skip this step — call before you apply!

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Download and complete our
Grant Application.

Once you've called and received approval to apply, you can download and complete this form. Be sure to include the supporting documents requested on the form when you send it in.


Post-Grant Common Report Form

This is the form you’ll need to submit your post-grant report. It’s due by the date listed on the Grant Acceptance Form you signed when you received the grant (usually the last day of the quarter following the end of your fiscal year). If you’re submitting another grant application before that date, you’ll need to include your post-grant report along with your new grant application. (We can’t review a new grant without a report on the old one.)

“Liberty Bank Foundation is much more than a financial supporter, it’s a true leader in the philanthropy field.
The foundation team gets personally invested in the causes they support. It’s a pleasure to work so closely 
with the foundation arm of what truly is an outstanding corporate citizen in our state, Liberty Bank. 
We appreciate their support of our organization and of so many community initiatives.”
— Jeff Pugliese, Vice President, Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce

FAQs

 
Is my agency eligible to complete an abbreviated application instead of a full one?

If you have received a grant from the foundation within the past three years, and your current request doesn’t exceed $5,000, you may be eligible to complete an abbreviated application. However, there are some other criteria that need to be met, so please consult with a foundation representative to determine whether your agency is eligible before you start working on your application.

Please note that abbreviated applications may only be submitted two years in a row; every third year, we need a full application and supporting documents. Confused? Call us and we’ll figure it out!

When you ask about the number of persons served, do you mean the number served by our entire agency or the number served by the specific program for which we’re applying for funding?
Actually, we need both. A question on page 1 of the grant application asks for information about the number of people served by your entire organization, along with the percentage of minorities and the percentage of people of low/moderate income. Question 1 on page 2 asks for similar information for the people served by the specific program.
Why do you ask about the ethnic makeup of our organization’s board of directors or trustees?
Our foundation seeks to promote diversity and believes that the governing boards of nonprofit organizations tend to work better if they reflect the populations they serve. The composition of your board is one of many factors that help us determine how well-equipped your organization is to serve your clientele.
Why do you ask about whether we receive support from the United Way? If we do, would that disqualify us from receiving a Liberty Bank Foundation grant?

Let’s answer your second question first: absolutely not! Organizations and programs that receive United Way funding are not disqualified from receiving a grant from our foundation. We ask about United Way support because the fact that an organization was able to meet the United Way’s standards to qualify for funding gives us some information about its management and effectiveness.
When you ask for a budget for the project to be funded by the grant, you request both income and expenses. What if we don’t know yet where the income will come from?
We realize that, at the time you apply for funding, you may not yet have determined all of the sources that will supply revenue for your program. However, you should at least have plans for where the money will come from: funders to whom you plan to apply for grants, projected fees from the program itself, proceeds of fundraising events, cash on hand, etc. If any of the sources on your list are not definite, you should note their status — for example, a grant request could be “pending” if you’ve already submitted it, or “projected” if you haven’t. Please note: If the income side of your project budget doesn’t equal the expense side, you can expect a call from us to find out why!
You ask for a narrative of no more than 5 pages about our project. Can it be more than 5 pages, or less?
This is an area where the old saying “More is better” does NOT apply. If you can answer all the questions listed in the application in one page, then feel free to do so. Most applications will need more space than that, but please keep in mind that your grant request is not being judged on how much you write! The best applications are those that clearly and concisely describe the program, and that include answers to all the questions on the list. Use whatever space you need — so long as you don’t exceed 5 pages.
In question 1 on page 2 of the application, you ask about “other pertinent demographic data identifying the target population.” What do you mean by that?
We’re looking for any data that will help us understand whom your program will serve. Age, gender, income level, ethnicity, geographic location, etc., are all of interest and may help us determine how closely your program conforms to our funding priorities.
What if we don’t have data on income level or other characteristics? 
Obviously you can only provide us with information that you have. If you do have statistics on income level, for example, you’ll want to include them. If you have anecdotal data on it, but not hard numbers, you can include that, but please note it as anecdotal.
What do you mean when you ask if a program is new or ongoing?
This question isn’t asking about your organization as a whole, but about the particular program for which you’re requesting funds. We like to know whether the program is just starting up, or has been in operation for a while.
You ask about the qualifications of our staff, but you tell us not to send you staff resumés. What information do you want?
We’re looking for brief descriptions of the qualifications of your staff and your organization as a whole to perform the work outlined in your program description. With regard to staff qualifications, a brief paragraph or a few bullet points on each key staff member involved with the program would be fine. Don’t feel you have to report on everyone’s background — just the staff members with the most significant roles.
In the question about measuring the success of the program, what do you mean by “specific outcomes”?

This question seems to confuse a lot of our applicants — and it’s true that some programs are easier to measure than others. Still, we need to see some kind of yardstick you will use to measure your results and determine whether you accomplished what you set out to do. Since we’ll be asking you for a report on your grant one year after it has been awarded, you should think in terms of outcomes that you can reasonably expect to achieve by that time.

Here’s an example: An after-school program has the goal of promoting school success among a group of children aged 12–14. Outcomes that might be measured include:

  • Improvement in school grades — measurable by reviewing report cards before and after the program
  • Improved performance on standardized tests (such as CMT) — comparison of scores before/after program
  • Improved attendance at school, reduced tardiness, reduced incidences of disciplinary problems — measurable by school records and/or teacher surveys before/after program
Here are some examples of “outcomes” we’ve seen listed on applications that don’t seem meaningful to us:
  • Pre- and post-surveys of parents and/or students 
(Don’t get us wrong — we have nothing against surveys, and we’ve frequently seen them used successfully for measuring outcomes. But the survey itself isn’t an outcome — it’s a measurement tool. Describe for us what you plan to measure with your survey.)
  • Hold four forums on substance abuse prevention, with attendance of 200 students.
 (This is a program activity, not an outcome. If your stated goal is to affect the students’ choices about substance abuse, that’s what needs to be measured.)
  • Student/parent satisfaction surveys about the program 
(The fact that program participants are satisfied with the program doesn’t necessarily mean that the program has achieved its goals.)

We realize that measuring outcomes can be challenging. Keep in mind that the question you’re trying to answer is, “Did we achieve the goals we set for this program?” Any outcomes you measure should lead you to that answer.
Today is the grant deadline for this quarter. Should I drive my grant application to the foundation office to make sure it gets in on time?

There is no need for you to drive your application to the foundation office. Your application will still be considered to be on time so long as it’s either postmarked on the deadline date, or delivered to any Liberty Bank office by the deadline date. (If you choose to deliver it to a Liberty Bank branch, please call the Foundation staff ahead of time and let us know you plan to do so. Then just give it to any member of the branch staff and ask them to send it via interoffice mail to the Liberty Bank Foundation.)

By the way — if it’s the day before the deadline, please don’t waste your money sending your grant request in by overnight mail! Remember — if it’s postmarked on deadline day, it’s on time.

EEEK! I just realized that I sent my application to the foundation’s old address at P.O. Box 1212, Middletown, instead of the new one at 1190 Silas Deane Highway, Wethersfield, CT 06109. Should I send another copy? Does this mean I missed the deadline?
Don't worry. Yes, we have moved the foundation office to Wethersfield, but we continue to receive mail sent to our old P.O. box. So if you sent it to P.O. Box 1212, Middletown, you don’t need to send another copy, and if it’s postmarked by our deadline, your application is on time.
 
 
If you have any other questions about our grant application or the process we use to review grant requests, please don’t hesitate to call us!

Sue Murphy, Executive Director, (860) 638-2959
Toral Maher, Senior Program Officer, (860) 638-2961
Jane Brosnan, Program Associate, (860) 704-2181