Capacity Building Grants

Capacity Building Grants support Connecticut organizations that bring the humanities to the public. Grants from $1,500 to $9,999 are awarded to help organizations better understand their audiences, assets, and operations. Funded projects may include:

  • Board assessments and training
  • Strategic planning
  • Marketing assessments and planning
  • Audience assessments
  • Financial assessments and planning
  • Development (fundraising) assessments and planning
  • Collections assessments and planning
  • Interpretive assessments and planning
  • Technology assessments and planning

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Application deadlines (the first Friday of November and April):

November 2, 2018
April 5, 2019

Award decision: The first workday of February (for November grants) and July (for April grants).

Applications must be submitted using Connecticut Humanities’ online grant portal.

Click here to view the Capacity Building program grant guidelines.

Before applying, organizations must contact CTH staff member Scott Wands at to discuss your project idea. We are eager to help you submit a strong application and are available to review draft applications received at least two weeks before the grant deadline. Applications submitted without prior communication with CTH staff will not be considered.

In FY2018, Connecticut Humanities awarded the following organizations Capacity Building Grants for projects that helped them better understand their audiences, assets, and operations.

Mattatuck Historical Society, dba Mattatuck Museum (Waterbury), $9,999: “Audience Research for the Mattatuck Museum”- The Mattatuck Museum is in the beginning stages of reimagining and expanding their current building. In order to plan out these spaces in the most useful way, the Mattatuck wants to have reliable data to inform their decisions and guide their discussions moving forward and will conduct audience and market research in order to best achieve their goals for the next three years.

Norwalk Historical Society, $3,620: “Assessment of the Norwalk Potteries Collections at the Norwalk Historical Society for Future Exhibition”- Norwalk Historical Society (NHS) will work with consultant Elizabeth Pratt Fox to conduct a collections assessment of the Norwalk Historical Society and the City of Norwalk’s pottery collections. From the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth century, Norwalk was an important center for the manufacturing of pottery. The merger of the collections of the NHS, the Village Green Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the City of Norwalk/Lockwood Collection has given the NHS the opportunity to look at this important product created in the city and then share this story with the public through a new exhibition.

Connecticut River Museum (Essex), $9,999: “Strategic Planning: Charting a Course for the Connecticut River Museum’s Future”- As Connecticut River Museum (CRM) completes the final year of their current strategic plan, the organization’s leadership (board and staff) recognizes the need to develop a road map for the future. There is a growing need to review past accomplishments, assess current needs and environmental conditions, and reaffirm (or define) the next vision and set of priorities. With help from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, consultant Simone Joyaux was chosen to assist with crafting a new strategic plan.

Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation (Hamden), $9,999: “Enhancing Access Through the Public Digital Humanities: A Freeman Center Capacity Building Initiative”- The Freeman Houses in Bridgeport is working on their 501(c)(3) status. The Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation (CT Trust) is their fiscal sponsor for now, hence why CT Trust put in this grant application. Freeman Houses is important to Connecticut and how it fits into the national story. Funding has been requested to increase security and intellectual control of their documents/materials, and strategic planning as a result of this. They need strategic planning, but this is complicated by the fact that their documents are not in one centralized place. This addresses the history of communities of color in Fairfield County. Time is of the essence: the tearing down of the buildings is imminent.

Total Capacity Building Grants Awarded = $33,617


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