Strategic Plan 2016-2019

Connecticut Humanities’ three-year plan sets the course toward a more engaged and informed Connecticut by providing humanities leadership, promoting program excellence, and building a strong organizational foundation.


Since 1974, the Connecticut Humanities Council Inc. has been at the epicenter of programming in support of lifelong learning and capacity building for state heritage organizations. The council served as a chief advocate and supporter of the state’s museums and historical societies, promoting the need for scholarship and intellectual integrity. Public engagement with literature, specifically library‐based reading programs, was a core offering. Federal funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, state funding beginning in 1995, foundation support, and individual giving in succeeding years, allowed for expansion of staff and programs.

In 2011, the organization dropped “Council” from its name and sought to include new voices in addition to what had been an almost exclusive focus on history and literature. The 2011 plan placed emphasis on being visible, relevant, inclusive, better connected, flexible, and savvy. The plan acknowledged dramatic demographic shifts, growing socioeconomic divides, and other needs emerging in the state’s “New Economy.” It put Connecticut Humanities on a path toward engaging broader audiences through its grants and programming, as well as promoting the enduring value of humanities and securing more sustainable income sources.

This new, three‐year strategic plan adopts a shorter time frame, congruent with a time of rapid change. Notably, the plan aligns Connecticut Humanities with the state’s strategic goal to achieve higher levels of civic engagement and to improve various civic health indicators. It further envisions continued support for youth and culturally diverse programming (based in humanities scholarship); visible advocacy of the humanities in academic, business and public life; and the critical need to be a scalable and nimble organization, able to solicit support from a broader base of potential funders beyond its reliance on federal and state government.

In short, this new plan looks to build on Connecticut Humanities’ proud legacy of grant‐making, capitalize on its more recent outreach success with new partners and allies, and better position the organization to take on the financial and social challenges that lie ahead.

Mission & Vision Statements

Adopted by the Connecticut Humanities Board of Directors in 2016

Vision Statement

An engaged, informed Connecticut.

Mission Statement

Connecticut Humanities encourages curiosity, understanding and critical thinking, providing leadership through grants, partnerships and collaborative programs.

Aspiration #1:

Provide leadership, give voice to the public, and demonstrate the essential role of humanities for the people of Connecticut

Goal #1: Engage people of varied ethnic, cultural, income, age and ideological profiles, more reflective of Connecticut’s population as a whole

  • Objective #1: Assess and strategically increase program reach
  • Objective #2: Work to bridge academia and the public

Goal #2: Partner with outside organizations in broad-based efforts to advocate for the humanities

  • Objective #1: Plan and execute a visible, year-round advocacy campaign
  • Objective #2: Define roles and better leverage advocacy partners
  • Objective #3: Empower groups to perform effective advocacy on their own

Aspiration #2:

Promote strong humanities organizations and excellence in humanities programs

Goal #1: Assure that competitive grants awarded by CT Humanities and CT Humanities-initiated programming are enriched by humanities expertise and based in scholarship

  • Objective #1: Educate the public on the meaning and value of “humanities scholarship”
  • Objective #2: Ensure the CTH board and its committees reflect a broad range of humanities disciplines and expertise

Goal #2: Set clear funding priorities for CT Humanities grants, programs and other initiatives, and determine how to formally assess their effectiveness

  • Objective #1: Create specific goals for grants, programs and initiatives to achieve Connecticut Humanities’ mission
  • Objective #2: Develop and refine ways to measure the value of programs and resources

Goal #3: Foster connections with and among people that encourage curiosity, understanding and critical thinking.

  • Objective #1: Connect humanities organizations to share knowledge

Aspiration #3:

Bolster the organization’s foundation

Goal #1: Create a nimble and responsive organizational culture

  • Objective #1: Integrate and manage data at the organizational level
  • Objective #2: Increase staff and board knowledge of CTH functions
  • Objective #3: Create organizational flexibility to meet unanticipated demands

Goal #2: Unify marketing, communication and fundraising efforts

  • Objective #1: Create communications plan
  • Objective #2: Craft and reinforce messaging to spur action(s)

Goal #3: Diversify and grow funding sources

  • Objective #1: Revisit, revise and execute development plan
  • Objective #2: Explore new partnerships and techniques for fundraising

IRS 990 Financial Form

To Our Humanities Family:

We have added our audited financial statements and the Form 990 submitted to the IRS to our website for your review. As effective financial management is a priority at Connecticut Humanities, our intention is be transparent about our activities. We encourage feedback on our practices and performance.

Connecticut Humanities has two primary activities. We administer a competitive grant pool through the Connecticut Humanities Fund that supports nonprofit organizations and partners involved with humanities programming statewide; and we initiate our own programming (e.g., ConnecticutHistory.orgConnecticut Center for the BookBook Voyagers, and other literature-based educational efforts).

We are committed to continuous improvement and value the opinion of those who share our interest in advancing the role of humanities in Connecticut. Please contact us if you have ideas or comments on current or prospective offerings.

The CTH Team

Download IRS 990 FY16/17 Download IRS 990 FY14/15 Download IRS 990 FY13/14

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