Edwards Community Endowment Program (ECEP)

Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation

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Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Training / Capacity Building

Location of project: Counties in Connecticut: Hartford County, Litchfield County

Location of residency: Counties in Connecticut: Hartford County, Litchfield County

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NOTE: Pre-Application Meeting - Organizations interested in applying for participation in the Edwards Community Endowment Project should contact Foundation staff for more information about establishing an organizational endowment, investment and spending policies, administrative fees, and eligible gifts.

Edwards Community Endowment Program (ECEP)

The Edwards Community Endowment Program (ECEP) is a matching-grants program designed to assist northwest Connecticut nonprofits with the establishment of endowment funds or to increase established endowments. The project is made possible through a grant from the Marion Wm. and Alice Edwards Fund.

The purpose of Project is to assist nonprofits in establishing an endowment or adding to an existing Foundation fund. Selected non profits receive a $1 match for every $4 raised with a maximum $20,000 match per organization. All funds generated through the project are placed in a permanent named fund.

Guidelines and Application

ECEP applications for the program are accepted on a rolling basis. Organizations are selected for participation through a competitive application process. Each participating organization must raise a minimum of $16,000 in endowment gifts to be eligible for an initial match of $4,000. Organizations unable to reach the $16,000 minimum goal during the allotted time do not receive matching funds; however, monies raised will be placed into a temporary fund at the Foundation until the organization reaches a decision as to how and by whom the fund will be managed.

Cash and marketable securities can be counted toward the endowment project match. Funds from existing reserves, operational pledges, or any funds re-directed by a participating organization’s Board of Directors that are specifically earmarked for current operational uses do not qualify. Money that has been earmarked by the donor for an endowment or established as an organizational endowment may be considered.

Deferred gifts, such as charitable remainder trusts and bequests, are excellent ways to grow endowment funds, but they may not be counted as pledges for the purpose of the Edwards Community Endowment Project.

Funding Criteria

The primary criterion used in evaluating applications is how the organization plans to supplement the endowment fund once it has been established. Special consideration is given to organizations that:

  • Incorporate endowment-building strategies in overall development efforts 
  • Demonstrate involvement and leadership of Board members in endowment fundraising
  • Provide marketing plans that incorporate endowment-building and planned giving
  • Demonstrate organizational stability and track record in raising various types of funds.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Eligibility:
    • Nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organizations in the Foundation's 20-town service area that have been in existence for a minimum of three years
      • Barkhamsted, Bethlehem, Canaan (Falls Village), Colebrook, Cornwall, Goshen, Hartland, Harwinton, Kent, Litchfield, Morris, New Hartford, Norfolk, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon, Torrington, Warren, Washington, and Winchester/Winsted.
    • Organizations that wish to: 
      • establish their first organizational endowment
      • raise additional capital to supplement an existing endowment
      • have this endowment managed by the Foundation as a permanent, named fund for the benefit of the organization


  • Organizations receiving grants from the Edwards Community Endowment Project are not eligible to reapply for participation in the project.
    • Organizations whose applications are denied may reapply in subsequent years.