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Our Mission

The Connecticut Project brings together communities, ideas, and resources to improve systems and generate real-world outcomes for people who are lower income or asset-limited.

Our Vision

We work for a just, thriving, and optimistic Connecticut where race, gender, income, geography, and other circumstances no longer predetermine opportunity. 

Our Role

The Connecticut Project mobilizes people, partners, and resources around priorities that create economic opportunity for families, especially low-income families. We are a catalyst for timebound, results-oriented campaigns that advance positive outcomes for families and collaborate with impacted people, community groups, advocacy organizations, and others.

Who We Are

The Connecticut Project consists of two independent, distinct, and separately funded and governed organizations: The Connecticut Project, a 501c3 public charity, and The Connecticut Project Action Fund, a 501c4 advocacy organization. This allows us the greatest flexibility in our work and enables us to leverage everything we can to fight with and for low-income and asset-limited people in our state.

We seek a Connecticut where all Connecticut residents can…

…nurture thriving kids


EARLY CHILDHOOD Education and Care

…live a self-directed and prosperous life


Financial well-being & Wealth building.

…avoid headwinds and recover when they happen


Economic security, Criminal Legal reform, & Health

…build for themselves a healthy and future-oriented community


HOusing, Democracy & Governance

From early childhood education to affordable housing, and from economic opportunity to democracy and governance, we work on critical issues that matter to families. Here are just some of the ways we have invested in our communities since 2021: 

Early Education & Care

Child Care Incubators
In 2021, a new law made Connecticut the first state to create child care business incubators -- a regulated program through which would-be educators who face barriers opening child care programs in their homes can do so by partnering with a host site. In addition to providing a no-cost space, host sites provide training and other support to help educators create more early childhood education opportunities for children. Recognizing a promising idea, The Connecticut Project is helping host organizations to jump-start their incubator programs in towns that are welcoming the program. Partners currently receiving funding support include: Bridgeport Prospers, Cora’s Kids, Hispanic Coalition of Greater Waterbury, United Way of Western Connecticut, Urban Community Alliance, and YWCA New Britain. 

Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Child Care   
Every child should have the chance to grow and learn in safe, nurturing environments. We actively supported partners that provided logistical, administrative, and research assistance to the Governor's Blue Ribbon Panel, a group tasked with studying the child care crisis in Connecticut and providing recommendations to the state for action.  

Child Care for Connecticut’s Future
We are providing multi-year funding and direct support to Child Care for Connecticut' Future:, a statewide coalition of organizations, providers, parents, and advocates dedicated to supporting early childhood educators and families in the quest for quality, affordable child care.  

Cora’s Kids
Cora’s Kids, a network of home-based child care providers in the Greater Danbury and New Milford area created by the United Way of Coastal and Western Connecticut, helps to connect families with safe and affordable early education experiences. Our capacity building investment will enable the organization to use a new tool to support professional development, coaching, and technical assistance for the 160 early childhood educators in the organization’s network.

Housing & Community Development

The Center for Housing Equity and Opportunity in Eastern Connecticut (CHEO)  
Every part of the state faces unique challenges in addressing the affordable housing crisis. We invested in the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut’s effort to create the new Center for Housing Equity and Opportunity in Eastern Connecticut (CHEO), a collective that will build more power and opportunity for housing access in 52 towns, and are now investing in growing the capacity of the organization to help towns get hundreds of units off the ground in the coming years.

Democracy & Good Governance

Investing in Organizing 
We believe everyone has a role in mobilizing our democracy to work for low-income people. We are making multi-year investments in FaithActs for Education, a Black-led, non-denominational, community-led nonprofit, to support its organizing training institute, a program that identifies, recruits, and trains new leaders and organizers to mobilize issue-based campaigns to increase access to education for children. We are also investing in A Better Way Foundation, a local non-profit working to build community, shift power, and dismantle oppressive systems, to build and invest in field organizing that empowers new voices and leaders among low-income and asset-limited households. 

Data Ecosystem Capacity Building
Our data ecosystem strategy envisions government and the non-profit sector using data to ensure attention and resources are responsive to and supportive of the needs of low-income and asset-limited people. Central to these efforts is using data to improve service delivery, amplify important outcome measures, better understand the needs and assets of communities, and enable data-informed decisions through policy and practice. To advance this work, we have funded capacity building and applied research through investments in Connecticut Data Collaborative, Yale University’s Tobin Center, DataHaven, Migration Policy Institute, and Connecticut Voices.

Economic Opportunity

Student Loan Fund Public Service Loan Forgiveness Campaign 
In August 2022, tens of thousands of Connecticut public service workers were eligible to have their student loan debt forgiven under a waiver to the federal program known as “PSLF” (Public Student Loan Forgiveness). The deadline to apply was October 31, many eligible workers were in the dark, and others didn’t trust that the opportunity was real. Together with the Student Loan Fund, State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC), and other partners, The Connecticut Project created tools that supported Connecticut residents’ access to the PSLF program, amplified awareness of the PSLF across the state, and informed public service workers and their employers about the chance to have their student debt canceled. 

Wealth Solutions Acceleratorten
There are serious disparities in who has access to intergenerational wealth-building and who does not. We are making a multi-year investment in the Connecticut Community Outreach Revitalization Program (ConnCORP)  to start up the Connecticut Wealth Solutions Accelerator - a partnership between ConnCORP, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, The Public Finance Initiative, and The Connecticut Project to generate ideas and initiatives that enable people to build their families’ immediate and long-term financial health.  

Workforce Development Data Strategic Planning Initiative
A good job is about more than pay – it’s about having the benefits and balance that enable people to thrive in and outside of work. We invited the Connecticut Office of Workforce Strategy (OWS), other state departments, and key stakeholders to collaborate with Jobs for the Future (JFF) to develop a plan to use data to empower more Connecticut residents to secure quality jobs. The plan will harness the power of Connecticut data systems about how people currently access jobs programs and services to build better job education and training opportunities and ensure Connecticut residents secure more high-quality jobs. 

Benefits Utilization Study
We are partnering with Benefits Data Trust to identify public benefits that provide the greatest benefit, monetary and otherwise, to the greatest number of people, and which may be underutilized, and thus ripe for enrollment support in Connecticut. This study aims to gain comprehensive insights into 1) the opportunities to improve public benefit utilization in CT, including initial assessment of the effectiveness of the largest existing public assistance offerings, 2) barriers to utilization, and 3) recommended approaches to enhance accessibility and support for Connecticuts low-income asset-limited residents. 

United Way of Greater New Haven Navigator Pilot Program
Even when programs and services are available to support families, they can be very hard for people to access, especially when those programs and services aren’t talking to each other. We have invested in The United Way of Greater New Haven’s pilot program to create a new tool that connects service providers with each other and establishes a new case management and referral system, so people can access the services they need most. Ultimately, this new tool aims to increase the number of people who are using benefits they have already earned. 

Husky 4 Immigrants 
HUSKY 4 Immigrants is a coalition of more than 30 organizations campaigning to expand Medicaid access for undocumented people living in Connecticut. Their north star goal is to open HUSKY program eligibility to all who are income-eligible, regardless of immigration status. In the past few years, the coalition has successfully expanded coverage to include undocumented immigrants who are under the age of 15, pregnant, or one year postpartum. We are making multi-year capacity-building investments in HUSKY 4 Immigrants to continue their hard work toward these goals.

2022 Grantees:

Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut
Connecticut Community Foundation 
Modern Classrooms Project 
Student Loan Fund 
YWCA New Britain, Inc.

2023 Grantees:

A Better Way Foundation 
Access Agency 
ACLU of Connecticut
All Our Kin 
Bridgeport Prospers 
Center for Housing Equity and Opportunity 
Connecticut Data Collaborative 
Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance 
Connecticut Network for Children and Youth 
Cora's Kids 
Connecticut Council for Philanthropy 
Connecticut Health Foundation 
CT Tenants’ Union 
CT Voices 
Data Haven 
Hispanic Coalition of Greater Waterbury 
Husky 4 Immigrants 
Jobs for the Future 
Modern Classrooms Project 
Partnership for Strong Communities 
RAPID Survey Project 
Social Venture Partners 
Stamford Cradle to Career 
The Consultation Center at Yale 
Tobin Center for Economic Policy 
United Way of Connecticut 
United Way of Greater New Haven 
United Way of Western Connecticut 
Urban Community Alliance 
YWCA New Britain, Inc. 

2024 Grantees (to date):

Bridge Family Resource Center 
Bristol Early Childhood Alliance 
Building One Community 
Capitol Region Education Council 
Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut 
Connecticut Data Collaborative 
Connecticut Justice Alliance 
Connecticut Network for Children and Youth 
Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington 
Enfield KITE 
Friends Center for Children 
Hamden's Partnership for Young Children 
Husky 4 Immigrants 
Institute for Municipal Regional Policy 
Jobs for the Future 
Local Initiatives Support Corp 
Madonna Place 
Migration Policy Institute 
National Parent Leadership Institute 
New Haven Early Childhood Council 
Northeast Early Childhood Council 
Safe Futures 
Social Venture Partners 
The Connecticut Project Action Fund 
United Way of Coastal and Western Connecticut 
United Way of Connecticut 
United Way of Greater New Haven 
Waterbury Bridge to Success 
YWCA New Britain, Inc.

Learn more about our early days in our inaugural report.