Shoreline Institute of Lifelong Learning

The mission of the Guilford Foundation is to “connect people who care with causes that matter to them,” to enrich the quality of life in Guilford, now and for generations to come.

We fulfill our mission by building and maintaining a charitable endowment and making prudent grants that serve to address the ever-changing needs of the Guilford community. Grant awards typically range from $500 to $5,000. Larger requests may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Timetable for Competitive Grants

The Guilford Foundation offers a quarterly, competitive grant cycle. Grant applications are available on our website, and are due on the following deadlines:

  • March 1st
  • June 1st
  • September 1st
  • December 1st

Completed applications should be submitted by email to with backup sent to The Guilford Foundation, PO Box 35, Guilford, CT 06437.

Grant Review Process

The Community Investment Committee of the Guilford Foundation is charged with reviewing the applications and making recommendations for funding to the Board of Directors. Applicants will be informed regarding the status of their applications within 30 days of the application deadline.

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Liza Janssen Petra by email at or by phone (203) 824-1827 with questions about the grant guidelines or application process prior to submitting a grant.

Important Information

  • Grants are awarded to 501(c)3 not-for-profit organizations and 170(c)(1) governmental agencies serving the Guilford community.
  • Will the proposed activities strengthen the applicant’s ability to carry out its mission effectively and efficiently?
  • Grants will be awarded to organizations that positively impact Guilford within the focus areas identified below.
  • Grant awards cannot be used retroactively to pay costs for programs or services that have occurred in the past.
  • Applications from previous grantees are welcome; continued funding will be considered by the Community Investment Committee, but is not guaranteed.

What the Guilford Foundation Funds

The Guilford Foundation seeks grants that enhance the quality of life in Guilford. Grant applications should address a need within the focus area and demonstrate impact on the organization, project, community, or persons served.

Applications should include some of the following elements:

  • Address a documented need or concern of the focus area;
  • Recognize and build on a community’s or organization’s strengths and assets;
  • Build the capacity of community organizations and/or individuals to help themselves;
  • Foster cooperative approaches to community issues through collaborations based on shared visions and mutual responsibility;
  • Serve as a catalyst for attracting other resources, such as matching gifts; and
  • Build infrastructure within the organization in order to meet its mission.

Normally, the Foundation will not award grants to:

  • Debt reduction
  • Endowments
  • Individuals
  • Lobbying
  • Political organizations and campaigns

Focus Areas and Impact

The Guilford Foundation looks to fund organizations and projects that strengthen and improve Guilford in the following focus areas:

  • Arts
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Heritage Enhancement
  • Human Services / Housing
  • Youth & Family

In addition, the Board of Directors has identified the follow special interest area:

  • Housing Diversity:  In 2013, the Guilford Foundation identified Guilford’s lack of diverse housing stock as a critical issue facing the community.  There are few to no options in Guilford for college graduates who want to return home, divorcing spouses who need to stay in the school system, and down-sizing seniors, much less affordable housing for those who qualify as low income (in Guilford, a household qualifies for low income housing if its income is $76,000 or less).  The Guilford Foundation will prioritize grant applications that address this issue.

Your Responsibilities if you are awarded a grant:

The Guilford Foundation requires from all grantees a follow-up report within six months of the completion of the project, including the following:

  • Financial disclosures of how the grant money was spent.
  • Progress made in relation to the originally stated objectives.

In addition, the Guilford Foundation expects to be recognized in all related press releases and publicity.

Youth Advisory Group

In addition to the quarterly, competitive grant cycle, the Guilford Foundation has partnered with the Guilford High School Interact Club to form the Youth Advisory Group (YAG), to foster locally based philanthropy at the teenage level.  YAG accepts grant applications from organizations on an annual basis (April 1st).  For more information, click here.

Sponsorship requests should be addressed separately to Liza Janssen Petra at  Sponsorship requests are reviewed by the Development Committee on a rolling basis, as funding permits.

Scholarship requests are reviewed and recommended by the Guilford High School Guidance office.  Questions may be addressed to (203) 453-2741 ext 225.