In November, more than 30 members of the Black Giving Circle Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving held a virtual meeting to review and vote on proposals from local nonprofit organizations applying for a 2020 grant from the Fund. After considering a wide variety of programs aimed at supporting Greater Hartford’s Black community, the members chose two proposals, one to provide support to Black women cancer survivors, and the other to provide financial literacy education to high school students and young adults.

“As we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Black Giving Circle Fund, we are excited to announce this year’s grants to two key community partners who are working hard to improve the lives of residents in the Greater Hartford community,” said Christopher R. Cloud, chair of the Black Giving Circle Fund Steering Committee. “The membership of the Fund overwhelmingly approved these two proposals and is delighted to be providing resources to support this ongoing work in our community.”

Gardner’s House has been awarded a $14,875 grant to support its expanded “Empowering Black Cancer Survivors” program, a compassionate cancer care, patient advocacy program for 25 Black women in Greater Hartford. This weekly survivor advocacy program was developed in direct response to the COVID pandemic, which creates additional challenges for Black women who are battling cancer. Treatment is incredibly expensive, and the financial strain can lead to social/emotional distress for survivors and families, as job losses, housing instability, and social isolation exacerbate the toll on the Black community. These issues are further complicated by the impact of racial injustice in the community. The goal of “Empowering Black Cancer Survivors” is to alleviate the stress for Black women diagnosed with cancer by providing them with information about their medical diagnosis and treatment plan, ensuring that their basic needs are met and addressing any unanticipated financial challenges. The program focuses on decreasing social isolation through regular meetings with a Survivor Advocate and participation in a virtual bi-weekly support group that includes journaling and phone support. The initiative also seeks to ease financial distress by providing access to resources for food, housing, transportation and utility payments.

“We appreciate the Black Giving Circle Fund for allowing Gardner’s House the opportunity to share our story of the importance of treating Black women with cancer as both patients AND people,” said Gardner’s House founder and CEO, Maggie Gardner. “To be selected for this grant among so many wonderful organizations means a great deal and provides us with a boost of encouragement to continue this work. The generosity of Black Giving Circle Fund members will ensure that we can provide more women with the supports and resources they need to access basic needs to stabilize their lives as they heal.”

Wealth Generation Legacy Inc. has been awarded a $5,125 grant to support the “Personal Finance Does Matter” program, a 10-week, high school and young adult financial literacy education curriculum for 90 Black youth (aged 14-25) in Greater Hartford. High school students and young adults will separate into three cohorts to account for age-appropriate teaching and learning. Student participation in afterschool learning shifted from onsite, in-classroom delivery to a hybrid model using Facebook and Instagram Live, allowing for COVID-19 permitted social distancing activities. Young adults will adhere to the same hybrid model and may attend the program onsite at a nonprofit, COVID restrictions permitting. Participants will create vision boards at the onset of the program to identify their future wealth potential, career aspirations, and education goals. The curriculum focuses on 11 themes in personal finance development and future wealth generation. Participants in each of the three cohorts will be encouraged to submit an essay for consideration for three $500 scholarships (one for each cohort).

“We thank the membership of the Black Giving Circle Fund for allowing Wealth Generation to bring financial literacy to the youth of Hartford,” said Naciki Reid, president and founder of Wealth Generation Legacy. “In a field of grass, be a tree! We want our youth to stand high above the social norms and flourish. Like how a tree provides for generations to come, so will their legacy.”

The mission of Black Giving Circle Fund is “to create sustainable change in the Black community by leveraging the philanthropic efforts of donors and celebrating Black philanthropy.” Membership to the Black Giving Circle Fund is open to everyone. Donations from members (at least $365 annually per membership) are pooled together in a dedicated endowed fund at the Hartford Foundation. Members of the fund examine issues facing Greater Hartford’s Black community and, collectively, recommend grants to nonprofit organizations that work to address them.

In November, the Hartford Foundation announced plans to establish two five-year, $250,000 flex-funds to support the its key stakeholders of color through its Black Giving Circle Fund and Latino Endowment Fund. These additional resources will empower the two giving circles to either increase their grantmaking capacity by up to $50,000 per year for the next five years and/or contribute up to $50,000 per year to their endowments to increase their perpetual grantmaking capacity.

For more information, or to join the Black Giving Circle Fund, visit or call Chari Anderson at 860-548-1888.


The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $785 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit or call 860-548-1888.