Applying for an Aurora Foundation grant

Normally the Aurora Foundation operates an annual granting cycle, which starts with a kick off lunch meeting in March. At the event, program providers learn about our current funding focus and community research highlighting this issue.

The lunch also provides an opportunity to network and collaborate with other nonprofit groups serving women and girls in Hartford County. Our feedback indicates that participants find these engagement opportunities valuable – even for organizations that do not decide to apply for an Aurora grant.


The granting cycle timeline

See the timeline on this page for a bird’s-eye view of Aurora’s annual granting cycle.


Proposals only from selected grant seekers

All applicants must begin by submitting a letter of intent. Foundation staff and funding committee members evaluate the letters of intent and, if necessary, request additional information.

Staff invites only selected applicants to continue with the steps to prepare a full proposal. That way we ensure that only applicants whose programs align with the foundation’s current funding objectives put time into developing a proposal.
The Aurora Foundation currently concentrates its grants on college-completion and college-retention programs in Greater Hartford, Connecticut.


Evaluation criteria

We evaluate programs against a framework developed from our research on the challenges facing women seeking to earn a college degree as well as known success factors that support degree completion.

Grant awardee programs focus on improving academic outcomes and retention and have proven success with measured results. They compare participant results to similar student populations and encourage student engagement. The programs also can scale up readily.


The very first steps

We recommend that you start by reading the description of Aurora’s current grantmaking focus and our Annual Report.

After you’ve read the background, if you would like to learn more by attending our grant seekers’ lunch, use the Contact form at the bottom of this page to receive an invitation to the next grant seeker’s lunch meeting.


Special note for 2017 grant seekers

Keep in mind that we are actively seeking to award multiyear grants. We currently structure our multiyear grants as one-year grants with a renewable option. Therefore, if the 2016 grants all make a multiyear commitment to college-completion programs, we may not invite new applicants in 2017. We will update this page after the 2016 grants have been announced to let grant seekers know what to expect in 2017.


Month Applicant milestones 2016
February Prior year grant awardees recognized at the Aurora Annual Meeting
March Grant seeker’s lunch meeting
April Letters of intent due by e-mail, April 22, 5 pm
May Invitations to selected grant seekers to submit full applications, mid-May
June Complete applications due (from only grant seekers who have been invited to apply), June 17, 2016
July Proposal review and applicant site visits by Aurora Foundation staff (late June through July)
August Grants awarded. Notifications go out on August 15, 2016.
October Grantees fêted at Signature Breakfast