Grace Farms provides a platform for not-for-profits, offering a supportive place for organizations to foster new partnerships, actively participate in the Foundation’s programming, advance their work by utilizing meeting space, or simply enjoy the expansive landscape and River building. As a ‘type b’ place in a ‘type a’ world, Grace Farms inspires not-for-profit organizations to think creatively and reframe the work they are doing. Individuals often leave with a sense of renewal and connectedness with colleagues, motivating organizations to continue their meaningful work.
Below we’ve addressed some frequently asked questions that arise during the space grant process. If this blog doesn’t address your inquiry, please visit our Space Grants‘ Overview and Guidelines.
What is a space grant?
As a new kind of public space committed to advancing good in the world, Grace Farms believes that offering our space to not-for-profit organizations is central to our mission. These grants of space, offered to support not-for-profits on the front lines of service, include access to the River building, barns, grounds, and Foundation team. By serving as a nexus for these organizations, Grace Farms seeks to foster collaboration, promote charitable work, and contribute to human flourishing.
Who can apply for a space grant?
In order to apply for a space grant, you must be a registered not-for-profit or 501c3 organization. Organizations directly connected with one or more of the Foundation’s five initiatives — nature, arts, justice, community, and faith— may benefit from the professional program space available within the River building, our meeting spaces within the West barn, or our 80 acres of open landscape.
How can I apply for a Space grant and when are these applications reviewed?
Online applications are offered year-round at gracefarms.org/space-grants, with quarterly reviews. Completed applications must be submitted by the first of March, June, September, and December to be considered for review. Organizations are strongly encouraged to apply a minimum of three months in advance of the requested date.
Are there any restrictions on the timing of events that occur through space grants?
Space Grants are offered Tuesday through Friday from 10am-6pm, evening hours are available on a limited basis. Programs are considered with preference given to organizations demonstrating clear intent and goals and missions that align with the Foundation’s initiatives. In the application process, the Foundation also reviews the availability of space on the requested day(s), and the potential for the organization to collaborate with other space grant recipients.
What kinds of events related to my not-for-profit can I host at Grace Farms through a space grant?
The 82 gifts of space we have provided in the past have been used for a variety of events—strategic meetings, trainings, capacity-building programs, and workshops, among others. The majority of our space grants (75%) are under 25 people, and we offer limited opportunities for larger gatherings of 75-125 people. We are not currently hosting outside organizations on Sundays and we are closed to the public on Mondays.
How much does a space grant cost?
The cost of the use of space at Grace Farms is waived for not-for-profit organizations. In lieu of monetary support, we offer the gift of space which includes the use of a meeting room in the West Barn or a volume in the River building, basic AV/IT support, and assistance with room set-up from our on-site Facilities team. A space grant also provides organizations opportunities to network with other not-for-profit partners, including invitations to curated roundtable discussions. All food and beverage costs and any extensive production costs will be the financial responsibility of the organization.
Does my not-for-profit need to fall within one of the five initiatives?
Yes, your not-for-profit should fall within one or more of our five initiatives—nature, art, justice, community, or faith—please explore the Initiative pages on our website before applying: www.gracefarms.org. You may also browse the previous space grant recipients listed below this blog to see the range of organizations to which we have gifted space.
What other benefits do I get out of being a Grace Farms space grant recipient?
The Community Initiative proactively curates gatherings of not-for-profit partners throughout the year in the form of focused roundtable discussions and seasonal networking opportunities. Intentional proximity and strategic dialogue has led to critical discussions resulting in shared strategies and mutual support. Roundtable dialogues have brought together grant-making organizations, special needs organizations, and women changemakers.
The Foundation’s five core initiatives also lead to cross-disciplinary connections among not-for-profits with seemingly disparate missions, often bearing fruit in public programs.
What kinds of cross-disciplinary work has resulted amongst the space grant recipients?
There have been many, but one recent example occurred in June 2017, when Full Court Peace, IICONN, and Blossom Hill Foundation collaborated with the Foundation to co-host Peace in the Paint, a recreational basketball program for middle school students and newly resettled middle school refugees on World Refugee Day. All three partner organizations initially received space grants in 2016 and 2017.
To date, what organizations have received space grants?
The organizations that have been granted gifts of space are organized by initiative, in alphabetical order, below.
Discovery Center of Ridgefield
Garden Club of America
Keep America Beautiful
New Canaan Beautification League
New Canaan Land Trust
New Canaan Nature Center
Two Coyotes Wilderness School
The Aldrich Museum
Arts for Healing
Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County
Ethical Cultural Fieldston School
Fence Poetry Journal
New Artisans Group (with AFH)
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Silvermine Arts Center
The Glass House
University of Delaware (Dept of Music)
Building One Community
Blossom Hill Foundation
Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling & Education
Domestic Violence Crisis Centers
Full Court Peace
International Institute of Connecticut (IICONN)
International Organization for Adolescents (IOFA)
Next Generation Nepal
Person 2 Person
Pura Vida for Children
Resiliency Center of Newtown
Second Response (Fortunate Blessings)
The Underground Lighting the Way
Voices of September 11th
Walter E. Luckett Foundation
All Our Kin
Charity League of New Canaan
Community Fund of Darien
Connecticut Council for Philanthropy
Fairfield County Community Foundation
Food Rescue US
Friends of New Canaan Lacrosse
Fund for Women & Girls (FCCF)
Harvard Business School Connecticut Community Partners
Horizons Enrichment Program
Impact Fairfield County
National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI)
New Canaan Boys Basketball
New Canaan Community Foundation
New Canaan Historical Society
New Canaan Mounted Troop
New Canaan Police Department
New Canaan YMCA
New Canaan Youth & Family Services
Newman’s Own Foundation
Norwalk Community College
Rye Country Day School
Social Venture Partners (FCCF)
Southwest Regional Mental Health Board
STAR Lighting the Way
Staying Put of New Canaan
World Presidents/Young Presidents Organization
Young Women’s League of New Canaan
Auburn Theological Seminary
Copper Beech Institute
Grace Community Church
Interfaith Council of Southwest CT
Yale Center for Faith & Culture
Yale Divinity School