Ion Bank Foundation - Grant Guidelines | Ion Bank

Our Mission

The mission of the Ion Bank Foundation is to support programs and organizations that will contribute to the betterment of the communities it serves.

Eligibility Requirements

  • An applicant must be a non-profit organization recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, a municipal entity seeking a grant for public purposes or a religious organization seeking a grant for nonsectarian projects primarily associated with foundation priorities.
  • Applicants must be in, or serving communities with Ion Bank’s defined assessment area for Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) purposes which includes:

CONNECTICUT: Hartford County, Litchfield County, and New Haven County.       

NEW JERSEY: Morris County.

  • Applicant must have a board of at least 3 representatives of the community, of which a majority is neither employees nor relatives of employees.
  • All Connecticut applicants must possess a Nonprofit Registration to Solicit Funds (or exemption, if appropriate) from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection. The registration must be renewed annually:

Types of Grants

The Ion Bank Foundation awards both designated and competitive grants.

  • Designated grants will be made to organizations selected by the Ion Bank Foundation and will not be required to submit an application for this funding. Organizations will be notified by Ion Bank Foundation about the schedule for distribution and amount of their funding immediately after these awards are made.
  • Competitive grants are made for programs and capital needs. The Foundation will primarily fund direct costs incurred in starting or improving a program. However, indirect/overhead expenses are permitted as a line item – overhead above 10% of request must be documented in the Budget Narrative. Specifically, Ion Bank Foundation seeks projects that align with the Ion Bank Foundation’s priorities. The priorities are:
    • Affordable housing and rehabilitation
    • Community services; including but not limited to, healthcare, education, job training, social services, child care, and credit or financial services
    • Economic development
    • Revitalization or stabilization of distressed or underserved areas

In addition, the Ion Bank Foundation looks for strong proposals that:

  • Address demonstrated community need.
  • Summarize the organization’s track record in successfully implementing programs.
  • Adopt evidence-based programs and models, when appropriate.
  • Demonstrate potential for leveraging additional or sustaining support.
  • Clearly explain the project plan and provide a realistic budget that aligns with stated goals.
  • Advance community plans and priorities, when applicable. Preference is afforded to those requests with broad, visible community involvement in the design and fundraising for the project.
  • Include alliances and collaborative ventures between organizations, especially in cases where a partnership is essential for program success.
  • Describe your local presence and benefits to Hartford County, Litchfield County, or New Haven County in Connecticut and Morris County in New Jersey.

Ineligible for Funding

  • Requests for political or religious purposes.
  • Requests from municipalities or religious organizations for buildings or associated expense (however, we may consider support for equipment if it is specifically part of an eligible programmatic request).
  • Requests for capital expenditures on buildings not owned by the non-profit requesting funds.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are grant requests limited to a certain dollar amount? No, however, most requests supported by the Ion Bank Foundation fall in the $1,000-$10,000 range.
  • Can I submit more than one proposal in a year? Yes, however if you have received a competitive or designated grant in that year, a second would be unusual.
  • Can I submit a proposal for equipment? Yes, however, Ion Bank Foundation gives higher priority to requests for programs and services over capital or equipment.
  • Can I apply for expenses that have already been incurred? No, grants for previously incurred expenses are specifically prohibited.
  • Will Ion Bank Foundation consider requests from schools? Yes, however, requests from schools (or for programs offered in schools by nonprofit organizations) must include a signed letter of support from the principal of the school submitted with the grant application.
  • What if my request does not fit under the Ion Bank Foundation’s priorities? You may still apply for a grant, however, priority will be given to those areas listed.

Process for Grant Requests

  • Review the grant guidelines above to determine your organization’s eligibility and the appropriateness of the proposed project.
  • Complete the online grant application (
  • You will need to submit the following attachments:
    1. Proposed Project Budget and Narrative: Attach a sheet showing the proposed budget for your project, including support from your agency, support from other funders, and the support you are seeking from the Ion Bank Foundation.
    2. Support From Other Funders: Please attach a list of other funders, the amount you requested and if the request is committed, pending or projected.
    3. Board of Directors List (including contact information for the Board Chair).
    4. A copy of the organization’s nonprofit determination letter from the IRS.
    5. A copy of your Nonprofit Registration to Solicit Funds (or exemption, if appropriate) from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, if you are located in Connecticut.
    6. For programs in schools, include a letter of support from the principal.
    7. If applying for a capital campaign, attach a copy of your campaign feasibility study and provide the status of your campaign, listing amounts of requested versus secured contributions.
  • The grant review and decision making process takes approximately eight weeks from the grant submission deadline date.
  • When decisions have been made, grant applicants will be notified by phone call or letter.

Publicity Guidelines

We require all non-profit organizations that receive funding through Ion Bank Foundation to join us in promoting public understanding of the vital role philanthropy plays in strengthening our community. We require you to publicize your grant and to recognize Ion Bank Foundation who helped make the grant possible. Sharing information about the Ion Bank Foundation grant you received may help you build additional support for your program.

Ion Bank Foundation requires that you:

  • Include news of your grant in any publications you produce for internal or external audiences, such as newsletters, brochures, annual reports, lists of supporters, board minutes, etc.
  • Inform local media, including weekly suburban newspapers and special interest publications as appropriate.
  • Include the Foundation’s logo on brochures, signs, or plaques that recognize funders at events or on facilities. To obtain our Foundation logo, please contact Kathy Brochhausen at or 203.720.4114.
  • Provide a link to the Foundation’s website ( on your website.

Ion Bank Foundation can help you by:

  • Providing our logo for your use upon request.
  • Discussing publicity ideas for grants through local media.
  • Helping you target appropriate media outlets.
  • Answering any questions about Ion Bank Foundation’s attribution in your news releases and publicity materials.

Referring to Ion Bank Foundation and its funds

Always refer to the Foundation as Ion Bank Foundation.

Use of the logo on collateral materials

Credit the Ion Bank Foundation’s support by including our current logo in promotional materials, programs, educational materials, print advertising, and other publicity materials related to the Ion Bank Foundation grant you received. If you would like an electronic file of our logo, please contact Kathy Brochhausen at or 203.720.4114.


Often we use photographs of grantees to illustrate the programs we support. If you are willing to share your images, please email them with a contact name, phone number, description of your program, and email address to Kathy Brochhausen at

Questions or Additional Information

For further information about Ion Bank Foundation or to discuss your proposal in greater detail, contact Patrick McKenna at or 203.753.1315, ext. 118. Any discussion with Ion Bank Foundation or Connecticut Community Foundation staff regarding a grant proposal should in no way be construed as preliminary approval of the grant.

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