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COVID-19: Times are tough, but our communities are tougher. Learn more about how you and your neighbors can play a part in tackling community challenges.

To be eligible for Sustainable CT Community Match Fund dollars, your project must:

  1. Be located in a Sustainable CT registered town (or towns). Check here to see registered towns. Registering is easy, so if your town isn’t already registered, reach out to our Sustainable CT Community Outreach Manager at hildingsalorioa@easternct.edu, and he can help you get your town registered

  2. Align with Sustainable CT’s mission of creating equitable, sustainable communities. See the eligible project examples below to get an idea of possible projects. 
  3. Align with Sustainable CT actions. By aligning with Sustainable CT your town will be able to earn points towards Sustainable CT Town Certification when the project is complete. Our Community Outreach Manager  will help you determine which action your project aligns with.
  4. Have a public benefit and be inclusive to members of your community(ies). Projects cannot be aimed at securing private profit for a specific individual, family, or business. 
  5. Be specific and concrete. Projects must include a basic budget, outlining how funds will be spent. We strongly encourage new projects or projects that significantly expand on and enhance existing programming or services. 
  6. Have a well-defined budget. We anticipate that project budgets  might range from several hundred dollars to thousands. There is no minimum project budget size and this program is designed to support projects of widely varying scale. The size of your final budget goal should be based on the  costs for a specific, defined project, and take into consideration what is feasible for you  to  crowdfund from your  networks.
    • Match funding cannot be used as a replacement or alternative source of funds for projects that are already funded through a municipality or organization's budget.
    • Organizational overhead/operating expenses and budget allocations for existing staff's time spent on the project are not eligible for match funding.
    • Your project budget may not include funds for paying yourself. 
    • Major funding sources (i.e. grants, available municipal funding) should not make up more than 25% of your crowdfunding budget goal, at the absolute most. Community Match Fund dollars are primarily meant double additional donations from your community, not grant or municipal budget dollars that have already been allocated for a project. 
  7. Be determined eligible by Sustainable CT staff. When you share your project idea, you will be contacted by the Sustainable CT Community Outreach Manager  to discuss your project and be sure that it fits within the criteria above. 
  8. Be your only Sustainable CT Community Match Fund project that is actively fundraising. While there is no limit to the number of projects that you can undertake through the Community Match Fund, each prior project must have completed its fundraising campaign and be in the implementation stage before you can begin fundraising for a new project.
  9. Be implemented in a short time frame after fundraising. The Community Match Fund is intended to support projects with immediate funding needs, so you should be planning to start work on your project in the near-term after your crowdfunding campaign is complete. Please note, all approved projects are required to share a proposed timeline for project implementation with Sustainable CT. 

In addition, before accessing Sustainable CT Community Match Fund dollars, project leaders must: 

  1. Be available for a conversation with your town’s Sustainable CT Sustainability Team or municipal representative. When you share your project idea and discuss your project with Sustainable CT’s Community Outreach Manager, he will connect you to the primary contact for your town’s Sustainability Team. 

  2. Complete a pre-fundraising survey which includes a simple project timeline.  The timeline should show how you plan to complete your project within ten months of finishing your fundraising campaign.
  3. Receive a minimum of twenty  donations through an ioby community crowdfunding campaign. Match funding is intended to support you in asking the broader community to invest in your project, not for doubling one large donation or municipal budget dollars. Projects must engage the community broadly enough to achieve a minimum of  twenty  donors. This minimum may be waived for small-scale campaigns that make a good-faith effort  to crowdfund and reach their goal with fewer donors.  

 

Eligible Project Examples

NOTE: For all projects, we encourage project leaders to minimize adverse environmental impacts by following environmental best practices and using environmentally responsible products and services. 

Arts and Culture and Local Economies - Projects that promote local arts and creative culture, enhance community spaces, and/or support local business and tourism.

  • Youth arts program
  • Community arts festival promoting foot traffic to downtown small businesses 
  • Mural celebrating the town’s history or diversity
  • Parklets that provide gathering spaces in main street areas
  • Outdoor community concert series
  • Art installations, sculpture gardens, artists walks, etc
  • Buy local campaign
  • Main Street beautification projects

Renewable and Efficient Energy Use - Projects that utilize or increase the use of renewable energy and reduce energy use in community facilities and public spaces.

  • Solar panels to power public spaces
  • Community energy campaigns

Public Transportation - Projects that improve or create sustainable mobility options, including walking, biking, and public transit.  

  • Expansion or development of sidewalks, bike lanes, bike paths 
  • Bike safety classes 
  • Artistic bus shelters and seating 

Land and Natural Resource Protection - Projects that promote the protection, conservation, and sustainable use of lands, waterbodies, and other natural resources.

  • Public trails or trail systems 
  • Tree planting in public and open spaces
  • Rain gardens, bioswales, green infrastructure
  • Pollinator gardens

Healthy & Sustainable Food Networks - Projects that provide food & health education, increase food security, and promote local food production.

  • Food wellness and healthy cooking classes
  • Community gardens

Waste Reduction - Projects that promote reuse and reduce waste. 

  • Repair cafe or tool library
  • Composting stations at public events
  • Reusable bag campaigns

Equity and Inclusion - Projects that create more equitable, inclusive, and connected communities. 

  • Cultural awareness events
  • Outreach campaign to include underserved residents
  • Events that bring the community together to discuss equity opportunities and challenges

Ineligible Project Examples

  • Planning exercises and other municipal projects that are not public-facing and will have no aspect of community engagement. 

  • Projects that are already funded through a municipality’s budget.

  • Events limited to the membership of a specific organization that are not reasonably accessible to community residents.
  • Fundraising for a pool of funds to be re-granted to others or used for an unspecified purpose in the future.
  • Fundraising for a business startup costs, or for projects through which a local business is charging a fee for a product. (Note: Some social entrepreneurship projects or small businesses that have a nonprofit fiscal sponsor may be eligible.)
  • Political advocacy focused on an individual politician or party or a specific piece of legislation. 
  • Costs associated with large-scale capital improvements to a nonprofit's facility are not eligible for match fund. However, municipal capital improvements are eligible. 

Interested in learning more? Read our FAQs or RSVP here for an upcoming workshop or webinar. 

If you have questions or would like to discuss a potential project, contact Sustainable CT Community Outreach Manager Abe Hilding-Salorio at (860) 465-0256 or hildingsalorioa@easternct.edu, or schedule a time to talk with him here.