Frequently Asked Questions Section


What is the Edward W. Hazen Foundation?

The Edward W. Hazen Foundation is a private, independent foundation. In 1925, Mr. Edward W. Hazen established the Foundation to “promote the public welfare either by supporting existing agencies or through independent activities to be exclusively religious, scientific, literary, or educational in character.” Since its founding, and despite enormous changes in the social, political, and economic landscape, Mr. Hazen’s legacy lives on through the Foundation’s long-standing support for education and developing young people’s leadership.
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Who was Edward Warriner Hazen?

Edward Warriner Hazen was born in Middletown, Connecticut, on February 13, 1860. Mr. Hazen spent his early years as a student in secondary schools, as a rural schoolteacher, as a farmer, and as a laborer and foreman in a brass mill. Later, Mr. Hazen was an executive with the Curtis Publishing Company, and then a State Senator of Connecticut. On September 25, 1925, Mr. Hazen incorporated the Foundation in the State of Connecticut. Mr. Hazen died on January 9, 1929, in Haddam, Connecticut.

Throughout his life, Mr. Hazen chose to act in a manner that would elicit the least personal acclaim. Only where his name would clearly strengthen the influence of his acts did he allow its use in connection with his contributions.
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What is the mission of the Foundation?

The Edward W. Hazen Foundation, a private foundation established in 1925, is committed to supporting organizing and leadership of young people and communities of color in dismantling structural inequity based on race and class.
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Where does the Foundation get its money?

The Foundation gets its funds from an endowment currently valued at approximately $30 million. The endowment provides a perpetual source of support for the Foundation’s programs and administration.
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What is the Foundation’s annual giving budget?

The annual giving budget, or the payout, is set by the Board of Trustees based upon the year-end value of its assets. The board will continue to give at a rate at or above the Internal Revenue Code requirement of five percent of the market value of its investment assets.
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Who runs the Foundation?

The Foundation is governed by a national board of trustees and is managed by the President. The trustees determine board policies, hire and supervise the President, set program and management budgets, approve grants and appropriations, and review program and grant objectives and accomplishments.

The President has the general and active supervision and management of the business of the Foundation, and sees that all orders and resolutions of the board are carried out. The President and the staff evaluate proposals, seek out institutions able to carry out activities in the Foundation’s areas of interests, and recommend grants for funding.
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Who comprises the staff of the Foundation?

Lori Bezahler, President

Isabel Sousa-Rodriguez, Program Officer

Rosio Santos Castelan, Program & Administrative Assistant

Sara Houston, Bookkeeper
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What are the Foundation’s current program interests?

The Foundation’s current grantmaking is focused on efforts that address the effects of systemic and structural oppression based on race and class through organizing for educational justice and youth organizing.

  • Public Education – We are primarily interested in parent and community organizing initiatives that address issues of disparities in access and outcomes for students of color.
  • Youth Organizing – We favor initiatives in which young people take action on issues of social and racial justice.

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What types of organizations does the Foundation fund?

The Foundation will consider requests from community-based and grassroots organizations throughout the United States.
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What types of grants does the foundation award?

The Foundation awards trustee grants, opportunity fund grants, and annual grants.

  • Trustee grants are approved by the Board of Trustees, and are generally greater than $10,000.
  • Opportunity Fund grants are approved by the President, and are no more than $10,000.
  • Annual grants are awards and membership fees to institutions in which the Foundation is a member or has a direct interest; these grants are approved by the President and are no more than $10,000.

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What is the average size of the Foundation’s trustee grants?

The average trustee grant is $15,000-$25,000.
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Does the Foundation fund internationally?

No. The Foundation only supports community-based and grassroots organizations in the United States. In addition, the Foundation does not support organizations in US territories.
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What organizations are not eligible for Foundation funding?

The Foundation does not make grants to individuals, schools or school districts, or government agencies. Grants are awarded only to federally tax-exempt [501(C)(3)] organizations.
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Are there funding areas that the Foundation does not support?

The Foundation does not fund scholarships or fellowships; nor provides funds toward deficit funding, building construction or maintenance, or endowments. The Foundation does not make grants to individuals, schools or school districts, or houses of worship unless for specific social justice efforts.
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What is the Foundation’s grant application procedure?

At this time we are not accepting any new letters of inquiry or unsolicited proposals. The Foundation will issue Requests for Proposals twice a year to organizations that fit within our guidelines. To be considered for the RFP mailing list please use this link to provide information on your organization.
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What are the Foundation’s funding cycles and deadlines?

The Foundation has two grant cycles: Spring and Fall.

If the Foundation requests a grant application, Foundation staff will indicate the application deadline.
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To whom do I address my request for support?

Proposals for support should only be submitted at the request of the Foundation.
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Can I submit a grant application as my initial request?

This is not recommended, as the Foundation does accept unsolicited proposals and will neither review, nor provide feedback, for unsolicited applications/proposals.
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What is the response timeline for an initial funding request?

At this time we are not accepting any new letters of inquiry. The Foundation will provide a timeline for response to organizations invited to submit proposals.
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Can I contact the foundation to learn why my request was declined?

Organizations that have been invited to submit a proposal may contact the Foundation for more information on the decision to fund or decline to fund a request.
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Are there any restrictions on how many times we can apply to the Foundation?

No. However, re-applications will only be reviewed when submitted at the request of the Foundation.
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Can I apply for more funding if I have a currently active grant?

No. In general, organizations are awarded one trustee’s grant per grant period.
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Can a staff member come and visit our organization or may we come visit you to conduct a presentation about our program?

In general, the staff is not able to meet with organizations interested in sharing information about their programs or learning more about the Foundation. However, prospective applicants are welcome to submit background information to the foundation.
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