The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving (HFPG) is a left-of-center grant-making organization headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut, and operating in the Capitol Region of Connecticut. It was established in 1925 by bankers Maynard T. Hazen and Clark T. Durant. Since its creation, the foundation has awarded nearly $800 million in grants.
HFPG claims that the Greater Hartford region “must achieve greater racial, geographic, and economic inclusion” and alleges that “decades of systemic factors, structural racism, and disinvestment” are to blame for disparities in the region. The foundation intends to reduce these disparities by funding left-progressive organizations and causes.
HFPG funds research and programs to address various socioeconomic challenges in Hartford, Connecticut, and the surrounding communities. It claims that 12 percent of students in the Greater Hartford region regularly skip school, and that Black and Hispanic students’ absentee rates are “substantially higher” than that of white students. The foundation funds studies to develop strategies to reduce chronic absenteeism.
HFPG also reports that the city of Hartford experiences “much higher” crime rates than surrounding towns and that only 46 percent of city residents say they feel safe walking in their neighborhood at night. Many of the efforts the foundation supports focus on facilitating ex-convicts’ re-entry into society, including a three-year, $450,000 grant to support a “re-entry welcome center” to help formerly incarcerated individuals re-join society, find jobs, and receive other support.
HFPG supports expanding job training and availability in the Greater Hartford region, with a heavy emphasis on reducing minority unemployment. It supports expanding low-income housing in the city of Hartford and surrounding towns. It also provides financial support for food pantries, homeless shelters, and other “safety net” charity services.
Theodore Sergi is the chair of the board of HFPG. He previously served as Connecticut Commissioner of Education.
Rodney Powell is the vice chair of the board of HFPG. He previously worked for the power company Eversource Energy.
Jay Williams is the president of HFPG. Williams previously served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development and Deputy Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House under the Obama administration. Williams is not originally from Connecticut, and served as the Mayor of Youngstown, Ohio.
In November 2020, President-elect Joe Biden appointed Williams to his transition team as a member of the Treasury Department team. The same month, Williams wrote an op-ed for the Hartford Courant in which he claimed that the Greater Hartford community had “racist structures built over decades” and that “dismantling systemic racism” needed to be the top priority following the 2020 election.
Bradford Drazen is the vice president for Communications and Marketing at HFPG. He previously spent 20 years as a television news anchor, reporter, and producer.
Elysa Gordon is the vice president for Community Impact at HFPG. She previously worked in foster child and juvenile prisoner advocacy, as well as gay men’s health and AIDS services.
Deborah Rothstein is the vice president for Development at HFPG. She previously worked as vice president of philanthropy at the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford.
Bonnie Malley is the vice president for finance and administration at HFPG. She previously worked as chief operating officer for the City of Hartford.
As of 2019, HFPG has an endowment of $1.06 billion. The foundation receives money from more than 1,300 individual donor funds. These include funds managed by individuals, businesses, and other foundations. In 2019, the foundation received $14.1 million in contributions.