About our grantmaking

Our Grantmaking Process

Our primary focus is on grant funding that builds power for health, racial, social and economic justice through organizing. Universal makes funding decisions at different points throughout the year that support implementation of its strategic priorities. We work to make our funding process open to dialogue and easy to use.

We Prioritize Funding Groups That:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the connections between different forms of oppression facing Black & Brown people and are committed to address other forms of oppression based on class, race, gender, physical and mental ability
  • Have organizational structures and practices in place that reflect anti-racist social justice principles
  • Have active participation from the communities most affected by issues that the group works on
  • Are inclusive and reflect the diversity of the geographic region in which they do their work


Building Power Grants

The focus on power building is to support a cross-issue community organizing infrastructure of Connecticut-based organizations. Organizing is an essential component of the infrastructure needed to build power for people most affected by structural inequities. Organizing, by its very nature, is directly accountable to the community and it builds pathways to power for people most impacted by the existing system. Organizing, therefore, is a tool and perspective that grounds power building approaches.

For Universal, those particularly impacted include Black, Indigenous and people of color, LGBTQIA+, immigrants, low-income, people with disabilities, and people with chronic illnesses.


Our Building Power Grant application closes on October 31st.

Please fill out this form to indicate interest:
Request to Discuss Funding - Building Power

Capacity Bridging Fund

Universal defines capacity bridging as different from capacity building. Capacity building often focuses on the perceived deficits of an organization or group -- capacity bridging honors the strengths organizations and groups bring to their work, helps organizations and groups to meet their goals, and helps to resource organizations and groups with supports they identify as necessary to achieve those goals.

Our Capacity Bridging Fund application is open until funds are expended.

Please fill out this form to indicate interest:
Request to Discuss Funding - Capacity Bridging