Hartford UNITY Grant Application

The Hartford UNITY Grant Application has now closed.



*Below is the 2023 Hartford UNITY RFP document.

Request for Proposals (RFP)(PDF, 795KB)



*The following documents/forms should be downloaded, completed, saved, and uploaded into the relevant section(s) of the application.

Results Framework(DOCX, 32KB)

Budget Workbook Template(XLSX, 37KB)

COH Tax Financial Certification and Declaration Form(PDF, 619KB)



*The following documents can be used for additional reference.

City of Hartford Minimum Insurance Requirements(PDF, 577KB)

Certificate of Liability Insurance (Sample)(PDF, 131KB)

Results Framework Instructions(PDF, 1MB)

PDF Application Example [Use as a reference ONLY](PDF, 148KB)

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Frequently Asked Questions



This document will be updated every Wednesday by 5:00PM and the final update will be by 5:00PM on Friday, February 3, 2023. To submit a question please e-mail youthengagementgrants@hartford.gov and we will post the question and answer to this FAQ document.  

General Questions

QUESTION: Will there be an opportunity for people to sign up to be ETO users, or is ETO exclusively for people that are currently already using it?  

ANSWER: We will work with you if you are interested in using the ETO system that the City has to offer. We are also willing to work with whatever database system that you have in place.   

QUESTION: Is there a minimum number of children that may be served through this initiative?  

ANSWER: There is no minimum number, as long as it is above zero. You would need to justify the budget costs and ensure that they are reasonable to serve the number of youths that you propose serving.   

QUESTION: When do the grant-funded program period start and end?  

ANSWER: The program periods are as follows: Summer (July 1 – August 31, 2023) and Year-Round (July 1 – June 30, 2023)  

QUESTION: Is there a designated day(s) or time within the Summer (July through August) that is required?  

ANSWER: No, there is not. Again, we want to be supportive of your programs, so we ask you to tell us when the days and times the program(s) meet, but we don’t have a requirement on the days, times or number of occasions of these meetings.   

QUESTION: Does the City promote or advertise the events or projects being offered by people who were able to get funding.  

ANSWER: Yes, we do, even for those who do not get funding. This is done mainly through e-mail, so we encourage you to send into your information to be shared. 

QUESTION: Can the organization be an LLC? Does it have to be based out of Hartford?  

ANSWER:  Yes, the organization can be an LLC if you are applying for any funding amount less than $25K. The organization does not have be based in Hartford, however you do have to serve only Hartford youth residents with the funding dollars.  

QUESTION: Are you allowed to use DFCYR employees on your staff?  

ANSWER: No. If there are employees that happen to work for DFCYR, or the City of Hartford in any form or fashion, they cannot be paid through American Rescue Plan dollars.   

QUESTION: Where can you find the downloaded version of this RFP online and the recorded Bidders’ Conference?   

ANSWER: All the information regarding the Hartford UNITY Grant can be found at www.HartfordUnity.com.   

QUESTION: Will you be funding school-based programs during the school day, or just after-school programming?  

ANSWER: The intent is for enrichment programs, including programs that are operating after school. We will not be funding programs during the school day. This grant is not a general operating grant. 

QUESTION: Who would be the appropriate contact to send pictures and content of the different activities and programs the participants are involved in?  

ANSWER: We ask that you send those pictures and other items to the email youthengagementgrants@hartford.gov.  

QUESTION: Will the “Past Performance Review” section on the rubric be used to make funding decisions? Does that also apply if it's a program not previously funded by UNITY?

ANSWER:  Yes, the score that a previous grantee will receive in the “Past Performance Review” will impact their overall score. If not previously funded by Hartford UNITY dollars, then this section does not apply to applicants.

QUESTION: When can we expect to hear about award notifications?

ANSWER: The tentative announcement is scheduled for April 2023.

QUESTION: If an IRS determination letter was submitted in round one, do you need to see that again?

ANSWER: Yes, all documentation that is requested in the application is required.

QUESTION: Are questions allowed following the Bidders’ Conference?

ANSWER: Yes, please send your questions to youthengagementgrants@hartford.gov

QUESTION: Would a program that runs on weekends and after school be considered school-based? Can we still apply?

ANSWER: Yes, you may apply.

QUESTION: Our summer program takes place from 4 pm- 8:30 pm M-F and on weekends.  Is this allowable, or do the hours have to be 8 am - 5 pm?

ANSWER: Yes. There is no specific timeframe that a program must adhere to. The only requirements are that the programs serve Hartford-based youth between the ages of birth-24 and take place between July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024.

QUESTION: Is Youth Participatory Research eligible for this grant?

ANSWER: Yes, as long as it serves Hartford-based youth between the ages of birth – 24.

QUESTION: Can programs that take place during lunchtime still apply?

ANSWER:  If the program takes places during the school-year, and within the school-day hours, the program would not be eligible for funding.

QUESTION: Can programs that happen during the day for childcare centers and in formal and informal daycare still apply?


QUESTION: If we are serving children birth up to age 5 who do not have a SASID can we still apply?

ANSWER:  Yes, you may apply for funding.

QUESTION: You mentioned last year that this year's grant might not include programs that are school-based. Is this the case?

ANSWER: Yes, school-based programs are not eligible for funding.

QUESTION: If our program runs all year-round and includes a summer program do we apply as a year-round program?

ANSWER: Yes, you may apply as a year-round program.

QUESTION: Currently my program is school-based. Can I still apply?

ANSWER: School-based programs will not be accepted this year. However, if you alter your program to operate as a summer-only program or as an afterschool program, your application may still be accepted.


QUESTION: Can current UNITY grantees apply for funding?  

ANSWER: Yes, if you are a current UNITY grantee and are interested in funding again, you need to apply again for this round. If you are awarded this round, it will be based on availability, funding, your program performance, and at our (DFCYR-COH) discretion. 

QUESTION: Can one application for summer learning serve multiple age groups with individualized programming?  

ANSWER: Yes, you can serve multiple age groups.

QUESTION: "I'm having trouble with OpenForms.  When I try to "save" or submit the application, it keeps saying "File not Found." 

ANSWER: Luckily this problem is solvable. It occurs when the application is left unsaved for 24 hours and relates to the uploaded files. Essentially, the system ceases to recognize that the files were uploaded. All you need to do is re-upload all the attachments you uploaded previously. If you are ready to resubmit, do so within a 24-hour period.

QUESTION: Do I need to already be in a contract with the City of Hartford in order to apply for this grant?

ANSWER: No. If awarded, you will be required to sign a contract with the City of Hartford. This is a change from last year when some organizations received funding without a contract. This will not be the case this year.

QUESTION: Regarding the required, Notarized City of Hartford Tax / Certification and Declaration Form, if my organization is based in another town, would you accept that same form from that town?

ANSWER: No. The Notarized City of Hartford Tax / Certification and Declaration Form is required for the application and cannot be substituted with a comparable form from another municipality.

QUESTION: If I have 3 separate programs or events that could benefit Hartford are youth and young adults.  Do I have to submit 3 different applications or can I submit one application with the detailed breakdown for each program or event?

ANSWER: Please submit one application with the detailed breakdown for each program or event.

QUESTION: After I fill the forms out, and have them notarized, please explain to me how to upload them from my phone, I'm doing the application on my laptop.

ANSWER: For the best resolution, we recommend scanning the document to your email address.

QUESTION: Is the COI is due with the submitted application?

ANSWER: No. The COI is only required for awarded grantees.

QUESTION: Where can I find the Bidders’ Conference recording, the RFP, and any other materials relevant to the application?

ANSWER: You can find it all here.

QUESTION: How can applicants obtain a copy of the application to download prior to completing it online?

ANSWER: There is a sample “PDF Application Example” online at www.hartfordunity.com under the “HELPFUL Documents” section that it to be used as a reference only.

QUESTION: I missed the Mandatory Bidders’ Conference. Can I still apply for this grant?

ANSWER: Yes, we understand not everyone was able to attend the Bidders’ Conference at the time.  Therefore, we have made a video recording of it available to the public. The Bidders’ Conference video can be found here about 2/3rds down the page: Hartford UNITY Grant Application – City of Hartford (hartfordct.gov) After watching the video, you can put in the Bidders Conference Code in the UNITY Grant Pre-Submission Requirements form.  Once you do this, you will have access to the 2023 UNITY Grant Application.

Age & Residency Requirements

QUESTION: Regarding location – can my program take on students from a partner program and provide services, even if some students are not Hartford residents?   

ANSWER: You can take on whatever students you want in your program, however the UNITY grant funding dollars can only be applied to services for those youth that are Hartford-residents. 

QUESTION: Can services for the Hartford resident be provided from outside of the City of Hartford?  

ANSWER: Yes, we understand that programs may be run outside of Hartford and may have several locations. The program has to serve Hartford residents, and the grant dollars are for the Hartford residents only.   

QUESTION: Is it allowable to get funding for programs that may welcome participants outside of Hartford if we can separate the costs out for Hartford residents?   

ANSWER: Yes, you may have participants in your program from anywhere, however the funds may only be used for those participants who are Hartford residents.

QUESTION: Can we include multiple locations as sites of program services in the application?  


QUESTION: If a program includes youth from various towns, can the budget include general costs like a staff at a percentage based on the expected percentage of Hartford youth/students?  


Trainings & Background Checks

QUESTION: Are staff background checks required for completion of the application?  

ANSWER: No, they are not. You will have to certify and attest to that staff will be background-checked prior to the start of the program.  

QUESTION: Who is responsible for completing the background check?  

ANSWER: The organization is responsible.  

QUESTION: I have volunteer staff who have been background checked last year, do they need to be background checked again this year for the grant?  

ANSWER: In general, we request annual background checks, so if it has been completed within the past year, you are probably fine.   

QUESTION: Is a background check required if staff are already employed in the Hartford school system?  

ANSWER: Currently employed staff do not need to be background-checked as we assume that they have already been background checked prior to employment.   

QUESTION: Can an organization submit one application for child care services and youth programming? (for two different programs)  

ANSWER:  If they are in fact two separate programs, then only one (1) program can be chosen to receive funding.  

QUESTION: Staff are required to complete DCF Mandated Reporter Training, is that that state DCF?  

ANSWER: Yes, that is correct. It is FREE and you can complete the trainings online, click HERE or cut and paste the link:  https://portal.ct.gov/DCF/Mandated-Reporter-Training/Home   

QUESTION: Who will be providing the mandatory health and safety info session?  

ANSWER: We will provide that for awarded grantees. The training is mandatory for those awarded grantees to attend.   

QUESTION: What support can be provided as an applicant from the DFCYR - Youth Engagement Team?   

ANSWER: We provide the Bidders’ Conference as reference for those applying for funding, in addition to access to the RFP online, a FAQ document updated online. DCFYR staff are not permitted to assist in completing or providing any feedback on a pending application. 

QUESTION: Can the costs of background checks and/or CPR/First Aid training be included in the grant?  

ANSWER: Yes to both. It is the responsibility of the provider to ensure all program staff are trained in CPR/First Aid prior to programs starting.   

Funding & Budget

QUESTION: Is there a preference for this funding to have multiple funding sources for the program?  

ANSWER: No, it is not a preference, however we would like to know, as we ask that this be included in the Budget Workbook. There may be questions around sustainability and how you are managing that within your program.   

QUESTION: Please clarify about “only the highest amount being awarded and all the others being discarded”.   

ANSWER: Yes, we only accept one (1) application per organization. If there are more than one (1) application that is submitted, the application with the highest amount asked will be considered. The other applications will be discarded and not considered.

QUESTION: If an organization is awarded 2 grants for the same summer program, can they change their budget with the UNITY grant after being awarded so they do not have funds overlap? Will they lose potential UNITY funding if the budget needs to be changed?

ANSWER: After an organization is awarded, they may have the opportunity to submit a change their budget for approval by the COH.

QUESTION: If an organization applies to both the UNITY grant and a state grant for a summer enrichment program and are awarded both, are they able to accept each grant?

ANSWER: Yes, if the funds do not overlap in their support of the program.

QUESTION: Are partial insurance premiums allowable to be supported in the budget?

ANSWER: Yes. If additional expenses are incurred due to the COH minimum insurance standards, those additional expenses may be included in the budget.

QUESTION: Will proposals that have funding from other sources be viewed more favorably than those that do not?

ANSWER: No, they will not.

QUESTION: Did you mention that the Partnership column should represent any funds that the lead applicant will share with a programming partner - and not any funds that the partner is contributing to the work?

ANSWER:  The conditions of the partnership should be made clear in the LOA / MOU signed agreement, which should also be reflected in the budget workbook.

QUESTION: Are travel costs allowable?

ANSWER: Yes, travel costs are allowable.

QUESTION: Are there new survey requirements for very young children? Very young children cannot complete surveys.

ANSWER: There are no new survey requirements for very young children.

QUESTION: The RFP specifies new/pilot programs at the $25K+ level - but if an organization is looking to launch a new partnership/program and would only need funding in the $5K - $25K level, would that be an acceptable project?

ANSWER: Yes, an organization is only allowed to apply for funding from $5K-$25K. A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization may apply for funding from $5K-$100K.

QUESTION: Can we apply for this even if we are already receiving separate ARPA funding from the City of Hartford?

ANSWER: Yes, you may apply.

QUESTION: You mentioned a $100k ceiling, but the presentation says $24,999 ceiling. Please explain.

ANSWER: There are two funding tiers. An organization is only allowed to apply for funding from $5K-$25K. A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization may apply for funding from $5K-$100K.

Insurance / Risk Management

QUESTION: Regarding obtaining City-required insurance, what about the sexual abuse molestation and cyber security requirements. Is it a requirement?  

ANSWER: Yes, for any program serving children under 21, it is a requirement and there are no exceptions.  

QUESTION: Is cybersecurity insurance new?  

ANSWER: It is a newer requirement.  Please be sure to check with your insurance agent regarding the requirements.

QUESTION: Are we required to have our insurance in place prior to submitting the application?

ANSWER: You are not required to have insurance in place prior to submitting your application. However, please note that if awarded, you must have your insurance compliant within ten (10) days.


QUESTION: How do you suggest separate organizations who work together apply for this grant? Apply separately or jointly?  

ANSWER:  If you are partnering with someone, then one partner should be identified as the lead and they would be the lead applicant in the partnership. The partner who is not the lead, is prohibited from submitting a separate application for grant funding as we only award one grant per organization or per partnership organization.  

Clarification: If you are a partner with an organization, but you do not receive funding in the partnership, you can apply for funding for your program that you are seeking funding dollars for.   

QUESTION: Can two different providers collaborate on two different grants?   

ANSWER: Yes, if two grantees both have funding and want to work together, we welcome that partnership.

QUESTION: Is any person or organization that we subcontract considered a partner if they will receive UNITY grant funding?

ANSWER: Yes, if they are to receive UNITY grant funding dollars through the partnership that is outlined in the LOA / MOU and the Budget Workbook.

QUESTION: Can a partner be a person OR an organization (if a 501c3 is the lead applicant)?

ANSWER: Yes, that is correct.

QUESTION: Is an MOU or LOA required for all subcontractors? And are for-profit organizations or providers considered to be partners?

ANSWER: The RFP further outlines a partnership. Please read through it for further clarification.  Only one partner is allowed per application, as it a shared commitment of resources or financial responsibilities of UNITY funding.

QUESTION: Can you have more than one partner? For example, you have a year-long program. But the After-School program has one partner, and the Summer Program has a different partner.

ANSWER: Only one partner is allowable per application.

QUESTION: We are working with 2 partners on a year-round program. Does this mean we need to exclude one from our proposal?

ANSWER: Only one partner is allowable per application, and the funding dollars must only be utilized by the Lead Applicant and their partner. This does not preclude an applicant from having several partners in their programming.

Reporting / Performance

QUESTION: What is meant by a “Results Framework”?  

ANSWER: In the grant application, there is an outcome measurement framework (Results Framework) document that you are asked to download and complete. We will provide more information regarding the Results Framework, along with provide example at the Bidders’ Conference as well as online at www.hartfordunity.com  

QUESTION: Is data reporting required for all grantees?  

ANSWER: Yes, if you are awarded, then there will be regular data entry that is required.  All grantees are required to submit data.  Daily data entry is not required. Awarded grantees will be provided with a data forms to be completed.  

QUESTION: This question is regarding the results framework. When discussing anticipated number of participants during the grant period, is it acceptable to enter a range (example: 125-140) or is a precise 'best guess' preferred?

ANSWER: Yes, entering a range is acceptable.

QUESTION: On the Results Framework, "better off" is a somewhat vague measurement. Is there another way to explain this?

ANSWER: “Better off” in this case refers to the changes visible in participants that occurred because of their participation in your program. For example, will/do participants go on to pursue higher education, continue playing the sport your program introduced them to get better grades, have a better attitude, increased socialization, etc. Remember, you need to be able to report on the metrics you use.

QUESTION: Is the Results Framework completed twice? At the beginning of the application with projected goals and at the end with final results?

ANSWER: Yes, the Results Framework is completed at the beginning and then at the end of the program.

QUESTION: How do we get a SASID number?

ANSWER: Only those who are awarded are required to obtain SASID numbers of those Hartford-based youth who are enrolled in school and attend their program.  SASID numbers can be provided by the enrolled youths’ parent or guardian or through the school that they are attending.

QUESTION: Please explain City ETO and MyRec.

ANSWER: The applicant must have the in-house data capacity for their program. The ability to track, manage, process and evaluate data.



QUESTION: When is the reimbursement fund schedule for awarded grantees?   

ANSWER: Those awarded grantees for Summer only programs (July – August) are completed after the successful completion of the program and reporting requirements are met. Those awarded Year-Round grantees depending on the timing, the execution of the grant. The funding is for that period, so the expenses that you are incurring during that period is what the grant is paying for. We will work with the providers to get the contracts executed and get the funding to you early on. 


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