The Darien Foundation Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is The Darien Foundation?

The Darien Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization that provides private funding for technology and community capital projects that will benefit Darien residents.


2. When was The Darien Foundation formed?

The Darien Foundation was founded in 1998 as the Darien Technology Foundation. In 2007, the DTF expanded its mission beyond technology to also include supporting local capital projects. The organization’s name was changed to The Darien Foundation for Technology & Community. The shortened version is The Darien Foundation.


3. Who runs The Darien Foundation?

The Darien Foundation has a broad and diverse group of officers and directors composed of distinguished area residents. The Executive Director of The Darien Foundation is Sarah Woodberry.


4. What grants has The Darien Foundation made in the past?

Since its inception in 1998, The Darien Foundation has made awards totaling approximately $6 million. Projects we support are truly diverse. For example, in 2015 The Darien Foundation provided funding for the Darien High School and Middlesex Middle School Technology Education Departments, the Darien Public Schools Music Department, EMS Post 53 and At Home in Darien.

Visit our Grants page to view other grants that we have awarded over the years.


5. What types of projects does The Darien Foundation plan to support going forward?

The Darien Foundation remains committed to supporting cutting-edge technology initiatives for the public schools and other town organizations. Starting in 2007, under our expanded charter, we also seek to provide a central resource for groups undertaking capital projects that will benefit the community. The level of funding provided by The Darien Foundation for a particular project will be determined on a case-by-case basis. In general The Darien Foundation does not expect to be the sole funding source for a project, but rather a partner with the applicable organization or group undertaking the project.


Examples of “capital projects” The Darien Foundation will consider supporting include community groups seeking to build a youth sports field, renovate or construct a building for town use (such as the Library, Depot or Nature Center), renovate or construct a playground or memorial, or upgrade or purchase needed equipment (such as an ambulance or the Police boat). This is not meant to be a complete list. The Darien Foundation welcomes any and all grant proposals that are consistent with our mission. All projects must be approved by the necessary Town Boards before the grants can be funded.


We generally do not consider the following requests: grants to individuals, grants for endowment funds, grants for operating expenses, general fund-raising campaigns, grants concerning political activities, or grants concerning religious or sectarian projects.


6. How do I apply for a grant?

Applications must include a concise description of the proposed project, the specific dollar amount requested, the “need” this grant will address and the intended results. We would also like to know how this grant will be of benefit to the Darien community. Please also include a brief description of your organization including contact information. Supporting documents should include the project budget and current financial statements. Please see our Grant Guideline page for more information.


7. What is the grant-making process?

The Darien Foundation Board meets periodically to evaluate grant applications. Proposals are screened for compliance with eligibility and application guidelines. Determination of award is based on the quality and nature of each proposal, as well as availability of funds during that period. We notify applicants shortly after the Board renders its decision.


8. How do I give to The Darien Foundation or get more information?

Your interest is important to us. Please email, write or call for more detailed information. We look forward to serving you and appreciate the trust you place in us.


The Darien Foundation
PO Box 1714
Darien, CT  06820