Barnes Group Foundation

OVERVIEW: This is the corporate foundation of the aerospace and industrial company, Barnes Group. The foundation awards grants to Connecticut groups in the areas of education, healthcare, human services, basic needs, and the arts.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, healthcare, the arts, basic needs, human services

IP TAKE:  Barnes gives out lots of grants each year that are relatively small and in the hundreds of dollars. Bristol-area education groups have a particularly good opportunity with this funder.

PROFILE: Established in 1945, the Barnes Group Foundation is the grantmaking arm of its corporate sister the Barnes Group, an aerospace manufacturer and provider of services that was founded in 1857. In addition to aerospace, the company also specializes in transportation, manufacturing, healthcare, and packaging. The company is headquartered in Bristol, Connecticut, so a significant portion of the corporate foundation’s grantmaking takes place here. The Barnes Group Foundation is committed “to the support of education, the arts, civic and youth activities, and health-related charities in the communities in which the company operates.”

The foundation prioritizes education, having supported over 400 schools and cultural centers in a recent three-year period. Barnes has a matching gift program that matches amounts donated by Barnes Group employees and directors. These grants typically support primary schools, secondary schools, universities, colleges, and community learning facilities.

Healthcare and the arts are also funding interests. The foundation believes that these are things that build strong local communities in the places where company employees live and work. It largely does this though the employee matching gift program as well. The Barnes Group Foundation has generously funded the United Way in its commitment to basic needs and human services in its home communities, including disaster relief, food shelter, youth development, day care, physical rehabilitation, and crisis intervention. Finally, this funder supports environmental causes close to home. For example, the foundation helped to preserve hundreds of acres of forest in the region of Bristol, Connecticut by supporting the Harry C. Barnes Memorial Nature Center and the Indian Rock Preserve. The funder looks for ways to engage and educate children in Central Connecticut about nature and the environment.

A majority of foundation grants are between $100 and $2,000. The foundation prioritizes the Bristol area, but the company conducts grantmaking across the United States and the world in locations where it maintains a corporate presence. Thus, the foundation supports both established and grassroots organizations. Past local grantees include the United Way West Central Connecticut, the Bristol Hospital Development Foundation, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Fund, and the Connecticut Center for Science and Exploration. 

This foundation does not provide grantseeker guidelines or deadlines, and it does not appear to accept unsolicited funding requests. To learn more about how and where this funder gives, review the Barnes Group Foundation’s latest tax forms. Your best point of contact for this foundation is Wilma Hart, who can be reached at and 860-973-2112.


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