Centennial Bermuda Foundation | Our Work

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Centennial Bermuda Foundation (“Centennial”) is a private philanthropic foundation providing several million dollars of grants to a wide range of organisations in Bermuda. Centennial also offers a number of different scholarships to Bermudian students to support post-secondary education. Centennial’s contribution to organisations and students contribute to the fabric of life in Bermuda.

In 2016 Centennial completed a two-year process to develop its Theory of Change. It was clear that the time is right to shift from being a charitable to a philanthropic organisation. For Centennial this meant a shift from addressing short-term, immediate needs (i.e. relieving the symptoms of social issues) to having a longer term, more collaborative and sustainable approach to solving problems (i.e. addressing the root causes of social issues).

What is a Theory of Change? Theory of Change is a rigorous yet participatory process whereby groups and stakeholders identify the conditions they believe have to unfold for their long-term goals to be met. These conditions are modelled as outcomes or, more precisely, desired outcomes, arranged graphically in a causal framework. A Theory of Change provides a clear and testable hypothesis about how change will occur and what it will look like.  — Source: ActKnowledge: Theory to Results

In 2021, Centennial sought to further refine its Theory of Change. Centennial engaged more than 50 external and internal stakeholders in determining its Focus Areas for Centennial’s grantmaking. Together we identified Bermuda-specific priorities and programme level outcomes. In a multi-layered approach we gathered community data, facilitated community-led meetings, and used research from subject matter experts and evidence-based models. Stakeholders who participated included Centennial’s grant review committees, staff, and our Board as well as local non-profit and charity partners, community stakeholders, government representatives, civic organisations, and subject matter experts.

Today, we refer to our ‘2022 Community Investment Priorities’ which underpin our work.

Vision for the Community

We envision that all people in Bermuda are healthy, independent, financially secure and connected to community, with equitable opportunities for all.

Social Context Statement

Bermuda is influenced by its history and culture. This means that the results of racial inequality and segregation remain with us today in the form of biases, inequities and a level of mistrust and frustration. We believe these should be acknowledged and addressed.

Key to our work going forward is keeping the following Statement of Social Context central in our deliberations:

Centennial Bermuda Foundation acknowledges structural racism in Bermuda. Our historical and cultural roots created and perpetuate biased judgments, social and economic divides, and inequitable access to opportunities and outcomes in our community.

In light of this social context as a philanthropic organisation, Centennial recognises we must learn to embrace and operationalise the values of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (I.D.E.A.) to effect systemic change.

Centennial’s journey to seek knowledge and understanding is designed to shape our own path and to create our own principles of conduct, to inform how we make decisions. It is not static; it is a continuous learning journey for each of us. We value shared learnings and experiences and we aim to bring greater understanding and clarity to our work, and to our partnerships to further Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access in our community.

Five Focus Areas for Grantmaking

Centennial, through extensive consultation with its stakeholders, has identified five Focus Areas for grantmaking. The intention is to help heal, improve, inspire and balance the Bermuda community to be a dynamic and fair-minded place to live and grow.

These priorities address community need, informed by essential service providers and support organisations with first-hand experience.

  1. Community Health
  2. Cultural & Community Connections
  3. Economic Participation
  4. Fundamental Needs
  5. Public Education

Focus Areas and Identified Priorities

1. Community Health – with an underlying theme to fund seniors

Aspiration: “People in Bermuda have complete physical, mental, social and material wellbeing.”

  • Affordable & Accessible Healthcare
  • Chronic Illness: Type 2 Diabetes
  • Mental Health – Early Detection & Intervention
  • Obesity
  • Substance Abuse & Addiction – Residential – Short Term

2. Cultural & Community Connections

Aspiration: “The entire Bermuda community participates in activities that create a sense of belonging.”

  • Arts & Culture
  • Identity & Belonging
  • Intergenerational Programming
  • Natural & Heritage Sites Preservation
  • Youth Engagement

3. Economic Participation

Aspiration: “All Bermudians have equitable employment opportunities, work satisfaction and financial security”.

  • Career Advisement
  • Financial & Digital Literacy
  • Small Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Workforce Development
  • Workforce Equity

4. Fundamental Needs – with an underlying theme to fund seniors

Aspiration: “A comprehensive social safety net ensures low income families have support for essential needs.”

  • Food Insecurity
  • Homelessness
  • Housing

Public Education

Aspiration: “High-quality public-school system that supports the diverse capabilities of all learners and enables them to pursue post-secondary education” 

  • Early Childhood Development 0-3
  • Early Childhood Education 4-8
  • Student Achievement 5-18
  • Quality Public Education 5-18

Grants requests are now assessed and decided within this structure. Successful applications must address at least one of the Priorities within a Focus Area.

If you haven’t already, please review Centennial’s Centennial Community Investment Priorities and Grantmaking Guidelines. This is an essential criteria for funding applications and requires a clear understanding of the identified priorities and aligned outcomes.

Grantmaking focuses on the five key Focus Areas as listed below. All information is included in the full Guidelines document, however each Focus Area section can also be downloaded separately – click the heading:

  1. Community Health
  2. Cultural & Community Connections
  3. Economic Participation
  4. Fundamental Needs
  5. Public Education


Click to download (you may need to right-click and Save As.)