At Farnam Associates, we've developed expertise in defining goals and advancing projects across a range of areas, most heavily concentrated in Strategic Planning, Grant Writing, Community Planning and Community Data.  Visit Projects for more information on the diverse projects we've worked on over the years.






Farnam Associates has supported many organizational strategic planning processes over the years in a variety of ways.

Jim Farnam has a depth of understanding of organizational and programmatic issues based on his over 40 years in the field of planning and nonprofit consulting.  He approaches each assignment by listening carefully to the needs of the client and then designing a process and product to meet their unique needs.

One specialty is in facilitating board planning sessions that help to address either a particular issue or to provide a brief review of the organization’s direction short of a full strategic planning process.

Often in connection with a strategic or community planning process, we help clients respond to grant opportunities. Over the years we have helped clients prepare many major, successful federal or private grant applications yielding in excess of $412.5 million ( see listing of grants here) 

Recent Work in Fund Development: In 2014-20, the Farnam Associates team took on the lead role in writing 19 major federal or state grants or state proposals related to the Greater New Haven region that brought in a total of $40.7 million. These projects included: 

  • Two proposals under the Apprenticeship Connecticut Initiative of the Department of Labor that resulted in $3.95 million in funding to support training in the manufacturing and hospitality sectors (Workforce Alliance, 2019, 2020) .

  • Proposal to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to create a Center for Prevention and Early Trauma Treatment for Young Children (Child First, Inc., $3.0 million, 2020)

  • Application for federal funding to the U.S. Department of Labor for a Ready To Work Partnership grant to enable long term unemployed persons to gain skills to reenter the labor market (Workforce Alliance, $5.49 million, 2014).

  • Applications for federal funding to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the United Way of New Haven Early Head Start expansion under the Child Care Partnership grant program ($905,000 in Year 1; present value of $7.3 million over first 10 years).

  • Applications to the U.S. Department of Justice for six grants related to recidivism reduction and crime reduction for safer neighborhoods totaling $3.34 million.

Farnam Associates has extensive experience in supporting complex, multi-party community planning processes aimed at community improvement across areas of workforce development, education, health, and community development.  


After heading the City’s Office of Downtown and Harbor Development where he guided comprehensive planning for the harbor area and downtown, Jim Farnam has led a series of major planning efforts in New Haven and Connecticut over the last 20 years. For additional information, please visit Projects. ​

Farnam Associates has a keen interest in community data systems and related technological innovations. In 2003, Jim Farnam helped found DataHaven, a community indicators web portal for Greater New Haven, CT (the Regional Data Cooperative of Greater New Haven had been formed in 1992, but was reconfigured as DataHaven in 2003 following a planning session facilitated by Farnam).  In 2008, DataHaven became a member of the National Neighborhood Indicators Project. In 2010, Holt, Wexler, & Farnam Associate Mark Abraham, who had been helping to run the project, left the firm to assume the role of the Executive Director of DataHaven.  

Jim Farnam helped found and until February 2014 served as Project Coordinator for the Connecticut Data Collaborative , successfully securing a line item in the Connecticut state budget to support the Collaborative that has thrived and assumed the role of the Connecticut State Census Data Center. He was a founding member of the Open Indicators Consortium which partnered with the UMass Lowell Computer Science Department to develop the Weave data visualization platform. He also served from 2011-2012 as Manager of the Community Indicators Consortium, an international learning community of community indicators practitioners, government data providers, and academics studying the field.