Our History

In 1969, the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy (CCP) was founded in Hartford with just 7 members as the Coordinating Council for Foundations. Today CCP is the state’s association of grantmakers committed to promoting and supporting effective philanthropy for the public good. CCP's members annually grant more than $1.3 billion from assets of more than $9.5 billion. Read a brief account of CCP's 50-year history and timeline.

CCP History: 1969 - 2019

In 1969, the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy was founded as the Coordinating Council for Foundations, serving the Greater Hartford philanthropic community. CCF’s primary work was evaluating nonprofits on behalf of members to inform their grantmaking. Shortly after the Council was founded, President Nixon signed the Tax Reform Act of 1969 as a response to reports of foundation misuses of business holdings, failures to distribute funds for charitable purposes, self-dealing, and other abuses. The act had a major impact on private philanthropy, and the Council worked to promote a positive image of the foundation field.

By 1989, the Council’s work shifted from nonprofit evaluation to educating and convening grantmakers. Realizing the need to bring funders together beyond the Greater Hartford area, in 1997 the Council expanded its services to Greater New Haven. This expansion culminated in 1998 with a new name, the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy (CCP), to reflect its evolution to serving grantmakers statewide.

Along with a new name, CCP embarked on several new projects including: the first report on giving in Connecticut, the first Guide to Connecticut Grantmakers, and the Connecticut Toolkit for Giving as part of the Connecticut Giving Project.

Starting around 2009, CCP’s advocacy and collaboration resulted in raising nonprofit’s audit threshold and helped secure $29M in federal funding in the wake of the Great Recession. CCP is proud to be the home for funder collaborations and partnerships including: the Early Childhood Funder Collaborative, Working Cities Challenge Connecticut, and the Civic Engagement Collaborative.

Today, CCP’s mission to promote and support effective philanthropy for the public good is deeply informed by our members and focused on the critical issues facing our state. We continue to convene philanthropy together with the public sector, feature leaders and experts with big, bold ideas, and ask the question “What does ‘public good’ mean today?”

CCP Timeline

1969: Coordinating Council for Foundations (CCF) was founded with 7 members: Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, J. Walton Bissell Foundation, The Betty Knox Foundation, Ensworth Foundation at Hartford National Bank, The Trust Dept. of Connecticut Bank & Trust Company, Suisman Foundation, and Howard and Bush Foundation (still provides support through a HFPG fund). Reid and Riege filed CCF’s corporation papers; formed a board, wrote by-laws, policies, and procedures; and obtained 501(c)(3) status. CCF’s primary work was evaluating nonprofits on behalf of members to inform their grantmaking. (current members bolded)

1969: Additional early members who are still CCP members included The Hartford Courant Foundation (now The Fund for Greater Hartford) and Barnes Foundation.

1972: CCF helped plan the Council on Foundation’s New England Conference in Boston.

1989: CCF’s work shifted its focus from nonprofit evaluation to educating and convening grantmakers.

1991: CCF joined a collaboration of regional associations of grantmakers to increase its capacity.

1994: CCF rolled out first website.

1994: CCF began participating in Foundations on the Hill, an annual event that brings philanthropic organizations to Washington, DC to speak with federal legislators about the importance of foundations and to influence public policy.

1997: CCF expanded services to Greater New Haven.

1997: CCF created the John H. Filer Award, in memory of the philanthropist and former chairman and CEO of Aetna. The award recognizes leadership in encouraging private action for the public good in Connecticut.

1998: CCF became the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy (CCP) to reflect its evolution to an organization serving grantmakers statewide.

1998: CCP published first report on giving in Connecticut.

1999: CCP published first print edition of Guide to Connecticut Grantmakers.

1999: CCP began the Connecticut Giving Project, a four-year effort to grow philanthropy.

1999: CCP helped plan and attended the first White House Conference on Philanthropy.

2002: CCP published Connecticut Toolkit for Giving as part of Connecticut Giving Project.

2003: CCP launched Connecticut Grantmakers Online (CGO), an online guide to Connecticut grantmakers.

2006: CCP published Guiding Principles and Effective Practices for Connecticut Grantmakers.

2007: CCP created the Martha S. Newman Award, honoring her for setting the standard for an exemplary staff member, recognizing sustained dedication to the public sector and a generosity of spirit to others in the philanthropic community.

2009: CCP advocated to raise the nonprofit audit threshold from $200K to $500K, which was signed into law by Gov. M. Jodi Rell on July 1, 2009.

2010: CCP worked with state government and nonprofit advocates to secure $29M in federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding in the wake of the Great Recession. CCP helped leverage an additional $1M from private funders to support jobs and emergency benefits and services.

2013: The Early Childhood Funder Collaborative, a project of CCP, attained goal of the State of Connecticut establishing an Office of Early Childhood.

2014: CCP created the Nancy P. Roberts Award, in honor of CCP’s longest-serving president, to recognize a grantmaking organization for sustained innovation in philanthropy.

2015: CCP, with other CT leaders, partnered with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston to bring Working Cities Challenge to Connecticut.

2016: CCP published three Early Childhood Funder Collaborative Co-Creation Reports, case studies about this emerging systems change collaboration.

2016: In conjunction with Foundation Center and the United Philanthropy Forum, CCP launched “Get on the Map,” a campaign to improve the quality and timeliness of grantmaking data across Connecticut and the US.

2017: CCP formed first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion board committee, reflecting a commitment to DEI as a priority.

2018: CCP commited to strengthening civic engagement with the creation of the Civic Engagement Collaborative.

2018: CCP launched CT Foundation Stats Dashboard on website, providing real-time, top-line giving data.

2019: CCP moves offices to the CT Nonprofit Center in Hartford to become more integrated into the nonprofit community.

2019: CCP celebrates 50 years of working with the philanthropic community.

* Have we missed something?

CCP pieced the timeline together from archived material and may have missed an important milestone. If you have a suggestion, please contact Sarah Fox, Communications Manager, 860-525-5585.