Council Releases Guiding Principles for Connecticut Grantmakers

Thursday, November 2, 2006

HARTFORD, CT -- Connecticut foundations and corporate grantmakers have unveiled new guiding principles for their sector that demonstrate their ongoing commitment to the public.  Developed through an initiative of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, the Guiding Principles and Effective Practices for Connecticut Grantmakers define high ethical standards for all grantmakers in the region.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal spoke at the release of the practices, calling them a “gold standard.” He said he was pleased to see that they included three areas he thought provided the biggest challenge to the philanthropic sector: complying with donor intent, record keeping and governance.

“The guiding principles offer a clear statement of our values and obligations as responsible grantmakers,” said Kate Miller of the Hartford Courant Foundation, chair of the Council’s Board of Directors. “They reflect our understanding that foundations are sustained by the public trust, and that the tax laws under which foundations are established confer upon us a special responsibility to society to uphold that trust.”

The eight guiding principles include such areas as donor intent, board governance, legal compliance, fiscal responsibility and public disclosure.  They are the result of extensive and thoughtful review, analysis and discussion by a task force of eight grantmakers and professional advisor leaders in the state. Task force members analyzed the best practices of grantmakers around the country and received input from across the state via focus groups.

All Connecticut funders will be invited to subscribe to the principles.

“The guiding principles clearly communicate our commitment as grantmakers to be open, fair and honest, and to let nonprofits and the public know what to expect from us,” said Christopher Hall of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, chair of the Principles and Practices Task Force, which spent the last year developing them.

The guiding principles are part of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy’s ongoing work to help grantmakers maintain high ethical standards and strengthen their governance and management practices. “The principles are another way for the Council to promote responsible, informed giving,” said Nancy Roberts, president of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy. “They represent a key step in the Council’s continuing goal to work closely with the philanthropic sector to build a better community for our region.

For copies of, or more information on, the Guiding Principles and Practices for Connecticut Grantmakers, visit the Council’s website at

The Connecticut Council for Philanthropy is a membership organization of foundations, corporate giving programs and federated funds. The Council is dedicated to strengthening and promoting organized philanthropy in Connecticut.