CT Philanthropy Digest - Apr 2014

Friday, April 25, 2014

Report Card to Monitor Equal Access to Health Care in Connecticut
Report Shows 6th Straight Year of Increased Demand for Nonprofit Services
Students Learn Money Management at Credit for Life Fairs
Family Foundation Supports Early Literacy Demonstration Site
Stage Company Receives Financial Literacy Award for Wells Fargo Adapted Curriculum
Site Offers Searchable Summer Camps List
Celebrating Community Foundations: 100 Years in America, 91 Years in Connecticut
Partnership Releases First Community Indicators Report on Metro Hartford
$250,000 Foundation Gift Will Fund Museum Expansion


Report Card to Monitor Equal Access to Health Care in Connecticut

          The Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) has funded a "Health Equity Report Card" to monitor Access Health CT's (AHCT) progress in ensuring that all Connecticut residents have an equal opportunity to enroll and use health insurance coverage.
          "The report card will offer a tool to document, assess progress and offer recommendations on reaching, engaging and enrolling the state's diverse communities in AHCT," said Dennis Andrulis, Phd, Senior Research Scientist at the Texas Health Institute and the project's director.

          "CT Health intends for this report card to help to ensure health equity is not lost in coverage expansion, and to provide specific measures for ongoing improvement," said Patricia Baker, president and CEO of Connecticut Health Foundation. "If successful, it will assist Connecticut in measuring the structures, processes and impact of AHCT in addressing racial and ethnic health disparities."
          Connecticut joins the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Kaiser Permanente in the national initiative, "The Affordable Care Act and Racial and Ethnic Health Equity Series," which will monitor implementation in several states.
          For more information: Maryland Grier, Connecticut Health Foundation 860-724-1580, Maryland@cthealth.org.

Report Shows 6th Straight Year of Increased Demand for Nonprofit Services

          Many organizations are looking to new models of funding according to the results of the Nonprofit Finance Fund's 2014 State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey. Leaders from more than 5,000 nonprofits nationwide participated in this sixth annual survey that asks nonprofits in the US about their programs, financial health, and management strategies.

          Many nonprofits reported daunting financial situations, and said they are looking at new ways to secure the future of their organizations for the benefit of the people they serve. The survey was supported by longtime partner the Bank of America Charitable Foundation as well as the Ford Foundation.

          A sample of survey findings shows that the economic recovery is leaving behind many nonprofits and communities in need:

  • 80% (78% - CT) of respondents reported an increase in demand for services, the 6th straight year of increased demand.  
  • 56% (57% - CT) were unable to meet demand in 2013 -- the highest reported in the survey's history. 
  • Only 11% (9% - CT) expect 2014 to be easier than 2013 for the people they serve.

          "Americans rely on nonprofits for food, shelter, education, healthcare and other necessities, and everyone has a stake in strengthening this social infrastructure," said Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of Nonprofit Finance Fund. "The struggles nonprofits face are not the short-term result of an economic cycle, they are the results of fundamental flaws in the way we finance social good."

          For more information: Tricia McKenna, Nonprofit Finance Fund, triciabmckenna@gmail.com, 617-553-8020.

Students Learn Money Management at Credit for Life Fairs

          655 students from three different communities, Middletown, Montville and New London, got a taste of what it's like to live on their own and manage their own finances at the first-ever series of Credit for Life Fairs. The half-day financial education events were presented by a collaborative of Middletown and Southeastern Connecticut businesses and nonprofits led by the Liberty Bank.

          Before fair day, each student selected an occupation and was assigned a monthly salary, along with payments for health insurance and student loans appropriate to the occupation. Students also were assigned a savings account balance, a credit card limit and balance, and a credit score.

          At the fairs, students visited various booths, staffed by volunteers from the businesses and nonprofits, where they purchased the necessities and niceties of life: housing, transportation, furniture, insurance, food, clothing, and entertainment. Along the way, they had to decide what they could and couldn't afford, and how to pay for what they wanted and needed. They also had to deal with life's little surprises -- for example, an announcement of a $400 charge for an unexpected car repair raised groans of dismay from students around the gym whose budgets had suddenly become unbalanced.

          The Credit for Life Fairs in Montville and New London were planned and sponsored by Liberty Bank; Eastern Savings Bank; Dime Bank; Chelsea Groton Bank; CorePlus Federal Credit Union; and Sava Insurance.

          The Credit for Life Fair in Middletown was planned and sponsored by Liberty Bank; the Middletown Rotary Club; Seasons Federal Credit Union; Sterling Realtors; Connecticut Lighting Centers; Citizens Bank; the Community Renewal Team; Guilmartin, DiPiro, and Sokolowski; and Middlesex Hospital.

          For more information: Sue Murphy, Liberty Bank Foundation, 860-638-2959, smurphy@liberty-bank.com.

Family Foundation Supports Early Literacy Demonstration Site

          Norwalk Public Schools, in collaboration with the City of Norwalk's Early Childhood Council and with funding from The Grossman Family Foundation, has launched a new district-wide resource dedicated to early childhood literacy.

          Housed at Fox Run Elementary School, the new Early Literacy Training and Assessment Demonstration Site officially opened this spring. The site, an important resource for research-based early childhood learning will provide training and support for Norwalk Public School teachers and staff.  Programs that were previously delivered off-site or out-of-district can now be held in Norwalk, in a location where a wealth of early literacy resources and materials will be available.  Sessions planned for the site will include: 

  • Training for new teachers in Reading 3D, an early literacy system that was piloted at Fox Run
  • Tips and tools for administering reading assessments to Grades K-3
  • Literacy focused workshops for PreK - Grade 3, using research-based models created by Literacy How
  • Demonstration lessons for teachers

          For more information: Linda Franciscovich, The Grossman Family Foundation, 203-769-1492; Brenda Wilcox Williams, Norwalk Public Schools, 203-854-4003.

Stage Company Receives Financial Literacy Award for Wells Fargo Adapted Curriculum

          Hartford Stage has been awarded the 2014 Excellence In Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Award for Children's Education Program of the Year by the Institute for Financial Literacy. The award was given for the Hartford Stage Financial Literacy Program, an adaptation of a Wells Fargo program, which uses theatre techniques to teach the basics of banking and money management. The EIFLE Awards acknowledge innovation, dedication and the commitment of individuals and organizations that support financial literacy education worldwide.

          Hartford Stage Managing Director Mike Stotts said, "Theatre and financial literacy might seem like an unlikely pair, but theatre allows students to gain knowledge in an on-their-feet, active way."

          In 2011, Wells Fargo approached Hartford Stage's education department to adapt their Hands on Banking curriculum. The education department created a five-day residency program for sixth grade students, taught by Hartford Stage's professional teaching artists, that addresses the money cycle, income vs. expense, wants vs. needs, long-term and short-term goals, and earning power  through the use of theater techniques such as tableau (frozen images), dialogue, and improvisation.

          For more information: Audra Tanguay Mailhot, Hartford Stage, 860-525-5601, atanguay@hartfordstage.org.

Site Offers Searchable Summer Camps List

          United Way of Connecticut's 221 Child Care has the most comprehensive list of summer camps in the state. The newly updated search engine on the 2-1-1 Child Care website allows for a multiple criteria search of camps. The 2-1-1 Child Care site also offers an informational guide to summer camps.



Charter Oak Federal Credit Union

Charter Oak Offers Grants to Nonprofits

First Niagara
First Niagara Sponsors Girl Scouts of Connecticut's "The State of Girls Speaker Series"

Lincoln Financial Foundation

Lincoln Foundation Supports Arts Education and Accessibility In Hartford

Ray and Carole Neag
Neags' Generous Support for Cancer Research

Pitney Bowes Foundation

The Ridgefield Playhouse Announces Grant from Pitney Bowes Foundation

The Rockfall Foundation
The Rockfall Foundation Has Awarded its 2014 Major Grant Awards to Two Environmental Projects
Travelers Foundation
What's So Special About Connecticut's Hartford Performs and Their Summer Literacy Program?
UIL Holdings Corporation

United Technologies Corporation

UTC Robotics Teams to Vie for World Title



Celebrating Community Foundations: 100 Years in America, 91 Years in Connecticut  

          One hundred years ago, the community foundation concept was born in the Midwest, giving rise to a new philanthropy, a new way of participating in community, and a new vision for the future. Today, there are 18 community foundations right here in Connecticut, part of more than 700 across the U.S. that invite everyday people with a vision and a passion for community to create something together -- for good and forever.

          "On the field's 100th anniversary, we want to celebrate all the good work being done by community foundations throughout America and especially right here in Connecticut," said Maggie Gunther Osborn, President of Connecticut Council for Philanthropy. "During 2014, we will be highlighting the value and effectiveness of community foundations in Connecticut with special story features in our communications [see the Community Foundation News in this Digest issue] and on our website."

          Together, 18 community foundations in Connecticut made grants of more than $87.9 million in 2012. To access additional facts on community foundations in Connecticut and news and stories on their activities, visit the Council's Connecticut Network of Community Foundations webpage

          Thanks to our community foundations, people in cities and towns throughout Connecticut can pool their charitable funds into community resources for the benefit of all. Community members from Andover to Woodstock have given $1.8 billion since the state's first community foundation, Connecticut Community Foundation serving Greater Waterbury and the Litchfield Hills, was established in 1923. Find a list of community foundation in Connecticut and the towns they serve on the Council's website.

          These gifts build endowment funds that benefit their communities forever and help create personal legacies. When you contribute to an endowment managed by the community foundation in your town, your gift is invested over time. Earnings from your fund are used to make grants addressing community needs. Your gift -- and all future earnings from your gift -- is a permanent source of community capital, helping to do good work today and in the future.

          For more information: Maggie Gunther Osborn, Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, 860-525-5585,

Partnership Releases First Community Indicators Report on Metro Hartford

          In 2013, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, convened a group of regional stakeholders to collect, analyze and disseminate a broad range of data to spotlight some of the central challenges and opportunities of the Metro Hartford region.

          The resulting project and recently released report, Metro Hartford Progress Points, is just the beginning of an effort to explore opportunities to collectively respond to the region's challenges.
          The Progress Points partners include: Capital Workforce Partners; Capitol Region Council of Governments; City of Hartford; Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; Hispanic Health Council; MetroHartford Alliance; Trinity College Center for Urban and Global Studies; United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut; and Urban League of Greater Hartford.

          Some of the key findings in the first edition of Metro Hartford Progress Points report include: 

  • Metro Hartford is a region especially through its jobs and schools.
  • Poverty is growing beyond the city limits.
  • The global connections of the region are reflected in the schools and employers.
  • Changes in the job market include a shift to caring for an aging population.
  • Jobs draw people in and out of Hartford.
  • The population is aging and has shifted from the urban center to the suburbs.
  • There is declining school enrollment throughout region, especially in the outer suburbs.

          For more information: Nancy Benben, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, 860-548-1888.

$250,000 Foundation Gift Will Fund Museum Expansion

          The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain has approved a major grant of $250,000 to the New Britain Museum of American Art, one of the final pieces of the Museum's ongoing Capital Campaign for a 17,364-square-foot expansion.

          The $10.2 million expansion is part of the Lexington Street Museum's $21.2 million Capital Campaign which will not only fund the additional space, but will also allow for the purchase of contiguous property, construction of 80 additional parking spaces and endowment growth. Museum Director Douglas Hyland said that the Campaign has gone well with $14.3 million in gifts and pledges in hand.

          "The Community Foundation has been a partner with and supporter of the New Britain Museum of American Art for decades, and we are thrilled to play an important role in making this latest expansion a reality," said Jim Williamson, president of the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain.

          A groundbreaking is scheduled for Monday, May 12 at 11 a.m.

          For more information: Jim Williamson, Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, 860-229-6018 x306, jim@cfgnb.org.

The Great Give: Greater New Haven

          Tuesday, May 6, 8:00 am - Wednesday, May 7, 8:00 pm. giveGreater.org is hosting a 36-hour online giving event, The Great Give 2014, to raise money for nonprofits serving Greater New Haven and the Lower Naugatuck Valley. Nonprofits with profiles on giveGreater.org are eligible to win thousands of dollars in grant prizes during this giving event hosted by giveGreater.org and supported with matching and prize funds from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and the Valley Community Foundation.

          For more information: Stephanie Chung, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, 203-777-2386, giveGreater@cfgnh.org.

Give Local: Greater Waterbury & Litchfield Hills 

          Tuesday, May 6, 12 noon - Wednesday, May 7, 12 noon. Connecticut Community Foundation is hosting Give Local Greater Waterbury & Litchfield Hills for the second time. During this 24-hour online giving challenge, donors can make gifts of $10 or more to 148 participating 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that are located in or provide services in their 21-town service area. Those contributions will be amplified by more than $60,000 in local matching funds. Nonprofits will also be eligible for more than $85,000 in prizes.

          For more information: Maybeth Morales-Davis, Connecticut Community Foundation, 203-753-1315, givelocal@conncf.org.

Your Board Made Perfect: Improving Nonprofit Fundraising & Governance
          Thursday, June 5, from 8:30 am - 3:30 pm, EastConn, Hampton. The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut and The Newell D. Hale Foundation are presenting a workshop by fundraising expert, Chuck Loring, to help nonprofits strengthen their board leadership and fundraising. The free comprehensive workshop requires attendance of the CEO, Development Director and at least three board members. To register email Kip Parker at kip@cfect.org.

Community Foundation Leader is Honored with Law Award
          At its annual Law Day ceremony on May 1, 2014, Boston College Law School will honor distinguished alumna and Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut President MARYAM ELAHI with the Hon. David S. Nelson Public Interest Law Award. The honor recognizes alumni who "have made significant contributions to the public sector or in public interest law."
          Maryam, an '86 alum, has done both. She has been director of the International Women's Program at the Open Society Foundations; Founding Director of the Human Rights Program at Trinity College in Hartford; Advocacy Director for the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe for Amnesty International; and Chair of the International Human Rights Committee of the American Bar Association, among many other activities.



Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut
Community Foundation Awards More Than $60,000 in First Cycle Grants


Connecticut Community Foundation
First Waterbury Cohort of Leadership Development Roundtable Graduate


Calvanese Foundation Green and White Fund at the Main Street Community Foundation 
Calvanese Foundation to Provide Free Counseling for Southington Residents


Farmington Bank Community Concert Series

          Sunday, April 27, 2:00 pm, Newington Town Hall, Newington. The 2014 Farmington Bank Community Concert Series featuring Simply Swing will kick off with a performance in Newington. Simply Swing is a 10-piece ensemble specializing in the music of Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington and Count Basie; vocalists Ella Fitzgerald, Natalie Cole and Diana Krall and other high energy Swing Dance favorites. Find a list of all 17 concert locations on line.

Open Forums on Children's Behavorial Health

          Input on children's behavioral health issues from parents, mental health experts and community members at open public forums across the state. The forums are designed as listening sessions to help guide the development of a statewide children's behavioral health plan (as mandated by P.A. 13-178). The first open public forum was held on March 26 in Hartford, CT.  The remaining five forums will be held in May and June: May 8 - Waterbury, May 20 - New London, May 28 - New Britain, May 29 - Milford, and June 3 - Stamford. They are open to the general public and members of the media. They will be hosted in a similar style to legislative testimony sessions. For more information and to register visit the Plan4children website.

          The Connecticut General Assembly Public Act 13-178 calls for the Department of Children and Families to develop a statewide behavioral health plan for children. The process is being supported through a public/private partnership including DCF, the Connecticut Health Foundation and the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut. Additional support is being provided by the Children's Fund of Connecticut and the Grossman Family Foundation.

Aiming Higher: How to Make Bold Goals A Reality

          Tuesday, May 13, 8:30 am - 2:00 pm, Water's Edge Resort, Westbrook. Liberty Bank Foundation's day-long forum for nonprofits and funders to explore how raising your sights and expanding your goals can translate into real social change. The forum keynote speaker, Sara Brenner, president of Community Wealth Partners, will present ten proven techniques for successfully moving organizational impact from incremental to transformational. To register email Toral Maher at tmaher@liberty-bank.com.

Where the Wild Foods Are!
          Tuesday, May 13, from 6:00 - 9:00 pm, Chapman Hall, Middlesex Community College, Middletown. The Rockfall Foundation presents an evening of conversation, master chef demonstration and eclectic eating with one of CT's most celebrated "green" chefs, Bun Lai of New Haven's Miya's Sushi.


Aurora Women & Girls Foundation is seeking nominations for young women (between the ages of 14 to 18 years old) who are doing great things in their communities -- who are "giving back" and making a difference. The nomination deadline is May 1, 2014. 


Applications for The Rockfall Foundation's annual awards program highlighting youth achievement are now available. The Virginia R. Rollefson Youth Environmental Leadership Awards recognize Middlesex County high school students who are presently involved with significant programs and projects in areas of natural resource preservation, conservation, restoration or development. The application deadline is June 6, 2014.


The Council on Foundations is opening up nominations for the Distinguished Service Award and the Robert Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking. Nominees may be a staff person or a trustee from a practicing grantmaker from a private foundation, community foundation, corporate foundation, corporate giving program, or operating foundation that is a member of the Council on Foundations. The application deadline is May 5, 2014.


The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation (EHTF) has announced that MICHELLE KNAPIK will serve as its next President, effective May 12, 2014. Ms. Knapik will join EHTF after more than nine years in the philanthropic sector having led strategy, program development and innovative grantmaking at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation (previously) and the Surdna Foundation (currently).

          "The board and staff are excited to welcome Michelle and confident that her leadership approach will help take us to the next level of impact," said Amanda Stanley, EHTF Board Chair.

          At Dodge and Surdna, Ms. Knapik led important strategic refinement of programs and helped advance sustainable development goals and sustainable community initiatives at neighborhood, regional and national scales.

          "I am honored to step into this leadership position, help build on the impressive legacy of the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, and support the next generation of the family board in finding key leverage points and accelerating innovative solutions." said Knapik.

NICHOLAS WARREN, Chief Investment Officer at Brandeis University, has joined the Nellie Mae Education Foundation Board of Directors. The years of experience in finance and higher education that Warren brings to this role will help the Foundation succeed in making education across New England more equitable and effective.

          "We offer a very warm welcome to Mr. Warren to Nellie Mae's board of directors," said Nick Donohue, president and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. "He brings a unique perspective that pairs finance with education, which will bring value to the group and offer critical insight to Nellie Mae's strategy to help achieve long-term success in our educational system."

          Warren has worked in finance for more than 15 years, specializing in the higher education space.  In his current role as Chief Investment Officer at Brandeis University, he manages the university's endowment, which supports the mission of the university to advance the humanities, arts, as well as, social, natural and physical sciences.

          Before joining Brandies University, Warren was a Hedge Fund Consultant and Managing Director at Cambridge Associates, where he managed client relationships, including endowments and universities, with $2.3 billion allocated to hedge funds.

Hartford Public Schools has presented their State of the Schools Award to DUDLEY N. WILLIAMS, JR., Chair of the Board of Directors of the Nellie Mae Education FoundationMr. Williams holds extensive leadership experience in the education policy, software and publishing industries.

          Currently, Mr. Williams is Manager of District Education Strategy Relations for GE Equipment Services in Stamford, Connecticut. Prior to joining GE, he served as Assistant to Connecticut's Commissioner of Education, and before that held sales and marketing management positions with Time, Inc., Cahners Publishing and Simon & Schuster, Inc. He was elected to the Stamford, Connecticut Board of Education in 1995 and re-elected in 1998 and 2001, serving in several leadership positions including President of the Board and Chairman of the Fiscal, Curriculum and Facilities Committees.


For more news about philanthropy in Connecticut go to the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy's press room and the Connecticut Philanthropy Digest archives.

News about Connecticut funders may be submitted to the Council for consideration. The Connecticut Philanthropy Digest is brought to you by the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy. Edited by Laurie Allen.


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