CT Philanthropy Digest - December 2018

Monday, December 17, 2018


Tras la Tormenta: Puerto Rico One Year After Maria >>

29 Greater Hartford Cities and Towns to Benefit from Town-specific Endowed Funds >>

Good News: Long Island Sound Report Card Reveals Substantial Improvement >>

Corporate Foundation to Continue to Serve the Community as a Private Charitable Foundation >>

Cross-Sector Strategic Collaboratives Full-Day Workshop Announced >>








Tras la Tormenta: Puerto Rico One Year After Maria

Hurricane Maria caused an unprecedented level of destruction when it struck Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017. The aftershock has been a slow, painful recovery effort. On November 15, The Progreso Latino Fund at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven hosted a visionary and big-picture conversation about Puerto Rico’s future in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Guests learned how nonprofit and philanthropic communities mobilized residents across the island and have taken lead roles in building sustainable energy projects, housing reconstruction, economic development, and a campaign on the island to equip 100 hospitals with electricity-producing micro-grids. Featured speakers from the island shared their unique perspectives on the future of Puerto Rico, their own sustainable renewal efforts, and discussed several unique community-based initiatives that demonstrate the resilience and determination of Puerto Ricans to stay and create a better future.

Since April, the Puerto Rico Community Foundation has teamed up with funders across the country, to equip healthcare centers on the island with solar-electric kits built to resist nature’s forces. So far, 13 are fully complete and 10 are nearly ready to begin installation. The Progreso Latino Fund has issued a $15,000 match challenge to provide a microgrid for a hospital on the island in Naranjito, Puerto Rico. Each unit costs $30,000 to fully equip a center and the goal is to fully sponsor one of the facilities. Read more >> 

29 Greater Hartford Cities and Towns to Benefit from Town-specific Endowed Funds

In 2018, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving embarked on a listening tour to hear from the residents of the 29 towns the it serves. Residents were eager to share what they love about their communities, what challenges they face, and how the Hartford Foundation might help. After 16 stops meeting residents from 23 towns, one common theme emerged; residents understand the challenges they face in their communities but are often constrained by a lack of resources. This lack of resources include the need for more opportunities to meet with one another, share concerns, and work together with all members of the community to develop solutions, as well as funding.

In response to these community conversations, the Hartford Foundation has made an initial investment of $2.9 million to create the Greater Together Community Funds, which was announced at the Foundation’s Greater Together 2018 annual event. This effort establishes 29 separate $100,000 community funds, one for each of the towns in the Foundation’s region: Andover, Avon, Bloomfield, Bolton, Canton, East Granby, East Hartford, East Windsor, Ellington, Enfield, Farmington, Glastonbury, Granby, Hartford, Hebron, Manchester, Marlboro, Newington, Rocky Hill, Simsbury, Somers, South Windsor, Suffield, Tolland, Vernon, West Hartford, Wethersfield, Windsor, and Windsor Locks. The purpose of the Greater Together Community Funds is to support communities as they identify and address the unique needs in their own towns.

“We ask our residents to imagine what their communities can do with a fund like this,” said Williams. “What kind of projects can benefit their communities for years to come? How can they come together, work together to make their towns even more vibrant for all? This is a tangible way how we can all be greater together.”   Four more listening tours are scheduled in January and February of 2019.  Read more >>    

Good News: Long Island Sound Report Card Reveals Substantial Improvement

Save the Sound's 2018 “Long Island Sound Report Card” contains remarkable evidence of improvement in Long Island Sound water quality. The report marked a welcome stamp of approval for more than a decade’s worth of federal and state investment in improvements to sewage treatment facilities in both Connecticut and New York. Save the Sound staff cautioned that individual beaches and bays face continued challenges (testing monitored “open water” conditions only), that the westernmost portion of the Sound remains stressed, and that climate change and population growth pose challenges requiring additional investment. Nonetheless, staffers and scientists alike were gratified to see proof that investment in water quality is paying dividends. The Long Island Sound Report Card was produced by Save the Sound using 2008-2017 data. Funding was provided by the Long Island Sound Funders Collaborative, a group of funders with missions that include protecting and restoring the Long Island Sound. Connecticut Council for Philanthropy members Jeniam Foundation, Fairfield County's Community Foundation, and The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut are among the participants of the Collaborative. Read more >>    

Corporate Foundation to Continue to Serve Community as a Private Charitable Foundation

There is good news for Connecticut communities that were served by Farmington Bank, which was recently acquired by People’s United Bank. The Farmington Bank Community Foundation, which was the charitable arm of First Connecticut Bancorp. Inc, the holding company of Farmington Bank, will continue on as a private charitable foundation. The Farmington Bank Community Foundation will keep on serving the communities of Hartford County and supporting its local nonprofits. The mission and emphasis remain the same with a focus on programs and services that assist households most in need, and make a lasting difference for the people and communities they serve. The Foundation will continue to be led full time by Executive Director Christine Traczyk. Read more >>   

Cross-Sector Strategic Collaboratives Full-Day Workshop Announced

The Connecticut Council for Philanthropy has joined with the University of Connecticut Department of Public Policy and eleven other Connecticut public and nonprofit sector associations as a Partner Organization of the Public Service Executive Leadership Collaborative. As a Partner Organization, employees of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, its members, and their grantee agencies receive substantial discounts to attend workshops in a shared learning environment with public sector and nonprofit professionals. The workshops for January - May have been announced. The next full-day workshop will be Friday, January 25, 2019. Creating, Managing, and Governing Cross-Sector Strategic Collaboratives with Anne Yurasek of FIO Partners. Read more and register >>   


Federal Policy

Government Shutdown

Tax Bill Revised and Ready for House Vote
From United Philanthropy Forum: Tax Policy Center reports, “Outgoing Ways & Means Chair Kevin Brady revised his catch-all tax bill one more time, adding a few more tax extenders. His plan: Bring it to the Rules Committee on Wednesday and schedule a vote for Thursday or Friday—just as Congress may be scrambling to avoid a government shutdown. Senate Finance Committee chair Orrin Hatch says he is supportive. There is no chance Congress will pass the measure though a few provisions could find their way into a last-minute catch all spending bill.”

Johnson Amendment

From United Philanthropy Forum: A new version of the House of Representatives’ end of the year tax bill H.R. 88 (115) now includes an effective repeal of the Johnson Amendment. For over 60 years, the Johnson Amendment has protected the nonprofit and philanthropy sector. Repealing the Johnson Amendment would have real consequences, including the following.

  • Distract from the Mission of the Nonprofit Sector: Tax-exempt organizations, including charitable nonprofits, houses of worship, and foundations, exist to serve their missions. By allowing them to endorse candidates and make political statements, money and other resources would flow away from serving those important missions.
  • Politicize the Messages of Nonprofits: The Johnson Amendment does not curtail the free speech of houses of worship, foundations, and other nonprofit organizations. Rather, it freely allows these organizations to speak out on any political or social issue they wish without subjecting them to the political fray. Repeal of the Johnson Amendment would increase pressure on nonprofits and philanthropy to endorse or oppose candidates, politicizing their communications and their work.
  • Unfairly Benefit Political Donors: Repeal of the longstanding law would allow donors to receive a charitable deduction for funding partisan campaign activities without having their political donations revealed to the public. Under the proposed repeal language, nonprofits could include candidate endorsements and promotions in all elements of their work. Thus, donors could support political, partisan activities and at the same time, unlike donations to candidates or PACS, receive a charitable deduction.
  • Costly to the Taxpayer: The Joint Committee on Taxation has determined that taxpayers would pay an estimated $7.7 billion in lost revenue over ten years, for the likely diversion of partisan contributions away from transparent political committees to newly politicized “charitable” organizations that could generate generous tax deductions for the donors.

Unrelated Business Income Taxes (UBIT)
From Council on Foundations: "On Monday, Treasury and IRS issued Notice 2018-99 to provide interim guidance to charities for calculating unrelated business income taxes (UBIT) on parking and transportation benefits. This new tax on nonprofits was passed into law under the 2017 tax code overhaul. Effective Jan. 1, 2018, any charity that provides parking or transportation benefits to employees became liable for UBIT on these benefits. These taxes will be due at the end of the 2018 tax-filing season. The guidance states that any organization providing subsidies for parking or transportation (up to $260 per employee per month) will be liable for a 21% tax (the current corporate tax rate) on the total amount.

Public Charge
For purposes of determining inadmissibility, “public charge” means an individual who is likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, as demonstrated by either the receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance or institutionalization for long-term care at government expense -- From US Citizenship and Immigration Services

  • The proposed “public charge” overhaul, issued by the Trump administration on October 10, would radically change immigration policy to favor the wealthy and privileged and turn away those with limited means but big dreams for the future. If enacted, it would put millions of working-class immigrant families already here at greater risk of hunger, poverty, homelessness, and other hardships—and destabilize communities across the country. Read GCIR's full statement on Public Charge >>
  • From Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR): At least 60 foundations submitted comments on public charge. These foundations' voices joined the more than 216,000 total comments submitted, nearly all of which are in opposition to the proposed rule. In the coming months, the Department of Homeland Security must review and respond to every issue raised in the comments. After that stage, the department will be free to publish the rule, which is expected to be immediately challenged in the courts. Commenting on public charge was the first time that many foundations and PSOs, including GCIR, participated in the rulemaking process >>
  • GCIRS's Public Charge Resources >>    


CCP-The-power-of-membership-logoCCP Member News Links

Aetna & Aetna Foundation

Bank of America

Branford Community Foundation

Chelsea Groton Foundation

Cigna Foundation

The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut

Community Foundation of Greater New Britain

Connecticut Community Foundation


Cox Communications


Fairfield County's Community Foundation

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

Liberty Bank Foundation

Main Street Community Foundation

Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation

People's United Community Foundation

The Prudential Foundation

The Tow Foundation


United Technologies Corporation

Valley Community Foundation

Other News Links

Diageo North America

The Hartford

KBE Building Corporation

Kelser Corporation


CCP Member Grants and RFPsCCP-The-power-of-membership-logo

Links are provided to funder sites for updated information, current deadlines, and how to apply. Check eligibility and deadlines carefully.

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation

Community Foundation of Greater New Britain

Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford

Main Street Community Foundation

Cox Charities Northeast

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

American Savings Foundation

Farmington Bank Community Foundation

Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation

Connecticut Community Foundation

FEBRUARY 1: Application deadline: Event Sponsorships for Events after April 15, 2019 >>

The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation

The ZOOM Foundation

Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation

Other Grants and RFPs

J.B. and M.K Pritzker Family Foundation

Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities


Connecticut Health Foundation's Paul H. Mounds, Jr., has been named to Gov.-elect Ned Lamont's adminstrative staff. Mounds will become chief operating officer -- a newly created role in the governor's office -- when Lamont assumes the governor's seat in January. Mounds will manage and work with all state agency commissioners to leverage Lamont's agenda into initiatives. Read @ Hartford Business Journal >>


Fairfield County’s Community Foundation has announced the appointment of Martha Olson of Darien as chair for its Board of Directors, as well as, the addition of three new Board members, and a new slate of officers. “The Community Foundation is fortunate to engage talented, philanthropic individuals who are truly committed to improving the quality of life for all residents of Fairfield County,” stated Juanita James, President & CEO, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. She continues, “We welcome Jennifer Hill, Mark Riser, and Mary Woods to our Board of Directors. And we are also pleased to announce our newly elected officers to lead us in pursuing  FCCF’s goal to close the opportunity gap in Fairfield County.”  Briggs Tobin and  Clayton Fowler will serve as Board Vice Chairs; Edwin Ford was appointed as treasurer, and Johnna Torsone was appointed as secretary.  Read more >>


Vic Muschell of Torrington and Lori Riiska of Winsted have been named to the board of directors of the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation. Muschell is labor counsel for the City of Torrington and has recently been appointed its Interim Corporation Counsel. Riiska is owner of Lori Riiska CPA, LLC and is a trustee of both the Northwest Connecticut YMCA and the Draper Foundation Fund, and a director of the Northwest Community Bank. Read more >>  

Jane Williams of Winsted has been named to the executive committee of the Women & Girls Fund of the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation. Williams is the Workforce Development Coordinator for the Center for Workforce Development at Northwestern Connecticut Community College, where she works in the development of education and training services for public and private employers across Northwest Connecticut. Read more >>


The Perrin Family Foundation trustees recently announced the launch of and appointment of five members to a Strategy Council. The Council will ensure the efficacy and impact of the Foundation's work, making it a better partner and a more accountable institution. The Foundation's strategies must honor, reflect, and intentionally activate the knowledge, expertise, and experiences of those living and leading social change efforts in the communities it serves. The council members are:

  • Kerry Ellington is a freedom fighter, grassroots community organizer and radical educator, recently recognized by Connecticut Magazine as, “Connecticut’s 40 Under 40: Class 2018.” Kerry currently serves as a Community & Economic Development (CED) Community Organizer at New Haven Legal Assistance Association.
  • Twy Greaves first began her work in social organizing as a youth leader with New London-based Hearing Youth Voices. Her initiative and leadership skills as a volunteer with the organization got her on the Hearing Youth Voices Leadership Team in 2015, where she was granted official youth leadership status.
  • Lorenzo Jones is the co-founder and co-executive director at the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice. He has more than 25 years of experience mentoring community leaders and organizing communities to make systemic change.
  • Kia Levey-Burden is the founder and president of Launch Consulting, LLC. Through Launch Kia works to inspire, equip, and encourage others to be powerful leaders and advocates working in service of values that facilitate community good.
  • Clifton Watson is currently the director of Wesleyan University’s Jewett Center for Community Partnerships. He began his career at LEAP (Leadership, Education, Athletics, in Partnership) – a New haven based initiative committed to supporting the leadership and intellectual development of inner-city youth. Read more >>

Celebrating 18 Years of Service to the Community - Jarre Betts' Retirement

Jarre Betts, vice president of programs at Main Street Community Foundation, retired after 18 years of service in December 2018. Her colleagues and community created a video to show their appreaciation. Congratulations, Jarre, and we wish you all the best in retirement!




James G. Williamson Memorial Service >>
Saturday, December 22, 2018 at 10:00 AM
Calvary Church, 1855 Albany Avenue, West Hartford, CT


JIm Williamson, who retired as president of the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain in August 2017, passed away on November 1 at age 69. Williamson joined the Foundation in September 2004 as its second full-time chief executive. During his tenure at the Community Foundation, Williamson spearheaded the Foundation’s transition from grantmaker to community leader, building partnerships with other organizations and stakeholders to help identify community challenges and engage in strategies to address them. Among the education initiatives he spearheaded was the Foundation’s First Years First initiative, which has heightened the community’s focus on and made vast improvements in early childhood development. Williamson served as a leader of CCP's Community Foundation CEO Network, and was a founding and active member of the Early Childhood Funder Collaborative. Read more >>

The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain has established the James G. Williamson Education Assistance Fund, to help address what has become a pressing issue in higher education – the financial hardships many college students are experiencing in their final undergraduate years, making degree completion a sometimes-elusive achievement in an era of increasing tuitions and shrinking sources of financial aid.



Connecticut Council for Philanthropy (CCP) is an association of grantmakers committed to promoting and supporting effective philanthropy for the public good.

CCP's members are foundations, business and corporate giving programs, bank trusts, donor-advised funds, and individual philanthropists. CCP members grant more than $1.01 billion from assets of more than $8.39 billion.

The Connecticut Philanthropy Digest (Digest) is brought to you by the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy. Edited by Laurie Allen, Director of Communications. The Digest is a summary of recent activities by Connecticut foundations and grantmakers, and is compiled and distributed monthly to media outlets, local legislators, and grantmakers to raise the profile of philanthropy throughout Connecticut. News about Connecticut funders may be submitted to CCP for consideration.