CT Philanthropy Digest - DECEMBER 2019

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

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CCP Year End Reflection >>

Fed Leaders Visit East Hartford, A CT Working Cities Challenge Community >>

Latest CT Foundation Stats Available >>

Two CT Communities Earn National Partners for Places Grants >>

CT Launches Model Women & Girls Data Platform >>

$250K Goes to Thirteen Connecticut Nonprofits Focused on Health Equity >>

State Independent Journalism Wins National Grant >>

Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® Named in Bridgeport and Hartford >>

Blockbuster Results from Rotary / Liberty Bank Partnership >>

POLICY UPDATE: Census and CT Philanthropy in the News >>








Year End Reflection

Dear CCP Members and Colleagues:

As we approach the end of 2019, our 50th year of supporting the philanthropic community of Connecticut, we are so proud of the work that our members and colleagues have engaged in together across five decades. I appreciated the opportunity to reflect during this important anniversary year, and to honor the incredible investments that the philanthropic community has made to our state:

  • Providing leadership: engaging with state leaders and volunteering in communities, with nonprofit partners, and with CCP;
  • Strengthening nonprofits: ensuring the sustainability of vital organizations–that they have the capacity, technology, leadership, and strategies they need to thrive;
  • Giving generously: making grants totaling over $1.5 billion in 2017 alone, investing tens of billions of dollars in the leaders, the organizations, the storytellers, the artists, the young people, the communities–and making Connecticut a better place to live.

As we enter a new year, I’m excited to look forward to building on the groundwork we have laid over these decades. There is important work to do. The attention being paid to this community is higher than I’ve ever seen–multiple critiques of the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, calls to action on the national level and here in Connecticut, an increase in statewide public-private partnerships. Because of these and other changes, I believe this sector may need to step out in a different way. We may need to be able to respond to policy developments quickly, as we had to early this year. We may need to strengthen our ties to decision makers, to lend philanthropy's voice and social capital to the communities–the people and organizations–that we support. We may need to be more nimble, more responsive, louder.

In 2020, we want to respond to this changing environment–scaling up our communications, increasing our presence at the Capitol, and continuing to support relationship-building among our members. We look forward to outlining more in the coming months when we share our new strategic plan. 

I often see the philanthropic community as the beneficiary, the historian, the collector of the stories of success: the organizations that passed the bill or launched the new program that is working, the leaders who won victories, the communities that rose up and demanded accountability. When I read your newsletters, your email announcements, when I attend your meetings and celebrations–I am always deeply impressed by the work and the outcomes and the leadership, and I leave energized and excited, and hopeful.

I look forward to more hope, exciting outcomes, and stories of success in 2020.

Best wishes to you and yours for a happy and healthy holiday.

Karla Fortunato
Connecticut Council for Philanthropy  

Fed Leaders Visit East Hartford, A CT Working Cities Challenge Community

Last month Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President and CEO Eric S. Rosengren visited East Hartford, one of five CT Working Cities Challenge communities to receive a $450,000 Working Cities Challenge grant in 2018. The Working Cities Challenge is a grant-based competition launched by the Boston Fed in 2013. “The labor market is in so many ways the gateway to lots of other forms of social progress,” Chairman Powell told the group. “There is no more important work” than what the group is doing in East Hartford, he said.

East Hartford’s Working Cities Challenge initiative, East Hartford CONNects, works to improve the quality of life in the Silver Lane neighborhood by increasing access to workforce development and educational resources and by growing resident engagement and participation in decision making. It has been developed through a cross-sector partnership of public, nonprofit, and private organizations along with residents, all of whom are committed to collaborative leadership, which has been shown by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston to be essential to economic growth. The Fed visit included a bus tour during which Powell, Rosengren, and others saw challenges East Hartford CONNects is working to address, and learned about opportunities the initiative will create. Read the Boston Fed Article >>

Connecticut Council for Philanthropy (CCP) is the fiscal sponsor for CT Working Cities Challenge and CCP President Karla Fortunato sits on the steering committee. In addition, many CCP members are part of the initiative as funding partners and/or as members of one of the working committees.

National Coverage:

Latest Connecticut Foundation Stats Available

The top line data for Connecticut Council for Philanthropy's (CCP) interactive dashboard, Connecticut Foundation Stats, has been updated for fiscal year end 2017. This dashboard, which represents the latest available data about Connecticut foundations, is part of the “Get on the Map” campaign to improve the quality and availability of public data about Connecticut philanthropy. The effort is a national partnership between Foundation Center (Candid), United Philanthropy Forum, and CCP. Highlights of the 2017 Connecticut foundation data include:

  • Foundations gave $1.5 billion to nonprofits and individuals, an increase of 9.3% from 2016
  • Foundations held 13.5 billion in assets, an increase of 12.8% from 2016

CCP has begun analyzing the Connecticut philanthropic picture for 2017 FYE using the Connecticut Foundation Stats data and IRS Statistics of Income data for the annual Connecticut Giving Report, which will be released in early 2020.

Learn more improving foundation data and Get on the Map >>

View the CT Foundation Stats Dashboard >>    

Two CT Communities Earn National Partners for Places Grants

Partners for Places, led by the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities in partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, awarded $112,500 to two green storm water infrastructure projects designed to advance water-related sustainability goals in Bridgeport and New Haven. An abandoned roadway in New Haven will be turned into a community greenspace with green infrastructure connecting an urban community to parkland and the nearby Mill River. In Bridgeport, where a majority of the city’s waterfront areas are underused or inaccessible to the public, community stakeholders will work to build an equitable and sustainable waterfront that incorporates green infrastructure and resiliency features. Contributions from local matching funders include Jeniam Foundation ($32,500) and the Long Island Sound Funders Collaborative ($40,000) in Bridgeport; and The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven ($30,000) and The Watershed Fund ($10,000) in New Haven. Read more >>

The proposal deadline for the next round of Partners for Places grants is January 31, 2020 >>   

CT Launches Model Women & Girls Data Platform

Connecticut Data Collaborative's Women and Girls Data Platform (WGDP) is a cutting-edge tool to share information and equip non-profits, government, and community members with information for the advancement of women and girls in the 21st century. The online, interactive tool, provides access to publicly available data specific to regional, city, and statewide levels and aggregated for gender and race. The data compares trends across regions and the state and allows understanding of local needs. According to the international Women’s Funding Network, no similar data sharing platform exists nationwide, and Connecticut is a model for the country to share data to increase equity.

The platform is funded collaboratively by the Aurora Women and Girls FoundationFairfield County's Community Foundation's Fund for Women & Girls, Main Street Community Foundation Women & Girls’ Fund, and other funders. The Connecticut Collective for Women and Girls (CCWG), a statewide network for organizations serving women and girls is a primary audience for the platform. The Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF) serves as the administrative backbone for the CCWG and as a collaborator on the WGDP.  Explore the tool >>    

$250K Goes to Thirteen CT Nonprofits Focused on Health Equity

Tufts Health Plan Foundation donated $250,000 to thirteen Connecticut non-profits focused on health equity and the social determinants of health, including organizations working for addiction recovery, improving access to affordable healthy food, and healthy aging. The grants are among 40 the Foundation distributed to organizations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island in honor of Tufts Health Plan’s 40th anniversary. The organizations receiving grants work on a variety of issues, including housing and homelessness, assistance to vulnerable children and families, and ensuring a complete count in the upcoming U.S. Census.

“We recognize that non-profit organizations are on the frontlines of service and play a crucial role in building stronger and healthier communities for everyone in Connecticut,” said Tom Croswell, president and CEO of Tufts Health Plan. “These angel grants are a way of saying ‘thank you’ to those organizations addressing the economic and social conditions that influence the health of our diverse communities and helping them to keep up the great work they do.” Read more >>  

State Independent Journalism Wins National Grant

The American Journalism Project, a new initiative to reinvigorate mission-driven local news through the power of venture philanthropy, recently awarded CT Mirror a $830,000 grant. The Project supports existing and emerging news organizations with grants and hands-on support to ensure their long-term sustainability through diverse revenue generation and modern technology operations. With these investments, the American Journalism Project will help transition organizations from primarily grant-funded newsrooms into integrated nonprofit media organizations and catalyze a step-function increase in journalism philanthropy. "This grant will be transformative for CT Mirror and for coverage of public policy in Connecticut. It will enable us to engage many more readers, donors, and funders in our work of informing Connecticut residents about the impact of public policy and holding government accountable -- it is a huge vote of confidence in our future and our ability to grow in a financially sustainable way," said Bruce Putterman, Publisher The Connecticut Mirror. CT Mirror is also supported by numerous individual donors and grantmakers including 13 Connecticut Council for Philanthropy members. Read more >>    

Neighborhood Builders® Named in Bridgeport and Hartford

Bank of American recently announced the Neighborhood Builders® awardees in Bridgeport and Hartford for their work to address issues fundamental to economic mobility. In Bridgeport, The Center for Family Justice and Fellowship Place, Inc. were selected for their work in breaking the cycle of abuse and violence by providing services that drive social change and serving adults with mental illness by offering support and rehabilitation services. In Hartford, Journey Home and the Hartford Public Library were selected for their work leading the effort to end homelessness in the capital region and launching a state-of-the-art Digital Media Lab. As an awardee, each organization receives a $200,000 grant, leadership training for the executive director and an emerging leader at the organization, a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and the opportunity to access capital to expand their impact.

“Journey Home and the Hartford Public Library are outstanding recipients of the Neighborhood Builders grant, and we are excited and proud to partner with them,” said Joe Gianni, Bank of America market president for Greater Hartford. “Our investment is a unique opportunity to help nonprofit leaders who are tackling tough community challenges, and the combination of funding and leadership development that accompanies the Neighborhood Builder designation will make a real difference to both organizations.” Read more >>

"The Center for Family Justice and Fellowship Place, Inc. are worthy recipients of the Neighborhood Builders grant, and we are excited and proud to partner with them," said William Tommins, Bank of America market president for Southern Connecticut. "Bank of America believes the Neighborhood Builders program is an excellent opportunity to invest in nonprofit leaders in the community who are tackling tough challenges." Read more >>  

Blockbuster Results from Rotary / Liberty Bank Partnership

Now in its 16th year, the Liberty Bank / Rotary Thanksgiving Dinner Drive raised a record-breaking $565,000 to ensure there’s enough food on local shelves for the holiday and beyond. “It’s expensive to live in Connecticut,” says Sue Murphy, executive director, Liberty Bank Foundation. “Big ticket items, like the cost of housing or child care, mean that at the end of the month many families around the state can’t afford to put a Thanksgiving feast on the table. Our partnership with the Rotary Club helps make that possible.” This year, 43 Rotary Clubs and the East Haddam Community Lions Club teamed up with the 60 Liberty Bank offices to raise funds; at the end of the campaign Liberty Bank Foundation matched each dollar raised with 25 cents. All donations received are donated to local food programs. Since the drive began in 2004, it has raised over $3 million, including the Foundation match. Read more >>   

  POLICY UPDATE: CT Philanthropy in the News and CENSUS 2020

CT Philanthropy in the News

There have been two recent articles about Connecticut philanthropy in the CT Mirror: Nonprofits Say Philanthropy Alone Can’t Save Services; and While Nonprofits Seek State Aid, Lamont Steers Them to Private Donors. In response, CCP President Karla Fortunato penned an op-ed about the value of and roles for philanthropy, Filling the Gaps Is a Poor Role for Philanthropy.

What is the Census? Why Is a Complete Count Important?

The Census, held every ten years and mandated by the US Constitution, is a national count used to determine critical decisions, like political representation and how much federal funding will go to communities. When a community is undercounted by the Census, it results in less political representation and less federal funding for those communities. The 2020 count will have a decade-long impact on our state, cities, and towns.

Based on the latest census estimates, approximately 22% of Connecticut's current population (or 805,756 people) lives in hard-to-count (HTC) neighborhoods, and it is estimated that Connecticut will lose $2,900 in federal funding for every person not counted. Although Connecticut state government has been slow to allocate funds for Census 2020, several community foundations challenged the state to come up with funding. In October the state announced a commitment of $500,000 in discretionary funds for Census 2020 community outreach.

CCP, as well as the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, sit on Connecticut’s Complete Count Committee. In this role, CCP has been advocating for the state to develop a strong plan and commit the necessary resources to support an accurate census count in 2020. We were delighted to see that the State made a commitment of $500,000 to support the 2020 census, but understand that more resources will be needed.

Meanwhile, many have begun the work to ensure an accurate count. There are over 100 local complete count committees launched. Key nonprofits are developing infrastructure to support statewide capacity, and many nonprofits are developing plans and activities. This is encouraging, but more resources and organizations are needed. CCP is in the process of pulling together a webinar for funders on the current state of play, and will share details with you as soon as they are finalized.

2020 Census Coverage in Connecticut

Historically Undercounted Communities

Do the communities you serve and fund belong to any of these historically undercounted communities? Undercounting impacts political rights and access to public and private resources. The Center on Poverty and Inequality has published Hard to Count Fact Sheets that explain what makes populations hard to count and how undercounting can impact political rights and access to public resources. You can explore Connecticut's HTC neighborhoods in the Census 2020 HTC Map for Connecticut >>

  • Urban and rural areas with large low-income populations
  • People of color
  • Immigrants, including undocumented residents
  • Non-English speakers
  • Migrant workers
  • Formerly incarcerated people
  • Young children
  • The elderly
  • People with disabilities
  • Renters
  • Those experiencing homelessness
  • Members of the LGBTQ community
  • Persons living in mobile homes or multi-unit residences

Census Partner Specialists
Connecticut is part of the New York Regional Census Office, but there are partner specialists working locally to raise awareness and promote participation in the 2020 Census. Here is a list of Connecticut's Partner Specialists with their assigned territory. To reach a specialist contact the New York Regional Census Office: 800-991-2520; New.York.Regional.Office@census.gov.

  • Michael Burke: New Haven/Middlesex
  • Yvette Rose: Fairfield
  • Clodomiro Falcon: New Haven/Fairfield (Also covers all Hispanic/Latinx partners throughout the state)
  • Phyllis Fusco: Hartford/Litchfield
  • Kevin Shippy: New Haven
  • Catherine Marx: Hartford/Tolland
  • Jamie McDonald: New Haven/Hartford
  • Eva Bunnell: New London/Windham/small part of Middlesex (Congressional/Tribal Specialist for NY Census Region/Persons of Color for state of CT)

Census Workshops
The US Census Bureau is holding a Count Me in 2020 Workshop Series across the state. The free workshops are intended to help nonprofits learn how can to help those they serve be counted.

  • Middletown Census Woprkshop >>
    JANUARY 10: 2:30 - 3:30 PM: MARC Community Resources, 124 Washington Street, Middletown
  • Norwalk Census Workshop - Registration TBA
    JANUARY 14: 2:00-3:00 PM: Fairfield County's Community Foundation, 40 Richards Avenue, Norwalk
  • Waterbury Census Workshop >>
    JANUARY 16: 9:30 - 10:30 AM: CT Counseling Centers, 50 Brookside Road, Waterbury (presented by the Connecticut Community Foundation)
  • Hartford Census Workshop - Registration TBA
    JANUARY 29: 1:00 - 2:00 PM: Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, 10 Columbus Avenue, Hartford

Census Resources

CCP Census Resource webpage >>   


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

Aetna Foundation & Aetna

Children's Fund of Connecticut

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut

Community Foundation of Greater New Britain

Connecticut Community Foundation

Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority

Connecticut Health Foundation

Fairfield County's Community Foundation

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

Harvard Pilgrim Health Foundation

Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford

Liberty Bank Foundation

Main Street Community Foundation

Newman's Own Foundation

Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation

People's United Community Foundation

Tuft's Health Plan Foundation

United Technologies Corporation

United Way of Western Connecticut

Universal Heath Care Foundation of Connecticut

Valley Community Foundation

Other News Links

American Eagle Federal Credit Union

Berkshire Bank Foundation

S. Prestley and Helen Blake

BlumShapiro Foundation

Bobs's Discount Furniture

CMAK Foundation


Maximilian E. and Marion O. Hoffman Foundation


Ion Bank

KBE Building Corporation

LEGO Foundation

Morgan Stanley

Penn Globe

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America

Curtis and Sheila Robinson Foundation

Rotary Club of Mystic

Savings Bank of Danbury



Werth Family Foundation


Bridgespan Leadership Accelerator >>
DECEMBER 31: Application deadline
Bridgespan's Leadership Accelerator programs are grounded in their experience working with hundreds of nonprofits. Investing in Future Leaders is a step-by-step program to help nonprofit executives create inclusive, customized approaches to talent development for their organizations. Achieving Strategic Clarity is a step-by-step program that helps leadership teams get clear on who they serve and how they serve them, so they can focus their resources and have the greatest impact possible. Scholarships are available.

Survey Usage and Methods for Enhanced Stakeholder Engagement >>
JANUARY 24: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM: UConn Hartford Campus, Hartford
As a partner organization of UConn’s Public Service Executive Leadership Collaborative, members of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy and their grantees receive a substantial discount. This full-day session will provide an overview of the potential techniques for measuring government stakeholder attitudes and including stakeholder feedback in the decision making process. The workshop will cover the basics of question wording, instrument construction and study design for surveys, focus groups and in-depth interviews. The January workshop features Jennifer Dineen, PhD, program director, UConn Department of Public Policy’s Graduate Program in Survey Research. Lunch will be provided.  

Bank of America Student Leaders® >>
JANUARY 31: Application deadline
Every year, through Bank of America’s Student Leaders® program, Bank of America connects 300 community-minded high school juniors and seniors to employment, skills development and service. They’re awarded paid summer internships with local nonprofits and participate in a national leadership summit in Washington, D.C. The Student Leaders Summit focuses on skill building and creating a more civically engaged society. Community-minded high school juniors and seniors in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, and Stamford may apply now through January 31, 2020 for the Bank of America Student Leaders® program.  


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.

SBM Charitable Foundation

The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut

American Savings Foundation

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

Tufts Health Plan Foundation

Farmington Bank Community Foundation

Connecticut Community Foundation

Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation

The Edward C. & Ann T. Roberts Foundation

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

Travelers Foundation

Foundation for Community Health

Fairfield County's Community Foundation

J. Walton Bissell Foundation

Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford

Main Street Community Foundation

The Guilford Foundation

Branford Community Foundation

The Fund for Greater Hartford

People's United Community Foundation

Cigna Foundation

Community Foundation of Greater New Britain

Gawlicki Family Foundation

William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund

The Betty Knox Foundation

Perrin Family Foundation

Valley Community Foundation

Webster Bank

Other Grants and RFPs

Walmart Foundation

The Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and Urban Sustainability Directors Network

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation - Lever for Change

blumshapiro Foundation


The Melville Charitable Trust has selected Susan Thomas to be the foundation’s next president, effective January 6, 2020. Susan is the Trust’s program director in which position she has led the foundation’s housing and racial equity efforts for five years and manages a state and national portfolio of grants supporting solutions to homelessness. She will become the third leader of the 30-year-old foundation, replacing Janice Elliott, who announced she will be retiring on December 31 after heading the foundation for seven years. “After an extensive search that included outstanding candidates from throughout the United States, Susan emerged as our new leader because of her demonstrated skills, considerable achievements, and deep commitment to the foundation’s mission, vision, and values,” said Stephen Melville, chair of the Melville Charitable Trust board. “She is dedicated, resourceful, and known for her talent in developing strategic relationships, forging consensus, and galvanizing support for a common cause. We believe her leadership will open new avenues for investing in visionary organizations, advancing racial equity, and fostering deep collaboration between sectors.” Read more >>

Travelers and the Travelers Foundation has announced the promotion of Erin Haberman to Senior Director, Community Relations for Travelers; and Second Vice President for the Travelers Foundation, effective immediately. Since joining the Community Relations team in 2014, Erin has demonstrated a strong commitment to ensuring opportunity through their corporate giving programs. She has been instrumental in shaping, fortifying, and building partnerships with nonprofit organizations and has taken the lead in developing key relationships with disaster response organizations, such as Team Rubicon and SBP. Read more >>  

The Valley Community Foundation’s Board of Directors welcomes Aleta Miner as a new board member. Aleta, a Shelton native, has worked as assistant to the president of the Shelton Economic Development Corporation since 1994. She is proud of her contributions to Shelton’s dramatic economic growth in both the commercial and residential sectors, especially in the downtown area. Having served on the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley for nearly two decades, Aleta has also been involved with several other nonprofits and organizations. No stranger to the Valley Community Foundation, Aleta has been involved with VCF’s Community Grant Program, Board Advisory Council, and Development Committee. She has also received the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce Gold Seal Award in recognition of her many civic contributions. Read more >>

Two new members have joined United Way of Western Connecticut’s Board of Directors.  Kevin Walston currently serves as assistant superintendent of school and district development for the Danbury Public Schools. Paul H. Bruce is vice president and chief financial officer of Union Savings Bank. The organization also welcomes a new member to its Northern Fairfield County Council. Samantha LaBonne is the community relations and economic development specialist for Eversource and will join 19 other members of this council in focusing on local priorities and identifying community needs in the Greater Danbury area. In Stamford, Morgan Jensen, an account service manager for Legg Mason, recently joined the Stamford Community Council. “These new board and council members bring community knowledge and a level of expertise that is extremely valuable to our work,” said Isabel Almeida, Interim President and Chief Operating Officer of United Way. “I’m looking forward to working with them as we explore innovative ways to address the challenges faced by hard-working, struggling households.” Read more >>

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven's Progreso Latino Fund Celebrating Latino Leaders Series features personal interviews with Latino leaders serving Greater New Haven and Connecticut. The most recently highlighted leader is Martin Torresquinterro whose interview is in a video format. Martin, whose hometown is Bogota, Columbia, is the outdoor adventure coordinator for the City of New Haven. In addition to creating the Outdoor Adventure program, he encourages people in New Haven's diverse neighborhoods to engage in outdoor activities. "Many people, particularly many in less privileged neighborhoods, thought that people like us don't go climbing, don't go skiing, don't go scuba diving. We need to find a way to convey the message that everybody can do this." View the video >>   


Have an opening at your organization? Contact Laurie Allen to include your position in CCP's Jobs Bank. Learn more >>   


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 $1.2 billion from assets of more than $8.2 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 regularly to media outlets, local legislators, foundations and grantmakers, and other CT leaders to raise the profile of philanthropy throughout Connecticut. News about Connecticut funders may be submitted to CCP for consideration.