CT Philanthropy Digest - Nov 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

Philanthropy Recognized on National Day and During CF Week
36-Hour Event Raised Half a Million for Local Nonprofits
New Strategy and Grant Opportunity to Support the Homeless
Major National Investment in New Haven Supports Teacher Development
Survey Shows Hopes of Recovery Dashed, Increased Demand for Services
Collaborative gives More CT Students More Time in School
Promise for City's Young Children Firm with Community Planning Support
At-Risk Kids Get Legal Aid
New Urban Sites to be Added to Mobile Market
$750,000 Pledged to Pediatric Ambulance and Ambulatory Surgery Center
Diaper Bank is Community Foundation's New Initiative in the Valley
First Niagra's Mentoring Matters to Connecticut Youth
Hartford Students Bring Power to Himalayan School
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CT Philanthropy Recognized on National Day and During CF Week

Today, November 15, 2013, the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy celebrates National Philanthropy Day® (NPD) and Community Foundation (CF) Week, November 12-18, 2013, with its November release of the Connecticut Philanthropy Digest (Digest) which highlights the activities, accomplishments and impact of Connecticut's philanthropic community.

          NPD is the special day to recognize and pay tribute to the significant contributions philanthropy makes to our lives, our communities and our world. NPD was first celebrated in 1986, when then-President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation officially recognizing Nov. 15, 1986, as National Philanthropy Day®.

          Eighteen community foundations in Connecticut join the more than 750 community foundations across America for the 24th Annual Community Foundation Week. The week focuses on telling the stories of lives changed, jobs created, and communities transformed through community foundation work. Three community foundation stories are included in this November Digest issue.

          Community foundations, independent, public entities that steward philanthropic resources from institutional and individual donors to local nonprofits represent one of the fastest-growing forms of philanthropy. The 2012 Columbus Survey found that as the nation continues through a difficult economic recovery, grants by community foundations increased by 21% since 2006.

          To read more news about philanthropy in Connecticut visit the Council's website.

          For more information: Laurie Allen, Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, lallen@CTphilanthropy.org.

36-Hour Event Raised Half a Million for Local Nonprofits
To celebrate its 90th anniversary, Connecticut Community Foundation (CCF) hosted Give Local Greater Waterbury & Litchfield Hills, a 36-hour online community giving challenge which sought to inspire as many people as possible to support local 501(c)(3) organizations between 7am November 12 and 7pm November 13, 2013. The event raised nearly $520,000 for 125 participating nonprofits in the Foundation's 21-town service area.
          A dedicated fundraising site underwritten by Crystal Rock was set up for the event. Participating nonprofits will receive 100% of donations made to their organizations through www.GiveLocalCCF.org during the 36 hours. Each donation was amplified from a pool of matching funds, and nonprofits were eligible to win cash prizes throughout the event.
          The total of the matching funds and prize pools combined was over $123,000. CCF and presenting sponsor Ion Bank Foundation, as well as Alexion Pharmaceuticals provided matching funds and prizes for this online challenge. They were joined by other sponsors: Ericson Insurance Advisors, Mehdi and Judith Eslami and Burns and Company for contributions of matching funds; Carmody & Torrance as a prize sponsor; and WATR 1320AM, Republican-American, Prime Publishers, Inc. and Crowne Plaza in Southbury as in-kind sponsors.
          "We hope we inspired new donors to support these organizations that collectively make our region a stronger, more vibrant place for all," explained Paula Van Ness, President & CEO of CCF.
          On May 6, 2014, CCF will join community foundations across the U.S. in hosting Give Local America!, another opportunity to raise awareness and funds for nonprofit organizations.
          For more information: Edwin Rodriguez, Connecticut Community Foundation, (203)753-1315 ext. 102, erodriguez@conncf.org.

New Strategy and Grant Opportunity to Support the Homeless
The Melville Charitable Trust, the nation's largest foundation devoted exclusively to preventing and ending homelessness, has adopted a new grantmaking strategy to help achieve its mission.
          The Trust's investments in Connecticut and at the national level will seek to: strengthen the housing and support services delivery system, transform public and private systems, increase civic and political will and investment, and build leadership. Funding will be awarded to nonprofit organizations engaged in these efforts and whose work falls under one of the Trust's three program areas: housing, health and support, and income.
          "We are more committed than ever to ending homelessness," said the Trust's Executive Director Janice Elliott. "But we have had the same grantmaking approach for many years and it was time to make some adjustments. Not only is homelessness changing-we're seeing more families than ever before, and youth homelessness is a growing concern-but we also know more now about what works and what doesn't to end homelessness."
          To expand their reach, for the first time, the Trust is issuing a Request for Proposals for their Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program for Connecticut nonprofits. The EOF provides modest, highly flexible support for the educational and training aspirations of homeless or formerly homeless individuals.
          The narrative proposal is due by December 6, 2013. EOF criteria information may be accessed online.
          For more information: Aimee Hendrigan, Melville Charitable Trust, (617) 236-2244, ext. 102, ahendrigan@melvilletrust.org.

Major National Investment in New Haven Supports Teacher Development
The New Haven Public Schools will expand their district-wide teacher development initiatives, thanks to a $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
          The grant will support a new program called Empowered Effective Educators, or E^3, which aims to build upon the district's nationally acclaimed teacher evaluation and development model with a new, intensified focus on teacher professionalism.
          "This investment will enable us to intensify our focus on teacher professionalism as we continue efforts to connect to students, engage them in learning, and launch them into bright futures," said Superintendent Garth Harries.
          The E^3 teacher development program functions as a complement to the district's Professional Educator Program (PEP), an initiative aimed at cultivating teachers and administrators through individualized coaching and personal learning, as well as differentiated career opportunities and compensation. PEP is made possible through a $53 million multi-year federal grant awarded to the district in fall 2012.
          For more information: Abbe Smith, New Haven Public Schools, (203) 497-7015.

Survey Shows Hopes of Recovery Dashed, Increased Demand for Services
"Increasing government disarray undermines nonprofits' recovery hopes," reports the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut's 10th Annual Non-profit Pulse Survey, released in partnership with the Hartford Business Journal.
          According to the survey, as government support and fundraising becoming more difficult, nonprofit organizations are less optimistic about their future. About 95 percent said the demand for their services had either increased or stayed the same in the previous year; and 98 percent expected demand to increase or stay the same in the immediate future.
          Overall, the nonprofits felt the top way to improve the community and better their goals was to have increased workforce development and training in order to get the people they serve back into jobs and steady financial situations. Of the respondents, 31 percent said this was the top issue, up from 20 percent in 2012.
          The online survey was sent to 307 nonprofit organizations and United Way partners providing health and human services in the 40 towns of central and northeastern Connecticut.
          For more information: Susan Dunn, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, (860) 493-6800.

Collaborative gives More CT Students More Time in School
The TIME (Time for Innovation Matters in Education) Collaborative, a five-state initiative for supporting expanded and redesigned school schedules, announced new districts and schools for the 2014-2015 year including several in Connecticut.
          Schools in East Hartford and Meriden are implementing expanded time in 2013-2014 and in 2014-2015, Bridgeport, Meriden and Windham Schools are planning to implement redesigned school schedules that include a longer school day.
          "I am proud Connecticut school districts are bringing stakeholders to the table to adopt innovative measures that will help us to improve public education," Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy said at the press announcement. "We have a fundamental obligation to students and teachers to ensure that we are doing the most with time allotted each day. Working together with the state's hardworking teachers, we can and must support models that break away from the status quo."
          States participating in the TIME Collaborative are using a mix of federal, state and district funding to cover the cost of 300 additional hours of instruction and enrichment to the school year. The Ford Foundation is providing states and districts with capacity-building grants and enabling the National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL) to provide technical assistant to schools as they plan and implement more and improved learning time.
          In Connecticut, the TIME Collaborative is a partnership between the NCTL, the Ford Foundation, the Connecticut State Department of Education, and several local community partners including the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, COMPASS Youth Collaborative, and the United Way of Meriden and Wallingford.
          For more information: George Mastoras, National Center on Time & Learning, (617) 378-3926..

Promise for City's Young Children Firm with Community Planning Support
Danbury's Promise for Children Partnership, Danbury's local early childhood community collaborative, has received a $40,000 Discovery Grant to support its community plan for the city's young children.
          The grant will help to ensure that all children in Danbury, regardless of race and income level, are ready for school by age five and prepared to be successful learners by age nine.
          "This grant builds on broadening local community support for young children, including the recent creation of the Danbury City Office of Early Childhood," said Caroline LaFleur, director of the Promise for Children Partnership. "We'll be able to make sure Danbury's children will enter kindergarten ready to learn."
          Discovery grants are funded by the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, the Children's Fund of Connecticut and the Connecticut State Department of Education.
          For more information: David Nee, William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, (203) 230-3330.

At-Risk Kids Get Legal Aid
Thanks to a $65,000 grant award from the American Savings Foundation, low-income children at risk in the New Britain and Waterbury Family Court will receive legal aid through the Children's Law Center of Connecticut's (CLC) Legal Representation Program.
          The program will provide legal representation to low-income children at risk of abuse and/or neglect involved in high conflict divorce, custody or visitation disputes where cases are exacerbated by factors of domestic violence, substance abuse, child abuse or neglect, mental illness, incarceration, or other chronic conflict.
           The American Savings Foundation has been a supporter of the CLC since 1997 and helped expand the Legal Representation Program to the New Britain jurisdiction in 2006 and the Waterbury jurisdiction in 2011.
          For more information Rosalie Roth, Children's Law Center of Connecticut, (860) 232-9993, clc@clcct.org; Maria Sanchez, (860) 827-2556, info@asfdn.org.

New Urban Sites to be Added to Mobile Market
The Citizens Bank Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to New Haven-based City Seed to support the organization's Mobile Market and Double Value programs.
           Funding will enable the Mobile Market, which brings fresh produce from Connecticut Farms to New Haven neighborhoods, to service additional urban sites and increase its reach in New Haven communities by 30 percent. The grant will also support City Seed's Double Value program, which encourages individuals receiving SNAP benefits to eat fresh fruit and vegetables by matching up to $10 per day on eligible products.
          The grant is part of Citizens Helping Citizens Fight Hunger, the bank's program that supports innovative programs and organizations to provide access to nutritious food.
          For more information: Kimberly Bartlett-Manisene, Citizens Bank, (203) 287-2823.

$750,000 Pledged to Pediatric Ambulance and Ambulatory Surgery Center
ESPN announced a pledge of $750,000 from The Walt Disney Company to the Connecticut Children's Medical Center. The grant will expand the facility's pediatric transport system with a fully-outfitted pediatric and neonatal intensive ambulance. The donation is also supporting Connecticut Children's brand-new 18,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art Ambulatory Surgery Center in Farmington.
          "The Connecticut Children's Medical Center provides life-saving care to children and families right here in our own backyard," said Kevin Martinez, ESPN's vice president of corporate outreach. "This investment from ESPN and The Walt Disney Company will serve those most in need of urgent care, further cementing our region as a great and caring place for families to live."
          For more information: Ben Cafardo, ESPN, (860) 766-3496; ben.cafardo@espn.com; Monica Buchanan, Connecticut Children's Medical Center, (860) 837-5701; mbuchanan@connecticutchildrens.org.

Diaper Bank is Community Foundation's New Initiative in the Valley
The Valley Communty Foundation awarded TEAM, Inc. a grant of $45,000 over three years to help it establish the Valley Diaper Bank to provide diapers and referral services to help recipients become more self-sufficient. The initiative is based on a national model started in New Haven.
          "One of the important roles a community foundation can play is providing resources to create solutions to significant issues in a community," says Sharon Closius, President & CEO of the Valley Community Foundation.
          "Without the Foundation's support I don't see how we could meet the need," says TEAM Inc. President & CEO Richard Knoll. "Low-income families are struggling to make their next rent payment and they're forced to cut corners. Since diapers are incredibly expensive sometimes that means using a diaper longer than you should, and it becomes a health issue for the child."
          The Valley Diaper Bank is one of three brand new initiatives supported by the Foundation. Read the full list of initiatives here.
          For more information: Valerie Knight-Di Gangi, Valley Community Foundation, (203) 751-9162, vdigangi@valleyfoundation.org.

First Niagra's Mentoring Matters to Connecticut Youth
The First Niagara Foundation is donating $1.0 million to fund youth mentoring programs designed to help close the achievement gap, help children improve school attendance and performance, prevent substance abuse and behavioral problems, and give at-risk youth a chance to reach their full potential.
          Thirty-Three nonprofit organizations across its regional footprint, including Junior Achievement in Norwalk and Hartford and Connecticut's The Governor's Prevention Partnership, will share the award through First Niagara's Mentoring Matters signature grant program.
          "Mentoring matters because it can change a young person's life for the better. Proven results include better grades and behavior - and improved school attendance, all of which lead to a brighter future," said Gary Crosby, Interim President and CEO of First Niagara. "Our Mentoring Matters signature grant program enables us to collaborate with proven, results-oriented mentoring organizations that do great things each and every day."
          For more information: Jodi Johnston, First Niagra, (716) 270-8612; Jodi.johnston@fnfg.com.

Hartford Students Bring Power to Himalayan School
Thanks to a remarkable alliance of Connecticut businesses including United Technologies Corporation, CBIA's Education Foundation, the Connecticut Pre-Engineering Program (CPEP), and the Werth Family Foundation, students from Hartford Public High School's Academy of Engineering and Green Technology (AoEGT) recently provided wind turbine power to the Nepali village of Saldang in the Himalayan mountains.
          The Saldang project, the brainchild of Peter J. Werth, Jr., knew it would have been easier to simply purchase the necessary equipment to power the school, but saw an opportunity to engage students from his own corner of the world, according to a CBIA article.
          The Connecticut-based Werth Foundation awarded a grant to the CPEP to create a rich, meaningful educational experience for young people who are underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce.
          A video produced by CBIA, From Hartford to the Himalayas, chronicles the design, building, delivery, and installation of the wind turbine, and clearly illustrates that the Nepali students weren't the only young people who benefited from the project.
          For more information: Judith Resnick, CBIA Education Foundation, judy.resnick@cbia.com, Peter J. Werth, Jr., The Werth Family Foundation, mail@werthff.org.


Foundation Develops Leaders with "Learn Through Doing" Opportunity
The Leadership Development Roundtable (LDR), a program of the ZOOM Foundation is collecting its leadership cohorts for 2014. LDR is an intensive program designed to build the capacity of emerging nonprofit leaders so that they can effect social change in Connecticut.
          Interested Gen X (b. 1965-1980) or  Gen Y (b. 1981-1999) individuals must apply  by 5 pm on the due date: Hartford (December 11, 2013); Fairfield (December 11, 2013); Waterbury (July 31, 2014). Eligibility and application instructions may be found on the LDR website.
          LDR is sponsored by Sponsored by Connecticut Community Foundation, Fairfield County Community Foundation, Lone Pine Foundation, Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, William Casper Graustein Memorial Fund, and General Electric.
          For more information email: ldrconnecticut@gmail.com.

Foundation Honored for Summer Youth Employment Initiative
Liberty Bank Foundation has received awards from the American Bankers Association and the New England Financial Marketing Association for its initiative in marshaling financial resources to support summer youth employment, following a cut in federal funding in 2012.
          The American Bankers Association selected Liberty Bank for its Community Commitment Award from a field of 150 national entrants, and Liberty was one of only six banks so honored.  Liberty received the Gold Award for Philanthropy from the New England Financial Marketing Association, the organization's top honor in that category.
          When the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce and the Eastern Workforce Investment Board summer youth programs were expecting 50% funding cuts in 2012, Liberty Bank Foundation went looking for community partners who were willing to work together to make up the funding deficit. The Foundation took the lead to convene meetings with local government and potential donors in both the Middletown and New London areas.
          "In an environment where unemployment for youth is around fifteen percent, these programs were likely their only opportunity to get a job. We couldn't let this important service decline," said Sue Murphy, Executive Director of the Liberty Bank Foundation.
          In Middletown $107,200 total was raised in 2012 and 2013, from fourteen funders and in southeastern Connecticut $77,500 total was raised in 2012 and 2013, from eight funders. To read the full account and the list of funders go to the Liberty Bank website.
          For more information: Jane Brosnan, Liberty Bank, (860) 344-7213; jbrosnan@liberty-bank.com; Sue Murphy, Liberty Bank Foundation, (860) 638-2959, smurphy@liberty-bank.com.

Two Ways to Find Help or Give Help During the Holidays
Find help or give help during the holidays through United Way of Connecticut's 2-1-1 online or by phone.

Online resources:

Phone information for help or giving:

  • Just dial "2-1-1" and ask to be connected with holiday programs and agencies in your local area.

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Public Forum Addresses Transportation and Livable Communities
The Rockfall Foundation and CT League of Conservation Voters (CT LCV) are hosting a free presentation and conversation, Getting Where You Want To Go, about connecting and preserving our state's communities with better transportation. The forum will be held on Tuesday, November 19, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the deKoven House Community Center in Middletown.
          Based on CT LCV's new citizen's guide, Getting Where You Want To Go, the Forum will explore the upfront and hidden costs of our present transportation system on the state's economy, public health and natural resources. It will also present a vision for a new, 21st-century system that promotes livable communities, enhances public health and our economy, and preserves our environment--all while moving people and goods to where they need to go.
    For more information visit Rockfall's website at www.rockfallfoundation.org; to register: Tony Marino, Rockfall Foundation, (860)347-0340, tmarino@rockfallfoundation.org.

Lifelong Learning for Seniors includes 'Wi-Fi & Wine'
Connecticut Community Foundation is supporting a series of 10 free classes about internet access and devices, apps, social media, e-books and more at Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, CT.
    The Lifelong Libraries Sponsorship is offered through the Foundation's Pathways Services for Seniors Initiative to encourage town libraries to host new programs and events that will connect more people age 65 and older to their library.
    The first class, "NO-Frills & Whistles," on Thursday, November 21 will cover basics of common internet access. The library will "match" an appropriate wine choice for each class and offer instruction in a relaxed and comfortable venue.
          To register call (860) 868-7586.


NANCY BERNSTEIN, president and CEO of Women's Health Connecticut, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
          Ms. Bernstein was appointed by the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, one of the regional bodies that make appointments to the Hartford Foundation's board.
          Prior to joining Women's Health, Ms. Bernstein held management positions at community and academic hospitals and health systems in the Northeast and Midwest.
          Ms. Bernstein received her master's degree from Harvard University in health policy and management, and her bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She previously served or currently serves on the boards of Leadership Greater Hartford, Community Health Charities, Connecticut Center for Primary Care and United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 from the Hartford Business Journal for her contributions to the region.

The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance welcomes MERRILL GAY as its new executive director. Merrill comes to the Alliance from the New Britain Early Childhood Collaborative, where he served as executive director since 2003.
          Mr. Gay has served on a number of early childhood initiatives, including the New Britain School Readiness Council, New Britain Head Start Policy Council, Early Childhood Finance Project Work Group, Early Childhood Workforce Task Force, and Infant Toddler Task Force. He also served as co-chairman of the CT Early Childhood Alliance, as the New Britain community lead for the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Grade-Level Reading Campaign, and authored a large portion of New Britain's Blueprint for Young Children, completed after 18 months of planning.
          The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance is a statewide membership and advocacy organization committed to improving outcomes in the areas of learning, health, safety and economic security, for children ages birth to eight. The Alliance is supported by generous funding from the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, Fairfield County Community Foundation, The Children's Fund of Connecticut, and the Karlson Family Foundation.


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.
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