CT Philanthropy Digest - Nov 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014




CT United Ways Release Groundbreaking ALICE Study on Families Facing Financial Hardship

         In Connecticut, one in four households do not have sufficient incomes to meet their cost of basic living needs, despite having earnings above the Federal Poverty Level. Although they work hard, these households struggle to make ends meet. United Way calls this newly identified demographic ALICE, an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.
          The United Way's new Connecticut ALICE Report documents the challenges facing 1 in 4 families in our state, shining a light on this hidden population. Combined, ALICE and poverty households (as defined by the government poverty threshold) comprise 35% of all households in the state, revealing that more than 1 in 3 Connecticut households is experiencing financial hardship.
          Connecticut United Ways, including United Way of ConnecticutUnited Way of Central and Northeastern ConnecticutUnited Way of Greater New Haven; and Coastal Fairfield County, Middlesex County and Southeastern CT United Ways, joined with United Ways in five other states to commission state level ALICE Reports from United Way of Northern New Jersey and Rutgers University. The Connecticut ALICE Report provides analysis of how many households are struggling in every town, including the obstacles ALICE households face on the road to financial independence.
          Download the Connecticut ALICE Report >> 
          For more information: Rick Porth, United Way of Connecticut, 860-571-7501, richard.porth@ctunitedway.org.

Public Policy Update: National Organizations Push for Charitable Provisions in Year-End Legislation

          Six national organizations representing tens of thousands of charitable nonprofits and foundations from across the country have sent a letter to House and Senate leadership asking for their support of the provisions of the America Gives More Act, H.R.4719. The letter requests their action in the remaining weeks of the 113rd Congress, to enact the five charitable provisions as part of any end-of-year tax legislation.
          The America Gives More Act, H.R.4719 provisions make permanent three temporary – and currently expired – provisions in the tax code that encourage charitable giving by both individuals and businesses: an enhanced tax deduction for donating food inventory, an enhanced tax deduction for donating land conservation easements, and the IRA charitable rollover. The legislation also would extend the deadline through April 15 for making charitable contributions and streamline the excise tax on foundation investment income.
          Read the letter >>
          Find more information on the charitable provisions >>
          Find contact information for CT Senators and Representatives
          For more information: Maggie Gunther Osborn, 860-525-5585, mosborn@CTphilanthropy.org.

Highnet Worth Study Forcasts Positive Giving Trends

         Among wealthy households (households with incomes greater than $200,000 and/or net worth more than $1,000,000—excluding the monetary value of their home), the average amount given to charity last year increased 28%, according to the 2014 U.S. Trust® Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy. Through an ongoing partnership with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the fifth in the series of studies reveals a strong commitment to charitable causes among high net worth households. This positive trend is seen in several findings, including:
  • Last year, virtually all high net worth households (98.4%) donated to charity, compared to 95.4% in 2011. 
  • The average dollar amount given to charity by wealthy donors increased 28%, from $53,519 in 2011 to $68,580 in 2013. 
  • Eighty-five percent of wealthy donors plan to give as much as or more in the next three to five years than they have in the past – up from 76% who said they planned to give as much or more when asked in 2012. 
          Shifts and trends in the giving behaviors, priorities and strategies of the wealthy are shown in these findings:
  • Volunteers give more: Wealthy donors who volunteered in 2013 gave 73% more on average than those who did not volunteer ($76,572 compared to $44,137). 
  • Donors give strategically: More than half (57%) of wealthy donors used a giving vehicle in 2013, or plan to establish one to achieve their charitable goals going forward. Wealthy donors are favoring donor-advised funds, with 16% of respondents giving to a donor-advised fund in 2013, 8% to a private foundation, and just 4% to charitable trust.
  • Knowledgeable and engaged donors give more: Respondents who rated themselves as "expert" (14%) when it comes to charitable giving gave significantly more to charity in 2013 ($150,229), compared to those who said they were "knowledgeable" (72%, $64,599) or "novice" (14%, $19,013).
          View a detailed report summary >> and access the full 90-page report >>

Innovative Program for Alzheimer's Funded

          The Cigna Foundation will provide a $196,000 World of Difference grant to the Alzheimer’s Association® to help those living with Alzheimer's and other dementia diseases. The grant will be used to create the LiveWell interactive E-Learning Program, a new web-based education program to help people fight social isolation, understand the importance of a social support network, and live life to the fullest. 
          “It’s an honor and an inspiration for the Cigna Foundation to be able to help people with Alzheimer’s find ways to live a meaningful life despite the challenges of such a diagnosis,” said David Figliuzzi, executive director of the Cigna Foundation. “We’re excited to support an innovative program that will help people find ways to live their best life with the disease for as long as possible.”
          Additionally, Cigna's seniors’ business, Cigna HealthSpring, created a Facebook awareness campaign during November for Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. Read a story about how Cigna helps Hazel Minnick keep her Alzheimer’s symptoms in check >>
          For more information: Gloria Barone, Cigna Foundation, 215-761-4758, gloria.barone@cigna.com.

Foundations Support Enrollment for Uninsured

  People seeking assistance to enroll in or renew their health insurance coverage with Access Health CT will have additional resources to do so courtesy of significant funding from three foundations.
         According to CTMirror, Access Health CT faces different challenges enrolling residents in healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act during the second open enrollment period due to a shorter timeframe and less funding available to support outreach and enrollment efforts. The current enrollment period lasts three months—November 15, 2014 thru February 15, 2015—instead of the six months allowed last time. In addition, the previous enrollment period was funded with $2.7 million in federal grants; federal funds are no longer available.
          In response, three Connecticut-based foundations have decided to provide grants to area nonprofits to bolster the outreach and enrollment activities of Access Health CT. The Connecticut Health Foundation plans to provide 18 organizations with grants of $5,000 each to conduct community-based in-person assistance. The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving will fund 10 organizations' enrollment efforts in the Hartford area, while the Foundation for Community Health will fund an effort in the Northwest part of the state.
          Read more at CTMirror >>
          For more information: Chris Senecal, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, 860-548-1888, csenecal@hfpg.orgMaryland Grier, Connecticut Health Foundation, 860-724-1580, maryland@cthealth.orgGetrude O'Sullivan, The Foundation for Community Health, 860-364-5157, gertrude@fchealth.org.

Funders to Have a Voice in Global Development Process 

          The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Foundation Center, and a committee of leading foundations have launched a new initiative to facilitate stronger philanthropic input into the changing global development landscape. 
          The Post-2015 Partnership Platform for Philanthropy will enable philanthropy to better understand the opportunities for engaging in global development goal processes and will help governments and the UN system understand the value of philanthropy. 
          The initiative will allow funders to have a more active role in the post-2015 development agenda through participation both planning discussions and implementation, thereby including the philanthropic sector as a strategic partner in the broader global processes. 
          The initiative will also deliver a new web portal called SDGfunders.org that makes data on philanthropic investments more accessible, in order to help funders track progress, find partners and tell their stories.
          For more information: Cheryl Loe, Foundation Center, 888-356-0354 ext. 701, communications@foundationcenter.org.



Foundation's New Strategy to Embrace Immigration Integration and Community Re-Entry

         In his remarks at the The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven's Annual Meeting, President and CEO William Ginsberg explained The Community Foundation's motivation to take on a more prominent leadership role in Greater New Haven regarding the integration of new immigrants to our region.
          “Our own history tells us unequivocally that successfully integrating immigrants into our community life will enrich our culture, reinvigorate our economy, rebuild our neighborhoods and redefine our sense of ourselves for the better,” Ginsberg said. “The Foundation has made the decision to devote particular effort and resources to the challenges and potentials of immigration, and in particular to how we can promote and assist efforts to integrate our new arrivals – including undocumented immigrants – as fully as possible into the mainstream of life in our community.”
          Read more about The Community Foundation’s strategy for Immigration Integration here >>
          Similarly, building on its long history of supporting organizations serving recently incarcerated individuals, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven is making the issue of successful reentry a strategic focus.
          “This is a formidable challenge, particularly in New Haven, and yet it is a compelling one that tests the depth of our community’s commitment to assist those among us facing very steep challenges,” Ginsberg explained. Read more about the strategy for Ensuring Successful Community Reentry here >>
          Read Mr. Ginsberg's complete Annual Meeting remarks here >>
          For more information: Tricia Caldwell, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, 203-777-7090, tcaldwell@cfgnh.org.


Report Details Challenges Faced By NW CT Women & Girls

          The Women & Girls Fund of The Community Foundation of Northwest CT has released From Challenge to Opportunity: A Report on the Status of Women & Girls in Northwest CT.
          The report provides details about the challenges in educational attainment, employment and domestic violence experienced by women and girls in our Northwest Corner and reveals opportunities to address these challenges and make meaningful improvements.
          Findings from the report include:
  • 51 percent of residents are female, and they earn 62.5 cents for every dollar a Northwest Corner man earns, far less than the national average of 77 cents.
  • Of the 4,400 female-headed households in the area, 38 percent are living in poverty.
  • By the age of 24, only 14 percent of women in Northwest CT have earned a bachelor's degree.
  • In the 20 town Northwest region, there continues to be a sharp and sustained increase in the number of women and children seeking shelter from domestic violence.
          Read the full report >>

Links to More Community Foundation News

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation
Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Awards $155,000 to Northwest Corner Nonprofits

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
More than $2.4 Million Awarded to Greater New Haven Nonprofits by The Community Foundation

Community Foundation of Greater New Britain
Community Foundation, Southington Education Foundation Partner To Provide Hands-On Arts Experience for Southington Third Graders

Community Foundation of Greater New Britain
Community Event Sponsorship Award Pilot Program to be Continued by Community Foundation in 2015

Valley Community Foundation; David N. Lane Trust for Aged & Indigent Women
Shelton's Wesley Village Receives Grants for 2014


Member News

Bank of America
Bank of America Awards More Than $100,000 to Hartford Area Nonprofits

Cigna and Cigna Foundation
Thousands band together to feed the children everywhere

Cigna and Cigna Foundation
Cigna Foundation Gives Grant to Help Minority, Senior Women with Heart Disease

Connecticut Health Foundation
Better Dental Health Care for Low-Income Residents, a New Advocacy Priority for Three Organizations

Dime Foundation
Dime Foundation Awards $4,000 to Alliance for Living

Dominion Resources' $10,000 Grant Funds "Girls in Science" After-School Program in Bridgeport

Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford
Building a Community's Capacity to Do Good

People's United Community Foundation
Foundation Awards Over $700,00 in Grants to Northeastern Nonprofits

People's United Community Foundation
Join People's United Community Foundation for the "Uniting Cash for Classrooms" Campaign with Donorschoose.org

Perrin Family Foundation
Perrin Family Foundation Hosts First Ever Statewide Youth in Action Networking Event

SBM Charitable Foundation
SBM Charitable Foundation Grants $5,000 to Hands on Hartford

Travelers & Travelers Foundation
2014 Travelers Championship Generates in Excess of $1.5 Million for Charity

Non-Member News


Survey Deadline: Wednesday, November 26. 

          In partnership with foundations and nonprofits from each New England state, Third Sector New England is launching a new study, Leadership New England, on the state of nonprofit leadership. The survey is designed for executive directors and board members to help investigate their current challenges, discover where they are headed, and document what organizations need to move forward.
          Leadership New England will include data from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont; it will be customizable for specific areas: by city, state and region. A full report and interactive website will follow in the spring of 2015 and be accessible at no cost.
          The Leadership New England survey has already captured information from more than 800 leaders, but is making a push to capture more participants. Help the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors better understand leadership and organizational challenges and support needs -- Take the Leadership New England survey >>
Survey Open Through Sunday, November 30. 

          The Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut is compiling information about organizations that distribute collected food to individuals and families in need within the Foundation’s 20-town service area.  The Foundation has begun contacting organizations by email and mail to complete a survey. The descriptive information will be a resource for families in need and will earmark opportunities for donations. 
          Any organization that distributes collected food that has not received a survey is encouraged to contact the Community Foundation at info@cfnwct.org or 860-626-1245.
Wednesday, December 3, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm, University of Bridgeport-Waterbury Campus. 

          The Nonprofit Assistance Initiative (NAI), a joint program of the Connecticut Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Waterbury, has teamed up with the Connecticut Association of Nonprofits to offer a half-day workshop for nonprofit staff.
          Evaluation Made Simple will provide an interactive step by step process for designing simple evaluations, collecting and analyzing data, and determining the costs for the kind of evaluation that fits a nonprofit’s budget. The workshop fee is $50. Register Now >>
Application Deadline: Thursday, December 4 

         The Leadership Development Roundtable (LDR) is a comprehensive program designed to accelerate the development of emerging leaders working to effect social change in Connecticut. LDR is entering its eighth year, having supported more than 140 rising leaders to grow their leadership skills and networks. We are currently recruiting for LDR-Fairfield and LDR-Hartford cohorts, with sessions slated to begin in January 2015. LDR-Waterbury series begins in September 2015. Learn more >>
          The Zoom Foundation is a significant supporter and sponsor of the Leadership Development Roundtable (LDR). Additional funding comes from Fairfield County's Community Foundation, Connecticut Community Foundation, William Casper Graustein Memorial FundLone Pine Foundation, Charter Oak Challenge Foundation and the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving among others. 
Application Deadline: Monday, December 15.
          Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge will grant at least three cities up to $1 million each over two years to support temporary public art projects that celebrate creativity, enhance urban identity, encourage public-private partnerships, and drive economic development.
          The successful applications will: bring people together to experience public places in dynamic and transformative ways; demonstrate close collaboration between artists, arts organizations and cities; and establish robust public-private partnerships between local government and other funders.
          Applying cities must have 30,000 residents or more and the application must be submitted by the mayor or chief executive of the host city. The application must be on behalf of a collaboration between the host city and an artist and/or arts organization. Learn more >> 


          ANITA BAXTER of New Hartford, JAMES BLACKLETTER of Kent, and JEFFREY LALONDE of Goshen have been named to the board of directors of The Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut, which provides philanthropic support to 20 towns in Litchfield County.
          Anita Baxter, is president of the Arnolda Improvement Corporation and serves on the Board of Directors of the Northwest Community Bank. Ms. Baxter is well-known in her community having served as First Selectman for three terms in the 1980s. She has held board posts and volunteer positions with numerous local organizations, including serving on the Advisory Board of the Northwestern Connecticut Community College, and on the Boards of the Licia & Mason Beekley Community Library and the New Hartford Board of Education. 
          James Blackketter, an accomplished businessperson, has served as vice president and director of strategic planning of Inmont Corporation of New York, vice president and general manager of Inmont’s RBH division in New Jersey, and director of the printing ink division of BASF in Canada. Having held many leadership positions in the community, Mr. Blackketter is currently a Board member of the Kent Community Fund and Kent Library Association, sits on the Kent Board of Finance, and volunteers for Quality Thrift shop and the Kent Food Bank.
          Jeffrey Lalonde is the president of Torrington Savings Bank. Previously he has served as vice president of commercial lending for Shawmut Bank and senior vice president, and president & CEO of Vanguard Bank. He has held numerous leadership positions in the community including with the Northwest Connecticut YMCA, The Maria Seymour Brooker Memorial, CT Junior Republic Goshen Housing Trust.


The Connecticut Council for Philanthropy is an association of grantmakers committed to promoting and supporting effective philanthropy for the public good. A foremost resource on philanthropy, Council membership is open to foundations (private, corporate, community), business and corporate giving programs, federated funds, bank trusts, donor-advised funds and individual philanthropists. Associate and Professional Membership in the Council is open to professionals and organizations serving the philanthropic sector. The Council benefits the larger grantmaking community, the nonprofit sector and the public in Connecticut.

For more news about philanthropy in Connecticut, go to the Council's news roomConnecticut Philanthropy Digest archives and our blog, CTPhilanthropyNotes.org.

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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