Wednesday, May 1, 2013
CT Council for Philanthropy welcomes new president
Maggie Gunther Osborn, recently the Vice President of the Florida Philanthropic Network (FPN), has taken the reins as president of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, the state's association of grantmakers committed to promoting and supporting effective philanthropy. She succeeds Nancy Roberts, who held the position for 22 years.
"We are very excited by Maggie Osborn's energy and experience and her commitment to strengthening leadership of the philanthropic sector," said Council Board Chair Kim A. Healey.
"During her career, Ms. Osborn has led multi-million-dollar fundraising campaigns, helped build small organizations, and developed training and board development programs for the nonprofit sector. The Board believes that her experience in the nonprofit, philanthropic, and consulting sectors, as well as her proven ability as a leader and advocate, make her an ideal choice to lead the Council."
Prior to FPN, Osborn served as Grant Director for the Conn Memorial Foundation in Tampa. Since 1998, Osborn has also been the president of MGO Partners, a consulting firm focused on the philanthropic sector.
For more information: Laurie Allen, (860) 525-5585, lallen@CTphilanthropy.org.
Nellie Mae Foundation awards $1.8 million to CT schools
The Nellie Mae Education Foundation (NMEF) is awarding $3.15 million to seven urban school districts in New England, including $1.8 million to four in Connecticut. Each will receive a 20-month grant of $450,000 to "better equip students with the critical thinking, problem solving and communications skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century," the foundation said.
The Connecticut school districts are Hartford, Manchester, Meriden, and New Haven.
The "New Approaches in Urban Districts" grants will help districts grow and strengthen specific student-centered approaches like "blended learning designs" and performance-based assessment. This initiative also will support the formation of a cross-district learning network to develop peer-supported learning.
For more information: Isabel Black, (617) 933-5013, firstname.lastname@example.org.
United Technologies endows Yale Cancer Center professorship
The fight against cancer in Connecticut is getting a major boost from United Technologies Corp., which has donated $3 million to establish a new endowed professorship at the Yale Cancer Center in New Haven.
Dr. Lieping Chen, MD, PhD, will serve as the first United Technologies Corporation Professor in Cancer Research. According to UTC, Dr. Chen's research is leading to promising clinical trials of new cancer drugs.
In 2008, United Technologies donated $1 million toward construction of the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven. UTC was also recognized in 2012 with the American Cancer Society's Excellence in Employee Engagement Award.
For more information: Maureen Fitzgerald, Maureen.Fitzgerald@utc.com.
Reading campaign names New Britain "Pacesetter Community"
The national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading [http://gradelevelreading.net/] has designated New Britain as a "Pacesetter Community" for its early and sustained actions to help put young children on the path to success.
"With more than a decade of community collaboration around early childhood issues and the 2009 Blueprint for New Britain's Young Children, New Britain truly set the pace for efforts of communities throughout the nation," said Ralph Smith, managing director for the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and senior vice president of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Smith lauded the New Britain Early Childhood Collaborative (NBECC); New Britain Mayor Timothy O'Brien and School Superintendent Kelt Cooper; as well as key funders the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund and the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain.
NBECC is a special project supported by the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain's First Years First Initiative to improve the lives of New Britain's youngest children from birth to 8. The Collaborative includes parents, early care providers, educators, local government, health and human service providers.
For more information: Jim Williams, (860) 229-6018.
Grammy winner Mayer "challenges" Fairfield County
The Fairfield County Community Foundation announced Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and musician John Mayer has challenged Fairfield County residents to raise a total of $300,000 to improve access to mental health care.
Mayer, a Fairfield County native, will match every donation, up to $150,000, the community foundation said. Contributions will go to its Fund for Health and Wellness, which supports local nonprofits that provide mental health services.
"Sandy Hook was a painful reminder of the need to address some of the underlying factors behind the tragedy and to increase our efforts to support this work," said Juanita James, FCCF president and CEO of the Fairfield County Community Foundation. "Mr. Mayer's generosity and encouragement for others to give will help address this need now and for the long term."
James said Mayer has been a longtime supporter of U.S. military veterans. He has established programs in the San Francisco Bay Area to deal with the effects of posttraumatic stress.
For more information: Jeff Yates, (203) 750-3212, JYates@fccfoundation.org.
Feel Your ART Beat: Aetna Arts Week May 19-25
Aetna Arts Week, a week-long celebration of the arts in and around downtown Hartford, kicked off last Sunday and continues through Saturday, May 25.
Repeating every year in both the spring and fall, Aetna Arts Week features arts and heritage organizations that receive Greater Hartford Arts Council's United Arts funding through low-cost and free events. Activities range from gallery and cast talks to happy hours and open tech rehearsals, at locations like The Bushnell, Hartford Stage, the Wadsworth Atheneum, Butler-McCook House & Garden and the 100 Pearl Street Gallery. A complete directory is available at FeelYourArtBeat.com.
A special feature during this Aetna Arts Week is a temporary public art project and Instagram photo contest: Knit-Hit Hartford. Working with local knitting groups and independent fiber artists, homemade, site-specific "yarn installations" are installed all around downtown Hartford, blanketing trees, benches, light posts and street signs with multicolored knit coverings - a type of popular urban graffiti called "guerilla knitting."
For more information: www.FeelYourArtBeat.com.
State's healthcare advocate to review delivery of
mental health, substance abuse care to publicly insured
The Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) has awarded $85,000 to the Connecticut Office of the Healthcare Advocate (OHA) to evaluate the delivery of mental health care and substance abuse treatment to those on public insurance via the CT Behavioral Health Partnership (CT BHP).
CT BHP is a partnership between the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, ValueOptions and an oversight council. Its goal is to provide access to a more complete, coordinated, and effective system of community-based behavioral health services and supports.
"This project will explore whether the CT BHP... model could improve care for those who are privately insured," said Elizabeth Krause, CT Health vice president of policy and communications.
The Connecticut Health Foundation awarded another $220,000 in grants to United Connecticut Action for Neighborhoods (Hartford); the University of Connecticut Health Center (Farmington); BSL Educational Foundation (Hartford); Connecticut Legal Rights Project (Middletown); and the Connecticut Health Policy Project (New Haven).
For more information: Maryland Grier, (860) 724-1580.
Council honors three for philanthropic service;
Governor proclaims Nancy P. Roberts Day
As more than 250 philanthropists, grantmakers, and community leaders gathered for the annual Connecticut Philanthropy Summit earlier this month, the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy identified three leaders for special honors.
Andy Eder of Guilford received the 2013 John H. Filer Award for "leadership in promoting private action for the public good," reported Maggie Osborn, Council president. Eder is a partner in Eder Bros. Inc. (West Haven) and president of The Eder Family Foundation.
"Five years ago, in response to the economic downturn," Osborn noted, "Andy was instrumental in creating the Neighbor to Neighbor Lifeline (N2N) in New Haven. With his leadership, N2N raised more than $2.3 million to meet Greater New Haven's critical needs."
The Council named David Nee, executive director of the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, recipient of the 2013 Martha S. Newman Award. Nee, a resident of Fairfield, was honored for "sustained dedication to the public sector and a generosity of spirit to others in the philanthropic community."
David's leadership has been demonstrated in many areas over the years, Osborn explained. "In 1997, he played a critical role in the passage of School Readiness legislation. More recently, he worked with the Council to create the Connecticut Early Childhood Funders Collaborative."
"Through the Fund's Child First and Discovery Initiatives, David and his team have significantly strengthened local communities' ability to collect and use data to facilitate planning in early childhood education," she added.
The Council also honored Nancy Roberts, who retired as its president in March after serving for 22 years. Beginning next year, the Council will also bestow, "The Nancy Roberts Award for Innovation in Philanthropy" in her honor.
"We envision this award as a lasting tribute to her extraordinary contributions to the Council and the field of philanthropy in general," said Council Board Chair Kim Healey, executive director of the NewAlliance Foundation.
Governor Dannel Malloy also proclaimed May 9, 2013 as Nancy P. Roberts Day.
For more information: Maggie Osborn, (860) 525-5585, ccp@CTphilanthropy.org.
21st century technology to tell Noah Webster's story
You can't find "iPad" in his namesake dictionary yet, but hand-held tablet computers will soon direct visitors around the 18th century birthplace of Noah Webster.
Self-guided tours via iPads is one of many strategic plan-based projects funded by a three-year, $225,000 grant by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving to the Noah Webster House and West Hartford Historical Society. The strategic plan seeks to broaden the museum's education outreach and base of support.
"We have a wonderful group of volunteer tour guides, but we don't have enough of them," said Christopher Dobbs, executive director of the museum. "The tablet-based tours - to be developed in English and Spanish to start - will allow us to significantly expand public hours. And visitors will be able to explore the museum at their own pace and tailor the experience to meet their interests. Think museum audio tours - only better."
Another project funded by the grant is expansion of the museum's participation in the National Dictionary Project, which will provide a history-based school assembly and free dictionary for every third-grader in West Hartford and Hartford.
A new program, a Civil Discourse Forum for students, will focus on Noah Webster-related themes that are relevant today, such as advocacy for improved public education.
For more information: George Chappell, (860) 548-1888, x1043.
Community Information Hub launches in Hartford
CT News Project, WNPR, and Hartford Public Library, supported by a three-year, $374,362 grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, have launched the Community Information Hub for the Capital Region to increase opportunities for people to have their voices heard.
According to the partners, the Community Hub will offer web-based and community-based forums and dialogues "where concerned citizens can report and discuss issues they care about and work together toward solutions". It will also sponsor public events.
"The CT News Project's mission to inform and engage, which has been the cornerstone of The CT Mirror, will be further advanced by our new civic media effort," said Jim Cutie, CT News Project's chief executive officer and publisher.
For more information: Anne Farrow, (860) 695-6296, email@example.com.
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Transitions and Announcements
The Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, elected four new members to its 22-member board of directors. They include:
PAUL R. BALLASY, CPA, of Farmington is a partner with CohnReznick, LLP, where he co-leads the region's Not-for-Profit and Education Industry Practice. Ballasy was one of two CPAs who served on the Connecticut Nonprofit Human Service Cabinet. He is on the board of the Connecticut Association of Nonprofits' board of directors and was formerly vice president of Mutual Housing Association of Greater Hartford.
LINDA FRANCISCOVICH of Westport is executive director of The Grossman Family Foundation, a new foundation dedicated to improving educational and health outcomes for children and their families in Fairfield County. Franciscovich was previously Vice President of Development and Philanthropic Services at the Fairfield County Community Foundation, and Managing Director of Private Philanthropy at U.S. Trust Company. She is or has served as a Director of The Berthe M. Cote Foundation, NYRAG, National Center on Family Philanthropy, National Institute for Reproductive Health, and the Westport Public Library.
MICHAEL JOHNSTON of Bloomfield is CEO, Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford. Prior to that, he was CEO of the United Way of Western Connecticut where he launched special initiatives in childhood obesity, early childhood education, and family financial stability. Before joining the world of philanthropy, Johnston spent more than 20 years in leadership roles in the financial services industry. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Interfaith Council of Southwestern Connecticut and the advisory board of Drew University's Center for Civic Engagement.
KATHRYN LURIA of Waterbury is Vice President Community Affairs, Webster Bank, where she oversees the corporate philanthropic arm. Previously, Luria served for nearly 20 years in key positions with Naugatuck Valley Community College. She is a board member for the Governor's Prevention Partnership, CT Women's Hall of Fame, and United Way Campership Fund, and is vice chair of the Naugatuck Valley Community College Foundation. She is also a member of the Greater Waterbury Safe Haven Advisory Council, and the United Way of Greater Waterbury; and advises the City of Waterbury Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness Leadership Council.
The Council also elected JUDITH MEYERS, executive director of the Children's Fund of Connecticut and ROBERT HAGGETT of Newman's Own Foundation as the newly elected board secretary and treasurer, respectively. KIM HEALEY of NewAlliance Foundation continues as chair and SUE MURPHY of Liberty Bank Foundation remains as vice chair.
The Council also recognized four retiring board members for their service: GLENN CASSIS, African-American Affairs Commission; LORI LINDFORS, formerly of Citizens Bank; PATRICIA MCGOWAN, CohnReznick LLP; and ANITA FORD SAUNDERS, Yankee Gas."