Growing Local Philanthropy | Leading on Issues |

Increasing Local Philanthropy

Local nonprofits and causes increasingly find themselves competing for resources against many worthy organizations across the region, state, country and world. At home, there is a need to highlight the good work of these nonprofits in a way that not only levels the playing field, but increases charitable dollars to support them, now and in perpetuity.

Our Leadership Strategy


The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven's mission is to create positive change by increasing the amount and impact of community philanthropy in Greater New Haven. To achieve this mission, it does many things, including work collaboratively with donors, professional advisors and others to help them carry-out their philanthropic goals. 

The Community Foundation also allocates resources to strengthen nonprofits serving the 20 towns it serves, including creating an online platform that highlights the good work of local nonprofits and working with community leaders in the Valley to create a new foundation that promotes philanthropy in the towns of Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton Connecticut.®: your local resource for learning and giving® is an online, searchable database of local nonprofits created by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven in 2010 to enable donors to search for and give with greater knowledge and confidence to the local nonprofits and causes they care about. The website also enables donors to learn about new organizations whose work aligns with their philanthropic goals and inspires support.® has several goals: to increase the amount of giving to local nonprofit organizations and strengthen the nonprofit sector in the region by increasing visibility and transparency. Profiles of more than 350 nonprofits now populate the site, providing information to donors about the needs and opportunities of the region, programs and services, governance, financials and community impact.® was the first of its kind to provide comprehensive profiles of area nonprofits on a single site along with a capability for donors to make gifts. The profiles contain information from several sources and are searchable by name, geography or interest area. 

Gifts made to nonprofits on® provide flexible support - a necessity given that Connecticut experienced the slowest rate of economic growth in the country between 2012 - 2013 and local nonprofit organizations continue to be challenged to meet an escalating demand for their services. Read more in The Foundation's State of the Nonprofit Sector Report  published in 2013.

Between 2010 - 2017,® has distributed approximately $6.2 Million to nonprofit organizations serving Greater New Haven and the Lower Naugatuck Valley. 


Home of The Great Give®

The Great Give® has become a key part of the local philanthropic landscape, creating a huge community-wide “buzz” each year and putting community nonprofit organizations foremost in the local consciousness for an intense thirty-six hour period.

The Great Give 2017
Once again, our community demonstrated its generosity of spirit by helping to raise nearly $1.3 Million during The Great Give® 2017. Read the results here. The next Great Give is scheduled for May 1-2 2018. Mark your calendar!

Nonprofits with profiles on® are eligible to win thousands of dollars in grant prizes during an intense, 36-hr online giving event known as The Great Give®. The event is supported with matching funds and prize money from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and the Valley Community Foundation, as well as other community sponsors. 

A Word to Nonprofits
Having a profile on® raises your organization's visibility in our community. It's free for you and comes with added benefits like special invitations to select workshops and trainings. If you are a donor and don't see your favorite local nonprofit listed on the site, or you are a nonprofit that would like to create a profile, please contact Stephanie Chung at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven at 203-777-2386 or

The Valley Community Foundation

Special outreach in the Lower Naugatuck Valley dates back to the establishment of the Frank and Ross Gates Fund at The Foundation in 1952. The Gates brothers from Derby created trusts in the family name.

The brothers left broad directions for how their donation was to be used gave rise to challenges in the 1990s that grants from the Gates Fund were not reaching intended Valley recipients. As a result, The Community Foundation formed the Valley Advisory Committee to help oversee its grantmaking process in the Valley. After years of working together, Valley community leaders and The Community Foundation established the Valley Community Foundation in 2004 "to make the Valley a better place to live and work, both now and in the future, by connecting private philanthropy to the long-term public good of the Valley."

The Valley Community Foundation (VCF) has an affiliation agreement with The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven (The Foundation). The Foundation works with VCF to build impactful community philanthropy in 5 of its 20-town service area (Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton). 

The relationship provides VCF, which celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2014, with access to the strength of The Foundation’s nearly 90 years as Greater New Haven’s permanent charitable endowment. 

VCF shares staff resources and a CFO, in addition to using The Foundation's investment expertise, programming and development knowledge.

How can we help?

Jackie Downing

Director of Grantmaking and Nonprofit Effectiveness 203-777-7072 Email Jackie

How can we help?

Sharon Cappetta

Don't see an appropriate match for your philanthropic goals? Please tell us your thoughts and ideas. We have 90 years of experience in the philanthropic sector and have forged many partnerships with charitably-minded people, professional advisors and nonprofits along the way.


Sharon Cappetta

Director of Development 203-777-7071 Email Sharon


70 Audubon Street
New Haven, CT 06510



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