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Philanthropy in the Valley

The Valley Community Foundation

Elizabeth Hird
Outer Island landing
Visit to read their latest annual report.

Special outreach in the Lower Naugatuck Valley dates back to the establishment of the Frank and Ross Gates Fund at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven (TCF) (then known as the New Haven Foundation) in 1952. The brothers left broad directions for how their donation was to be used which gave rise to challenges in the 1990s over Gates Fund distributions. Consequently, a Valley Advisory Committee was formed to help oversee The Foundation's grantmaking in the Valley. After many years of working together through the Committee, Valley community leaders and The Community Foundation established the Valley Community Foundation (VCF) in 2004. From that point forward, the two permanent endowments have worked closely together as partners in philanthropy through affiliation agreements to grow and distribute charitable resources for Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton, Connecticut.

May 18, 2018 marked the signing of the fourth formal affiliation Agreement between the two charitable institutions. Unlike previous Agreements, this Agreement will govern the relationship over a period of one decade with annual renewal opportunities. As with previous Agreements, TCF will continue to provide back-office support to VCF and annually distribute the equivalent of ninety-percent of its Gates Fund value to VCF (historically more than $1.1 Million), as a way of carrying out TCF’s philanthropic objectives in the five Valley towns served by both foundations. 

On the occasion of the signing, TCF President and CEO remarked, “The Foundation’s work in the Lower Naugatuck Valley has been a major part of what we do for more than six decades, and it will continue to be so in the future as we honor the intent of the Gates brothers in perpetuity. The creation of VCF fourteen years ago was a very deliberate step by TCF and Valley community leaders to tap the powerful community spirit in the Lower Naugatuck Valley in a new way that could build a permanent philanthropic resource for that community. From our perspective, VCF is a Valley community success story that validates both our original reasons for creating VCF and our generous support for it since 2004. We look forward to a continued partnership of close strategic and operational alignment that can build a stronger community for all." 

Visit the Valley Community Foundation website


70 Audubon Street
New Haven, CT 06510



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