What is a community foundation?

The first community foundation was established in Cleveland in 1914 as an enduring organization that would wisely distribute grants from permanent funds for future generations. In 1928 New Haven citizens were among the first to adopt the Cleveland model for this community. Today there are more than 700 community foundations across the United States and internationally, with combined assets of approximately $35 billion.

What is The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven?

The Community Foundation is the permanent endowment for Connecticut's Greater New Haven region and has been helping donors achieve their charitable goals and improving the quality of life for Greater New Haven since 1928. Foundation funds, often named for an individual or family, distribute more than $20 million in grants collectively each year to nonprofit organizations and community programs. The Community Foundation is recognized by the IRS as an exempt 501(c)(3); donations are tax deductible.

Foundation funds distribute grants to nonprofit organizations (individual scholarships are awarded directly to the educational institution attended by the student). The Foundation remains the largest grantmaker in its 20 town service-area of: Ansonia, Bethany, Branford, Cheshire, Derby, East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Milford, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton, Wallingford, West Haven and Woodbridge.

Who creates funds at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven?

Most funds established at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven are set up by individuals and families. These people, like you, share a desire to give back to the community – to heal the ill, protect the environment, celebrate the arts, create opportunities, fund new ideas... whatever inspires them — into the indefinite future.

What is the difference between setting up a gift fund through my investment firm and establishing a fund at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven?

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven provides much more than the check writing services of a gift fund at a brokerage house. One of the most significant advantages to setting up a fund with us is our knowledge about, and experience in, the Greater New Haven and Lower Naugatuck Valley communities. The Foundation manages the impact of your philanthropy — not just the numbers in your account. Grants from your fund will go only to well-vetted nonprofits and programs we know are meeting high standards of performance. These are the organizations in New Haven and its surrounding communities that (1) get great results, (2) have brilliant ideas and (3) demonstrate good governance and tight financial controls.

Who runs The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven?

A volunteer group of eleven community leaders serves as The Community Foundation’s Board of Directors, each for one seven-year term. Board members are selected for their knowledge of the community by six outside appointing authorities and the Board itself. The Board is supported by a professional staff led by the President and CEO, William W. Ginsberg.

How does The Community Foundation invest its funds?

The Community Foundation’s investment strategy is that of a total return approach to endowment management. This long-term strategy seeks to provide a predictable, increasing amount of revenue for grantmaking while maintaining the endowment’s purchasing power against the effects of inflation. To achieve these goals, The Community Foundation has implemented disciplined and integrated spending and investment policies.

How does an organization apply for a grant?

There are multiple funding opportunities available to non-profits through The Community Foundation. Each opportunity has different criteria and schedules. The Foundation welcomes grant requests from Greater New Haven area organizations that are defined as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) or any applicable statute of the Internal Revenue code.

How can we help?

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, CAP®

Director of Development


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