For more than three generations, thousands of donors have built our community endowment by establishing permanent funds or making gifts to existing funds that distribute grants to a broad variety of issues and organizations.

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven was established in 1928 as a permanent charitable endowment for the community. It is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the country and the largest grant maker in Greater New Haven's twenty-town region.

More than three generations of donors have built our community endowment by establishing permanent funds or making gifts to existing funds that distribute grants to support a broad variety of issues and organizations. These donors, past and present, make their gifts to ensure that programs and causes that matter most to them will be supported today and forever.

In 2020, The Community Foundation adopted the strategy Opportunity + Equity with the purpose of creating greater opportunity and greater equity in our region.

To advance Opportunity + Equity, The Foundation is supporting diverse community leaders, increasing the amount and impact of local giving and investments, and working with stakeholders throughout the region to ensure that economic growth is inclusive and reduces inequities.

Mission: To inspire, support, inform, listen to and collaborate with the people and organizations of Greater New Haven to build an ever more connected, inclusive, equitable and philanthropic community.

Vision: A community of expanding opportunity in which all people share a sense of common destiny and have the support and connections needed to build successful lives.

We pursue our mission by:

  • Inspiring people to get involved in local issues.
  • Providing leadership by mobilizing the community to address key local issues and by supporting others in their leadership roles.
  • Responding to community priorities through grantmaking to local nonprofit organizations.
  • Raising new charitable resources to address current community priorities and for permanent endowment.
  • Honoring the wishes of past donors and collaborating with current donors.
  • Growing the community’s charitable endowments by managing the financial assets entrusted to us.

"Our Community's Future . . . What Inspires You?"

The Community Foundation is here for everyone in the community. Learn more about how we work and what we do, along with inspiring stories of individuals and organizations giving back through The Foundation in the video below.

We are committed to doing our work in accordance with the following values:

  • Integrity. The Foundation must have integrity in the eyes of the community. The Foundation’s decisions must be transparent and understandable to the community and be made independent of self-interest or undue influence of others.
  • Diversity. The Foundation must serve all of its diverse community. The Foundation must support the priorities of, and seek and make decisions based on input from, diverse elements of the community. Diverse elements of the community must feel comfortable working with The Foundation.
  • Vitality: The Foundation must be a vigorous and pro-active agent of change for donors, for community leaders and for the community-at-large.
  • Collaboration: The Foundation must work in support of and in partnership with others in the community and mobilize giving for the non-profit institutions in the community broadly rather than solely for itself.
  • Long-term vision: The Foundation must undertake longer-term efforts to address community issues.
  • Service: The Foundation must be of service to donors, non-profits, philanthropic leaders and the community as a whole.
  • Accountability: The Foundation must on an ongoing basis evaluate its work and the progress of the community broadly so as to hold itself accountable for the impact of its efforts.
  • Excellence: All of the Foundation’s work must meet the highest standards.

- Adopted by the Board of Directors in 2005

Statement on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:

Greater New Haven is a highly diverse community, with a population representing many racial and ethnic groups, many religions, many different perspectives, and all ages, life circumstances, sexual orientations and life styles. The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven believes that the diversity of our community is a defining element of our community identity and one of our greatest and most important strengths.

The people of Greater New Haven will only feel and act as members of one community that is something greater than the sum of its diverse parts to the extent that they feel connected to one another. This sense of connection can only exist in an environment where all feel that they are respected, are accepted, are treated with dignity, have opportunities to build successful lives and are supported by others in meeting their challenges. This sense of connection requires that the people of our community understand and empathize with one another.

Inequities persist in our community, as they do in the broader society. Too often, people in our community are judged by their race, ethnicity, religion, age, life circumstance, sexual orientation or life style, without regard to their character or their contribution.

In order to fully serve our community and to promote the sense of connection to one another that is the hallmark of a truly cohesive community, The Community Foundation is committed to acting in ways that respect and advance our diversity and that reduce inequities. The Foundation recognizes that in order to do so The Foundation must act in a manner that is inclusive of our community’s different peoples, perspectives, beliefs, sexual orientations, genders, life circumstances and life styles.

It is for all these reasons that diversity, equity and inclusion are core values of The Community Foundation.

In order to honor our commitment to diversity as a core value, The Community Foundation is committed to:

  • Understanding our community’s diversity – what it is, how it came to be and how it is changing;
  • Recognizing, respecting and supporting the particular needs and unique traditions and values of each of our community’s diverse elements;
  • Encouraging the unique philanthropic traditions of each of our community’s diverse elements;
  • Encouraging the development of strong leadership for each of our community’s diverse elements; and
  • Building bridges among and between the diverse elements of our community so that even as we recognize and act to encourage the unique contributions of each, we also recognize that our community is strongest when we bring together our diverse elements as one community.

In order to honor our commitment to equity as a core value, The Community Foundation is committed to:

  • Identifying and addressing inequities within The Community Foundation workplace and broadly in our community;
  • Understanding and addressing the underlying root causes of outcomes disparities for different groups within our community;
  • Doing the work of The Community Foundation through processes and procedures that are designed to produce outcomes and results that surmount the inequitable prejudices of our community and our society; and

In order to honor our commitment to inclusion as a core value, The Foundation commits to:

  • Creating and maintaining an institutional culture of dignity and respect for all and of open, honest and constructive communication through which differences are understood, treated with sensitivity and embraced rather than avoided;
  • Including the voices, views and perspectives of the diverse elements of our staff and our community in The Foundation’s planning, priority-setting and decision-making at all levels; and
  • Recruiting and maintaining a board and staff that are reflective of the diversity of our community.

- Adopted by the Board of Directors in 2015

Assets: The Community Foundation’s assets were $748 million as of December 31, 2023. The Foundation uses a long-term asset allocation model to provide a predictable, increasing amount of revenue for grantmaking while maintaining the endowment’s purchasing power against the effects of inflation.

Funds: The Community Foundation is home to approximately 1000 charitable funds, established by individuals, families, nonprofit and for-profit businesses.

Grants & Distributions: The Community Foundation made $32 million in grants and distributions in 2023. These grants and distributions help to fulfill the missions of hundreds of nonprofits in the Greater New Haven region, and beyond.

The Valley Community Foundation

The Community Foundation has an affiliation agreement with the Valley Community Foundation (VCF). The Community 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 was founded in 2004, with access to the strength of The Community Foundation’s many years as Greater New Haven’s permanent charitable endowment. VCF shares staff resources and a CFO, in addition to using The Community Foundation’s investment expertise, programming and development knowledge. Learn more about the history of the affiliation.

Local Communities Supported (20 towns)

  • Ansonia
  • Bethany
  • Branford
  • Cheshire
  • Derby
  • East Haven
  • Guilford
  • Hamden
  • Madison
  • Milford
  • New Haven
  • North Branford
  • North Haven
  • Orange
  • Oxford
  • Seymour
  • Shelton
  • Wallingford
  • West Haven
  • Woodbridge


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Sharon Cappetta, CAP®

Director of Development


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