We are excited to share a new vision for our community and the plan that is guiding our work. In making our plan, we also revised our mission to describe The Foundation’s unique role in our community.
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.
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.
The plan has two main goals:
• Create opportunity, promote inclusion and reduce inequities though inclusive growth.
To achieve these goals, The Foundation will build its own capacity, effectiveness and culture.
Greater New Haven’s growth in the past decade, in terms of the change in the size of its economy size and entrepreneurial activity, ranks in the bottom half of the 100 largest metropolitan regions, according to the Brookings Institute. This story of slow growth is not new, as the number of Greater New Haven residents gaining access to the middle class has been in decline for more than a generation.
Greater New Haven’s economy also lacks inclusion. When we look at who receives the most benefits, and who is left behind,the disparities that break down along racial, gender, and class lines are stark. Fully-employed black and latino residents in Greater New Haven have median incomes that are significantly less than white residents, and fall below the levels needed to support a family. Women's pay continues to lag relative to men, and growing numbers of people, particularly children, live in low-income households. These disparities not only create barriers to economic mobility and well-being for individuals. They also limit the region’s overall potential for economic expansion.
Our Approach Includes
- Broadening reach and deepening relationships
Working to create a community of opportunity and equity involves outreach to and input from residents across the diversity spectrum and throughout The Foundation's 20-town region. This work involves hearing from, sharing knowledge and learning about the unique experiences and perspectives of community members - and it occurs in many ways. A recent example is the Donor Briefing and live conversation with local experts about the COVID-19 pandemic, structural racism and mental health. See other news and donor briefing recaps here.
Building community-wide ownership for regional inclusive growth
Any one person, institution or sector working in isolation cannot achieve any meaningful advancement of equity and expansion of opportunity. The roots of economic disparity go deep and progress will require “all hands on deck.” That is why a significant part of The Foundation’s strategy involves increasing community awareness and dialogue about inclusive growth.
- Supporting inclusive career pathways in local growth sectors
The Foundation will continue and build upon its longstanding support of education and training efforts such as New Haven Promise and ConnCAT. We will work with employers and education and training institutions that prepare residents for emerging middle-to-high skill occupations and we will support organizations that work to improve family economic stability.
- Supporting the development of an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem
Entrepreneurship has long been a path to wealth and job creation in this country. Unfortunately,too many people with viable ideas have not had access to the information and resources needed to start a business. The Foundation will work with a cross sector leadership group to support entrepreneurs of color and women entrepreneurs, to include a small business loan program for New Haven and the Valley.