2015 Report to Our Community

In 2015, The Foundation brought our community together to enhance its feelings of connectedness.

Dear Friends,
The 2015 Report to Our Community: Our vision — one connected and inclusive community where all can feel understood, respected, accepted, supported, treated with dignity and be provided an opportunity to build successful lives.

People coming together to understand one another, to define a common vision, to strive together and to achieve progress in which all feel included is the essence of community. In Greater New Haven, our strong sense of community is formed from our deep-rooted connections to one another, to this place and its history, and to our common destiny.

Community is all about connection.

Community connections cannot be taken for granted. When we fail to appreciate how precious and fragile the community fabric is — whether at the local level, the national level or among the community of nations — we put our future at risk. Particularly in a diverse place such as Greater New Haven, community connections are of paramount importance.

At The Community Foundation, we work to translate our region's connections into philanthropy that both creates positive impact in the near-term and strengthens our community for the long-term. Measured by the state of its community philanthropy, Greater New Haven has never been stronger. In 2015, The Foundation received more than $19 Million in new gifts, one of our strongest years ever. An additional record total of $47 Million was transferred to The Foundation by local nonprofit organizations for investment management. In 2015, The Foundation's total assets grew by approximately $40 Million, reaching $502 Million at year-end. This charitable endowment is a reflection of the depth of the connections that have long defined our community.

The connections supporting the local nonprofit sector grew stronger this past year too. Overall, The Foundation's grantmaking totaled more than $24 Million in 2015, an all-time high. The 2015 Great Give was by far the largest up to that time, with more than 9,000 gifts to local nonprofits, including many first time donations. The just-completed 2016 Great Give saw further dramatic growth with more than 11,000 gifts, each one representing an important connection that can be built on for the future.

For all this good news, The Community Foundation is well aware that the quality of our connections cannot be measured by gifts and grants alone.

Connections are about how our community feels. Real and meaningful connection can only flourish in an inclusive community where everyone feels understood, respected, accepted, supported and treated with dignity. We know that these feelings are challenged every day by the persistent inequities that still define life for too many of our neighbors.

As you will see in this Annual Report, in 2015 The Foundation brought our community together to enhance its feelings of connectedness. Whether by creating empathy for those directly affected by gun violence, showing support for undocumented immigrants, highlighting the continuing fight for women's equality, drawing attention to persistent racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes, or celebrating local Latino leadership, this too is The Foundation's work.

This work has never been more important. Recent events in cities around the country have riveted our attention on racially-biased law enforcement and have served to highlight the social cost of growing inequality of opportunity in America. The 2016 Presidential campaign is sowing division in ways not seen in decades. At this moment in our history, the imperative of strengthening local community connections could not be clearer.

This is an imperative for the future as well as the present. As The Foundation looks forward, our focus is on building the new connections that will support the next era of local community philanthropy in Greater New Haven.

In this work of connection, as in all of our work, The Foundation tills very fertile fields. We are privileged to work with so many donors, community leaders, nonprofit staff members, volunteers and local residents who feel deeply connected to our community and its future. They, like their predecessors in previous generations, are our inspiration.

We invite you to join us in the work of community.

William S. Colwell William W. Ginsberg
Chair, Board of Directors President & CEO

Click here to download our 2015 Report to the Community