General Fund Supports Most Pressing Needs and Opportunities

In 1948, Frederick Foster Brewster anonymously endowed a General Fund. It has been said that Brewster wanted "to encourage more gifts to The Foundation as memorials," and to give every citizen the opportunity to contribute to the Greater New Haven community's permanent endowment.

A photo from Stanley Botwinik's collection. Stanley Botwinik is among thousands of donors who have contributed to the General Fund since it was established. He regularly made gifts during his lifetime and left a bequest of $40,000 to the Fund from his estate in 2008. Stanley was a native of New Haven who attended Hillhouse High School and later graduated from the University of Michigan. After WWII, he returned to join the family machine tool business, Botwinik Brothers Inc. Stanley had many interests, including boating with friends, skiing and most notably photography. His photography, including the photo above, attracted the attention of the Audubon Society and National Geographic. A collection of Botwinik color and black and white slides now reside at the Peabody Museum at Yale for use in their educational programs.

The General Fund, a flexible endowed fund to support broad charitable purposes, was established by Frederick Foster Brewster (1872-1959) in 1948.

Brewster was a well-known philanthropist who made his fortune at the W & ET Fitch Co., a manufacturer of malleable iron goods. During his life, Brewster was a director of the Second National Bank of New Haven, the New Haven Gas Company, the United Illuminating Company, and the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. He served as a trustee of the New Haven Savings Bank. He also made a bequest to the City of New Haven that his property be used as a public park, now Edgerton Park. From 1928 to 1942, Brewster served as a Foundation Distribution Committee member, giving him intimate knowledge of the benefits to creating an endowment for the community.

In '48, he (then) anonymously endowed a General Fund at each of the trustee banks (and subsequently the Board was inspired to establish a General Fund in the Corporation). It has been said that Brewster wanted "to encourage more gifts to The Foundation as memorials," and to give every citizen the opportunity to contribute to the community's permanent endowment.

Over the years, thousands of donors have contributed gifts of all sizes, small and large. It's easy to support your local community with a gift (below) to the General Fund. Your gift addresses future needs that often can't be anticipated at the time your gift is made. The flexibility of your gift ensures great impact, taking advantage of future opportunities and responding to the community's most pressing needs, today and tomorrow.