Community, Now More Than Ever

Against the backdrop of a dangerously divisive national mood, The Community Foundation's CEO calls for action, NOW MORE THAN EVER.

By / April 13, 2017

In Greater New Haven, we know from experience that to make progress, we need to come together and act together. Since 1928, The Community Foundation has helped to make that happen through our commitment to be here forever making a positive difference in the lives of the people of our region.

Over these years, The Foundation has learned that longevity requires constant evolution, for to remain static is to invite extinction. And we have learned that perpetuity is only legitimate when accompanied by a willingness to step forward and to take action when the times demand it.

Surely, this is one of those times. In this extraordinary moment, when some of our community's most cherished values and most needed programs are under assault, and when people are responding with a new and stronger yearning to come together to tackle the challenges of our time, there is a new and deeper sense of urgency to our work.

The Foundation is rooted in the deep long-term connections that make our community strong and in the forward-looking visions of three generations of philanthropists who have been committed to the future of our community. Yet today the national mood has turned dangerously divisive and the national imagination seems riveted by the idea of returning to a mythologized past. At the same time, our nonprofit sector is reeling as the proposed State and Federal budgets offer little beyond the prospect of devastating funding cuts and historic shifts away from social spending.

2017 is a time for community philanthropy to step forward in Greater New Haven.

These are defining realities of this time. This is why we say that, now more than ever, this is a moment to stand up for our community by recommitting to one another and to our shared belief that we can build a stronger future for Greater New Haven by coming together and acting together.

In working to help make this happen, The Foundation is prioritizing issues that seem particularly vulnerable today: eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities, protecting women's reproductive rights, assisting immigrants, supporting the arts, ensuring health care access, and supporting our local nonprofit press. We have brought together nonprofit leaders and donors to create deeper shared understanding of these vulnerabilities and of how our community can best respond. And where urgent action is needed, The Foundation is responding with urgency: The Foundation approved a major grant this month to help our community prepare for possible Federal immigration enforcement actions.

The Great Give®, our community's signature giving event, will take place this year on May 2-3. This year, more than ever, we ask those who love our community to rise above the negative rhetoric and divisiveness and to support what matters most to Greater New Haven through The Great Give®.