A Time of Progress

2022/23 Report to Our Community, Letter to the Community from Board Chair Marcella Nunez-Smith and President and CEO Will Ginsberg

By William W. Ginsberg / May 02, 2023

Dear Friends:

The post-COVID future of our community is becoming more visible. As the fears and uncertainties that have obscured our vision are finally lifting, we can clearly see both the economic growth that carries potential for transformative change and the persistent disparities and inequities that we must address if we are truly to progress as a community.

For all that is changing, creating opportunity and advancing equity remain at the heart of The Community Foundation’s work.

Over this past year, The Foundation did more and spent more than ever before, and we did our work in very

different ways. As our Stepping Forward commitment hit full stride, 2022 was a year of extraordinary impact, validating the decision we made in 2020 to respond to the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic and of the national awakening to racial injustice with an unprecedented extraction of supplementary endowment resources. You will read stories in this annual report of what this spending has meant to the people and institutions of the community we serve.

The Foundation is working to build a stronger nonprofit sector. Our grants are now almost entirely for general operating support. We continue to expand our capacity-building offerings, with new programs to assist organizations to embed racial equity in their work. We are looking to the future as well, investing in the development of a more diverse next generation of local nonprofit leaders.

And our decisions are increasingly informed by the perspectives of those whose lives have been touched by the inequities we seek to address.

The Foundation is also working to build a more equitable for-profit sector. In 2022, with public support, we launched our work to build a more equitable ecosystem of support for entrepreneurship as a path to opportunity, particularly for people of color and for women. The Foundation is also working more closely than ever with the companies and institutions in the growth sectors of our economy, supporting education, training, skill building and other services that open doors to those who have been denied opportunities for too long.

Realizing the vision of Greater New Haven as a community of greater opportunity and greater equity is the work of all of us. To make progress, our community must recognize the inadequacy of the traditional ways of addressing the terrible racial, ethnic, gender, and geographic disparities that continue to limit the horizons for too many among us. We need a broad-based commitment to address the opportunity/ equity challenge in new ways.

Today, in our community, this is happening. Progress is being made.

In this annual report, we profile:

  • Bio-medical business leaders committed to providing equitable access to jobs and careers in the industry that is driving growth and creating opportunity in our community;
  • Entrepreneur support organizations whose work with people of color and women is breaking down long-standing barriers to opportunities in the small business sector
  • A small business owner whose philanthropy will open doors for future tradespeople and small business owners;
  • Nonprofit leaders working to advance equity through financial and programmatic support for individuals and families;
  • Health care and medical research leaders who see addressing social conditions as the path to greater health equity; and
  • Several long-established local and iconic nonprofits that, as beneficiaries of the extraordinary philanthropic legacy of Richard and James English, are expanding access, collaborating in new ways,

and reconceiving their programming to reflect the diversity of Greater New Haven.

The Foundation’s donors are responding too, with more than $31 million given or transferred to The Foundation in 2022. As always, The Foundation’s work is enabled and sustained both by the generosity of today and by the commitment to build a better future for those who will follow us here. It is The Foundation’s great privilege to be of service to so many in our community who live by these values, and whose personal visions for the future of our community are expressed through their giving. We are deeply grateful.

After three pandemic years, our community is facing extraordinary challenges, both brand-new and age- old. While economic conditions and the end of governmental pandemic response programs may mean fewer resources are available in the near-term, we believe that by coalescing around a shared vision of greater opportunity and greater equity, and by working together in new ways, our community will make progress in meeting the challenges of our time.

As always, we invite you to join us in the work of community.

Marcella Signature

Marcella Nunez Smith, Chair

Will Signature

Will Ginsberg, President and CEO