More than $1.2 Million in Grants, Scholarships Awarded in 2017
Successful Year for Community Foundation Included Change in Leadership, Significant Investment Gains and 22 Percent Jump in Support for Annual Appeal
New Britain, Conn., February 15, 2018 – The final numbers have been calculated: The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain (CFGNB) awarded more than $1.2 million in grants and scholarships in 2017, a landmark year in which the Foundation not only continued funding vital local programs and services, but also saw a change in leadership and double-digit gains in its investment portfolio and annual appeal giving.
“2017 was a year of achievement for the Community Foundation as our Board of Directors and staff were able to stay the course in terms of community impact and grantmaking while managing a major change in organizational leadership,” said CFGNB President David Obedzinski, who assumed his position in August following the retirement of long-time President Jim Williamson. “I think that speaks to the strength of this organization’s leadership and bodes well for our continued role as a community steward and difference maker for the non-profit organizations and people we serve in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington.”
The Foundation’s grantmaking year in 2017 featured $1,209,160 in awards in categories including Community Initiatives grants ($228,072 in First Years First early childhood development, Catalyst Fund and other grants); Community Response grants ($422,000 in support of programs and initiatives in arts culture and heritage, community and economic development, education and health and human services); Donor-Advised and Designated grants ($349,855 in grants from Foundation-managed funds controlled by donors); Scholarships ($196,720); and Community Sponsorship awards ($12,513 in grants to support community events in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington).
Upon assuming the presidency in August, Obedzinski immediately went to work, assessing the Community Foundation’s role in the community and implementing new initiatives to better serve Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. In addition to an increased focus on fundraising as evidenced by the Civic Leadership Fund’s success, Obedzinski initiated a “Listening Tour” with community leaders and stakeholders in all four towns the Foundation serves to better shape how the Foundation works with area non-profits and to be more responsive to community needs; established a working partnership with the American Savings Foundation that led to establishment of the Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Relief Fund as well as a new series of capacity building workshops to take place in 2018 that will help local non-profit organizations address the increasingly difficult challenge of sustaining programs and services during lean fiscal times; and introduced a new Young Philanthropy Program designed to engage young professionals and citizens in charitable giving and community service.
In 2018, the Foundation will also publish a new booklet about the Foundation’s funds and scholarships and how an individual, family or organization can establish their own fund or scholarship all at once or over a period of time.
As a community steward, the Community Foundation strives to manage the community’s resources with integrity and transparency. Robust development efforts and a diversified investment strategy enable the Foundation to maximize dollars available for grantmaking. In 2017, the Foundation realized the benefits of a strong market and economy, earning a 17.6 percent return on its investments after fees and ending the year with an all-time high portfolio value of more than $45 million.
Civic Leadership Fund Annual Appeal
The Community Foundation’s annual appeal for its Civic Leadership Fund plays a vital role in ensuring adequate resources are available to staff and manage the organization: The more successful the Civic Leadership Fund appeal is, the more dollars the Foundation has available for grantmaking and community impact. CFGNB donors clearly responded in 2017 to the good work of the Foundation by donating at record levels. The Civic Leadership Fund appeal ended the year with $71,000 in donations, up 22 percent over 2016. The 2018 appeal will feature a spring appeal to businesses and organizations and a fall appeal to individuals.
Established in 1941, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain is “Where Good Begins” in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. The Foundation works to inspire philanthropy, manage permanent charitable assets effectively, and partner to address key community issues through strategic leadership. For more information, visit www.cfgnb.org