Membership Drive Begins for Community Foundation’s Catalyst Fund

Foundation Opens Membership with New Incentives, Membership Categories; Community Issues Targeted for 2018 Funding Announced

New Britain, Conn., February 15, 2018 – Fresh on the heels of having awarded a $10,000 Catalyst Fund grant to Plainville Community Schools to support the school system’s Alternative Learning Center, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain’s Catalyst Fund has opened 2018 membership with new incentives and membership categories.

A new “Discovery” membership is now available to first-time Catalyst Fund members (and their families) for a gift of $50 for the first year, and a new “Business” membership category offers local businesses the opportunity to engage their employees in local philanthropy.

“The Catalyst Fund offers a unique opportunity to give back to their local community, and we hope that with these new incentives and membership categories even more people and more businesses will be intrigued enough to participate,” said Joeline Wruck, Director of Community Initiatives and Program Services for the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain. Anyone who joins and makes their contribution before the program’s first meeting of the year on June 7 will be entered into a drawing for items donated by local businesses and organizations.

Catalyst check presentation 12-1-17The Catalyst Fund works differently than other funds managed by the Community Foundation. Grant awards are directed by a group of local citizens – Catalyst Fund “members” – interested in joining with other community-minded citizens to improve the quality of life in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. Members make a gift of $250 per person or family each year – with new “Discovery” members now able to join with a gift of $50 for the first year. Three times per year, members gather over a light meal to learn about a member-chosen issue facing their community, and to consider funding requests from non-profit organizations addressing the issue. The year concludes with members voting to award a grant of at least $10,000 to a chosen non-profit.

In its 15 years of existence, Catalyst Fund members have awarded more than $150,000 to a variety of programs meeting important needs and addressing difficult challenges in the community.

Members of the Catalyst Fund will vote to choose one of three prospective community issues as the topic for this year: Neighborhood and Home Remediation/Improvement; Support for Families Affected by Drug Addiction; and Services for Children and Young Adults with Autism. New members joining by March 15 will have the opportunity to vote for and help select the community issue for this year’s focus.

“The Catalyst Fund is ideal for those who wish to actively make a difference, but without inviting enormous amounts of time and money,” said Wruck. “By pooling the resources of fellow members and the Community Foundation, and giving voice to issues they care about, Catalyst Fund members are able to make a real and rewarding impact.”

Catalyst Fund meetings will be held this year on June 7, September 20 and November 8. A downloadable brochure and application form are available on the Catalyst Fund page online at For more information, please contact Joeline Wruck at or 860-229-6018, ext. 307.

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