Foundation Opens Membership With an Incentive; 2019 Grant Will Be Largest Ever

New Britain, Conn., January 10, 2019 – Fresh on the heels of awarding a $10,000 Catalyst Fund grant to Central Connecticut ARC (CCARC) for an informational workshop series relevant for families of adolescents and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as they transition beyond their secondary education, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain’s Catalyst Fund has opened 2019 membership. Due to the success of last year’s membership drive, the grant will increase in 2019 for the first time to $12,500.

“The Catalyst Fund offers a unique opportunity for people to give back to their local community, and we hope that even more people and more businesses will participate in this wonderful program,” 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 6 will be entered into a drawing for items donated by local businesses and organizations.

The 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 “Discovery” members now able to join with a gift of $50 for their first year of membership and a “Business” membership category offers local businesses the opportunity to engage their employees in local philanthropy.  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 to a chosen non-profit.  Until now, the amount of the award was $10,000 but due to the growth of the Catalyst membership in 2018, the amount awarded in 2019 will jump to $12,500.

In its 16 years of existence, Catalyst Fund members have awarded more than $160,000 to a variety of programs meeting important needs and addressing difficult challenges in the community. Members of the Catalyst Fund will vote to choose its area of focus for this year.  New members joining by March 15 will have the opportunity to vote for and help select the community issue for this year’s focus.  Most recent past topics include workforce of the future; youth and family homelessness; capacity building for non-profits and after school programs for youth ages 10-15.

“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.”

2019 Catalyst Fund meetings will be held this year on June 6 at the Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain, September 19 at Stanley Black and Decker World Headquarters in New Britain and November 14 at Shuttle Meadow Country Club in Berlin.  All meetings take place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. A downloadable brochure and application form are available on the Catalyst Fund page online at Membership fees can be paid by check or through the through the Foundation’s website.  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