Austrian Donau Society and CFGNB

Austrian Donau Scholarship Fund, Community Foundation Partnership Offers Lesson in Community Stewardship

Organization Finds CFGNB to be Perfect Partner in Carrying on its Legacy

New Britain, Conn., February 2, 2017 – A little more than a year ago the Austrian Donau Society – for nearly 100 years a bastion of tradition and celebration of heritage for the Greater New Britain region’s Austrian and German communities – found itself in a quandary: How best to ensure that one of its prized community assets, its Austrian Donau Scholarship Fund, remains the gift that keeps on giving well into the future.

It is not uncommon for community-minded clubs and organizations – or individuals or Austrian Donau Scholarship reducedcorporate interests for that matter – to consider establishing an annual scholarship in order to preserve its legacy and give back to the communities that are so important to them. But even as such funds are established and scholarships are awarded, there is inevitable concern about proper fund oversight and making certain the scholarship perseveres even long after those who originally conceived it are gone.

Enter the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain.

For seven years, Austrian Donau Society leadership successfully managed its own scholarship and made 22 awards totaling more than $18,000. The scholarship fund had become a beacon of pride for the organization and an ideal way to preserve its legacy. When the issue of guaranteeing the scholarship’s perpetual sustenance and efficacy arose, organization leadership turned to the Community Foundation.

“It was clear to us that we could benefit greatly not only from the fund management expertise of an organization like the Community Foundation, but from the peace of mind such a partnership offered,” said Dennis Kern, president of the Austrian Donau Society. “By partnering with the Foundation, it is ensured that the Austrian Donau Scholarship will be rewarding students far into the future in perpetuity, long after all those involved in establishing it are gone.

”Our experience with the Community Foundation has been entirely positive and professional, and we would highly recommend partnering with them to any organization or individual wishing to leave their legacy.”

The Austrian Donau Scholarship is awarded annually to one or more graduating high school seniors from the Central Connecticut region. All graduating seniors are eligible to apply for the award, with special consideration given to those who are of German/Austrian descent and interested in pursuing German/Austrian studies. GPA ranking, a written essay, character and family membership in the Austrian Donau Society are all considered.

In 2016, the Austrian Donau Scholarship awarded its first scholarships via the Community Foundation. Some $4,000 in awards were made to Kathryn Beloin of Plainville High School, Sarah Hoisl of Conard High School (West Hartford), Gabriella Saavedra of New Britain High School and Carolyn Stickel of Berlin High School. All graduated from their respective high schools in June, 2016.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Austrian Donau Society and believe that this partnership is yet another example of how the Community Foundation can assist those wishing to leave their legacy, whether it is by establishment of a scholarship fund or any of numerous other types of funds benefitting the community,” said Jim Williamson, president of the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain.

In 2016, the Community Foundation awarded nearly $200,000 in scholarships to more than 70 area students from 47 managed scholarship funds.

For information on establishing a scholarship fund at the Community Foundation, contact Kaylah Smith, Program and Scholarship Associate, at or 860-229-6018, ext. 305.

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