Looking Back: Nearly $1.4 Million in Grants, Increased Gifts, 75th Anniversary Celebration Highlight Community Foundation’s 2016
New Gifts and Grants Up 3 Percent; First Years First Investment in Early Childhood Development Surpasses $2 Million
New Britain, Conn., February 16, 2017 – The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain awarded nearly $1.4 million in grants and scholarships in 2016, a year made even more notable by the Foundation’s celebration of its 75th anniversary and new gifts and grants totaling more than $1.1 million, a 3 percent increase.
The 2016 year also saw new partnerships forged to improve public engagement in and awareness of area health care delivery and resources, and the Foundation’s First Years First investment in area children reach a milestone. The Foundation’s signature early childhood development initiative, now in its 12th year, topped $2 million in overall grants and investment since its establishment in 2005.
“The 2016 year was significant in so many ways for the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain,” said Jim Williamson, president of the Community Foundation now in his 13th year leading the organization. “It is gratifying to know that the community continues to recognize the important role the Foundation plays in helping to meet our shared challenges, and that our mission today is as vital and relevant as the day we were founded in 1941.”
Following is a look back at 2016 Community Foundation highlights:
Last year, the Foundation made 303 individual grants and scholarship awards totaling $1,377,521.90 benefitting Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. This includes $354,273 in Community Response Grants (grants approved by the Foundation board of directors in the areas of arts, culture and heritage, education, and health and human services); $266,251 in First Years First grants; $198,100 in Scholarships; $189,318.64 in Designated Grants; $103,517.26 in Donor-Advised Grants; and $14,450 in Community Sponsorship Awards aiding community events. Also included is $251,612 in grants authorized by the board of the Community Chest of New Britain and Berlin, a supporting organization of the Community Foundation (www.ccnbb.org).
First Years First
In addition to surpassing $2 million in grants since its inception in 2005 to programs including Literacy Volunteers of Central Connecticut, the Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington, the Coalition for New Britain’s Youth, the Tunxis Community College Early Childhood Educators Consortium and Family Resource Center programs New Britain, Plainville and Southington, the Foundation’s signature First Years First early childhood development initiative broadened its focus beyond improving kindergarten readiness. The program now more broadly aims to increase school readiness skills so that children may progress successfully from pre-K through Grade 3 (age 8). In 2016, First Years First was proud to be a contributing factor in improved kindergarten readiness, continued reductions in chronic absence and major efforts to reduce the impact of “summer slide” in New Britain schools through the school district’s new “Summer Enrichment Experience” program.
Last fall, the Foundation partnered with the Hospital of Central Connecticut and Hospital for Special Care to host a Community Health Needs Forum, an initiative aimed at jumpstarting community engagement and input in shaping the future delivery of health care in Central Connecticut. The successful effort has resulted in creation of a new regional collaborative, the Greater New Britain Community Provider Network, which is working to continue the dialogue and improve coordination, information sharing and public awareness of the area’s health resources.
The Community Foundation’s development efforts produced $1,120,845 in new gifts and grants, an increase of 3 percent over 2015. Included were three new funds and more than $1 million added by donors to existing funds held by the Foundation.
In celebration of its 75th anniversary year in 2016, the Community Foundation did not hold a gala – instead it did what it does best, gave back to the community.
The foundation partnered with the New Britain Bees last summer, holding four “Community Foundation of Greater New Britain Nights with the Bees.” The Foundation donated 1,000 tickets to area youth groups in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington so that area children and families could enjoy a night at the ballpark.
In addition, the Foundation sponsored and supported a variety of community events, including New Britain’s Little Poland and Dozynki Festivals, Southington’s Apple Harvest Festival and more, in celebration of its 75th anniversary.
All-America City Award
The Foundation was a major contributing partner to the city of New Britain being recognized as an All-America City by the National Civic League in a competition held in
Denver in June, 2016. Key to the city’s being recognized were successful, Foundation-funded initiatives to address kindergarten readiness, chronic absence and summer learning loss among youth. New Britain was one of only 10 cities nationwide so honored.
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