Response “Outstanding” as Membership Drive Continues for Community Foundation’s Catalyst Fund

New Sign-Ups, Increased Interest Put Foundation on Pace to Exceed 2017 Totals

New Britain, Conn., March 13, 2018 – Only one month into a membership drive designed to build engagement in community philanthropy, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain (CFGNB) reports that new sign-ups and commitments for its Catalyst Fund grass-roots philanthropy program have put the program on pace to easily achieve, and perhaps exceed, last year’s membership totals.

Since beginning a membership drive announced on February 15, the Catalyst Fund has added 11 new members, including six in the Catalyst Fund’s new “Business Member” category. Those news business memberships have come from two long-time supporters of the Community Foundation, Stanley Black & Decker and The Hospital of Central Connecticut. According to CFGNB President David Obedzinski, the enthusiastic response bodes well for the vitality of both the Catalyst Fund itself and the four communities (Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington) which CFGNB serves.

“This response is just outstanding, and reaffirms our belief that Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington are chock full of caring people and engaged businesses that want to make a difference,” Obedzinski said. “We invite all those who live or work in these four communities to consider becoming members of this long-standing, effective, informative and impactful giving circle group.”

The Catalyst Fund boasted 35 members last year, all of whom were individuals and/or families, the Catalyst Fund’s core constituency. Counting anticipated renewals of existing members and new 2018 members already committed and anticipated, CFGNB is expecting to easily reach its 2018 membership goal of 45.

Stimulating interest this year are new membership incentives and 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. Anyone who joins and makes their contribution before the program’s first meeting of the year on June 7 will be entered 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 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 30 will have the opportunity to vote for and help select the community issue for this year’s focus.

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. Located at The Foundation Center at 74A Vine Street, New Britain, 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