Community Foundation Seeks Proposals for Catalyst Fund Autism Services Grant
Grant of Up to $10,000 Available

New Britain, Conn., July 13, 2018 – The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain is offering a grant of up to $10,000 to support services for adolescents and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and to support parents of children with ASD.
Organizations that can offer these services in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and/or Southington are invited to respond to the Foundation’s Request for Proposals (RFP) for the 2018 Catalyst Fund grant. The RFP is available on the Community Foundation’s website at Proposals are due August 13.

David Obedzinski, President, speaking at the June Catalyst Meeting

The Catalyst Fund is a “giving circle” of community-minded local citizens who each contribute $250 and seek to improve quality of life in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. Three times per year, members gather to learn about a member-chosen issue facing their community, and to consider funding requests from charitable organizations addressing the issue. The year concludes with the group voting on the awarding of a grant of up to $10,000.

The issue for 2018 is “Services for Children and Young Adults with Autism.” In Connecticut, over 5,000 children under the age of 21 have been identified as having an Autism Spectrum Disorder and based on current research, it seems the prevalence rate is growing. The needs of children and young adults with autism are not being adequately met and more programs and services are needed to increase social and life skills, job training and recreational opportunities for this population.

In June, close to 60 Catalyst Fund members heard a presentation from Dr. John Molteni, Ph.D., BCBA-D and Associate Professor of Counseling and Applied Behavioral Studies and Director, Institute for Autism and Behavioral Studies at the University of Saint Joseph. Dr. Molteni discussed this year’s topic and emphasized the need for post-secondary transition services such as vocational training, independent living skills, transportation needs and community-based social opportunities/activities for young adults with autism. He also discussed the need for parental support for behavioral interventions, establishing effective skill teaching and planning for future transition for parents of children with ASD of all ages.

“We will narrow our focus on this older age group based on what we learned about the lack of available post-secondary transition services that are needed as well as the need for parental support,” said Joeline Wruck, Director of Community Initiatives and Program Services for the Community Foundation. “This is where we feel we will be able to have the greatest impact.”

Questions regarding the RFP may be directed to Joeline Wruck at or 860-229-6018, ext. 307. The Catalyst Fund will hold its second program of the year on September 20, 2018 at Stanley Black and Decker University, 1000 Stanley Drive in New Britain. Anyone interested in the Catalyst Fund or this year’s topic is invited to attend. Discovery memberships are available for anyone’s first year in Catalyst for a $50 contribution.

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