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Our Work

We put philanthropy into action to help address the needs, rights and interests of our Eastern Connecticut communities, while fulfilling the passions of our donors.

Assisting Donors

Alison Woods, VP and Chief Development Officer, discussing the establishment of a new fund with a new donor.

We help donors — and their professional advisors — establish personally meaningful charitable funds that make a lasting impact on the issues and communities of greatest interest to them. Our experience helps us connect them to the region’s current and emerging needs and bring about enduring change. 

  • We provide opportunities for people to learn and give together.
  • We currently manage over 560 charitable funds on behalf of our donors, totaling over $113 million in assets.
  • Our goal is to involve even more partners in improving the well-being of Eastern Connecticut and help them carry out their vision for giving through funds and legacy gifts. 

Issuing Grants & Scholarships

2016 Graduates of New London High School who worked with Higher Edge during high school and through the college application process.

Thanks to the funds established by our donors, we are able to offer charitable grants to nonprofit organizations to support their work in our communities; as well as hundreds of annual scholarships to help local students pursue their educational dreams.

  • We currently award approximately $6 million in grants and scholarships annually.
  • We have made over $72 million in grants and scholarships on behalf of our donors since we were founded in 1983.

Strengthening Area Nonprofits

In addition to grant making, we work closely with nonprofit organizations in and around Eastern Connecticut to help them strengthen their capabilities, increase their technical skills and operate more effectively and efficiently.

  • Nonprofit organizations, which are typically on the front lines in responding to pressing community needs, are critical to bringing about the lasting change our donors seek, so we confer them on a regular basis.
  • We offer workshops, training and other continuing education opportunities every year.  
  • We partner with them in building their endowments to create a permanent revenue stream for their organizations. 

Seeking and Supporting Solutions to Community Challenges

In 2016, the Community Foundation held a mentoring convening with board members and local area partners.

Throughout our 30 plus-year history, we have routinely convened meetings of community leaders, nonprofits, service agencies, business leaders, volunteers, donors and local residents to discuss our shared challenges and to explore and pursue the best ways to address them. 

  • Our community knowledge and experience allows us to play a leadership role in forging consensus and guiding a strategic, philanthropic response.
  • In July 2015, we completed an 18-month strategic planning process, which culminated in the establishment of Our Community Priorities.
  • From time to time, we also initiate programs when it appears that leadership is needed to focus attention on an important issue. This work includes special initiatives we’ve established over the years:
    • Let’s Read Fund, which encourages early literacy and love of reading
    • Love Our Libraries Fund, which provides resources for local libraries
    • Women & Girls Funds, which provide funding for programs that improve the lives of women and girls in need
    • People for Animals & Wildlife (P.A.W.) Fund which supports the well-being, humane treatment and protection of animals and wildlife in eastern Connecticut

P: 860.442.3572
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68 Federal Street
New London, CT 06320

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