Our Initiatives Overview
The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut is committed to exercising leadership in the community beyond its grantmaking role. We recognize the power of collaborative efforts and work to bring together thought partners, donors, advocates and community leaders to support the very basic needs and rights of our population. We care for our residents, all who reside in this habitat and the environment.
The Community Foundation’s vision is a healthy, thriving, sustainable Eastern Connecticut. Below are areas of community leadership supported by the Community Foundation to create a stronger and more resilient region for all residents. We invite you to partner with us and other community-minded citizens to lead together on the efforts that resonate with you.
Thriving Community Conversations
The Community Foundation is committed to hearing the voices of our residents and convening state leaders, experts and communities to discuss issues affecting eastern Connecticut. We have held Thriving Community Conversations on women, arts, youth, animal welfare and environmental issues, as well as Connecticut’s fiscal crisis and its impact on the nonprofit sector in our region. We are launching the first in a series of “Leading Together” Thriving Community Conversations throughout our 42-town region on October 24th. These sessions will be co-hosted by the Community Foundation and the public libraries in our region. The discussions will inform and inspire our work while offering the opportunity for participants to think creatively about community solutions, sparking new or deeper connections to lead for good together.
We invite members of our community to share ideas about new initiatives and seek partnerships, while also celebrating all the good that is happening in our towns in eastern Connecticut.
New London Partnership for Student Success
The Community Foundation has launched a collaboration between New London Public Schools, nonprofit and community leaders, and other partners to support and improve the life outcomes and well-being of our students. We have convened committed partners to learn and plan together and have successfully raised the funds from our generous donors for a Program Coordinator and a University of Connecticut Public Policy Intern who will collect program and impact data to inform the work of the New London Partnership for Student Success.
This collaborative has charted a course focused on a cradle to career model of support for our students. Having a Coordinator and an intern from UConn's Public Policy program will help us move to the next level.
Eastern Connecticut Mentoring Collaborative
The Eastern Connecticut Mentoring Collaborative (ECMC) is a key vehicle for the Community Foundation to promote mentoring as a means of empowering young people. Representing schools, colleges and universities, youth service bureaus, nonprofits, faith communities and grassroots efforts, members of the collaborative work to increase connections among youth-serving organizations and ensure that young people in eastern Connecticut have access to quality mentors. Twice-yearly “Lunch & Learns” bring mentors and organizations together from throughout eastern Connecticut to network and learn about such topics as recruiting new mentors, cultural competency, and trauma-informed mentoring. The ECMC also shines a light on the people and organizations making a difference through mentoring at its annual celebration of National Mentoring Month in January.
Nonprofit Capacity Building Collaborative
The Community Foundation convenes a funders collaborative that is committed to strengthening and sustaining community agencies so that they can more effectively meet their missions. In addition to grantmaking, the collaborative also bolsters nonprofits through educational workshops, networking opportunities and a variety of technical assistance opportunities to help position them to better meet the needs in our communities.
Women & Girls
The Community Foundation has four Women & Girls Funds to help empower women of all ages in our region through information, education, advocacy and supporting nonprofits that help women and girls lead positive, productive lives – for themselves and within their families. With a combined endowment of over $4 million dollars, these funds have made a total of $1.7 million in grants over their whole history.
To help advance our work, we commissioned the Status of Women & Girls in Eastern Connecticut report in 2018 to better understand issues impacting women in the eastern third of the state and organize funding and action around these needs.
CT Funders Collaborative to Promote Civic Engagement
The CT Funders Collaborative works together to strengthen democracy and community connections through investments in civic engagement. The Collaborative works to expand access and increase engagement of all voices in our communities to contribute to a just, equitable, and thriving society.
To help advance this work, we launched the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut’s Civic Engagement Mini-Grants to help residents of our 42-town region be active participants in building and strengthening their communities.