25 Years of Community Impact
Driven By You
This is our 25th anniversary. Since our founding in 1992, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation has been strengthening nonprofits, guiding strategic charitable efforts for donors and uplifting the greater community through philanthropy. Thank you for fueling this work with your passion and commitment to creating a vibrant, equitable and inclusive community where every individual has the opportunity to thrive.
Fairfield County’s Community Foundation established
The Fairfield County Foundation was formed in 1992 when the Danbury, Greenwich, Stamford and Five Town foundations merged with the Fairfield County Foundation, part of The New York Community Trust. In 2008, the Greater Bridgeport Area Foundation also merged with the organization, which was ultimately renamed Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.
Fund for Women & Girls founded
Established by a small group of visionary women, the Fund for Women & Girls is now New England’s largest women’s fund and partners with national coalitions. Guided by research on critical needs, the Fund works for sustainable solutions to support the health, safety and financial security of women in Fairfield County.
LEADING TOWARD A VISION
Jack W. Kiermaier becomes the Community Foundation’s President & CEO before passing the torch to Susan M. Ross in 1995
School Readiness Initiative Launched
After publishing the school Readiness profile of Fairfield County, the Community Foundation awards significant competitive funding that fills pressing needs for local early childhood centers.
Professional Advisors Council Launched
By connecting clients to the Community Foundation as a trusted resource for strategic giving, this group of senior professionals is shaping philanthropy across Fairfield County.
Scholarship program begins
The Community Foundation administers a college scholarship program which has grown to be the largest in Fairfield County, with 150+ funds supporting 400+ students annually. By creating opportunity for all students to pursue degrees that can lead to meaningful careers, we are building a stronger community.
Collaborative Fund for Affordable Housing launched
Founded in 2006, the Fairfield County Collaborative Fund for Affordable Housing brought funders together to make greater progress on one of the region’s most pressing needs. Over 10 years, it awarded $4.8 million and developed nearly 1,000 units of affordable housing.
2007Holding up half the skyThe Fund for Women & Girls’ first research report informs the Fund’s grantmaking strategies
2008School Leadership Initiative Launched with flagship funding for an initiative preparing aspiring principals in Bridgeport, Danbury, Norwalk, and Stamford public school districts.
2011New Leadership Juanita T. James becomes President & CEO of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.
Family Economic Security Program launched
In 2008, the Fund for Women & Girls launched the Family Economic Security Program at Norwalk Community College, helping single mothers pursue degrees leading to family-sustaining employment. Outcomes were improved for 106 students through wraparound support services from financial aid to coaching.
Center for Nonprofit Excellence established
By helping nonprofits build capacity, the Center for Nonprofit Excellence maximizes philanthropic dollars in the region. Nearly 1 in 10 Fairfield County nonprofits utilize the Center’s services, including trainings designed to develop staff and board leadership.
PT Partners launched
Through civic engagement coaching made possible by The Citi Foundation’s Partners in Progress initiative, families at a Bridgeport public housing development learned how to advocate for better schools, a healthier neighborhood and more – creating a scalable model for empowering public housing residents to lead change and transform their neighborhoods into communities of opportunity.
Platform To Employment Begins
In partnership with The WorkPlace, P2E helped Fairfield County residents who exhausted their unemployment benefits during the Great Recession to successfully return to work. Subsequent research conducted by Harvard Business School Community Partners elevated this program to a national model.
2013Immigration Symposium creates fertile ground to address the needs of immigrants who comprise 20% of the county’s population.
2014Social Venture Partners Connecticut Launched to aid high-performing nonprofits through grants and pro-bono professional support.
Fairfield County’s Giving Day begins
Launched with the support of key sponsor Bank of America, this annual 24-hour fundraising event has raised more than $4.5 million over four years for more than 600 Fairfield County nonprofits. The region’s biggest day of philanthropy brings the community together to support local causes.
Community Wellbeing Index released
With data on economic opportunity, education, health and quality of life in Fairfield County, the Community Wellbeing Index informs a new strategic framework for the Community Foundation.
Hunger Lives Here and Healthy Minds, Healthy Communities
White papers are published, informing regional initiatives and grantmaking. grantmaking strategy.
Rising Professional Advisors Council Launched
Partnering with young professionals to strengthen local philanthropy.
The Future Society Launched
Bringing together a group of visionary philanthropists who are making lasting, positive change in Fairfield County through planned gifts.
Community College Symposium
Bringing together local leaders to explore opportunities to help more community college students
Family Economic Security Program Expanded
Based on a successful pilot at Norwalk Community College, an expanded program launches at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport.
Youth Summit held
200 young adults (16-25) from 17 towns and cities in Fairfield County attend a summit on youth opportunity planned, designed, and executed by their peers.
25th Anniversary celebrated
Fairfield County’s Community Foundation marks its 25th anniversary, celebrating the power of generosity and local philanthropy to build a more vital, inclusive community.