Fairfield County’s Community Foundation has a long history of grantmaking and capacity building. However, we are more newly committed to advocacy because we cannot accomplish our community goals without influencing the policies that impact the people we serve.
We believe that as leaders in philanthropy, it is our civic duty to extend this leadership to provide expert input in the policymaking process.
We currently deploy a number of advocacy strategies and will utilize more over time. Examples include:
Census 2020: In each of Fairfield County’s four hardest-to-count cities, the Community Foundation is actively engaged in supporting a full Census count.
Legislative Forums: Convening elected officials, nonprofit leaders, and concerned individuals to discuss and advance public policy issues related to closing the opportunity gap in Fairfield County.
Joint Letters: Signing on to letters to policymakers and others to express positions on policy issues of shared concern across a range of organizations.
Nonprofit Advocacy Trainings: Workshops to help nonprofit leaders effectively advocate for improvements to policies at the state and local levels.
- The 2019 Fairfield County Community Wellbeing Index: Details the complex issues facing neighborhoods, towns, and the entire county
- 2019 Count Her In Report: A status report on women and girls in Fairfield County
- 2019 Count Them In Report: A landscape analysis of Fairfield County organizations supporting women and girls
Public Testimony: Presenting data-driven information to recommend policies to governments, task forces, and commissions to reflect and amplify the voices of individuals and organizations working to close the opportunity gap.
Our Civic Engagement Initiatives
As part of our advocacy work, we are also pursuing a civic engagement agenda to create more informed and engaged residents in our county who can advocate for their interests. We are committed to strengthening civic engagement as a way to aggregate and amplify community knowledge and voice. Examples of two recent civic engagement initiatives include:
Get Out The Vote: Exercising the right to vote is one of the primary ways in which individuals use their voice. The purpose of our Get Out The Vote Grants Program is to support organizations in reaching individuals whose voices are underrepresented in the political process, connect them to upcoming voting opportunities via nonpartisan voter engagement activities, and provide information on additional opportunities to have their interests represented.
Civic Education Grants Program: The goal of our Civic Education Grants Program is to increase knowledge about our democratic systems and institutions, and to increase information access for populations that are historically underrepresented in the political process. The Program elevates and strengthens our commitment to civic education for all.