Fairfield County’s Community Foundation Launches 2017/2018 Advocacy Series with Legislative Forums

Dec 20, 2017

Key is to Implement Cross-Collaboration Across All Sectors for Lasting Change

(Norwalk, Conn.) Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Advocacy Series launched this year’s program with Legislative Forums in December and continued in January with a focus on strengthening relationships between nonprofit leaders and elected officials to encourage them to work together for community improvement. The Advocacy Series will run through May 2018 and was developed to help nonprofit leaders build the relationships, knowledge and skills to make them better advocates for their organizations and the communities they serve.

“Fairfield County’s Community Foundation brings together bright minds, bold leaders and trusted resources to create lasting change in Fairfield County. Today is an excellent example of just that! Opening the dialogue and starting the conversation is key to successfully implementing our efforts of cross-collaboration across all sectors,” stated Juanita James, President and CEO,  Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. “The Community Foundation recognizes that the opportunity gap cannot be addressed by one organization alone and that we must work across sectors – public, private, nonprofit – for lasting change.”

The Danbury Legislative Forum held at the offices of Family & Children’s Aid
was attended by Representative J.P. Sredzinski; Representative David Arconti; Representative Michael Ferguson; Representative Mitch Bolinsky; Representative Stephen Harding and Representative William Duff, along with representatives from nonprofits including Ability Beyond; Association for Religious Communities; City of Danbury; Connecticut Institute For Communities; Danbury Family Learning Center; Danbury Farmers’ Market Community Collaborative; Danbury Grassroots Academy; Danbury Schools and Business Collaborative; EdAdvance; Family & Children’s Aid; Girl Scouts of Connecticut; Midwestern Connecticut Council of Alcoholism; Newtown Youth and Family Services; Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation; Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut; Stepping Stones Museum for Children; The Arc of Connecticut; The Connecticut Mirror; United Way of Western Connecticut; WeCAHR and Women’s Center of Greater Danbury.

The Bridgeport Legislative Forum held at Housatonic Community College was attended by Senator Edwin Gomes; Senator Marilyn Moore; Representative Christina Quaranta; Representative Andre Baker; Representative Brenda Kupchick, along with representatives from nonprofits including Action for Bridgeport Community Development; All Our Kin; Bridge House; Bridgeport Caribe Youth Leaders; LifeBridge Community Services; Bridgeport Public Education Foundation; Cardinal Shehan Center; Career Resources; Caroline House; City Lights and Company; City of Bridgeport; Connect-Us; Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance; Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance; Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport; Girls Lead Inc; Kennedy Center; LifeBridge Community Services; Midwestern Connecticut; Council of Alcoholism; National Alliance on Mental Alliance – Connecticut Chapter; Neighborhood Studios of Fairfield County; New Reach; Optimus Health Care; Southwestern Area Health Education Center; Tauck Family Foundation; The Connection and The WorkPlace.

The Norwalk Legislative Forum held at the Community Foundation’s headquarters was attended by Senator Bob Duff; Representative Gail Lavielle; Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling; Representative Fred Wilms; Representative Terrie Wood; and Representative Jonathan Steinberg, along with representatives from nonprofits including All Our Kin; Child Advocates of SW Connecticut; City of Norwalk; Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance; Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County; ElderHouse; FCCF’s Fund for Women & Girls; Girls Scouts of Connecticut; Keystone House; Norwalk Community College Foundation; Norwalk Housing Authority; Silvermine Arts Center; STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way; The Community Fund of Darien; The Courage to Speak Foundation; The Open Door Shelter; Carver Foundation of Norwalk; Norwalk Community Health Center, Inc.; Liberation Programs; Kids In Crisis and Grace Farms Foundation.

The Stamford Legislative Forum held at UCONN Stamford was attended by Stamford Mayor David Martin; Senator Carlo Leone; Representative Dan Fox and Representative William Tong along with representatives from nonprofits including All Our Kin; ARI of CT, Inc.; Boys & Girls Club of Stamford; Building One Community; Children’s Learning Centers of Fairfield County; City of Stamford; Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance; Connecticut Legal Services; Horizons at New Canaan Country School; Housing Development Fund; FCCF’s Fund for Women & Girls; National Society for the Gifted & Talented; Norwalk Community College Foundation; SilverSource, Inc.; SoundWaters; Stamford Symphony; The Ballet School of Stamford Foundation; The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education; The Ferguson Library; The Mayor’s Youth Employment Program; United Way of Western Connecticut and Women’s Mentoring Network.

Attendees were invited to have conversations about some of the successes and challenges they have faced establishing and managing nonprofit and cross-sector partnerships. Questions posed to the attendees included how can we all work differently AND together to effect change in our region? and What do you see as the biggest priorities in the upcoming legislative session?

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation has a history of strong relationships with their nonprofit partners, supporting them both financially and providing resources to help them grow and thrive through their Center for Nonprofit Excellence. Established in 2009, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence annually serves over 300 local nonprofits developing leaders, improving operations and fostering collaboration.

The Advocacy Series will continue by building knowledge on some of the key issues affecting our region with several webinars. The culmination of the Series will be Fairfield County’s Advocacy Day on May 31, 2018 at Grace Farms in New Canaan, Conn.

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Fairfield County’s Community Foundation Launches 2017/2018 Advocacy Series with Legislative Forums. The Stamford Legislative Forum held at UCONN Stamford featured a panel discussion with legislators including Representative Dan Fox; Senator Carlo Leone and Stamford Mayor David Martin and was led by Juanita James, President and CEO of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. Photo Credit: fotosbyfailla.com
Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Advocacy Series launched this year’s program with Legislative Forums. Attendees were invited to have conversations about some of the successes and challenges they have faced establishing and managing nonprofit and cross-sector partnerships. (Left to Right) Stamford Mayor David Martin; Karen Brown, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation Vice President, Innovation and Strategic Learning; Catalina Horak, Building One Community and Marti Etter, The Ballet School of Stamford Foundation. Photo Credit: fotosbyfailla.com
Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Advocacy Series focuses on strengthening relationships between nonprofit leaders and elected officials to encourage them to work together for community improvement. (Left to Right) Constance Vickers, Boys & Girls Club of Stamford and Bridget Fox, United Way of Western Connecticut engage in a conversation with Juanita James, President and CEO of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, about the bright spots and challenges of collaboration. Photo Credit: fotosbyfailla.com

About Fairfield County’s Community Foundation

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation promotes philanthropy as a means to create change in Fairfield County, focusing on innovative and collaborative solutions to critical issues impacting the community. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds or contribute to existing funds. The Community Foundation is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards and has awarded over $220 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. As a trusted nonprofit partner and thought leader, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation brings together community organizers, business experts and philanthropists to solve our region’s challenges. Our goal is to create a vital and inclusive community, where every individual has the opportunity to thrive. fccfoundation.org

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