Introducing Our 2023 Impact Report
Nov 02, 2023
Last year marked the launch of Fairfield County Forward — our strategy for partnering with the community to create a region where every person has an equitable opportunity to thrive.
When our board and staff decided to change our mission statement, the core expression of our purpose, we felt it necessary to begin that statement with the words “partnering with our community.” These words signal — both to our team and to the community — that we exist to serve and support the people of Fairfield County. This change is more than just a rephrasing; it is a profound evolution in our approach and priorities.
As a community foundation, it’s easy to fall into the habit of thinking about our work through the transactional lens of raising money and making grants. But we have a calling to do much more than that.
Achieving our mission as a community foundation requires full commitment to showing up in the spirit of humility and with deep respect for the tapestry of nonprofits, grassroots organizations, and individuals working every day to make our county a better place to live. It requires us to create more authentic and enduring relationships with these partners and to courageously lend our voice and resources to confront wrong, take strategic risks, and pursue innovative solutions to advance positive change.
Early in my tenure as President and CEO of the Community Foundation, I began using the phrase “In Community” as the closing to my notes and letters as a reminder of this central commitment to working in partnership with and support of the people of Fairfield County.
“In Community” serves as the theme of this report, which invites you into the community to learn about some of the remarkable people and organizations at the heart of moving Fairfield County forward. When you download the report, you’ll meet dedicated doulas who are working to help Black mothers deliver healthy babies, advocates making it possible for public school students to thrive, and nonprofits that are connecting underemployed workers with opportunities to earn a living wage.
These stories — and many more — reinforce our belief that those closest to the challenges in our community hold the key to the solutions. Our role, in turn, is to catalyze their ability to achieve impact by providing resources, bringing people together, and advocating in support.
Our mission cannot be accomplished without all of us contributing our strengths and passions. Whether you’re an advocate for education, a champion of social justice, a supporter of local businesses, or simply someone who cares deeply about the wellbeing of our community, there’s a role for you in shaping our collective future. I hope these stories inspire you to see our region in a new light, and to continue to partner with us in this shared journey.
Mendi blue paca
PRESIDENT & CEO
FAIRFIELD COUNTY’S COMMUNITY FOUNDATION