Investing in the future of nonprofit leadership in Fairfield County

Aug 12, 2019

Charles MacCormack, President Emeritus and former CEO of Save the Children, knows how crucial a strong nonprofit sector is to a vibrant society. And he knows the key to helping nonprofits maximize their impact is supporting their organizations in developing sustained leadership.

“In my years with Save the Children, we granted hundreds of millions of dollars,” recalls Charlie. “If we didn’t build leadership and capacity in a grantee organization, we found the funding didn’t have the same impact and often the program would fade away.”

His late wife Susan Ross, former President & CEO of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, also recognized this truth when she launched FCCF’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence (CNE) in 2009. Upon her retirement in 2011, colleagues established The Susan M. Ross Fund for Great Leadership to continue supporting CNE programming.

Today, the Fund helps underwrite the costs of the CNE’s Executive Leadership Program, a peer learning group that builds morale and collective strength. Nonprofit leaders also benefit from the CNE’s trainings, convenings, advocacy days and more.

“I’m sure the program more than pays for itself in terms of increased impact and funding that attendees can then generate for their organizations,” says Charlie. Today, Charlie’s largest single annual charitable contribution is to the Susan M. Ross Fund for Great Leadership. As a member of FCCF’s Future Society, he’s also made plans through his estate to create a Donor Advised Fund to support nonprofits for generations to come. “Susan believed in this work passionately,” says Charlie. “For me, this is an ideal way to sustain her spirit of commitment, insight and dedication to Fairfield County.”

Thank you for creating lasting change in our neighborhoods by helping nonprofits thrive. Learn more at