As the community foundation serving all of Eastern Connecticut, we welcome and work with generous people who want to give back, support effective solutions to pressing community challenges and promote the well-being of our region.

We are dedicated to the values of equity and social justice, reflected in our community priorities.

We fund a wide range of initiatives and projects that connect people who care – our donors – with the nonprofits, schools, libraries and other organizations that change people's lives for the better. As an organization committed to greater equity and justice for all in our communities, we are putting our full attention towards anti-racism.

Our board and staff have undertaken an intentional process to listen to and learn from constituents’ voices, especially those who have been historically marginalized, and to bring that learning and those voices into our strategic priorities: Youth Empowerment, Basic Needs & Rights, Environment and Animal Welfare.

Helping You Have Meaningful Impact

In the spring of 2022, we at the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut embarked on a review of our 2015 strategic plan by asking critical questions to help us better understand how one builds “a healthy, thriving, sustainable Eastern Connecticut with greater equity for all.”

Over the past several years, we have focused more of our grantmaking, convening and advocacy on policy issues towards increasing equity in our region. We commissioned The Report on the Status of Women and Girls in Eastern Connecticut in 2017, which informed our grantmaking and led to the establishment of a Public Policy Task Force. More recently, the Task Force expanded its purview to address broader policy issues that are critical to building a thriving community.

The Power of Collaboration

We responded to the critical needs caused by the pandemic and its fallout by launching the Neighbors for Neighbors Fund. In partnership with donors, our two regional United Ways and other funders, the Neighbors for Neighbors Fund put $1.4 million in grants out into Eastern Connecticut to provide basic services to our most vulnerable residents during an unprecedented crisis. Over the years, but particularly as issues of equity were laid bare by the pandemic and other challenging events, we have sought out, listened to and learned from nonprofit experts, municipal officials and residents themselves about the challenges they– especially those with the least resources or power– face in their communities. We have learned the power of collaboration and are committed to building, leading and supporting strong partnerships towards meeting these deep, systemic challenges.

Leading on Advocacy

When the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was announced in 2021, we leaned in to offer guidance and support to our 42 municipalities. The consensus of local human service and state policy experts was that ARPA investments focused where the greatest need existed after the pandemic would yield the best results: in early childhood care and education, safe and affordable housing, and mental health and wellness. We – Community Foundation staff and trustees, and nonprofit and municipal leaders – have joined together to advocate for greater investments in and changes to these systems.

With equity at the heart of every decision, we embrace our responsibility to donors and our nonprofit organizations, as well as to the municipalities and communities of Eastern Connecticut. Together, we will create a more equitable and sustainable region for future generations.

Our Work

We are a funder, thought partner, convener and strategic advocate with community leaders, donors, nonprofits, and other partners to advance alignment in strategy and greater equity, especially around six priority areas:

We support our region’s nonprofits through grants, capacity-building, knowledge sharing, convening and advocacy.

We advise and support donors in fulfilling their philanthropic interests, with particular emphasis on where their goals and our strategic priorities align.

We demonstrate our commitment to transparency, accountability, inclusivity, and a collaborative approach in all that we do.