Published in The Willimantic Chronicle
January 25, 2022

NEW LONDON — The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut recently announced a record $324,784 in 2021 grants from its four Women & Girls Funds.

This is a 44-percent increase over 2020 grants.

The goal of the Women & Girls Funds grants is to invest in women and girls across the 42-town region by supporting programs that focus on economic security, education and workforce development, health and well- being, and leadership.

• Northeast Area Women & Girls Fund awarded $24,485 to 11 nonprofits.

• Norwich Area Women & Girls Fund awarded $20,000 to three nonprofits.

• Southeast Area Women & Girls Fund awarded $217,300 to 21 nonprofits.

• Windham Area Women & Girls Fund awarded $62,999 to 17 nonprofits.

The Southeast Area Women & Girls Fund additionally made a two- year grant to the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund for their advocacy and communications initiatives.

“ As we put the greatest challenges from the pandemic behind us, women — especially women of color — are still dealing with the consequences of inequity in our health care and economic systems. The Community Foundation grants focus on advancing equitable policies and supporting more vulnerable members of our community with services addressing immediate needs. We believe a two-

pronged approach is required for long- term success,” said Program Director Jennifer O’Brien.

In 1999, the Community Foundation established its first Women & Girls Fund to support nonprofits that empower women and girls to pursue positive, productive lives — for themselves and their families.

Since that time, three other Women & Girls Funds were established in Windham, Norwich and northeast Connecticut to advance the equity and well- being of women and girls through grantmaking, advocacy and action.

Collectively, the four Women & Girls Funds have an endowment of more than $ 7 million and have awarded $ 2.7 million in grants to 584 programs.

The Community Foundation serves 42 towns.

To learn more about the Women & Girls Funds or how to set up your own named fund to benefit women and girls in eastern Connecticut, email Lauren C. Parda at lauren@cfect. org or call 860- 442- 3572. Visit for a list of grantees.