The Community Foundation’s Commitment to Advancing Public Policy

To achieve our vision for a healthy, thriving and sustainable Eastern Connecticut with greater equity for residents, the Community Foundation will participate in advancing policies to bring about lasting change to our systems. Foundation trustees and staff seek to lead on strategic issues, bringing together the resources of donors and the expertise of our community organizations. Our work in public policy leverages the philanthropic dollars that have been entrusted to us to create lasting and systemic change in our communities to benefit all residents.

The Community Foundation’s Priority for Advocacy in 2022 included urging municipalities to invest 30 percent or more of their American Rescue Plan allotment in supporting the social sectors hardest hit in the pandemic: housing, mental health and early education and care. The Foundation worked with a coalition of approximately 30 nonprofit organizations to reach out to towns and the State of Connecticut to advocate for funding for the most vulnerable in the wake of the pandemic. This coalition reached out to each municipality in our 42-town region to offer advice from local experts, wrote to our legislators, and worked with news outlets to get this information out to our community.

Affordable Housing

The Community Foundation is committed to supporting efforts to expand safe, inclusive and affordable housing in Eastern Connecticut. Affordable housing is the cornerstone of economic security and neighborhood stability.

We convened numerous partners and stakeholders in early 2022 to start an initiative to address the housing crisis in Eastern Connecticut. We are grateful to the following funders who committed to this initiative and enabled us to launch the Center for Housing Equity and Opportunity in Eastern Connecticut (CHEO):

The Center is a strategic partnership between seven nonprofits led by the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut and includes Connecticut College, Eastern Connecticut State University, the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut, the Housing Collective, Partnership for Strong Communities, and Regional Plan Association.

The Center launched in March of 2023 to advance affordable housing by bringing together a myriad of partners working in tandem with municipalities, nonprofits, statewide advocacy organizations and more.

Sampling of Our Work

Health Equity & Access to Mental Health

The Community Foundation believes that equal access to quality health care is critical to health and well-being. We invest in programs that support all residents, especially those who are underserved.

Sampling of Our Work

Early Childhood Care & Education

The Community Foundation believes that the key to success in school and beyond begins with a high-quality pre-school and early care experience. A productive society relies on the availability of affordable childcare for working parents. We envision a comprehensive system that leads to improved outcomes for all children, families, communities and the workforce in Eastern Connecticut.

Sampling of Our Work

Read more about our “30% Plus” Initiative regarding the American Rescue Plan Act.

Environment & Environmental Justice

Conservation of our natural resources is critical to climate resilience. The Community Foundation supports environmental education, conservation of land and water resources, as well as initiatives that increase and ensure access to a healthy environment for all people in Eastern Connecticut.

Sampling of Our Work

Read more about our work around Environmental Education & Conservation

Advancing Women’s Rights

The Community Foundation’s 2017 Report on the Status of Women & Girls in Eastern Connecticut led to the development of the Foundation’s Public Policy Task Force to advance its findings. The Task Force has led efforts to galvanize constituents around issues critical to the needs and rights of women in our region: economic security, domestic violence, women’s access to healthcare, and political leadership.

Sampling of Our Work

Learn more about our four Women & Girls Funds