Looking toward our next hundred years, we have launched the Second Century Fund, an unrestricted endowment fund to help ensure the Foundation has the resources it needs to meet community challenges that arise in the future. Generous leadership donors have pledged to match the first $200,000 in gifts to this fund! To learn more about the Fund and to donate, click HERE.
What is the Second Century Fund and why did Connecticut Community Foundation create it?
Connecticut Community Foundation will mark its 100th anniversary of service to the community in 2023. Over the past century, generous people have given through the Foundation to meet a wide range of needs and challenges throughout Greater Waterbury and the Litchfield Hills. Looking to the next hundred years, we created the Second Century Fund as an unrestricted endowment fund that will grow over time and be used to meet pressing needs in the community—including needs way may not even be able to foresee today.
The Second Century Fund will be built through community philanthropy, meaning people throughout Greater Waterbury and the Litchfield Hills are invited to pool their gifts and together create a fund that will continue to impact the community long past our lifetimes. We’re particularly excited that several leadership donors will match the first $200,000 in gifts to the Second Century Fund dollar for dollar!
How does an endowment fund work?
An endowment fund allows people to support work in the community not just today, but forever. When you give to an endowment fund, your gift is pooled with those of other donors and invested with the aim of increasing the assets in the fund over time. Each year, a percentage of the fund’s assets are distributed as grants to nonprofit organizations that are serving the community, while the remaining assets remain invested. Because the assets in an endowment fund are never fully spent, gifts made today will create a permanent charitable asset, and will continue to benefit the community for generations to come.
Why are unrestricted funds so important?
Unrestricted funds enable Connecticut Community Foundation to respond flexibly to the community’s needs as they shift over time. When our seven founders first met in Waterbury to create the Foundation in 1923, they couldn’t have anticipated many of the economic, health, environmental, and technological developments and challenges that have taken place in the past 100 years. But thanks to donors who have contributed to unrestricted endowment funds over the decades, we have resources we can deploy to meet different needs as they arise. Responding do the COVID-19 pandemic is a good example: When the pandemic began in early 2020, we were able to respond quickly with grants to organizations addressing urgent needs relating to health, shelter, food insecurity, and economic disruption throughout the community—thanks in large part to unrestricted funds entrusted to the Foundation by donors over the years.
How can I contribute to the Second Century Fund? Is there a benefit to giving to the Second Century Fund now?
You can make a gift of any size to the Second Century Fund. Cash gifts can be made online HERE or by check made payable to Connecticut Community Foundation and specifying “Second Century Fund” in the memo line; checks should be mailed to 43 Field Street, Waterbury, CT 06702. We can also accept gifts of appreciated stock, as well as gifts from Individual Retirement Accounts. Gifts to the Second Century Fund also qualify under the IRA Charitable Rollover provision, which allows individuals over age 70 ½ to donate up to $100,000 per year to charitable organizations directly from their Individual Retirement Account (IRA) without treating the distribution as taxable income.
What is Connecticut Community Foundation’s vision for the Second Century Fund?
Looking back on the past hundred years, we are humbled by the trust placed in us by thousands of donors to deploy their gifts where they are needed most in the community. The impact of those gifts—not just when they were made, but over decades—is incalculable. Building on the foundation laid by so many generous neighbors during our first century, gifts to the Second Century Fund will ensure that Connecticut Community Foundation will continue to be able to respond to challenges and meet community needs for the next century and beyond.