In 1969, the Council was started as the Coordinating Council for Foundations, serving the Greater Hartford community, by Jack Riege of the Knox Foundation, William Connelly of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Sam Fuller with the Answorth Foundation at Hartford National Bank, Bill Graulty at Connecticut Bank & Trust Company, Allyn Bernard of United Bank, Dick Suisman of the Suisman Foundation, and Jerry Bartholomew of the Howard and Bush Foundation.
They were quickly joined by the Barnes Foundation, the Auerbach Foundation, the Koopman and Schiro Funds, the Hartford Courant Foundation and the Hartford National Bank.
Bob Merriman was the organization's Executive Director, and the first-year budget was $25,000 funded by grants from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the founding foundations.
Their foresight in seeing the need for such an organization was rewarded when, shortly thereafter, the Tax Reform Act of 1969 was signed into law by President Nixon as a response to reports of foundation misuses of business holdings, failures to distribute funds for charitable purposes, self-dealing and other abuses. The act had a major impact on private philanthropy. It introduced a new classification system that sharply distinguished between ‘private foundations' and other charitable organizations. For private foundations it also introduced a new regulatory system, new regulatory sanctions, a new tax on investment income and new restrictions on the deductibility of property gifts.
The newly created Council enabled its members to act as a group to make sure that negative observations of the foundation field would not apply to them, and that requests for funding would be answered quickly and equitably. In 1997, with support from the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, the United Way of Greater New Haven and others, the Council expanded to serve Greater New Haven, and in 1999, the Council changed its name to the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, recognizing its statewide service.
Despite all the changes over the years, some things remain the same. The public sector is still calling for accountability and transparency for private foundations and CCP is still providing a voice for philanthropy and a place where funders learn from each other and work together to promote and support effective philanthropy for the public good.
1. CCP designed and executed the first “philanthropy conference” in CT, an all-day event that included a combined seven workshops, presentations and seminars. Over 250 participants including CEOs, staff, and board members from grantmakers state-wide. It was rated “excellent” or “good” by 94% of attendees and produced a budget surplus due to strong underwriting and conference fees.
3. During the year the President of CCP left, as did two other staff, resulting in a leadership transition period of several months. The board managed this short-term challenge while conducting a national search for a new president. CCP accomplished all of its goals for the year and ended the year with an operating surplus of approximately seven percent.
Goals for 2017
1. To complete the national search, hire and support the transition from the interim president to a new president (chief executive), and continue to meet the needs of CCP members by supporting funder affinity groups and a schedule of programs and meetings.
2. The board of directors will establish a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. It will develop programs and related activities to give the field of philanthropy in CT an opportunity to respond to national issues, as well as provide CCP members with information and guidance to affect their own policies and practices, and grantmaking objectives.
3. CCP has a goal to increase membership income by $25,000 (10-12 new members), while maintaining grants and sponsorship support from members during a year of leadership transition.
CCP is connected to a national network of “regional associations of grantmakers” that represents more than 7,000 philanthropies. This connection provides CCP’s members with access to a wealth of resources, ideas, best practices, and inspirational work being done by fellow grantmakers on a host of issues and projects. The essence of CCP’s mission is to provide the field of philanthropy with a means to advance goals for the greater good. In that sense, we help funders to go beyond the results that a single grantmaker can obtain and participate in a collaborative approach that leverages resources and combines funding to get more done. Funders often challenge nonprofits they support to partner with peer organizations to accomplish more and CCP provides the same opportunity for funders. The CCP staff are very engaged with their peers across the country through conferences, webinars, etc., and use these resources and connections to enhance the fundamental services and programs that they provide to members in Connecticut.
My colleagues on the board of directors represent member organizations of CCP. Our service as volunteers on the board goes beyond the basic desire to contribute to an excellent organization. Our board represents several different kinds of grantmakers from different parts of the state with a wide variety of interests. We learn from each other and contribute to each other’s own organizational goals – both directly and indirectly. We share an overall determination to see private philanthropy grow, and to see our funding make a difference in the nonprofit community. Philanthropies are in a rare position to collaborate instead of compete to solve problems and serve the needs of our communities. The challenge for CCP is to convince more grantmakers in our state to participate with us in this endeavor. More of our peers need to experience the power of collaboration and the effectiveness of pulling knowledge, experience and resources together for the common good. We want to prove to more of our colleagues and peers that CCP is the voice of philanthropy in CT, and the venue for broad and sustaining success for our work.
1.Challenges: During the year the President of CCP left, as did two other staff, resulting in a leadership transition period of several months. The board managed this short-term challenge while conducting a national search for a new president. CCP accomplished all of its goals for the year and ended the year with an operating surplus of approximately seven percent.
1. Opportunity: The Working Cities Challenge initiative was proposed to be expanded to Connecticut by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. CCP was asked to serve as fiscal sponsor to expedite the management of state-wide grants and donations raised, plus the commitment from the State of Connecticut. This enabled the state to participate and benefit from a project that will total $3.25 million over four years and help stimulate economic development collaboratives in several small post-industrial cities.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
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