Holiday Giving Tips

As you go about your holiday shopping, don’t forget about the men, women and children in our community who are struggling. Give a gift of love. Support a non-profit that serves our community's most vulnerable every day and that makes our community a great place to call home.

1. Give locally.

Local nonprofits, especially those in the social service and mental health areas, are facing unprecedented challenges from reductions in state funding and shifts in national policies. According to the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy (CCP), the adopted state budget is already in a deficit. Budget obligations of pensions and health care for retirees will continue to grow, leaving less and less for critical needs like education, municipal support and the many programs that create a social safety net for Connecticut's residents.

CCP provides a directory of community foundations that cover the entire state. Community foundations work closely with individuals and nonprofits within the communities they serve to improve the quality of life for people in their geographic area.

2. Give wisely.

To determine a nonprofit's transparency and effectiveness, an informed donor will consider an organization’s overall impact in addition to expense ratios. You can find data to guide your decision-making on the following sites:

Home of The Great Give®,® is a resource for learning and giving to nonprofits serving central Connecticut. lists 400 nonprofit profiles; the site is free for nonprofits and provided by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven in partnership with Guidestar.

The Connecticut Data Collaborative: a public-private partnership working to increase the quality and availability of data for effective planning and policy. Their website data portal contains over 135 datasets. DataHaven is a hub for local information that collects, interprets and shares public data for effective decision-making. It works with many partners to develop reports, tools and technical assistance programs that make information more useful to local communities. Its largest project is the DataHaven Community Wellbeing Survey, which produces information on quality of life, public health, economic development and civic vitality for more than 100 partners throughout Connecticut and sections of nearby states. 

3. Give without strings.

After choosing a nonprofit you like, make an unrestricted gift. Unrestricted donations enable the nonprofit to use the money where it’s needed the most. 

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Tracking Our Wellbeing

Community Progress Report 2016

Three years ago we introduced Calibrating the Community: Data to Strengthen Greater New Haven (2013) to further our collective understanding of how people within our region are doing and how our region is doing as a whole. The Community Progress Report (2016) continues this ongoing work. Using the latest economic, demographic, educational, health and well-being data, this report provides benchmarks that identify strengths to build on and challenges that need to be addressed.