Hartford Foundation to Offer Aid to Nonprofits Affected by State Budget Cuts

As you likely already know, Connecticut is in the midst of a state budget crisis. As a result of the major budget cuts that have been made in its fallout, many nonprofits in this state are now struggling to stay afloat without the financial lifeline that has enabled them to keep their heads above water in the past. In a true embodiment of the Connecticut way, however, The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has stepped forward to offer an additional $1,000,000 to the nonprofits they work with in order to provide a vital source of funding to nonprofits whose missions help untold residents of Connecticut each and every day.

This decision came after the foundation conducted a four-day survey of their 330 active nonprofit grantees to find out how severely state budget cuts had impacted their organizations. The results of this survey were nothing short of heartbreaking; 23% of their grantees responded to it, and many of them reported losses of a whopping $50,000 to $200,000 in funding, resulting in a full 74% of those organizations stating that they would have to either reduce their services as a result or shut their doors entirely. And while 83% reported that they’d be focusing heavily on fundraising efforts to make ends meet, the Foundation recognized immediately that something had to give if these nonprofits were to continue providing necessary services and outreach here in Connecticut.

So, then, according to Judy Rozie-Battle, the Foundation’s senior vice president for community investments, the foundation will be pulling an extra million dollars from its own general grant making budget to bolster these organizations’ fundraising efforts. To determine the order and amount in which grantees get extra funding, the Foundation will begin by bucketing their nonprofit grantees based on mission. The first line of support will be donated to those organizations that offer critical assistance to Connecticut’s underserved in the form of housing and food. Once those organizations have been accounted for, mental health services, education, the arts and economic development will be next on the agenda. Unfortunately, though, it looks like the money will not stretch far enough to also administer financial aid to drug abuse programs and juvenile justice programs, two areas that offer irreplaceable resources to those who very much need help. This is especially concerning in light of the fact that we are in the middle of a national opioid crisis, and cutting substance abuse treatment programs will undoubtedly lead to more addiction and less support for those who are looking to kick this life-destroying habit.

The mere fact that The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has made this pledge speaks volumes about the strength of the Connecticut community. All Connecticut residents should consider donating to nonprofits in our state who need our help now more than ever; every little bit counts.

Gillespie Estate Forms $100 Million Trust for CT Nonprofits

Big news for Connecticut nonprofits: the estate of Stamford residents Kingsley Gillespie and his son, Kenyon Gillespie, announced on April 1st of this year that they have founded a charitable trust worth $100 million that will be distributed among a number of non-profit organizations in the region. This initiative is in keeping with a history of the Gillespies investing time and money into their community; Kingsley was the publisher of two Connecticut newspapers, The Advocate and Greenwich Times, as well as the owner of a Stamford radio station, WSTC-AM. He was also a founding trustee and the VP of the Stamford Hospital Foundation. His son, Kenyon, worked as a private investor, managing the inheritance he received from his father with the express intention of offering financial support to the charities his father was passionate about, until his death in March of this year. So, then, it’s only fitting that the Gillespies’ legacy will continue to be one of giving back.

The first gift made on behalf of the Gillespie trust was a truly impressive donation to Stamford Hospital in the amount of $50 million – the largest single donation the hospital has received in its 120 years of existence. This money will surely go to great use, as Stamford Hospital has always been, and continues to be, an institution that embraces innovation at every possible turn. For example, the fact that Stamford Hospital is the only healthcare provider in Connecticut to have implemented the EndoChoice Full Spectrum Endoscopy System, or FUSE, a new colonoscopy system that has three cameras, instead of the usual one. This system is a vast improvement on the systems of the past, as tripling the number of cameras allows doctors to view a 330 degree image, as opposed to the traditional 170 degrees, thereby making it easier to identify problems that would likely have gone undetected in the past. The fact that Stamford Hospital is such an early adopter of this exciting new technology speaks volumes about the institution’s dedication to innovation, making it a worthy recipient of the Gillespies’ generous gift.

Other Connecticut-based nonprofit organizations that have been named as beneficiaries of the Gillespie trust include The Rotary Club of Stamford and The First Presbyterian Church of Stamford, both of which will receive 10 percent of the income earned by the trust on an annual basis.