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.

Connecticut Hospice House To Be Built With The Help of Fundraising

There can never be enough hospice care in this country, and the Center for Hospice Care will soon be building another facility. The center announced a fundraising campaign that will build a 12-room hospice care facility in Eastern Connecticut called Hospice House.

The project will break ground later this year, and will be completed and occupied in late 2017. This $7.5 million project will be built next door to the Dunham Street facility of the Center for Hospice Care of Southeastern Connecticut. The facility be created on 7.5 acres of land that have been given to the nonprofit by the St. Peter and Paul Church.

Gianni DiMeglio

Connecticut Hospice House will be built with the help of fundraising efforts.

The community was missing a center like this, so this project will be an promising way to make a genuine change. Many people have been waiting for a hospice facility like this for years, as in Eastern Connecticut, the only freestanding hospice care facilities are currently in Danbury and Branford. This means that hospice patients and visiting family members often have to make long trips to get to these facility. Hospice House is a great step in working to make it easier for families to see their loved ones in Eastern Connecticut. 

The steering committee has raised $5.5 million through behind-the-scenes fundraising, and they still have $2 million more to go. The team won’t begin building the facility until all of the money is available.

Some of the funds already pledged include $2 million in state bond funding. This funding is secured through the efforts of local legislators like State Senators Cathy Osten (D-Sprague), and Paul Formica (R-East Lyme). Also included and Representatives Kevin Ryan (D-Montville), Kathleen McCarty (R-Waterford), and John Scott (R-Groton).

About $6 million will be spent on construction, and $1.5 million will be dedicated to five-year start-up costs. Large donations in the form of pledges can be made to help pay these costs, and the donations can be made over a period of five years. Because the center is relying on these donations, the center will use a bridge loan mortgage during the time period while pledges are being redeemed. Through a five year start-up period, the center will pay down interest on the mortgage while simultaneously working to reach full capacity in terms of patients. Hospice House will serve over 800 patients annually with all twelve of its suites in service.

One of the ways that the steering committee intends to raise funds is by offering naming rights to several parts of the completed building. Norwich Mayor Deb Hinchey is thrilled to see this project take place. Hinchey’s father died in hospice, and she believes hospice is a crucial place to help people feel comfortable when death cannot occur at home.

The facility will have the feel of a home rather than a hospital or nursing home. It will have a bright and spacious living room in its center, a peaceful chapel, a playroom for visiting children, cozy library and a dining area. Hospice House is just the facility that this community needed.

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.