Eighty years ago, inspired vision and local generosity helped establish a foundation that has grown to become what is now known as the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain. This year, the foundation celebrates both its 80th anniversary, as well as eclipsing $50 million in its endowment, beginning 2021 with more than $53 million in endowed funds.
Those endowed funds are invested by the foundation and produce annual returns that allow the organization to provide nearly $2 million annually for grants to nonprofits and school districts, scholarships to students, sponsorships to organizations, and funding for initiatives to make the communities of Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington a vibrant and better place to work and live. Growth in the endowment also allows donors who have established Donor-Advised Funds with the foundation to make a greater impact with annual grants that can be directed to any nonprofit in the United States.
In preparation for its celebration of the 80th anniversary, the foundation began planning in late 2019 when it formed a planning committee made up of a number of board members and community representatives. They include: Sharon Baretta, Charles Bauer, Mark Bernacki, Gary Brummett, Cori Humes, Nina Jankowski, Rebecca Karabin-Ahern, Barbara Marzi, Janet Mellon, Susan Rathgeber, Donna Rutola, Paul Salina and Robert Scalise. Stanley Black & Decker, one of the foundation’s original founding donors in 1941, agreed to be the Presenting Sponsor of the anniversary and CEO James M. Loree joined foundation Board Chair Paul Zagorsky, a local attorney, as Honorary Co-Chairs of the celebration.
“Throughout the year, the Foundation will be celebrating its long-standing and growing impact in the area. We’re also honoring our organization’s history and the community that generously supported our growth,” noted David Obedzinski, Foundation President. “Through the trust of the community, belief in our mission, and good stewardship, our endowment has grown wonderfully in a short period of time. Since 1990, our endowment has grown from $3 million to $53 million, which has allowed us to make a real difference in our communities. For that we are grateful.”
The foundation will celebrate its anniversary with a series of articles about its history published in local media, on its website and Facebook page. Additionally, a commemorative book will be published in September. To learn about how you can be a sponsor or reserve an ad go to cfgnb.org/80th-anniversary.
Depending on state guidelines during the pandemic, the foundation hopes to hold a reception at the New Britain Museum of American Art on its actual anniversary of Dec. 6.
The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain may be one of the oldest such foundations in the nation, and now it looks forward to the next 80 years and continuing to “Connect Donors Who Care With Causes That Matter.”