I had dinner last night with Maryam Elahi, the Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut.
Over many years of interaction with the sister foundation for my state, the Rhode Island Foundation, I’ve become a committed advocate for these philanthropic powerhouses.
Here’s how they work: Anyone—an individual, an organization, a corporation—donates money to the foundation, which invests that money in perpetuity, and distributes the income according to that donor’s priorities. Of course, donors can always make a one-time gift directly to a cause—and thank you on behalf of my own favorite, Southside Community Land Trust. If, though, you set up a fund at your community foundation, directing that fund’s income to benefit (say…) Southside Community Land Trust, then your gift becomes annualized as well as immortal. Over the long term, your aggregate giving gigantically exceeds your original Community Foundation donation.
Fantastic, eh? Indeed!
Back to the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut. Over the four years Maryam has been ED, the Foundation’s endowment has increased by nearly fifty percent—enabling grants of last year of about $6 million! Hundreds of individual grants are funded annually. Truly, if you were to travel through Eastern Connecticut, you would see evidence of the Foundation’s work mile by mile, block by block.
Here’s a new project Maryam was particularly excited about:
The Women & Girls Funds’ first ever report:
The Status of Women and Girls in Eastern Connecticut
The release is tonight!
5:30 to 6:30
376 Hartford Turnpike, Hampton, CT 06247