Darien Community Fund Donates to Local Nonprofits During Community Investment Award Celebration

The Darien Community Fund (TCF) held its Community Investment Award Celebration on July 14 to recognize its local nonprofit grantees and to show appreciation to the many Investment Review volunteers who gave of their time and expertise to make a real difference in our community.

Thanks to the generous support of its donors, this year the Darien Community Fund (TCF) is awarding $570,000 in community investment grants to 31 nonprofit organizations in Darien, Norwalk and Stamford that focus on basic needs, community health, youth success and workforce development. . Additionally, TCF’s Youth Community Fund High School Service Group awarded $14,500 to 12 nonprofits they selected and vetted while learning about philanthropy and the role of nonprofits. in our region. The event was held at the Darien Community Association.

TCF Community Investment Grants have been awarded to the following local agencies: Abilis, AmeriCares Free Clinics, Boys & Girls Club of Stamford, Building One Community, Carver Community Center, Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County, Child Guidance Center of So. CT, Children’s Learning Centers, Depot Youth Center, Domestic Violence Crisis Center, Domus, Family & Children’s Agency, Family Centers, Filling in the Blanks, Food Rescue US, Future 5, Horizons at NCCS, Inspirica, Kids in Crisis, Laurel House, Liberations Programs, New Covenant Center, Open Doors, Pacific House, Person-to-Person, Rowan Center, Senior Nutrition/Catholic Charities, SilverSource, Stamford Public Education Fund, STAR, Lighting the Way and Women’s Mentoring Network.

The TCF Youth Community Fund held three fundraisers this year that raised nearly $4,000, and an allocation from the TCF along with earmarked donations to the YCF made up the balance of their investment pool of $14,500. , the highest amount in YCF’s 11-year history. YCF students prioritized the needs of food insecurity and homelessness which have been heightened during the pandemic and directed funds to 12 non-profit organizations serving Norwalk and Stamford: Filling in the Blanks, Inspirica , Food Rescue US, New Covenant Center, Open Doors, Building One Community, Children’s Learning Centers, Domestic Violence Crisis Center, Person to Person, Children in Crisis, Liberation Programs and Carver Community Center.

TCF Community Investment Process:

In fall 2020, the TCF Community Board made changes to its investment process to open it up to more nonprofits and learn more about potential new agencies. that could benefit from TCF funding. To be eligible for a grant, all eligible local nonprofit organizations first submitted a letter of application to the TCF in the fall; potential applicants were then asked to complete a full and detailed application due in January.

Eight panels of TCF-trained community investment volunteers (58 in total) bolstered the organization’s extensive due diligence by reviewing applications, then researching and evaluating major grant applicants before making their funding recommendations. The process ensures that donor contributions are invested responsibly where they are needed most, for the greatest efficiency and maximum impact, and that they have measurable impact and lasting benefit. By investing in effective programs and organizations that promote equity and provide long-term support to all local residents, TCF strengthens our entire community.

The community investment review process runs from approximately March 1 to May 1. Each group meets approximately six times, including 2-3 site visits, with an estimated total time of 15-20 hours. The volunteers gained a better understanding of the needs of our local community; those interested in serving next year or to learn more should contact Lisa Haas, Director of Community Investments for TCF, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Through its Youth Community Fund, TCF enables more than 50 high school students to learn the value of philanthropy at their meetings through discussions with local nonprofit leaders and volunteering with various organizations. YCF operates its own Student Community Investment Review Committee, where members select local organizations to apply for a grant. In small groups, they review grant applications and also do a site visit when possible (this year interviews were held virtually due to COVID) to learn more about their assigned agency before presenting to other students. YCF and recommend funding amounts. As a group, they vote to determine which organizations receive funding and how much to allocate.

For more information, please contact the Darien Community Fund office at 203-655-8775 or visit the website at: www.communityfunddarien.org

Jill E. Washington