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(NORWALK, CT) Underscoring their commitment to collaboratively support public agencies and non-profit organizations striving to close education, workforce and other opportunity gaps in Connecticut, the founding members of the Collective Impact Opportunity Fund today announced the initial distribution of grants from the Fund — bestowing $1,032,000 to 10 organizations serving the region.

The Fund was established in June 2019 by four Connecticut-based family foundations and one of the state’s largest community foundations: Be Foundation, Dalio Philanthropies, The Per & Astrid Heidenreich Family Foundation, Ritter Family Foundation and Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. Through the Collective Impact Opportunity Fund, funders align their financial resources, expertise, and networks to work together with non-profit, business, and government leaders in making grants to help realize the tremendous potential of Connecticut residents from cradle to career. The founders are each committed to the long-term vision of the Fund and have committed more than $1.6 million in funding to date.

Grants from the Collective Impact Opportunity Fund, to support specific initiatives as well as general operating resources, were made based on the recommendations of the founding members to:

  • The Carver Foundation of Norwalk: general operating support, as recommended by Be Foundation, Dalio Philanthropies, and The Per & Astrid Heidenreich Family Foundation
  • DOMUS Kids, Inc.: general operating support, as recommended by Be Foundation
  • Family & Children’s Agency of Norwalk: general operating support, as recommended by The Per & Astrid Heidenreich Family Foundation
  • New Classrooms Innovation Partners: Norwalk High School implementation, research practice partnership, as recommended by the Be Foundation
  • Norwalk ACTS: general operating support, as recommended by Be Foundation, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, and The Per & Astrid Heidenreich Family Foundation
  • Norwalk Hospital Foundation: Center for Advanced Learning, as recommended by Be Foundation
  • Norwalk Public Schools: Springboard Initiative, P-Tech (Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools) Summer program, as recommended by Ritter Family Foundation
  • RISE Network: general operating support, as recommended by Be Foundation, The Per & Astrid Heidenreich Family Foundation, and Ritter Family Foundation
  • Stepping Stones Museum for Children: Camp ELLI, as recommended by Ritter Family Foundation
  • Teach for America Connecticut: general operating support, as recommended by The Per & Astrid Heidenreich Family Foundation.

“Together, these grants from the Collective Impact Opportunity Fund benefit thousands of young people across Connecticut,” said Juanita James, President & CEO of the Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. “Non-profit organizations, schools and communities are working incredibly hard to close opportunity gaps for youth and their families, and we’re thrilled to work alongside them and provide resources to achieve this noble mission. These initial grants demonstrate what we can accomplish when philanthropists work together with schools, communities and non-profits.”

In partnership with local community stakeholders and other experts, participating funders will collaborate with grantees to make progress toward the shared mission of closing opportunity gaps affecting children, youth and families in Connecticut. The Fund has an invitation-only grant application process and does not accept unsolicited letters of inquiry or proposals.

“The Carver Foundation of Norwalk is grateful to be among the initial beneficiaries of the visionary Collective Impact Opportunity Fund within Fairfield County’s Community Foundation,” said Novelette Peterkin, Chief Executive Officer, The Carver Foundation of Norwalk. “The Fund’s founding members are each deeply appreciated by and known to the Carver community. Together, along with the Fund’s other beneficiaries who value collective impact, the aligned funding and intent to work collaboratively with grantees to develop common applications, performance measures and reporting will enable us to focus on delivering ever better systems and programs for our young people.”

The Collective Impact Opportunity Fund is managed as a field of interest fund at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, where the Fund’s contributing foundations and individual donors will benefit from access to the Community Foundation’s vast mission-aligned network, knowledge of the region’s nonprofit landscape, and efficient administrative services.

Additional philanthropic-minded individuals and organizations interested in contributing to the Fund should contact Mike Rosen, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, 203-750-3200 or

About Fairfield County’s Community Foundation  

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation promotes philanthropy as a means to create change in Fairfield County, focusing on innovative and collaborative solutions to critical issues impacting the community. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds or contribute to existing funds. The Community Foundation is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards and has awarded over $220 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. As a trusted nonprofit partner and thought leader, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation brings together community organizers, business experts and philanthropists to close the opportunity gap. Our goal is to create a vital and inclusive community, where every individual has the opportunity to thrive. Learn more at and follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIN. #TogetherWeThrive 

Media Contact:

Helen L. Koven
Helen L. Koven, LLC
(203) 273-4410