The Inner-City Foundation for Charity & Education announced today that it will be sharing its entire endowment with Fairfield County non-profits and ceasing operations. The Foundation, founded in 1992, has been in operation for 28 years in Fairfield County, and in that time has granted more than $32 million to local programs and organizations helping needy children, families and individuals.
“We’re pleased to be able to continue our mission by sharing our sizeable endowment with local non-profits especially now, at this time that is difficult for so many,” said Executive Director Karen Barry Schwarz. “And we’re proud of our history in Fairfield County. Our mission has always been to help the neediest local children, families and individuals through both education and critical human services, and we have been able to fund hundreds of local programs that do just that.”
“The Inner-City Foundation for Charity & Education through the extraordinary generosity of its donors has played a major role in providing charitable outreach and educational opportunities in our region,” adds Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, Bishop of Bridgeport and also President of the Foundation. “The Foundation leaves a remarkable legacy of compassion and innovation that has not only served people in need but also empowered them to succeed in their lives through education and other services. Since 1992 the Foundation has supported and shared the mission of the Church to help those who have nowhere else to turn. I am deeply grateful to all those who assisted in this work, which has had a positive and enduring impact on so many lives in Fairfield County.”
The changing financial landscape of Fairfield County, as well as the changing nature of philanthropy, have been factors in the Foundation’s decision to close, says Schwarz.
“We know that the need persists, but donations have become less available,” says Schwarz. “Connecticut corporations – historically our largest donors -- have considerably decreased charitable giving or left the area, and our total charitable giving is down among individual donors. Further, our model has always been to have an annual fundraising gala, and of course we could not do that this year, and that method of fundraising is likely to be challenging in the future.”
Although the Foundation is no longer accepting grant requests, the charity will continue its mission in its final days. Many former grantees will be invited to submit proposals for grant awards; each request will be thoughtfully considered by the Foundation’s Board committees, which will remain in place until all available funds are distributed.
“Especially now, at this critical time when so many are in need, we want to use our remaining assets to fund grants rather than continue to attempt to raise funds in this new and changing environment,” Schwarz said. “Our final assets will be distributed with the same rigorous vetting process we have always used. Our former donors can rest assured that their money will be well and thoughtfully distributed to programs serving the neediest residents of Fairfield County in these final distributions, just as it has always been.”