Community Investments

Grantmaking for the Valley Community Foundation (VCF) has truly evolved over the years. Starting in 2005, VCF awarded $2,000, and in 2015, over $1.4 million was awarded to support Valley nonprofits. 

From our small community grants program, to first time grants of $10-$15,000, to comprehensive multiyear grants for projects, capacity building, and general operating support, VCF has made a growing impact in the Valley throughout its ten years of existence. 

These investments have included adult literacy, leveraging federal funds for economic development opportunities, addressing children’s behavioral and mental health and early education, preventing blindness, and ensuring children have safe, fun and educational after-school opportunities. 

The purpose of VCF’s grant program is to fulfill the first part of our mission statement: to make the Valley a better place to live and work, both now and in the future. We do this by supporting the nonprofits that directly and indirectly affect the quality of life for the people in the Valley. 

There are two broad categories of grants: those that are directed by a donor to a particular nonprofit or specific cause, such as grants from Donor Advised, donor designated and scholarship funds; the others are discretionary grants.

With our preference and unrestricted funds, the donor has entrusted the Board of VCF to use its discretion to direct the use of their fund to meet the critical needs of the community.

The Affiliation Agreement with The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven (TCF) outlines an annual transfer of unrestricted funds from TCF to VCF based on their Gates Fund's annual distributable revenue. This substantial donation from TCF becomes part of our discretionary grant pool; since 2004, over $4.7 million has been awarded to Valley nonprofits.

Recognition Grants (2015)

The VCF Board of Directors recognizes the contributions of outstanding individuals and organizations that have been acknowledged for their service to the Valley Community. 

These honorees received a grant in 2015 from the VCF Board to donate to a Valley nonprofit of their choice.

Mary Lou Cook Award - PCRC
Pam Lorenzo - Grant to VNA of South Central CT 

Charles L. Flynn Humanitarian Award - Valley United Way
Ron Villani - Grant to BHcare to support the
Umbrella Program

Gold Seal Awards - Valley Chamber of Commerce

  • Harry Burlakoff (Gold) - Grant to Treasured Time
  • Jimmy Ryan (Platinum) - Grant to Assumption Church
  • Frederick Serra (Gold) - Grant to the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley 
  • Valley Substance Abuse Action Council (Silver) - Grant to Valley Substance Abuse Action Council’s Youth Program Red Watch
  • Robert Van Egghen (Gold) - Grant to TEAM, Inc.

Good Scout Award - Housatonic Boy Scout Council
Iroquois Pipeline - Grant to Valley United Way

Dr. John Ireland Howe Award -Derby Historical Society
Martha Dulla-Andrea - Grant to Derby Historical Society

Raymond P. Laveties Service to Youth Award
William Miller - Grant to Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley

Joseph A.Pagliaro, Sr. Award - PCRC
Carol Pendagast - Grant to Lower Naugatuck Valley Parent Child Resource Center

Women Making a Difference - Valley Women’s Health Initiative

  • Martha Dulla-Andrea - Grant to Valley United Way, Central Connecticut Coast Young Men’s Christian Association, Inc.
  • Antoinetta Hallet - Grant to Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley
  • Anne Miller Lynch - Grant to Assumption School
  • Caroline O’Bar - Grant to BHcare to support the Umbrella Program
  • Sue Petrizzo - Grant to Griffin Hospital Development Fund to support Valley Goes Pink
  • Elizabeth Pisano - Grant to Seymour Ambulance Association
  • Ruth Tuccio - Grant to Pups Without Partners Greyhound Adoption

In Recognition for their Service

  • Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley -in recognition of all the hard work, time, and effort to send Brooke Grand to compete in the National Youth of the Year event.
  • Brooke Grand - winner of the 2015 Connecticut State Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year 
  • Sherrod McNeill - In honor of his receiving the 2015 CT National Distinguished Principal Award 
  • Online Journalism Project - to support the Valley Independent Sentinel, in recognition for the time and effort it gave to The Great Give® 2015, particularly the 36-hour webcast.
  • TEAM, Inc. - In honor of TEAM’s 50th Anniversary

Responsive Grant Program (2015)

VCF’s annual Responsive Grants process is open to all requests for organizational support and projects that serve Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour and/ or Shelton.

These grants are generally awarded to address a nonprofit’s operating, programmatic, or capacity building needs. Grants are awarded through a joint process with our partner in philanthropy, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

Ansonia and Derby Early Childhood Councils Collaborative - To support the implementation of the Ansonia and Derby Early Childhood Councils’ community plans. $40,000

BHcare - To support the design of a Family Justice Center which is a co-location of a multi-disciplinary team of professionals who provide coordinated services to victims of family violence. $10,000

Center Stage Theatre Inc. - To support theatrical lighting upgrades and improvements in the theatre space. $18,000

Derby Historical Society - To support the restoration of the exterior of the General David Humphreys House. $15,000

Healthy Eyes Alliance - To support the Healthy Eyes for Connecticut Kids Project which provides free vision screening, referral and follow up services for preschool
children in the Valley. $16,062

Housatonic Council, Boy Scouts of America - To provide general operating support for scouting program for Valley youth. $30,000

Junior Achievement of Western Connecticut, Inc. - To provide general operating support for programming to give Valley young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. $30,000

New Haven Legal Assistance Association Inc. - To support a school-based legal aid clinic co-located at TEAM/Head Start in the Valley. $8,000

Online Journalism Project Inc. - To support the Valley Independent Sentinel. $40,000

Rape Crisis Center of Milford, Inc. - To provide general operating support for educational programming to end sexual assault and for comprehensive and culturally competent sexual assault victim services. $8,000

Visiting Nurse Services of CT - To support a pilot program in partnership with Griffin Hospital to provide a pre-discharge visit for specifically diagnosed patients from the Valley to enhance transitional care (acute to
home-based healthcare) and to achieve improved measurable health outcomes. $10,000

Donor Advised Grants (2015)

Grants from Donor Advised Funds are approved by the VCF Board of Directors upon the request and with the participation of the Donor. 

Donor Advised Funds are one of the many ways fund holders can advise on an area they are passionate about while partnering with VCF to make an impact.

2015 Donor Advised Grant Recipients:
Ansonia Rescue Medical Services
Area Congregations Together, Inc.
Birthright of Greater New Haven
Boy Scout Troop 3 Derby
Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley
Charlotte’s Web of Prayer
Christ Episcopal Church
Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE)
Clark Memorial Library
Connecticut Forest & Park Association
Connecticut Hospice, Inc.
Derby Historical Society
Derby Public Library
Derby Public Schools
Ephemera Society of America, LLC
Friends of the Ansonia Library
Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce
Griffin Hospital
Housatonic Council, Boy Scouts of America
IRIS - Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services
Kids for Kids, Dancing for Life
Long Hill Burial Ground Ltd.
Long Wharf Theatre
Lower Naugatuck Valley Parent Child Resource Center
Mishkan Israel Day Camp
National Right to Work Legal Defense and
 Education Foundation, Inc.
Read to Grow
Recreation Camp Inc.
Seymour High School-Student Awards
Shelton High School-Student and Teacher Awards
Shelton Historical Society, Inc.
St. Lawrence School
St. Vincent de Paul Society of Shelton, Inc.
Susanna Wesley School
TEAM, Inc.
The American Legion
The Foundation School
University of New Hampshire
University of New Haven
Valley Breast Health Care Fund
Valley Parish Nurse Program
Valley Shakespeare Festival
Valley United Way
Visiting Nurse Association of South Central Connecticut
Women’s Business Development Council
Working Lands Alliance

Community Grants (2015)

This application process recognizes smaller, volunteer or neighborhood groups with grant awards of up to $2,500.

Annual Thanksgiving Basket Committee - To support the purchase of perishable and non-perishable food items for distribution of Thanksgiving baskets to 50 families in need. $2,500

Ansonia High School Quilting and Sewing Charity Club - To support AHS students in the creation of quilts for charity. $1,000

Ansonia High School Class of 2018 Advisory - To support the AHS Class of 2018 to work with an organization, to develop and implement a community service proposal, and to showcase their efforts at an end of the year celebration. $2,500

Ansonia School Readiness - To support the cost of a kick-off event for Kindergarten registration in Ansonia. $1,600

City of Derby, Bureau of Youth Services - To support the Juvenile Board Supportive Education Program. $2,500

College Access for All Kids, Inc. - To support a college campus tour for 45 to 50 middle/high school students from Ansonia. $2,500

Colonial Youth Football and Cheer - To support the purchase of new uniforms and gear for the Colonial Eagles Inspiration (Special Needs) Cheer Team. $2,500

Derby Historical Society - To support a one week summer day camp with a focus on local, state, and national history for ages 6-15. $1,500

Friends of the Derby Neck Library - To support the artistic and creative experiences of children in the Valley in the summer. $1,500

North Star - To support the cost of North Star’s Annual Picnic in late June/July, North Star’s Annual Holiday Party and North Star’s monthly meetings. These events are for families throughout the Valley who have children/
adults with disabilities. $2,500

Oil Drum Art, Inc. - To support valley students who will paint prepped recycled 55 gallon oil drums with historical themes from their towns. $2,500

Seymour Historical Society - To support the purchase of seven museum quality room darkening shades for the museum. $1,695

Southford Falls Quilt Guild - To support the cost of “Saturday Sews” which teaches techniques for members to produce themed quilts that when completed will be donated to local nonprofits. $2,500

Valley Deaf Club - To support the deaf/hard of hearing community by providing assistance for a recreational softball program and opportunities for social gatherings. $2,500

Youth 2 Youth Peer Advocates - To support the cost of sending as many high school students as possible to the Youth 2 Youth National conference in RI. The Conference focuses on four areas with a comprehensive approach: drug education and information, personal growth, decision making environmental change and
drug free fun. $2,500

Needs and Opportunities Grants (2015)

In 2015, VCF made grants between $250 to $10,000 which contributed to and supported nonprofits and organizations serving the Valley community. 

The Needs and Opportunities grants, formerly known as the Revolving Response grants, are designed to promptly address the needs of our nonprofits through a simplified application process.

Area Congregations Together, Inc. - To support the replacement of a freezer unit and ice machine for the Spooner House kitchen. $5,368

Beacon Falls Congregational Church - To support the construction costs of a handicap-accessible bathroom, which will be ADA compliant. $5,000

Christ Episcopal Church - To support the Samela Food Pantry. $5,000

Derby Neck Library - To support new furniture, repairs and renovations to the Children’s Room. $6,450

Friends of the Ansonia Library - To support the restoration of the mosaic tile flooring in the main entrance of the library. $1,312

Junior Achievement of Western Connecticut, Inc. - To support the cost of hiring a consultant to conduct a comprehensive internal assessment of current development programs. $2,200

Lower Naugatuck Valley Parent Child Resource Center - To support the development of a new logo and website. $5,000

Moving With Health Oriented Physical Education, Inc. - To support consultant costs for a website redesign and a digital communications plan. $4,000

Naugatuck YMCA - To support the cost to replace the boiler to heat the pool, youth room, locker rooms, hot tubs and air handling unit. $2,500

Oxford Ambulance Association - To support the purchase of a SimMan Essential patient simulation training manikin. $6,890

Read to Grow - To support literacy services for families living in The Valley region. $9,500

Salvation Army, Greater Valley Corps - To support the food pantry. $10,000

Shelton Historical Society, Inc. - To support the costs to stabilize and support restoration efforts to the water damaged Brownson House. $10,000

Storm Engine Company Ambulance Corps, Inc. - To support the purchase of a thermal imaging camera. $6,114

TEAM, Inc. - To support the hiring of a consultant to help develop and produce a 3-5 year strategic plan. $4,000

United Methodist Homes - To support the Music & Memory program at Wesley Village. $4,320

Valley Parish Nurse Program - To support the annual Children’s Health & Safety Fair, a “Distracted Driving” prom program, bike safety events and free screenings (A1c & Cholesterol) at Ansonia Day. $5,190

Wesley Heights, Inc. - To support assisted living
services to low income elderly residents of the Middle Court Apartments. $10,00

Sponsorship Grants (2015)

Nonprofit organizations can apply for support from VCF for up to $2,500 for special events, especially those events that inform the community of a particular issue.

American Legion, John Collins Post 24 - To sponsor one boy and one girl from Derby High School for the Boys/Girls State Program. $600

American Legion Post #174 - To sponsor one boy and one girl from Oxford for the Boys/Girls State Program. $600

Ansonia High School PTSO - To sponsor the Ansonia Post Prom event. $750

Area Congregations Together, Inc. - To sponsor the 18th Annual Walk for the Hungry and Homeless. $1,000

Association of Fundraising Professionals - Fairfield County Chapter - To sponsor the annual National Philanthropy Day. $800

Assumption Church - To sponsor the 2015-2016
season of Sundays at Five musical series. $1,000


  • To sponsor the Greater Valley Substance Abuse Action Council’s 25th anniversary conference. $1,000
  • To sponsor the 27th Annual Bowl-2-Benefit the Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services. $2,000
  • To sponsor the holiday gala “A Magical Evening…an Evening of Magic, Music, and More”. $1,000

Boy Scout Troop 3 Derby - To sponsor the 91st
Annual Scout Gang Show. $250

Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley

  • To sponsor the John “Red” Larsen Golf Classic. $500
  • To sponsor the 14th Commodore Hull Thanksgiving Day 5K Road Race. $2,500

Celebrate Shelton

  • To sponsor the Shelton Community Tree Lighting at the Shelton Veterans Memorial Park. $1,000
  • To sponsor the “Downtown Sounds” Summer Community Concert Series at Shelton’s Veteran Memorial Park. $1,500

Center Stage Theatre. Inc. - To sponsor the annual Teen Musical Theatre Workshop. $1,000

Connecticut Partnership for Children Inc. - To sponsor the Diaper Dash 5K and Kids Fun Run. $500

Derby High School PTO - To sponsor the Derby High School Post Prom event. $750

Derby Historical Society

  • To sponsor the 25th Annual Appeal. $850
  • To sponsor the Annual Silver Tea. $500

Emil Singer Post 10 American Legion - To sponsor one boy and one girl from Seymour to attend the American Legion Boy’s State and Girl’s State programs. $600

Family and Children’s Aid - To sponsor the 2015 Kids Cup Annual Golf Fundraiser. $500

Griffin Hospital - To sponsor the annual gala. $1,000

Housatonic Council, Boy Scouts of America - To sponsor the annual Scouting for Food Drive. $2,500

Junior Achievement of Western Connecticut, Inc. - To sponsor the 30th Annual “Bowl for Kids” Bowl-A-Thon. $500

The Kidnetic Clubhouse 

  • To sponsor a Family Fun Day Mini Museum event. $500
  • To sponsor a Parent’s Play Date. $500
Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven


  • To sponsor the 2015 Scrabble Challenge. $1,000

Lower Naugatuck Valley Parent Child
Resource Center

  • To sponsor the Annual Awards Dinner. $500
  • To sponsor the 2nd Annual Food Trucks in the Valley. $700
  • To sponsor Pedal for PCRC. $1,000
  • To sponsor the 16th Annual “Fore! The Children” Golf Tournament. $500

The Mary A. Schmecker Turtle Shell Fund

  • To sponsor “In Love and Chocolate”. $250
  • To sponsor the Soupstock Music and Arts Festival. $500

Moving With Health Oriented Physical Education, Inc. - To sponsor CT Bike For HOPE. $500

Oxford Cultural Arts Commission - To sponsor
Oxford’s FACE (Festival of Arts, Culture and
Entertainment). $500

Oxford Freedom Run Committee - To sponsor the 7th Annual 5K Run 2 mile walk and children’s Rock Hopper Fun Run. $1,500

Oxford High School Booster Club, Inc.

  • To sponsor the Oxford High School post prom event. $750
  • To sponsor a back to school movie night. $750

Seymour Christmas Parade Association - To sponsor the Seymour Christmas Parade. $1,000

Seymour Founders’ Day Association Inc. - To sponsor the 6th Annual Seymour Founders’ Day. $2,500

Seymour High School Post Prom - To sponsor the Seymour High School Post Prom event. $750

Seymour Historical Society - To sponsor eight
programs presented by the Seymour Historical
Society Educational Series. $2,500

Seymour Oxford Rotary Club - To sponsor a fall
fundraiser benefitting area nonprofits. $500

Seymour Pink, Inc. - To sponsor the 4th Annual
Pounding The Pavement for Pink 5K Run. $2,500

Seymour Public Schools - To sponsor Champion of Choices, an anti-bullying program at Seymour High School and Seymour Middle School. $2,500

Seymour Tradition, Inc. - To sponsor Smoke in the Valley 2015 on October 2nd and 3rd in downtown Seymour. $2,500

Shelton Exchange Club Foundation, Inc.

  • To sponsor the Annual Charity Golf Event. $500
  • To sponsor the 4th Annual Charity Indoor Mini Golf Tournament. $500

Shelton High School PTSO - To sponsor the annual Shelton High School post prom event. $750

Shelton High School Robotics Team - To sponsor the CT FIRST Lego League Robotics Qualifying Tournament Competition. $1,000

St. Joseph High School

  • To sponsor the annual St. Joseph High School Post Prom event. $750
  • To sponsor the St. Joseph High School Hall of Fame induction ceremony. $500

St. Lawrence School - To sponsor a presentation about internet safety for students and parents. $500
St. Mary’s Church - To support the cost of purchasing a tent for the Summer Festival. $2,500

TEAM, Inc.

  • To sponsor the 8th Annual Men Who Cook fundraiser. $1,000
  • To sponsor the 50th Anniversary Gala Celebration. $1,000

Treasured Time - To sponsor the Extra Innings Softball Marathon with the Bridgeport Bluefish. $500

United Methodist Homes - To sponsor the Wesley Village 5k Annual Road Race and Fun Walk. $250

Valley Breast Health Care Fund - To sponsor the
Women Who Make a Difference event. $1,000

Valley Council for Health and Human Services -
To sponsor the Annual Meeting. $500

Valley Parent University - To sponsor the Valley Parent University at Derby High School. $1,000

Valley Shakespeare Festival - To sponsor four free performances of Shakespeare in the Park: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Veteran’s Memorial Park. $2,500

Valley United Way

  • To sponsor the Annual Meeting, Community Gala, Campaign Underwriter Kickoff, and Harvest House. $3,500
  • To sponsor the High School Volunteer Council’s Community Family Fun Day. $2,000
  • To sponsor the first Community Gala. $1,000

Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center -
To sponsor the 2nd Annual VITAHLS Healthy
Cooking Competition. $500

Central Connecticut Coast YMCA - To sponsor the Valley YMCA 7th Annual Sunset 5K and 2 Mile Fitness Walk. $2,500


253-A Elizabeth Street
Derby, Connecticut 06418


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