Derby Historical Society Aims to Perpetually Preserve the Past by Establishing a $100,000 Fund with the Valley Community Foundation

Derby Historical Society establishes organization fund at VCF.

Derby Historical Society

February 18, 2021 – The Valley Community Foundation (VCF) is pleased to announce the establishment of the Derby Historical Society Organization Fund. This six-figure fund will be invested and managed in a way that will enable the rich history of the Lower Naugatuck Valley to carry on far into the future.

Sharon Closius, VCF President and CEO, said, “It is often said that the soul of a community can be found within its history, and there is so much history in the Valley. We are thrilled to be able to partner with the Derby Historical Society (DHS) and, through this fund, support the organization’s programs so future generations can continue to learn from the region’s incredibly rich past.”

Nonprofit organizations like DHS can establish organization funds with VCF. These types of funds are non-endowed and for investment purposes only. VCF through its partner in philanthropy, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, is able to invest the Society’s reserves in a much larger asset pool. In doing so, a nonprofit is provided with a stable source of distributable revenue over the long term.

As the steward of the Lower Naugatuck Valley region’s colonial past, the DHS promotes that legacy and has taken steps to ensure that those today and far into the future will have the opportunity to explore and enjoy its wonderful story.

Albert “Duke” Misiewicz, Board President, said, “We understand that we occupy temporary roles as stewards for DHS, which, itself, is a small nonprofit. DHS does not have the financial expertise within our organization to manage investments. This is a tremendous benefit as it allows our staff and volunteers to better allocate limited resources and promote local history.”

Daniel L. Bosques, Executive Director, explained, “DHS has been around for a long time and we are lucky our predecessors provided a financial situation that enabled us to create this fund. One of our main objectives is to grow this fund so that we can properly cover the costs associated with keeping our doors open. Over time, we would like to leave members of future DHS Boards with a continuously improving financial position than what we inherited.”

“VCF has a reputation for helping nonprofits in the Valley,” Duke added. “The decision to invest our reserves with VCF is a win-win for everyone involved and represents the direction we want to be heading.”

DHS has a longstanding relationship with VCF. When it came time for the DHS Board of Directors to evaluate the financial future of the Society, it was a natural choice to create an organization fund at VCF. As an investment vehicle, this organization fund aligns with the long-term goals of the Society and allows the organization to accept bequests, non-traditional gifts such as securities, real estate, and life insurance through VCF.

DHS is based out of General David Humphrey’s house on Elm Street in Ansonia. The house was originally constructed in 1698, long before Ansonia, Seymour, and Oxford separated from the City of Derby. For 323 years, there have been logs burning in the fireplace and an open hearth for cooking. Standing the test of time, it is here that DHS holds many of its historic programs and events.

One such program is A Day in 1762, which has run continuously for 40 years and is the backbone of the Society. The program provides fifth-grade students with an opportunity to have a hands-on experience of what life was like back in colonial times for someone their age.

“Just like you pass on your own family stories to gain a better understanding of who you are, the Valley’s colorful past is a great way to foster a sense of pride within our community,” Duke said. “Through this fund, it is our responsibility to preserve the past so that others in the future can share that same appreciation.”

About the Valley Community Foundation

Established in 2004, the Valley Community Foundation (VCF) distributes $1.6 million in grants each year to support the local nonprofit sector and the people it serves. VCF works in strong partnership with The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven (TCF), to promote philanthropy in Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour, and Shelton and receives a majority of its discretionary funding as a result of The Gates Fund and other preference funds at TCF that benefit the Valley. To learn how your gifts of cash, life insurance, appreciated stocks, bonds, real estate, and other assets can help to support the quality of life in the Valley, please visit the website at or contact VCF President, Sharon Closius, at 203-751-9162.