The Valley Community Foundation Turns 20!

The Valley Community Foundation (VCF) celebrates two decades of philanthropic impact on February 14, 2024.

DERBY, CT — The Valley Community Foundation (VCF) will celebrate its 20th Anniversary on February 14, 2024. Established in 2004, VCF has been a pillar of philanthropy in the Valley region, making significant contributions to local nonprofits and the communities it serves.

"This milestone is a testament to the unwavering dedication of our donors, community partners, volunteers, and the entire VCF team,” said Sharon Closius, VCF’s President and CEO. “For 20 years, we’ve been privileged to serve the Valley community, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to making the Valley a better place for all. VCF's impact on the region has been profound, and we are committed to continuing our work to create positive change for years to come.”

Since 2004, VCF has distributed more than $24.3 million in grants, directly benefiting numerous local nonprofits and community initiatives. These grants have played a vital role in strengthening the fabric of the Valley region and improving the lives of its residents.

In addition to its grantmaking initiatives, VCF has taken on a leadership role in the region by using its resources and data-driven strategies to tackle various issues facing the Valley.

"It's incredible to see how far the Valley Community Foundation has come since its inception,” said James “Jimmy” Ryan, a founding VCF board member. “We had a vision back then, and today that vision has transformed into a thriving force for good in the Valley communities. I'm honored to have been part of this incredible journey, and I'm excited to see what the future holds for VCF as it continues to make a difference in our region."

VCF was established in February 2004 by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven (TCF) in collaboration with numerous community leaders from the Valley. In the last twenty years, TCF has provided more than $18.2 million to VCF from its Valley preference funds, such as the Gates Fund.

“Starting with our work together to create VCF twenty years ago, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven has worked with our Valley partners to grow the scale and impact of Valley philanthropy,” said Will Ginsberg, TCF’s President and CEO. “Serving the five towns of the Lower Naugatuck Valley is central to our mission, and we do so through our affiliation with VCF.”

“VCF has succeeded even beyond our hopes of two decades ago. It is a powerful force for good and is building the community endowment that will brighten lives in the Valley far into the future,” Ginsberg said. “It is also fulfilling the intent of the Gates brothers and other generous Valley donors. We are deeply proud of all that VCF is accomplishing and extend our congratulations to VCF and all its supporters on this anniversary.”

VCF invites the community to join in the celebration of this momentous occasion with cake and camaraderie on February 14, 2024 -- 1pm to 4pm -- at its Derby headquarters at 253-A Elizabeth Street. If visitors are fasting for Ash Wednesday, staff will have to-go-boxes so cake can be taken home. More celebrations will take place throughout the year, including during a joint VCF-TCF Board of Directors meeting sometime in the spring, and during VCF’s Annual Meeting on May 15.

About the Valley Community Foundation: Established in 2004, each year the Valley Community Foundation (VCF) distributes approximately $2 million in grants that support local nonprofits and people they serve. In addition to grantmaking, 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 funding from The Gates Fund and other preference funds at TCF that benefit the Valley. For more information, visit Valley Community Foundation, 253-A Elizabeth Street, Derby CT, 06418. Office: (203) 751-9162.