William W. Ginsberg to retire in late 2024 from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
Longtime Foundation President and CEO leaves legacy of growth, innovation and leadership.
New Haven, Conn. ( November 20, 2023) — William W. (Will) Ginsberg, longtime President and CEO of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, has announced that he will retire in November 2024 after more than 24 years in his position.
The Foundation’s Board of Directors has formed a committee to begin the search process for Ginsberg’s successor, and recently hired the executive search firm, Koya Partners. The search committee, chaired by The Foundation’s vice chair, Fernando Muñiz, plans extensive outreach to the community as part of the search process. In addition to Muñiz, search committee members include current Board members Marcella Nunez-Smith, Greg Pepe and Valarie Shultz Wilson and former Board chair, Khalilah Brown-Dean.
The Community Foundation has grown dramatically during Ginsberg’s tenure, with almost $600 million contributed to The Foundation over the last 23 years. Today, The Foundation’s total assets are $710 million, up from $225 million at the end of 2000, and The Foundation provides more than $30 million annually to hundreds of local nonprofit organizations.
“The Foundation has grown by understanding our community and by responding in new and innovative ways to its challenges and opportunities,” says Professor Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, MHS, chair of The Foundation’s Board of Directors. “As we have grown, The Foundation has taken on a true leadership role in Greater New Haven. Will’s many years at The Foundation have been a time of growth, innovation and leadership. This will be his legacy at The Foundation.”
The Foundation is not only much larger but is also a very different institution today than it was when Ginsberg assumed the CEO position in 2000. Among its many innovations are the following:
- The Foundation’s annual 36-hour, online giving event, The Great Give, results in tens of thousands of gifts to more than 500 local nonprofits.
- Beyond its grantmaking and capacity building support, The Foundation strengthens the finances of local nonprofits by providing investment management services to approximately 150 local organizations.
- The Foundation has played a leadership role in helping to create, sustain and grow important new local institutions, including New Haven Independent, New Haven Promise and ConnCAT/ConnCORP.
- The Valley Community Foundation, established as The Foundation’s affiliate twenty years ago in partnership with Valley community leaders, has greatly strengthened and enhanced community philanthropy in the Lower Naugatuck Valley.
- The Foundation invests in and makes grants to local for-profit companies through its Mission Investment Company (MIC) established in 2017. Through the New Haven Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem initiative, MIC is supporting hundreds of local entrepreneurs of color and women entrepreneurs in their business ventures.
- Since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, The Foundation has strengthened its leadership role through its Stepping Forward initiative, advancing racial equity in our community in new ways and greatly expanding grantmaking to meet the extraordinary challenges of recent years.
“In the past few years, Will has set a bold new vision for The Foundation, putting Opportunity + Equity at the center of all that we do,” says Dr. Nunez-Smith. “This vision is transforming how we work and who we serve.”
“The joy and privilege of my years at The Community Foundation has been the opportunity to connect every day with so many local people who care deeply about our community,” says Ginsberg, “This is a wonderful community with a bright future, and the work of philanthropy brings out the best in us. I am very proud of the ways The Foundation is building an ever more connected, inclusive, equitable and philanthropic community in Greater New Haven.”
Ginsberg’s community leadership roles extend beyond his work at The Foundation. He serves on the boards of numerous organizations including New Haven Promise, Yale-New Haven Hospital, and the John B. Pierce Laboratory and Foundation. He is the recipient of the Community Leadership Award from the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce, the community’s highest recognition for lifetime civic leadership, and recently received the inaugural Cornell Scott Legacy of Leadership award from the Cornell Scott Hill Health Center. He was formerly on the board of the Council on Foundations, the national trade association for the philanthropy sector.
Ginsberg’s tenure at The Foundation is the culmination of a long career in public and community service. He served in the Clinton Administration as Assistant Secretary for Economic Development in the U.S. Department of Commerce and as Chief of Staff to the late Secretary of Commerce Ronald H. Brown. Mr. Ginsberg lived and worked in New Haven for a decade before going to Washington. As Development Administrator under Mayor DiLieto from 1984 to 1988, he was responsible for all development-related activities of New Haven’s municipal government. Ginsberg was President of the Science Park Development Corporation, a nonprofit inner-city technology economic development entity, from 1988 to 1994.
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ABOUT THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION FOR GREATER NEW HAVEN
The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven’s mission is to inspire, support, inform, listen to and collaborate with the people and organizations of Greater New Haven to build an ever more connected, inclusive, equitable and philanthropic community. Established in 1928, The Foundation is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the U.S and has been built by donors supporting a broad variety of issues and organizations. As the permanent charitable endowment for 20 towns in Greater New Haven, The Foundation is implementing a 5-year strategic plan to expand opportunity and equity in our region. For more information about The Foundation visit www.cfgnh.org or follow @cfgnh on Facebook and Twitter.