The Community Fund of Darien

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Working on the 1985 Campaign - Mary McKee, Joan Barksdale and Ann Mandel.


"I fully support The Community Fund of Darien. Its history and local leadership are important to me, and it continues to do great work!”
~Ed Clarke, former Campaign Chair



In 1924, the United Darien Association was established to bring together local agency professionals to coordinate their agencies’ interests and activities.

By 1947, this evolved in the Darien Council of Social Agencies which provided a meeting ground for all interested parties to act as a clearinghouse for ideas and joint discussions to promote new projects in response to community needs. By 1954, this group adopted the name of “The Community Council.” Meanwhile, in 1951, the Darien United Fund was formed, conducting fundraising for eight member agencies. In 1967, the two organizations merged into “The Darien United Fund and Community Council.”

In 1977, the organization decided to join the national United Way movement and changed its name to “The Darien United Way and Community Council.” And in 1978, it joined the United Way of Tri-State.

In 2005, the Community Council was dissolved and the Human Services Planning Council was created in its stead to conduct needs assessment and work collaboratively to meet identified needs and address gaps in services in Darien and the region. The name of the organization became “The Darien United Way.”

In Spring of 2006, the board of directors voted to withdraw from the national United Way system and adopt the new name “The Community Fund of Darien.” The board decided to return the organization to its local, autonomous roots, while maintaining the same mission it has had for the past 55 years. The Community Fund is actively working to meet health and human service needs in the greater community – primarily in Darien, Norwalk and Stamford – through strategic and financial leadership.