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Granting Impact

The Community Fund of Darien grants funding to vital, nonprofit health and human services organizations that meet our key areas of impact: Basic Needs, Youth Success, Workforce Development and Community Health. Our grants support Darien, Norwalk, and Stamford nonprofits and are designed to have a measurable impact and sustainable benefit. 


Since 1951, we have distributed $27 million to local nonprofits and community initiatives, impacting thousands of lives in our community.  Each organization The Community Fund of Darien funds is thoroughly vetted by our staff and trained volunteers to ensure that our donors’ contributions are deployed effectively and with targeted impact. By investing in effective programs and organizations that promote equity and provide long-term support for all local residents, we strengthen our whole community.​

Key Areas of Impact

Key Areas of Impact

Basic Needs

Services that meet critical basic needs such as food, housing, and emergency financial assistance. Promote long-term stability of individuals and families through effective programs and services.

  1. Reduce food insecurity by improving access to nutritious, affordable food on a consistent basis.

  2. Move individuals and families from homelessness to stable housing by promoting access to housing options, emergency shelter, and collaborative case management.

  3. Provide emergency assistance programs to help residents attain financial and housing stability by helping fund requests for utilities and rent.

  4. Guide clients towards greater self-sufficiency through effective case management and innovative long-term solutions.

Youth Success

Services that aim to reduce the opportunity gap for children, birth through high school, and prepare youth for post-secondary education.

  1. Prepare young children for kindergarten by investing in and expanding affordable, high-quality early childhood care and education services.

  2. Enhance academic performance for underserved youth through literacy, STEM or tutoring programs.

  3. Prepare high school students for graduation and college readiness.

  4. Increase engagement through social emotional learning, mentorship, and consistent out-of-school enrichment activities.

  5. Promote leadership, independence, resiliency and positive asset development for youth.

  6. Connect youth and their families to support services.

Workforce Development

Services that promote economic security and help individuals and families to move out of poverty. Through effective skills training and improved access to employers, workers are better prepared to obtain jobs that will lead to long-term self-sufficiency.

  1. Teach skills to ensure and retain employment or increase wages.

  2. Identify potential employers within growing industry sectors and promote networking and mentoring opportunities for the underserved community.

  3. Improve employment opportunities and economic independence through language skills, education, and employment resources.

  4. Promote employment opportunities and career pathways for post-secondary school, young adults.

  5. Expand opportunities to attain a college degree and support programs that help college persistence and graduation.

  6. Support financial independence for vulnerable populations.

  7. Support childcare and eldercare services to enable adults to work outside the home, supporting their families and the local economy.

Community Health

Services that improve outcomes and access to community-based physical and mental health services and substance abuse treatment. Promote long-term independence and economic security through improved health initiatives.

  1. Improve access to community-based physical healthcare programs and preventative medicine.

  2. Improve access to mental health services, including youth mental health counseling and clinical services, to address increasing need.

  3. Improve access to substance abuse treatment programs and increase awareness of community resources for substance abuse prevention.

Indicators and Measurements

Basic Needs
  • % of residents that are food insecure, # of residents accessing food

  • # of meals distributed, $ amount of food

  • Proportion of food distributed that is fresh, nutritious, and cost-effective

  • # of homeless (chronic homeless, youth homeless, families homeless)

  • # of housing placements, # of positive exits, # of people transitioning to permanent housing, # of people in permanent housing 1 year after placement

  • # of people helped through financial assistance and degree of stability six months later

Youth Success
  • Student benchmarks to measure kindergarten readiness

  • # / % of low-income families accessing early childhood care and education prior to kindergarten

  • Program attendance and retention

  • School attendance and grade-level academic performance

  • High school graduation rates and college entry rates

Workforce Development
  • # of participants enrolled in job programs, skills, trade, or language classes

  • # of job placements (temporary vs. permanent)

  • Retention statistics of employment achieved

  • Increases in wages and revenue generated by job program

  • # of participants contracted for potential employment

  • # of job placements for young adults entering the workforce from high school or community college

  • Data supporting increased independence through job support programs

  • # of college/community college students progressing to next level of education as result of programming

  • College/community college graduation rates

  • Post-secondary plans (i.e. college, trade skills training, military enlistment, employment, etc.)

Community Health
  • % of patients who are "better off": # of patients served, value of services delivered, improvement in clinical condition and reduction in complications from chronic disease

  • Costs saved by avoiding emergency room visits and hospitalizations

  • Evidence-based indicators of mental health and availability of clinical treatment, % of population served achieving stability

  • Indicators of substance abuse prevention and treatment success: % completing treatment without relapse, % of population receiving mental health support for co-occurring disorders

  • Indicators of awareness and programs in substance abuse prevention; of education and options for families affected by addiction; and of community resources

  • For youth, reduced school absences related to healthcare issues, # of situations stabilized, # improved mental health outcomes, reduced costs (acute care, hospitalization) resulting from preventative care

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