Give Local Greater Waterbury and Litchfield Hills, an online giving event hosted by Connecticut Community Foundation for the seventh year, concluded a 36-hour flurry of giving at 7 p.m. on April 24 with donations from 4,494 people topping $1.36 million. The bounty is earmarked for 261 nonprofit organizations serving the Foundation’s 21-town service area* and will ultimately provide countless benefits—from social services to the arts—to local residents.

Connecticut Community Foundation, Presenting Sponsor Ion Bank Foundation and many other sponsors provided $128,000 in bonus funds to boost all donations during the event. And, while the giving tallies grew in real-time on the Give Local website, nonprofits also vied for $52,000 in cash prizes from sponsors—adding fun, excitement and urgency to the friendly competition and giving challenges.

Julie Loughran, president and CEO of Connecticut Community Foundation, said, “It’s just an astounding outpouring of generosity for which we are so grateful.  Watching businesses, radio stations, nonprofits, community leaders and residents band together to promote Give Local was particularly inspiring this year.  It’s a testament to the enduring belief in the collective power of philanthropy to create life-changing benefits, especially for people in need.”

Thirty-two New Milford-based nonprofit organizations participated in Give Local, and the town got behind them in a big way during the event. New Milford Mayor Pete Bass hosted a breakfast to kick off Give Local on April 23, and signed a proclamation to commemorate the event and to formally urge all citizens who were able to donate to local nonprofits of their choice.

Volunteers from many New Milford nonprofits spread the word through signs, postcards, social media and personal outreach. Jeff Kilberg, board member of the Pratt Nature Center in New Milford, got a hand from the local Starbucks. During Give Local, Kilberg and other volunteers distributed event promotional materials from a table and tent in front of the coffee shop; Starbucks provided him free coffee.  

Diane Swanson, executive director of the Pratt Nature Center, said, “The best part about Give Local for us was that New Milford organizations were encouraging each other, helping each other and even giving to each other. ‘A rising tide lifts all boats’ as the saying goes, and we wanted the tide of giving to lift up all New Milford-based nonprofits by encouraging more residents to give this year in any amount they could.”

Total dollars raised for each of the participating nonprofits can be viewed on the leaderboard of the Give Local Greater Waterbury and Litchfield Hills website at Grand Prizes were awarded through the generosity of the Ion Bank Foundation.

Leading organizations by the end of the campaign included:

Top five nonprofit organizations: Dollars raised

  1. ASAP! ($60,280)
  2. Washington Montessori Association ($53,990)
  3. Wellspring ($52,401)
  4. Roxbury Land Trust ($40,815)
  5. Lake Quassapaug Association ($36,260)

Top five nonprofit organizations: Most donors

  1. Wellmore Behavioral Health (341)
  2. Animal Welfare Society (153)
  3. Washington Ambulance Association (153)
  4. Southbury Food Bank (141)
  5. Washington Montessori Association (119)

*Beacon Falls, Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Cheshire, Goshen, Litchfield, Middlebury, Morris, Naugatuck, New Milford, Oxford, Prospect, Roxbury, Southbury, Thomaston, Warren, Washington, Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott, Woodbury

Established in 1923, Connecticut Community Foundation fosters creative partnerships that build rewarding lives and thriving communities in 21 towns in Greater Waterbury and the Litchfield Hills. The Foundation provides leadership in addressing the region’s critical issues, strengthens local nonprofit organizations through grants and technical assistance programs, and works with individuals, families and corporations to establish and steward scholarships and charitable funds. Learn more at