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Fairfield County’s final Giving Day raises more than $1.7 million for nonprofits

Jean Plonquet, Poplens Productions
Fairfield County Community Foundation members on Giving Day.

Fairfield County’s final Giving Day raised $1.7 million for 360 non-profits in the area. More than 14,000 donations were made in 24 hours.

Almost 11,000 donors participated.

It was the 10th and final installment of the event. Donors have raised more than $15 million for local nonprofits over the last decade — but Thursday’s campaign was the last one.

Mendi Blue Paca is the CEO and president of Fairfield County's Community Foundation. She said the day has brought success, but the negatives would soon outweigh the positives.

“We've heard for a number of years that even for those organizations that love Giving Day and that participate, it's a pretty heavy lift to actually raise the dollars,” Blue Paca said. “And we didn't really see a lot of organizations that were raising, say, more than $5,000.”

 (L-R) Rebecca Mandell, Jonathan Moffly, Mendi Blue Paca, Kristy Jelenik, Juanita James, Bill Timmons
Jean Plonquet, Poplens Productions
(L-R) Rebecca Mandell, Jonathan Moffly, Mendi Blue Paca, Kristy Jelenik, Juanita James, Bill Timmons

Participating organizations ranged from animal shelters to education centers and college athletic programs.

Curtain Call Incorporated, a Stamford theatre company, raised the most money at almost $100,000.

LifeBridge Community Services supports the Bridgeport community. They had the most donors yesterday, with more than 960 people contributing to their campaign.

Blue Paca said the Community Foundation is now focused on a new initiative: Fairfield County Forward.

“It's really grounded in creating greater equity, and greater racial equity in particular, in Fairfield County across areas of housing, income and asset building, health, and education,” Blue Paca said. “And we're really focusing on not just treating the symptoms of the social challenges we face in those areas, but really starting to tackle the systems and the structures that really underlie in the experiences that people have in those various areas.”

Read more about the foundation here.

Molly is a reporter covering Fairfield County. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.