History & Founders

Our Background and Work

The Community Foundation idea is simple one: anyone can be a philanthropist; anyone may use it to give back to the community. The Community Foundation of Middlesex County (CFMC) represents local people, giving locally to make an impact on the lives of others – not just for today, but forever. Our history provides that you truly care about your community and you are Helping Good People Do Great Things.

Your Community Foundation is unique. CFMC began as a grass roots effort with multiple donations from countless caring donors. That tradition continues today as friends, neighbors, businesses, and organizations continue to work together, pooling gifts, to make a positive impact in our community through the Community Foundation.

We Thank You

Since 1997, you – generous individuals, companies, institutions, organizations, and businesses  – have supported grant making, established Funds, and contributed to CFMC’s mission in order to invest in the future of our region. We leverage every gift, no matter the size, to improve the arts; cultural and heritage programs; educational activities; environmental conditions; health and human services; and so much more.

Notable Highlights

From CFMC History

  • Surpassed $10 Million in Grant Awards

    • Honored by the Middlesex County Chapter of the NAACP with the Civic and Community Engagement award.
    • Surpassed $10 million in total grants awarded since CFMC was established 25 years ago.
  • GSB Joins CFMC’s Grant Making Partnerships

    GSB joins our grant making partnerships, with CFMC managing GSB’s annual investment through grants in Middlesex County.

  • Recognized as the Nonprofit Business of the Year

    Recognized by the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce as the Nonprofit Business of the Year.

  • CFMC’s New Location in Middletown

    Thanks to the generosity of Rich and Joan Tomc and their daughters Jamie and Dana, CFMC received a new “home,” the Caleb Fuller House at 49 Main Street, Middletown.

  • CFMC’s 20th Anniversary

    • Received its largest bequest to date, $8 million, establishing the Mary Janvrin and Natalie Janvrin Weeks Fund for Birds, Other Animals, and Nature.
    • Middlesex United Way named CFMC the 2016 Tocqueville Society Philanthropy Award recipient. The honor is given to organizations or individuals who inspire philanthropy. The recognition coincided with CFMC’s 20th anniversary.
  • Awarded Arts Advocacy Award

    Honored by the Middletown Commission on the Arts with the Arts Advocacy Award.

  • Foundation Celebrates 15 Years

    Celebrated 15 years of Helping Good People Do Great Things in Middlesex County, including launching a new website, logo, and a new name – Community Foundation of Middlesex County, Inc.

  • Connecticut’s Outstanding Foundation of the Year Recognition

    Recognized as “Connecticut’s Outstanding Foundation of the Year” by the Association of Fundraising Professions, CT Chapter.

  • Nonprofit Resource Center is Launched

    In response to the economic downturn and to continue developing a broad array of resources to help our nonprofits thrive, CFMC launched the Nonprofit Resource Center, offering access to free and low-cost professional development training for nonprofits, and the Live Local Give Local Fund, an unrestricted pass-through grant making fund to support our competitive application process and meet the ever-changing needs in our region.

  • Over $1 million awarded in total grants

    Surpassed $1 million in total grants awarded since its establishment, proving that Philanthropy Matters and Philanthropy Works in Middlesex County.

  • Received compliance and accreditation

    Achieved compliance with and accreditation through the Council on Foundations’ National Standards for Community Foundations. CFMC was the fourth community foundation in Connecticut to achieve this “best practices” certification, and continues to be accredited through this program.

  • Sari A. Rosenbaum Fund for Women & Girls Established

    Sari A. Rosenbaum, one of CFMC’s founding Board members, rallied 60 friends and colleagues to establish the Fund for Women & Girls, later renamed the Sari A. Rosenbaum Fund for Women & Girls in honor of and tribute to Sari’s years of commitment to our community and the Community Foundation.

  • First Grant Making Partner

    River View Cemetery, Inc. became the Community Foundation’s first grant making partner in our competitive process, providing annual support to the pool of funds supporting our nonprofits.

  • Received First Bequest Gift

    Received our first bequest gift, thanks to the generosity and legacy of Elizabeth Swaim, establishing three Funds, two designated to support organizations and programs she cherished and one to support general grant making in perpetuity.

  • Local Beginnings – Local Impact

    The Community Foundation of Middlesex County is unique. It began as a grass roots effort with multiple donations from countless caring donors. That tradition continues as friends, neighbors, businesses, and organizations continue to work together, pooling their gifts, and making a positive impact in our community through the Community Foundation.

Our Founders

Founding Benefactor

  • Liberty Bank

Founding Patron

  • Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust

Founding Friends

  • George W. Whelen, IV/Whelen Engineering
  • Zygo Corporation

Founding Sponsors

  • Aetna Foundation, Inc.
  • Fleet Bank
  • Middlesex Hospital
  • Univlever HPC-USA

Founding Supporters

  • Smith Barney—Essex
  • Wesleyan University

Founding Associates

  • Rick Bellows
  • The Hartford Courant
  • Citizens Bank
  • Jane Stokes McMillan
  • Russell G. D’Oench, Jr.
  • Betsy and David Sams
  • Durham Manufacturing Company
  • Scott and Daniells, Inc.
  • Essex Savings Bank
  • Jean and Biff Shaw
  • U. S. Trust, NA

Founding Donors

  • Advest, Inc.
  • Joseph G. Lombardo
  • A.R. Mazzotta Employment Specialists
  • New Haven Savings Bank
  • Liz Petry
  • Webster Bank
  • Charles Wiltsie, Jr.

Major In Kind Donors:

  • Centermark Technologies
  • Citizens Bank
  • How 2 Design

Founding Contributors

  • Bailey’s Express, Inc.
  • John F. Beckert
  • Donald Bidwell Family/Bidwell Industrial Group
  • James W. Bixler
  • Kay and Morton Briggs
  • Eileen and Gerald Burke
  • Centermark Technologies, Inc.
  • Connecticut Light & Power Co.
  • Connecticut Lighting Centers
  • Cooper Instrument Corporation
  • Barbara and Edmund Delaney
  • Woodbridge A. D’Oench
  • Barbara and Dick Gibbons
  • K. Gronbach & Associates, Inc.
  • Mr. & Mrs. William H. Grover
  • Harding Development Group
  • Infiltrator Systems, Inc.
  • Interfaith Golf Tournament
  • Joyce and Robert L. Kirkpatrick, Jr.
  • Carl A. Lecce, MD
  • Middlesex Federal Credit Union
  • Middletown Rotary
  • Patricia Moebius Lyman
  • Willard McRae
  • Wm. R. Peterson Oil Co. Inc.
  • Pratt & Whitney
  • Mark H. Quattro, PC
  • Rockfall Foundation
  • Sari A. Rosenbaum
  • Diane and William J. Russell
  • Lee and Ted Stein
  • Betty and Bob Stevens
  • Strong Agency
  • Susan Townsley
  • Patti Anne Vassia
  • Joan S. Youngs