In 2010, on the occasion of the Foundation’s thirtieth anniversary, the Board decided that as a private, independent foundation, it was important to convey that independence clearly to the community. The decision was made to move to an independent office space and to change the name of the Foundation (formerly the Hartford Courant Foundation) to The Fund for Greater Hartford.
The Fund for Greater Hartford, then known as The Hartford Courant Foundation, was started in 1950, with its incorporation as public foundation. Under the leadership of the Courant’s publisher and president, John R. Reitemeier, the Foundation made grants to local nonprofit agencies and raised public funds for the support of Camp Courant – a free summer day camp for Hartford children. At the time, all Foundation Trustees were also members of the newspaper’s Board of Directors. In those early years, the Foundation’s annual grants were funded by contributions from The Hartford Courant.
The Fund entered a new era in 1979, when the 215-year-old Hartford Courant was purchased by Times Mirror Corporation of Los Angeles. The Courant’s foundation trustees understood the importance of the Fund to the community so as part of the purchase agreement the Foundation was restructured to become a private, independent foundation, governed by a board of trustees, the majority of whom were to represent the community-at-large.
As a result of the Courant’s acquisition by Times Mirror, the assets of The Fund, which represented stock in the Courant, were converted into a significant cash fund available for diversified investment. The income from The Fund’s capital endowment funds the grants distributed each year.
In 2015, long time Executive Director, Kate Miller, retired and Kimberley Russo replaced her in the fall of 2015. In early 2016, The Fund for Greater Hartford embarked upon a strategic planning process.
By initiating the strategic planning process, The Board of Trustees sought to determine how The Fund can best utilize its strengths, resources and relationships to increase its impact for the community it serves. The Fund wanted to support the community in a more proactive, meaningful way.
After deep conversation over the course of the strategic planning process, The Fund revised its mission: “The Fund for Greater Hartford works to improve the lives of children and families of Greater Hartford by investing in their academic and social success.” and embarked upon the implementation of new grant processes that aligned with the organization’s new mission and goals.