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Nonprofits Crowd Fairfield Theater Company's Warehouse To Kick Off Giving

Two members of Creative Youth Productions entertain the crowd with a rap song at the Fairfield Theater Company to help kickoff Fairfield County Giving Day.
Two members of Creative Youth Productions entertain the crowd with a rap song at the Fairfield Theater Company to help kickoff Fairfield County Giving Day. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Juanita James, CEO of the Fairfield County Community Foundation, kicks off the Giving Day festivities in Fairfield.
Juanita James, CEO of the Fairfield County Community Foundation, kicks off the Giving Day festivities in Fairfield. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Fairfield Theater Company’s Warehouse was the site of last week's Launch Breakfast for the Fairfield County Community Foundation’s third annual Giving Day.

Giving Day, March 10, was the day FCCF invited everyone to go to fcgives.org and make a donation of $10 or more to any of the 417 Fairfield County-based nonprofits taking part in the day.

After 24 hours of online giving, these nonprofits had received 15,311 individual gifts totaling $1,246964. Both were 20 percent above last year’s totals.

Juanita James, FCCF's executive director, was the breakfast’s hostess. she opened the festivities by introducing U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, Fairfield First Selectman Mike Tetreau, and Bill Tommins, the Southern Connecticut Market President for Bank of America — Giving Day’s lead sponsor — to the more than 500 people crowding the room. They all thanked the attendees, and reminded them of the importance of helping nonprofits as they face shrinking government support along with growing needs.

Six young people from Creative Youth Productions followed and offered a well-done rap introduction to the day. James underscored their performance by asking people to remember the arts organizations among the nonprofits taking part in Giving Day.

She noted that the arts are too often overlooked even as people continue to donate to organizations that address society’s more pressing ills.

The online Giving Day event showed the evolution within the nonprofit world. Historically, most people donated to major national and international entities addressing large scale issues — polio, famine or the aftermath of natural disasters.

Today, smaller groups have been formed to address single issues in a local area, many by cause-focused individuals — the mother of a child with severe learning disabilities whose group helps other parents with similar needs, artists who help under-resourced schools provide students what taxpayers no longer do, and volunteers who help immigrants learn English.

These groups have no high-salaried managers, and many learn by trial and error how to provide their service, make their needs known, and raise money.

The Fairfield County Community Foundation provides assistance through its Center for Non Profit Excellence, a management training program for managers that “helps Fairfield County nonprofits become more efficient, effective and sustainable so that they can successfully address the needs of our community.”

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