Fairfield County’s Community Foundation readies for March 1 Giving Day

By Phil Hall, Westfair Online

Corporate and individual philanthropy will be in the spotlight again as Fairfield County’s Community Foundation is readying its fifth annual Giving Day, an endeavor that seeks to raise funds for 437 local nonprofits.

The 24-hour event kicks off at midnight on March 1 and encourages donations of as little as $10 to nonprofits serving the social, economic, educational and cultural needs of the region. Donations can be made via the FCGives.org website, which keeps a real-time tally of how much money is being donated to the individual nonprofits during the course of the event.

Last year’s event set a record in raising $1.46 million from 13,718 donors, which topped the previous record set in 2016 of $1.24 million donated by about 11,000 donors. Since its inception five years ago, Giving Day has raised over $4.5 million.

Juanita James, president and CEO of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, stated that nonprofits participating in previous Giving Days saw an average 30 percent increase in the number of new donors connecting with their organizations via this event. “And it is not just about the money being raised,” she said. “This helps the nonprofits learn how to use social media and market the work they’re doing so people can learn more about them.”

James noted that this year’s Giving Day is operating with a cloud of uncertainty shadowing it: the recent changes to the federal tax code nearly doubles the standard deduction for individuals, which some nonprofits see as problematic because taxpayers will now have less incentive to itemize their deductions for charitable giving in order to reduce their taxable income. James did not know how this would impact this year’s event, although she was optimistic for a strong turnout.

“I don’t have a target, but I would like it to top last year,” she said.

This year’s event will also see Bank of America’s return as lead sponsor for the event. Bill Tommins, southern Connecticut market president for Bank of America, is eager to see a wider scope of new donors in this year’s effort.

“The whole concept of Giving Day is to expand individual donations,” Tommins said. “Last year, 34 percent of our donations came from first-time donors. That is a really great metric and its shows that we are not just tapping into the same donor base.”

In addition to Bank of America, Giving Day sponsors include Whole Foods, Sacred Heart University’s Master of Public Administration program, Neuberger Berman, Webster Private Bank, BlumShapiro, Cummings & Lockwood LLC, Day Pitney, First County Bank, RZH Advisors, Brewport, Nikki Glekas Events and Chelsea Piers Connecticut. Media partners for this year’s event are Hearst Connecticut Media Group, Moffly Media, Star 99.9 and 95.9 Fox, Barrett Outdoor Communications and News12 Connecticut.

Fairfield Branch Video Tour

If you haven't had a chance to visit our new Branch located at 1312 Post Road in Fairfield, here's a quick video tour.

Johnny’s & Co. reopens in new Post Road location

By Darien Times

Johnny’s & Company of Darien has opened once again in its new location at 1950 Post Rd. Johnny’s & Company have recently joined the Darien Chamber of Commerce and an official ribbon cutting was held on Feb. 13, 2018 with the owners, family, staff and DCC Board of Directors and Darien Selectman-Susan Marks.

Johnny Delmonaco has been an icon in Darien for 61 years, starting out as a young small business owner right on the Post Road across the street from where they are now. Johnny’s then relocated to Heights rd. for 50 years formally known as Noroton Hair Shop and then moved up the street and called it Johnny’s & Company, now a whole family salon.

The mission of the Darien Chamber of Commerce is to take a leadership role in promoting the business community and working to improve the quality of life in Darien.

The DCC is proud to have Darien Rowayton Bank as an Elite Sponsor and First County Bank as a Select Sponsor.

2017 Annual Celebration of Mutual Partnerships

Highlights from the First County Bank Foundation's Annual Celebration of Mutual Partnerships with local nonprofit organizations.

Moving Forward By Giving Back

Local executives met at the First County Bank Executive Offices to hold a panel discussion on philanthropic strategies within the community. The panel event, organized by the Mark Lapine Endowment for Families in Business Foundation, discussed key factors in engaging the nonprofit community. Local executives on the panel were:

  • Cindi Bigelow, President and CEO, Bigelow Tea
  • Reyno Giallongo, Jr., Chairman and CEO, First County Bank, and President, First County Bank Foundation
  • Tiffany Kuehner, Board Chair and former CEO, Hope for Haiti
  • Mike Maguire, CEO, Structural Graphics, and Co-founder, Raise the Roof
  • Ashok Vasudevan, Co-founder and CEO, Preferred Brands International, Chairman of the Board, Tasty Bite Eatables Ltd.
  • Moderator: Noah Lapine, Owner, President of Lapine Associates

Fairfield University & First County Bank, National Finalists

Students from Fairfield University were entering the Conference of State Bank Supervisor’s (CSBS) Community Bank Case Study Competition. In early 2016, they approached First County Bank to participate as their primary case study for the competition. Their request was simple, to work with First County Bank as their major corporate entry and to tell The Bank’s story from a performance and managerial perspective. The Bank was more than willing to help these students as were some First County Bank customers. We are proud to announce that these Fairfield University students were not only named as a finalist in this national collegiate competition, but they exceled in portraying the culture of the Bank and our community focus.