More than 250 Community Nonprofit Board Members Sign Letter Asking Gov. Lamont to Support Long Term Investment
Bank and financial services execs, business owners, community leaders from across CT
(Hartford, CT) — More than 250 board members of community nonprofits across Connecticut have signed a letter asking Governor Ned Lamont to support a seven-year plan proposed by the legislature’s Appropriations Committee to invest $470 million in nonprofits that contract with the state to provide a wide range of human services, the CT Community Nonprofit Alliance announced today.
The signers include bank officers, business owners and financial service advisors and community leaders from across the state. In their letter, also addressed to legislative leaders, the community nonprofit board members say after more than a decade of underfunding that has left them $461 million behind and a year of coping with the pandemic, the funding increase is critical to their organizations’ survival.
The letter, including all signatures more quotes from board members can be viewed as a Google Doc by clicking here.
“The community nonprofits we help lead are Connecticut’s safety net, supporting people with disabilities, substance use and mental health challenges, those who are homeless, hungry, escaping physical and sexual violence, reentering society after incarceration and providing many other services that improve human and community well-being,” the letter says. “We need your support of the Appropriations Committee plan.
Gian Carl Casa, President & CEO of The Alliance, said after so many years of advocacy to address the growing needs of the organizations they oversee, the board members believed now is the time to speak out.
“The seven-year funding proposal is historic,” Casa said, “And it comes at a time when the state can afford to make the investment with more than $1 billion in surplus dollars and a record $3.5 billion in the rainy day fund. If not now, when?”
The nonprofit board members say they signed the letter to share their grave concerns about continuing to make ends meet without proper funding
“Connecticut nonprofits have been the target of repeated budget cuts and rescissions all the while being asked to provide more services with less resources,” said Scott Brabant of Cheshire, First Vice President of People’s United Bank, who serves as Chairman of the Mental Health Connecticut Board of Directors. “The services we provide are not optional and often done more cost efficiently than comparable agencies. I chose to sign this letter as I believe we are the safety net for the communities we serve. There is a significant gap in what is required and what we have in resources in order to meet the basic needs of our program participants.”
“The past year has devastated nonprofits. Funding is nonexistent. The services that nonprofits provide are the backbone of helping the consumers in need. Nonprofits restore health and well-being back to our societies, Rod Wilson, President of RAD Computing in Vernon and board member of Perception Programs, Inc. “The funding for nonprofits is equally as important as any funding that is used for the public health emergencies. Nonprofits services touched my life in a way that has lasted over 35 years, and still holds a deep place in my heart.”
“Nonprofit organizations play a vital role in building healthy communities through strong relationships and intimate local knowledge. However, nonprofits are consistently financially challenged, placing additional strain on their already limited resources. This unprecedented seven-year proposal will secure future funding for Connecticut’s nonprofit organizations, ensuring continuation of services, economic growth and stability are inclusive of all communities,” Derek. S. Pirruccello, of Waterford, Merrill Lynch Senior Vice President and Financial Advisor and Board Chair of Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, said.
Eddie Miranda, Dean of the Connecticut State College and University System, serves on the board of Community Health Resources. ““CHR and many other non-profits work every day to make sure mental health, addition and many other services are provided to the community. Now is the time especially during these uncharted times to increase funding.”
The proposal to increase funding for community nonprofits was championed by Senator Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, and Rep. Toni Walker, D-New Haven, co-chairs of the legislature’s Appropriations Committee, and approved as part of the committee’s recommended FY23 biennial budget in April. The plan is now subject to negotiations between the legislature and the Governor’s office.