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Covid-19 has revealed the inequities and injustice that perpetuate the systems in our state and in our larger society. As advocates for women and girls, we knew that systems of sexism and racism already disadvantaged women and girls and we braced ourselves for how the economic and health crisis would further harm them. This report documents the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on women and girls, and particularly on women and girls of color. We intend this vital information to inform decisions in the future that can direct resources to women and girls. We urge policymakers, government officials, philanthropists, nonprofit service providers, corporations and our fellow community members to use this information to create equity through relief and recovery efforts.
Collaboration remains an on-going discourse throughout the funder community, but little has been written about explorations or innovations into different ways of working collectively, beyond what was established decades ago.The Connecticut legislation calling for a greater coordination of efforts to improve early childhood outcomes explicitly invited "philanthropic organizations" to partner in the development of new policies and a systematic approach for supporting young children and families. The Connecticut Early Childhood Funder Collaborative emerged as the platform for philanthropy to do this work.Similar to other funder collective endeavors, the Collaborative and the state can claim short-term success. They not only had tangible results, but each valued their ability to coalesce to achieve those results. The difference in this effort was the melding of knowledge, networks and funding in a new paradigm. The more difficult question is whether the short-term endeavor creates the necessary conditions to sustain their efforts long enough to realize true systems change and improved outcomes for children and families.For large-scale systems change, co-creation may be a more fitting approach; it acknowledges self-interest, existing alongside shared goals and purpose, as necessary to sustain voluntary efforts. Co-creation is predicated on the notion that traditional top-down planning or decision-making should give way to a more flexible participatory structure, where diverse constituencies are invited in to collectively solve problems.Co-creation doesn't give priority to the group or the individual, but instead supports and encourages both simultaneously. In co-created endeavors, a shared identity isn't needed; members continue to work toward their own goals in pursuit of the common result. Co-creation enables individuals to work side by side, gaining an understanding of the goals, resources, and constraints that drive the behaviors of others, and adjusting accordingly to maintain a mutually beneficial gain.The partnership of the Connecticut Early Childhood Funder Collaborative, the State, and the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy was not originally structured to be an example of co-creation. It does, though, possess many of the attributes of successful co-creation endeavors. Recognizing these similarities in structure and purpose holds much promise to help the public and private sectors understand not only what to sustain, but how best to organize and continue working to achieve the long-term goal.
The ongoing, against-the-odds resiliency of the nonprofit sector in New England and across the country is remarkable to see. But as this study shows, it is a very fragile resiliency. The sector's success and impact continue to rely on unsustainable trends, including: overworked, underpaid leaders and staff; a never-ending fight to balance budgets and build stable organizations; a lack of investment in professional and leadership development and organizational infrastructure; and a continuing struggle to work out the optimal role for nonprofit boards. Nonprofits in New England and across the nation will continue to play a vital part in building stronger communities and a more just and equitable society. But the sector's resiliency is at its outer limit.As this report sets out to show, it is time to shift how we think about nonprofits in New England and consider what supports they need to succeed. To the extent we do so, we will be able to predict with certainty that New England's nonprofits can remain resilient and effective well into the future -- and can continue to contribute to the vibrancy of our communities, our people and our region.This report profiles New England's nonprofits and their leaders and recommends three shifts in that will help the sector become more sustainable and healthy.
This profile of Connecticut's immigrants is intended to help policymakers, state planners, and service providers better understand the size, characteristics, and needs of the state's immigrant population. Beyond the basic demographics of the foreign-born population, the report focuses on immigrants in the labor force and health care access for different immigrant groups.