In a close competition for the 2017 “Most Generous Town” award, Darien took the title by a slim margin of just $1,040 over New Canaan. Still, the Darien and New Canaan community foundations agree giving locally helps the community, said an announcement.
Giving Tuesday, which kicks off the charitable season, is celebrated globally.
Locally, the Community Fund of Darien and the New Canaan Community Foundation used the friendly rivalry that already exists between the two towns as an incentive for residents to give generously in the first annual “Most Generous Town” contest.
The two community organizations collaborated to raise awareness and financial support for local needs, such as homelessness, hunger, mental health, substance abuse and more.
But their strategies were different.
Darien’s approach was for online giving and partnerships with local businesses, while the New Canaan Community Foundation celebrated its 40th anniversary with a “challenge match.”
CEO Lauren Patterson explained, “We already had a group of anonymous donors in town that created a challenge match, matching dollar for dollar up to $107,500 in gifts from new donors or increased donations from past supporters. A good number of residents stepped up to that challenge match, effectively doubling our impact.”
While The Community Fund of Darien raised the most money in a 24-hour period, the two organizations together raised nearly $70,000 to support the local community.