The Partnership for Connecticut

Formation and Organization

How and why did the Partnership form?

Governor Lamont, bipartisan legislative leaders, and Dalio Philanthropies formed the Partnership to expand upward mobility in Connecticut by connecting disengaged and disconnected high school-aged youth (ages 14 to 24) to educational and career opportunities, and by supporting economic development in under-resourced communities through microfinance and social entrepreneurship.  We created the Partnership in response to the state’s current challenges, including the following realities:

  • More than one out of every five high school students in Connecticut are either disengaged or disconnected from school;
  • The annual fiscal impact of high school dropouts on the state budget – in terms of lost revenue and additional expenses – is more than $900 million;
  • Connecticut ranks among the highest states in terms of income inequality; and
  • Employers across the state are looking to hire skilled workers in historic and emerging industries, and we are struggling as a state to meet these needs.

What is the Partnership for Connecticut, Inc.?

The Partnership for Connecticut, Inc. is a newly formed independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supported by Public Act 19-117 §§ 183-189.  The Partnership was incorporated under the Connecticut Revised Nonstock Corporation law on May 28, 2019.  The Partnership’s affairs and operations are controlled by its Governing Board.  Please visit Governing Board to learn more about its composition.

What is the Partnership’s approved purpose?

The Partnership was established to achieve ambitious goals and pursue philanthropic aims, including:

  • Strengthening public education in Connecticut;
  • Supporting financial inclusion and social entrepreneurship;
  • Promoting upward mobility in Connecticut by connecting at-risk high school-aged youth and young adults to educational and career opportunities; and
  • Supporting economic development in under-resourced communities through microfinance and social entrepreneurship with a specific focus on communities where there is a high poverty rate and youths and young adults between the ages of 14 to 24 who are showing signs of disengagement or disconnection from high school, the workplace, or the community.

What is the organization’s duration?

The organization may sunset at the end of the five-year period or, if successful in executing its mission and attracting additional funds to sustain its operations, continue its operations to improve inclusive educational and economic opportunity in Connecticut. 

How will the Partnership work?

The Partnership will leverage community expertise and administer resources where we can make an impact.  We will pursue practices and investments with a strong evidence base and/or demonstrated positive impact in Connecticut or other states and communities.  Dalio Philanthropies, the State of Connecticut, and other funders will contribute funds to the independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which will manage the funds in a transparent and accountable manner.  The Board and the President & CEO will lead the Partnership.  The organization will have its own staff, who will take the lead in developing program criteria, encouraging proposals, and deciding which programs and projects to support.

What’s the rationale for an independent non-profit organization?

The non-profit organization enables the programmatic strategy to be designed and implemented as a coherent, integrated initiative.  The organization’s independence ensures that the Partnership can operate effectively and efficiently, making adjustments as necessary to advance positive outcomes.  The Partnership requires a team to lead the work and the organization creates a way to attract and hire excellent staff, as well as diverse and accomplished Board directors.  The organization also increases the likelihood of raising additional private sector contributions in support of the Partnership’s projects and programs. 

What’s the organization’s fundraising goal?

We aspire to raise $100 million over the next five years to match the $100 pledged by the State of Connecticut and the $100 million pledged by Dalio Philanthropies over that same time period. The State and Dalio Philanthropies have each pledged to donate $20 million per year to the Partnership.

What is the significance of the Partnership’s logo?

The logo reflects the colors in Connecticut’s flag. The blue squares represent public education, government, philanthropy, and employers.  The yellow squares represent communities in the north, south, east, and west of the state.  The star signifies our vision to have all stakeholders come together to generate ideas and solutions that ultimately spread across Connecticut to help youth and young adults graduate from high school and connect to upwardly mobile career opportunities.