Why Bridgeport, Connecticut?

Tauck Family Foundation focuses its resources on investing in organizations that are working with children from low-income families, exclusively in one city: Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Before 2013, the Tauck Family Foundation gave youth development grants to organizations in locations where some of our board members lived, including Fairfield and New Haven countie of Connecticut, Rochester, and Seattle. Part of our strategic Theory of Change process was to focus our efforts on one geographic region, in an effort to leverage better outcomes for our investees and the children they serve.

The Tauck Family Foundation has always been based in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Given the Tauck family’s long association with the area, when the board chose to invest in a single city, they chose one in Fairfield County that presented both significant need and unusual opportunity: Bridgeport, Connecticut.

In the last decade, Bridgeport has seen more and more attention focused on its problems, and also on its possibilities, particularly in regard to education. Bridgeport’s public schools have more than 20,000 students, 99% of whom qualify for free and reduced lunch ($33,873 for a family of three) and 39.9% of whom live in poverty ($18,310 for a family of three). It also has a higher concentration of individuals living below the poverty threshold and lower educational attainment levels than Fairfield County as a whole. Read more about the achievement gap in Bridgeport.

Despite these challenges, we see that Bridgeport is poised for change, as it has both a large number of young people living in disadvantaged circumstances and also an array of tremendous assets: strong families and communities; an active education reform climate and non-profit sector; significant potential for economic development; a growing cadre of interested funders; and city and state government that is focused on transforming outcomes for the city and its young people.

The Tauck Family Foundation believes in the importance of investing in low-income children to help them drive change for themselves and, eventually, their communities. We believe that if Bridgeport children develop the social and emotional skills to navigate successfully into poverty-free adulthood, the city itself can become a great place for children to grow and thrive. Eventually, we hope that the statistics that are published about the majority of Bridgeport’s children will tell a very different story than they do now.

Read more about our Rationale for Mission:

Why social investing and performance management?

Why social and emotional learning?

Why early childhood through middle school students?

Why family engagement?