Photo: PFF’s new headquarters in New Haven, Connecticut.
In 2012, when PFF shifted its mission to supporting youth-led social change, we recognized that the transition would require more than just changes in our grant strategy and programs. PFF is committed to aligning our internal operations, practice and culture with our broader mission, and we recognize place as both a symbolic and substantive contributor to organizational culture.
When PFF was founded 22 years ago, our grant making was exclusively focused in Fairfield County, and our offices were headquartered in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Five years ago we became a statewide foundation, and the board began to consider the efficacy and impact of being so physically isolated from the communities where our grantee partners focus their efforts. The search for a new space was guided by two key criteria: 1) to be in a location that was more representative of the communities with which we partner, and 2) to be more geographically accessible to our partners across the entire state.
PFF was already a long-time member of the Grove, an innovative co-working space in the heart of bustling downtown New Haven. When an opportunity for dedicated office there became available, PFF took the leap.
“The Grove,” PFF President Laura McCargar explains, “embraces the creative, collaborative spirit that we believe in. Social entrepreneurs, freelancers, tech startups and nonprofits work right alongside one other. Our office is on the same floor as two youth organizations, and we often run into our grantee partners and others who are also working out of the Grove. Being here helps us keep our ear to the ground and our fingers on the pulse of the communities and constituencies with which we work.”
If you find yourself in New Haven, we welcome you to pop in to the Grove and say hello!