Long-time West Hartford resident Kathleen Costello has been named chair of the steering committee for the Catalyst Endowment Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the community foundation serving the 29-town Greater Hartford region.
Costello is a social worker and serves as an adjunct professor at Goodwin College. She strongly believes in the power of philanthropy, whether in the form of time, talent, or treasure, and feels that everyone has the capacity to give.
“I first became a member of the Catalyst Endowment Fund because it offered a unique opportunity for me to see how our giving can be put into action,” said Costello. “By exploring the needs of the Greater Hartford region, we are able to engage with nonprofits whose mission it is to affect change in our own community. We become familiar with the key stakeholders for our chosen topic and the best practices they employ, we gain a greater understanding of our neighbors and neighborhoods, and we are guided by the expertise of the Foundation staff to maximize our giving. In a phrase, it's hands-on philanthropy."
Costello has been an active supporter of a variety of causes and organizations. She has served as a volunteer at all levels of the West Hartford Public Schools. She has coordinated a local food drive for Foodshare for the past several years. An avid runner and triathlete, Costello created a fitness program for teen moms to prepare them to compete in the Celebrate! West Hartford 5K Road Race.
Costello earned her master’s degree from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work, and is a Licensed Master of Social Work. She has received multiple certifications in youth mental health, school safety, and suicide prevention training. She was recently elected to serve as a member of the West Hartford Democratic Town Committee.
Since the Catalyst Endowment Fund was established 22 years ago, grants totaling more than $750,000 have been awarded in support of nonprofit programs in areas such as health, housing and education. The Hartford Foundation pools and invests donations from members (a minimum of $500 annually per membership) to fund grants based on program areas selected by the membership. Funds like Catalyst, also known as ‘giving circles,’ provide individuals with an opportunity to be involved with philanthropy while providing greater impact through the pooled contributions. In 2015, the Catalyst Endowment Fund awarded grants totaling more than $46,000 to Hartford Interval House and Prudence Crandall Center’s Programs to support mothers and children impacted by domestic violence. For more information on the Catalyst Endowment Fund, contact Betty Ann Grady at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.hfpg.org/catalyst.
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. In 2015, the Foundation celebrated ninety years of grantmaking in the Greater Hartford region, made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations. It has awarded grants of more than $600 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.