The Ritter Family Foundation was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and began supporting local health and education nonprofits in Connecticut and elsewhere, both in the US and globally.
Inspired by Dr. Geoffrey Canada’s work with the Harlem Children’s Zone and by the aspirations and commitment of like-minded community leaders in Norwalk, CT, the Ritter Family Foundation seeded the Norwalk Children’s Foundation (NCF). For nearly a decade, NCF invested more than $3 million in various programs in the Norwalk community. Having impacted the lives of thousands of children and their parents, NCF played a key partnership role in larger initiatives that provided a foundation for the community’s future.
NCF's Board of Directors voted to assume a "hibernation" role in order to support the evolution of Norwalk ACTS, a citywide group of community leaders and organizations employing the Collective Impact methodology to improve outcomes for children. Having provided leadership and financial resources for NCF for many years, and in seeing tremendous opportunity to build and leverage support to achieve structural change, the Ritter Family Foundation turned its efforts towards ensuring Norwalk ACTS would be successful in its mission.
The Ritter Family Foundation’s Board of Directors made the decision to double-down on its operations and scope, and to expand and align its investments in order to become a larger and more strategic grant-making foundation. RFF became a staffed organization and hired Kate Ritter to the lead the foundation in this evolution as Executive Director.
The Foundation has fundamentally operated with the belief that all children’s lives have equal value and possibility, and has attempted to offer assistance where the potential leverage to improve outcomes was the greatest. While the Foundation is working to hone, articulate and communicate the Foundation’s mission, vision, core principles and investment strategy and process, it will continue to be guided by that philosophy.