The Community Fund of Darien

Over 65 years ago when The Community Fund of Darien was founded, we raised $30,000 with gifts from more than 95% of Darien’s residents. They knew that we were their “community fund.” Since then, thousands of individuals and hundreds of businesses have given to The Community Fund to improve the lives of our families, friends and neighbors.

We are proud of our history of caring for our neighbors and our compassion for those who are most in need. As you read our history below, you will see that we are your community fund – and together, we are making a real difference!

In 1924, the United Darien Association was established to bring together local agency professionals to coordinate their agencies’ interests and activities.

By 1947, this evolved into the Darien Council of Social Agencies, with the purpose of providing a meeting ground for all interested parties and acting as a clearinghouse for ideas and joint discussions to promote new projects in response to community needs. By 1954, this group adopted the name of “The Community Council.” Meanwhile, in 1951, the Darien United Fund was formed, conducting fundraising for eight member agencies. In 1967, the two organizations merged into “The Darien United Fund and Community Council.”

In 1977, the organization decided to join the national United Way movement and changed its name to “The Darien United Way and Community Council.” And in 1978, it joined the United Way of Tri-State.

In 2005, the Community Council was dissolved and the Human Services Planning Council was created in its stead to conduct needs assessments and work collaboratively to meet identified needs and address gaps in services in Darien and the region. The name of the organization became “The Darien United Way.”

In 2006, the Board of Directors voted to withdraw from the national United Way system and adopt a new name, “The Community Fund of Darien.” The Board decided to return the organization to its local, autonomous roots, while maintaining the same mission it has had for the past 55 years. The Community Fund is actively working to meet health and human services needs in the greater community – primarily in Darien, Norwalk and Stamford – through strategic and financial leadership.