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2023-25 CLT Endowment Fund Campaign

"Please make your donation payable to CFECT—with “CLT Fund” in the memo line—and mail it to 28 Federal Street, New London, CT 06320. It will automatically be doubled during the calendar quarter that CFECT receives it!
The Colchester Land Trust Board of Directors encourages your support of this capital campaign so that the entire $100,000 that I 
am promising to match can actually be realized, making your generous donation now a doubly valuable contribution" 

25 years ago, I moved to Colchester with my husband, Tim. We moved from a much more
densely populated and fast-developing Hartford suburb and, like you, we quickly fell in love with
the peace and quiet of our new neighborhood with its natural beauty, clean air and water,
healthy and bio-diverse ecosystem, and productive farmland, while still having easy access to
all the small-town commerce and services so conveniently nearby.


In the decade before we had made the move, Colchester had the dubious distinction of being
the fastest growing town in the state. So, after I moved here it was important to me to do what I
could to slow down the sort of insidious suburban sprawl—farm by farm sold off to residential
developers--that had irrevocably transformed (and definitely not for the better) the bucolic
character of the other places out in the country where I had been fortunate enough to have lived
for most of my life. In 2002 I joined a grass-roots planning committee spearheaded by Lisa
Hageman to advocate for and prepare the paperwork to create what would eventually become
the Colchester Land Trust. In 2003 the IRS approved the CLT for our coveted tax status as a
501(c)(3) charitable land conservation organization.


This year the CLT is celebrating two decades of land conservation in town, and I am preparing
to move on to my next phase of life. So I want to mark the occasion by offering a financial

incentive which I hope will inspire you and other members to want to help fund the CLT's long-
term future in order to be effective in our mission to preserve the “ruburban” character of the

town we all love.

To that end, I have made a commitment to match – dollar for dollar, up to $100,000 – every
contribution made to the CLT’s Endowment Fund during the next two years – from now until
June 30th, 2025.

Please make your donation payable to CFECT—with “CLT Fund” in the memo line—and mail it to 28 Federal Street, New London, CT 06320. It will automatically be doubled during the calendar quarter that CFECT receives it! The Colchester Land Trust Board of Directors encourages your support of this capital campaign so that the entire $100,000 that I am promising to match can actually be realized, making your generous donation now a doubly valuable contribution


The intent of the CLT Endowment Fund in undertaking this fundraising campaign is to grow a
sustained source of capital—a permanent endowment of its mission. This will allow CLT to use
a relatively small annual distribution from the endowment to support its ongoing costs of
operating as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

 

These operating expenses include
budget items such postage for outreach to supporters, appropriate insurance to preserve land in
perpetuity, trail maintenance and public event expenses, etc. With your help we can build a
robust CLT Endowment Fund principal, the annual proceeds of which will become sufficient to
pay the great majority of these ongoing obligations. The CLT’s Endowment Fund is held and
managed for our organization by the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut (CFECT)
and, at the moment, its balance is about $88,000 which has been buil
t up over the past few
years primarily by donations from the CLT's own Board Members.


The goal of this matching gift campaign is to increase this endowment to $250,000 or more so
that an annual distribution of about 4% would provide about $10,000 to pay most of our yearly
operating expenses. The CLT is a charitable organization which will always depend on public
support and will need to engage in fundraising campaigns and membership drives. But IF this
capital campaign is successful now, the funds raised through those annual appeals could become much more focused on executing the kinds of transactions that will conserve more specific parcels of land in Colchester.


I hope you will be inspired to contribute as generously as possible to this effort to help CLT fulfill
its mission for the long haul. This would be a fabulous way to have your money do good for this
purpose forever because of the professional way this endowment is invested and managed on
behalf of CLT by its partners at CFECT.

It is important for you to understand that although the CLT Endowment Fund's assets
technically are the property of CFECT, the agreement establishing this dedicated endowment
with them clearly states that this money can only be used to the benefit of Colchester Land Trust
or its successors. You can learn more about CFECT on their excellent website, https://cfect.org
. The governmental rules in place for endowments such as this ensure that the principal amount
of this endowment can never be withdrawn frivolously. Therefore, contribution to this fund now
will be professionally invested and projected to last well into the future. I hope you will agree
with me that Colchester is a special place worth investing in to ensure that all those who come
after us are able to experience in the future all that we value today as part of our community
identity.


Please make your donation payable to CFECT—with “CLT Fund” in the memo line—and mail it
to 28 Federal Street, New London, CT 06320. It will automatically be doubled during the
calendar quarter that CFECT receives it! The Colchester Land Trust Board of Directors
encourages your support of this capital campaign so that the entire $100,000 that I am
promising to match can actually be realized, making your generous donation now a doubly
valuable contribution to support the Colchester Land Trust's mission in perpetuity.


Thank you,

Leslie S. Curtis
Immediate Past Vice President
Colchester Land Trust

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