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The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving’s Catalyst Endowment Fund is pleased to announce new leadership for its steering committee. Former vice chair Amanda Aronson has been selected to serve as chair and Bill McDonald will be vice chair.

A resident of West Hartford, Aronson is founder and president of StoryB, where she supports individuals as a high-impact executive leadership and performance coach and organizations as a strategic operational consultant. She has worked in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to support societal health in the fields of education, social services, philanthropy, and emergency management. Aronson also is an active member of the community serving as a Board Ambassador for the Hartford Foundation, a board member for Jewish Family Services and on the executive search committee for the Montessori School of Greater Hartford.

A resident of West Hartford, McDonald is a founding partner and senior wealth management advisor at Tidewater Wealth Management where he provides client-focused financial planning and works with individuals and organizations to create holistic, tailored financial plans that align with each client’s values and goals.

Recently celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Catalyst Endowment Fund at the Hartford Foundation is the organizations oldest and largest giving circle. The Fund provides opportunities to learn about the critical issues facing our region, meet new people who share their commitment to community, and determine grants to help tackle those issues. Since 1993, when a small group of volunteers came together to create the fund, Catalyst has worked together to make a positive impact in Greater Hartford. The Fund’s endowment has grown to approximately $2 million, and the Giving Circle has made 68 grants totaling $1.1 million to Greater Hartford nonprofits.  Each year, the members of Catalyst choose a learning topic, engage in two robust education sessions, and at their third meeting, award a grant to qualifying nonprofits or initiatives working within the 29-town region served by the Hartford Foundation.

This year, Catalyst members seek to empower youth. Their learning topic is Empowering Future Leaders and Community Builders through Youth Sports. The first learning session is Tuesday, March 26 at 5:30pm, and it will be held at Hartford International University in Hartford.

“We welcome anyone interested in joining our collective effort to strengthen our region,” Aronson said. “Whether you want to learn more deeply about the needs that exist, get more intentional about your philanthropy, or simply try a new way to expand your civic engagement, Catalyst is for you. This year, we will examine what’s working well to support healthy youth development. We will hear from the groups driving existing efforts and also from others who demonstrate innovative thinking and might offer us an opportunity to catalyze a new vision.”

To learn more about the Catalyst Endowment Fund, For more information, contact Ramonita Garcia at or visit

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding towns. Through partnerships, the Foundation seeks to strengthen communities in Greater Hartford by putting philanthropy in action to dismantle structural racism and achieve equity in social and economic mobility. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $948 million since its founding in 1925. For more information, visit or call 860-548-1888.