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Landscape of Library Park and the park Gazebo in Downtown Waterbury, Connecticut.
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Image of the Waterbury, Connecticut's Library Park Gazebo and walk path during a Spring day. 

Photographed by Clay Johnson

Foundation Values

The Leever Foundation is dedicated to supporting opportunities for people in Waterbury, Connecticut, especially children, to fulfill their potential.

By working collaboratively with communities, learning experientially, and staying grounded in a core set of values, the foundation is steadfast in its support of place-based transformational change toward a just and equitable society.

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The Leever Foundation is committed to acknowledging and responding to systemic & structural inequities that impact the Waterbury community. We prioritize the needs and leadership of communities most impacted; we listen, stay informed and fund sustainable change efforts. 

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We encourage bold action to get things done and support the innovative ideas of organizations that think critically, center compassion, and embrace challenges as opportunities for growth. We are willing to take risks, disrupt the status quo, and know that the “right” answer is not always the easy or fastest answer. As co-founder Harold Leever often said, ‘Have the guts to fail.’ 

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Community Collaboration

As a foundation rooted in family, we work alongside the Waterbury community, uplifting the dreams and aspirations of those living at the margins. We share our power and resources with community partners, rather than making decisions for them. 

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We hold ourselves accountable to the people of Waterbury, acknowledging our missteps and continually learning about, from, and with the community. We strive to be honest, just, and transparent in our work and relationships. 

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We believe that Waterbury is a vibrant community with a unique history and the potential energy and resourcefulness necessary for success. The Leever Foundation invests in initiatives led & informed by the change-makers, thought-leaders, and creatives living in and committed to the city’s diverse neighborhoods. We honor the abundant—though, often unseen—assets and cultural resources, as we seek to mitigate the systemic and structural barriers that limit people’s ability to thrive. 

Philanthropic Approach

In Waterbury, we see an abundance of talent, yet it is painfully clear that opportunities are not equally distributed. The systemic impact of racism and societal inequities stifles the potential of our community. At the Leever Foundation, we confront this harsh reality head-on.


We refuse to accept the status quo that denies opportunities to those who have been historically marginalized. Through strategic investments in grassroots work and systems change, we are committed to unlocking the full potential of every individual in Waterbury.

But we don't stop there. We actively challenge the prevailing narratives that perpetuate inequality. By leveraging our resources and influence, we strive to ensure that access to opportunity is not determined by one's background or circumstances.

In the end, our vision is clear: we believe in the limitless potential of Waterbury. We are determined to break down the systemic barriers that obstruct the path to opportunity for the city’s most marginalized. By addressing societal inequities, we strive to build a community where everyone's talents are valued, nurtured, and given the chance to truly shine.


We provide support to nonprofit organizations and community initiatives that align with our mission and values. Through strategic grantmaking, we support programs and projects focused on areas that promote social justice and equity.

Principles of Social Justice

The Leever Foundation sees these principles as a starting point for understanding social justice and incorporating it into our philanthropic activities.

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P.O. Box 2179

Waterbury, CT 06705

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