Meet our members!  AFN’s greatest asset is our members—a diverse network of national, regional, and community-based foundations, financial institutions, and grantmakers—investing in advancing economic opportunity and prosperity.  Check back each month and meet your peers!   

1: What’s your main interest/focus on asset building in 2020?

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation is most interested in asset building for three priority communities: youth and young adults, ages 18-24; women and girls; and immigrants in southwestern Connecticut. We are especially pleased that AFN has emerged as an important thought leader with regard to women and girls and immigrant communities. AFN’s interest in these communities prompted us to join AFN!


2: What’s the most “ah-ha” provoking new book or research that you’ve read in the past year?

Can’t Not Do, by Paul Shoemaker. This book made me better understand how donors/philanthropists think about their personal and family philanthropy and what motivates them; loved the specific case studies.


3: What advice would you give to a colleague starting out in the asset building field?  

I would recommend thinking about joining the board of a nonprofit in the asset-building field. This can be an important opportunity for two specific reasons. First, it allows you to learn firsthand about the asset building field and how nonprofits play a pivotal role. Second, if you work in the foundation sector, it’s critical to understand the challenges of being a good board member. You can’t really appreciate this, in my opinion, until you actually serve on a nonprofit board.


4: What’s your favorite binge-worthy show, series, or podcast?

Succession on Showtime


About Karen Brown, MPA, Vice President of Development and Philanthropic Services, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation 

Karen works with Community Foundation senior staff and board members to strategize and execute on the Community Foundation’s overall fundraising and business development initiatives. She also works closely with a cadre of donor-advised fundholders to provide philanthropic advisory services and also serve as the Community Foundation’s liaison to Social Venture Partners Connecticut, a program and field of interest fund. Previously, she served as Vice President of Programs at the Community Foundation.