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The origins of the Perrin Family Foundation are similar to many other grantmakers rooted in the wealth of successful American executives. Charles Perrin started his career at General Foods in the late 1960s. The Trinity College and Columbia Business School alumnus went on to become president and CEO of Duracell and then Avon Products. His wife Sheila Perrin, meanwhile, is a former educator.
In 1994, the couple established the Perrin Family Foundation (PFF) in Ridgefield, Connecticut, to provide opportunities for youth in surrounding Fairfield County. Ridgefield is one of the wealthiest communities in the state, and like a lot of other family foundations, it engaged in traditional kinds of giving, supporting causes close to home.
The foundation, however, took an interesting turn—one that we’ve been seeing in many family foundations as younger generations become more involved and seek to contend with modern issues. Today, grantmaking looks quite different, and the foundation itself is now headquartered in New Haven so that it can be closer to the underprivileged communities that it serves. PFF partners with organizations in under-resourced communities with the aim of creating youth leaders of social change.
How did the foundation get to this place? This is the story about how second-generation family members became increasingly involved with a family foundation, adopting new approaches that placed power directly in the hands of youth leaders of social change.
Read the full article about supporting youth-led social change by Ade Adeniji at National Center for Family Philanthropy.