Red Rhino Fund

Founded in 2007, the Red Rhino Fund is an endowed, charitable fund run by a nine-member student board with faculty advisors. At its core, the Fund’s mission is an extension of the school motto, Not to be served, but to serve. The group works to create positive change in the Greater Waterbury (CT) community for children, by awarding nominal monetary grants and promoting local organizations in support of education, literacy, and the arts. Along the way, Taft students gain solid perspectives on the importance of philanthropic work, and develop fundamental knowledge, understanding, and skills to continue philanthropic, not-for-profit work later in life.

The board is charged with learning about not-for-profit trusteeship, growing the endowment through new and innovative fundraising initiatives, creating marketing strategies, and awarding grants to community organizations. Board membership is determined through a competitive application and interview process. Officers are elected each year.

Current Officers

2023-24 Red Rhino Fund Officers

  • President: Finn Gateley ’24
  • Vice President: Max Rivera ’24
  • Treasurer: William Theiss ’24
  • Grants Committee Chair: Elise Taylor ’24
  • Marketing Committee Chair: Ellie Myles ’25
  • Special Events Committee Chair: Alexie Blake ’25
  • Diversity Committee Chair: Serena Patel ’25
  • Nominating and Governance Chair: Andrew Pepper ’25
  • Grants Committee Co-Chair: Serena Patel ’25
  • Marketing Committee Co-Chair: Caroline Traina ’26
  • Special Events Committee Co-Chair: Caroline Traina ’26
  • Diversity Committee Co-Chair: Alexie Blake ’25
  • Advisors: Mr. Danaher, Mrs. Pulawski

Grant Distributions

Board members conduct detailed research and reviews of each grant applicant and proposal, which may include volunteer work with the organization to build personal connections and more fully understand the impact of their mission, general site visits, and participation in after-school activities. Grant monies are presented in February to the charities chosen by the Red Rhino Fund board.

Recent grant recipients include:

  • Police Activity League of Waterbury
  • Arts for Learning Connecticut
  • Waterbury Youth Services
  • United Way of Greater Waterbury

Red Rhino Fund Grant Application
Red Rhino Fund DEI Statement


All gifts made to the Red Rhino Fund are tax deductible and may be sent to:

The Taft School Development Office
110 Woodbury Road
Watertown, CT 06795

Checks should be made payable to:
Taft School
Memo: Red Rhino Fund

For more information email: