Health—General & Rehabilitative


Saving Babies, Supporting Families

aka First Candle

New Canaan, CT


First Candle is committed to ending Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and other sleep-related infant deaths while providing bereavement support to families who have experienced a loss.

Ruling Year



Mrs. Alison Jacobson

Main Address

49 Locust Avenue Suite 104

New Canaan, CT 06840 USA


SIDS, stillbirth, miscarriage, infant death, research, education, risk reduction, grief, support





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Public Health Program (E70)

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

Counseling Support Groups (F60)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Straight Talk for Infant Sleep

Safe Sleep Guardian Program

Bereavement Support

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Our goal is to lower the number of SIDS deaths, Stillbirths and Miscarriages by educating parents and caregivers about the risk factors and preventative measures they can take to help reduce the chance of one of these tragic outcomes.

We create programs that reach parents and caregivers in the most vulnerable populations including lower socio-economic demographics who are unaware of safe sleep measures and engage in high-risk behaviors. Through our government and corporate partnerships we create train-the-trainer and outreach programs for daycares, military personnel, nurses and public health agencies.

We are considered the pre-eminent voice both nationally and internationally on new research on SIDS, Stillbirth and Miscarriage. As such we sponsored the unveiling of The Lancet's series on preventable Stillbirths. We also partner with the National Institute of Health to deliver their Safe to Sleep and Nurse Continuing Education (CE) training throughout the country.

A decrease in the number of SIDS, Stillbirths and Miscarriages is the primary measure of success along with attitudinal changes in safe sleep practices and maternal behavior including "counting kicks" to identify the threat of a stillbirth.

We have been extremely successful in disseminating the message that back sleeping is the only safe position for babies. Over the course of 10 years we've seen "Back is Best" become the standard for all newborns. Additionally we have been able to effectively communicate to pregnant women the importance of counting kicks to be sure that their baby is healthy.

We still have a great deal to accomplish in educating parents that co-sleeping is a primary risk factor for SIDS and that room sharing is the optimal situation.

External Reviews




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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?