Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Awards $1.5 Million in Spring Grants Cycle

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Awards $1.5 Million in Spring Grants Cycle

Sheffield, Mass. — The Board of Directors of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation today announced the recipients of the first round of grantmaking for 2015. The foundation distributed a total of $194,242 in grants to individuals and nonprofits in the four-county region it serves, and grants totaling over $1.3 million from donors who have established charitable funds at the foundation.

Through its competitive grantmaking, the foundation awarded grants from the William and Margery S. Barrett Fund for Adams, Cheshire and Savoy; the Central Berkshire Fund; the Fund for Columbia County; the Alice and Richard Henriquez Memorial Fund/Youth World Awareness Program; the Northwest Corner Fund; the South County Fund; the Madeleine B. Wildes Fund; and three educational enrichment funds.

Education & Enrichment: Grants to regional schools, school districts and students totaled $79,495. Select grant recipients include: in Berkshire County, Lanesborough Elementary School received $16,000 to purchase iPad minis and other digital resources for the fifth- and sixth-grade students; in Columbia County, the Hudson High School Art and Humanities departments received $5,000 to support field trips to various arts, architectural and historical sites in the area; in Dutchess County, Evelyn Grainger received $1,500 towards a community service trip to Guatemala; in Litchfield County, Daisy Torres received $1,000 to work on small-scale development projects in Costa Rica. Evelyn and Daisy will embark on their respective service trips this summer.

Health & Human Services: Grants to nonprofits providing social and human services totaled $11,197. Select grant recipients include: in Columbia County, FASNY Museum of Firefighting received $1,500 for its fire safety programs for young children; in Litchfield County, Housatonic Youth Service Bureau received $4,000 to support its counseling services for children, youth and families in the town of Salisbury.

Arts & Culture: A total of $13,050 was awarded to arts and cultural organizations. In Columbia County, Bindlestiff Family Variety Arts, Inc. received $1,000 to supports its circus arts education programs, and Hudson Opera House received $1,500 for its creative papermaking and cooking classes.
Nonprofit Capacity Building: Four area funds, the TriMix Foundation and anonymous Columbia County donors contributed a total of $80,000 for nine nonprofit organizations to participate in Berkshire Taconic’s Nonprofit Learning Program, an intensive training course for executives and board leaders to learn best practices in governance, management and fund development. Led by internationally recognized nonprofit management consultant Simone Joyaux, this team-based program is comprehensive in scope, with five group training sessions, 12 hours of private consultation and a $2,000 implementation grant. The following organizations from Berkshire, Columbia and Litchfield counties are participating: Berkshire Nursing Families; Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity; Construct, Inc.; Dalton Council on Aging; Friend of the Dalton COA; Multicultural BRIDGE; Great Mountain Forest Corporation; Family Resource Center of Columbia County; and the 21st Century Fund for Housatonic Valley Regional High School.

Berkshire Taconic, in partnership with Harvard Business School, has selected Shaun Cusson of Hillcrest Educational Center, Inc. and Carolyn Valli of Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity to attend HBS’s ‘Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management’ program, an intensive six-day program for nonprofit CEOs, presidents or executive directors who are responsible for shaping the direction, policies and major programs of their organizations. Taught by a team of Harvard faculty members who specialize in nonprofit management and valued at $5,250, this program focuses on how shifting economic realities affect organizations and how leaders must be equipped with core management concepts to successfully respond to internal and external changes.

A full list of grants can be found at

About Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation

For over 27 years, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has built stronger communities and helped donors make a difference through charitable giving in northwest Litchfield County, CT; Berkshire County, MA; and Columbia County and northeast Dutchess County, NY. Each year, the foundation distributes over $8 million through grants and scholarships to nonprofits and individuals in the arts and education, health and human services and environmental protection. Berkshire Taconic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity. You can make a difference. We can help.

Author: Harlem Valley News