Berkshire Environmental Endowment fund

Grant Guidelines

WHO CAN APPLY

Berkshire County non-profit organizations, public agencies, schools or civic community entities for projects focused on water quality and related land issues.

GRANT INFORMATION

Berkshire County is unique not only in Massachusetts, but in New England, for the abundance and diversity of its natural resources. The two major watersheds for the Housatonic and Hoosic rivers contain extensive wetlands unlike any others, including bogs and fens that in turn support unusual plants. More than 80 percent of Berkshire County is undeveloped and is blessed with a population of residents and visitors who treasure its natural environment. The Berkshire Environmental Endowment Fund (BEE) is the first permanent source of funding for environmental quality in the Berkshires.

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation launched BEE early in 2000 with a significant grant from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust, matched by funds from a number of individuals in Berkshire County.

ELIGIBILITY

  • Proposals are considered for new or ongoing projects of non-profit organizations, public agencies, schools or civic community entities. Community groups that are not incorporated may apply using another nonprofit as a fiscal agent.
  • Applicants must be able to match the BEE grant 1:1 in cash or in in-kind services.

Berkshire Taconic does not support organizations which in their constitution, by-laws, or practice, discriminate against a person or group on the basis of age, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation or religious belief.

AWARDS

The fund awards grants annually. The amount available for granting this year is $22,500. Once the program or service funded is completed, the grant recipient must submit an assessment of the project’s outcomes.

REVIEW CRITERIA

Applications will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

  • Quality: How worthy is the project? Is it the right time for this project? Does it involve qualified individuals and organizations? Is it well conceived? Does it fit well with other related activities and regional priorities?
  • Impact: What is the potential of the project to serve as a catalyst for action? Does it engage the community? Will it make a meaningful difference in the quality of the region’s water resources?
  • Ability: Can the applicant complete the project? Does the organization exhibit a demonstrated capacity to initiate and successfully execute similar projects? Are the appropriate staff members or volunteers involved? Is the staff/group capable and stable enough to perform the tasks necessary to complete the proposed project?
  • Grant Impact: If the proposed grant is not received, will this project either be severely curtailed or not provided at all?
The Berkshire Environmental Endowment Fund Committee will review all project proposals. The committee’s recommendations will be reviewed by Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s board of directors.