Central Berkshire Fund - Search & Apply for a Grant - Grants - Receive Nonprofits & Individuals - Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation

Central Berkshire Fund

Grant Guidelines

WHO CAN APPLY

Nonprofit organizations, public agencies or community organizations that provide services to the residents of the communities of Becket, Cummington, Dalton, Hinsdale, Peru, Washington and Windsor.

GRANT INFORMATION

A Dalton native created the Central Berkshire Fund in 2001 to support nonprofit activities that improve the quality of life for all residents of Becket, Cummington, Dalton, Hinsdale, Peru, Washington and Windsor.

The endowed fund serves as an ongoing resource that can look across town borders and combine resources to achieve maximum benefit for the residents of these towns, with particular emphasis on low income and/or underserved adults and children. Under the guidance of a group of community advisors, it will review grant applications and award grants, provide support to nonprofit organizations and initiate projects to provide services that do not exist.

ELIGIBILITY

Nonprofit organizations, public agencies or community organizations that provide services to the residents of Becket, Cummington, Dalton, Hinsdale, Peru, Washington or Windsor are eligible to apply for grants. 

Projects that benefit the community in any of the following areas will be considered: arts and culture, education, the environment, and health and social services. Requests will be considered for projects, programs, capital improvements and general operating support. Projects that have received prior support from the Central Berkshire Fund may reapply.

Nonprofits, teachers, students or parents may apply for projects that enhance the educational experience for the children of the hilltowns and that are not eligible for funding from the Seven Towns' Education Partnership (STEP) Fund. Requests must be accompanied by a letter of support from the school principal or superintendent.
 
Public agencies may apply for projects that enrich the experience of their communities or offer additional opportunities for public improvements. Please note that grants are not intended to replace tax dollars.

The Central Berkshire Fund 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/gender identity, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation or religious belief. We believe in projects that develop and maintain community connections and look for organizations that incorporate diverse cultures, philosophies and experiences across their programming.

AWARDS

Grants usually range between $2,000 and $5,000, although larger amounts may be considered. All grants will require a one-to-one match either in cash, services or in-kind donations. Berkshire Taconic reserves the right to modify this policy on a case-by-case basis.  

REPORTING

An assessment of the project’s outcomes will be required once the program or service funded is complete, and before any future applications are submitted to the Central Berkshire Fund for funding. Interim reports may be required for multi-year grants. The Central Berkshire Fund strives to ensure the most effective programs and services for the grants awarded.

REVIEW CRITERIA

Applications will be reviewed fairly and competitively by the Central Berkshire Fund Committee. Members of this committee are primarily residents of the Central Berkshire towns who are active in community affairs. The selected recommendations will be reviewed by Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Selections are based on the review criteria stated below:

  • Quality: How worthy is the project? Is it the right time for this project? Does it involve qualified individuals or organizations? Is it well conceived? Does it fit well with other related activities and priorities? Is it cost effective?
  • Extent of Impact: What is the potential impact of the project or service on the community? Does it engage the community? Does it address an unmet need in the community? Is it a critical program or initiative at this time?
  • Feasibility: Can the applicant complete the project? Does the organization or individual 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?
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Priority will be given to projects serving marginalized, underserved and under-resourced populations, including communities of color, low-income, geographically isolated, LGBTQIA+, individuals with disabilities, refugees and immigrants.
     

 

APPLICATION QUESTIONS

Below is a list of the Barrett Fund application questions to help you prepare your application. When you are ready to apply, please click here to visit our online application system for organizations.

PROJECT INFORMATION

  • Project name
  • Brief summary of your proposal
  • Amount requested

ORGANIZATIONAL INFORMATION

  • Is your organization an IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit? Yes or no? If Yes, attach your most recent IRS letter of determination
  • Is your organization a government entity (e.g. town, school)? Yes or no? If yes, what is your organization's tax ID number? If your application is approved, we must have a tax ID number on file before payment can be released.
  • If your organization is neither a 501(c)(3) nonprofit nor a government entity, identify your fiscal agent. Then, upload a copy of the signed fiscal sponsorship agreement.
  • Organization's mission
  • Brief summary of organization's history, goals, and key achievements
  • Brief description of the constituents you serve regularly, including total number, age brackets, race, and income levels.  
  • Total annual organization budget
  • Fiscal year end date
  • Certify that the practices of this organization conform to the policy of nondiscrimination

PROPOSAL NARRATIVE

  • The period this grant will cover
  • Profile of request: Provide a full description of the project, including the community, regional or organizational needs it addresses and the proposed short and long-term impacts. Tell us how your request addresses the review criteria.
  • Implementation: What are the specific methods and timetables for meeting your stated objectives?
  • Please give examples from your own past experience or cite evidence from other relevant work in the field that points to the likely success of this project.
  • List three expected measurable outputs of the proposed project (e.g. number of individuals expected to participate, resources shared, etc.)
  • How will the project’s effectiveness be evaluated and/or measured? Please provide specific examples, if possible.
  • What are your intentions for this project's future, including sustainable funding, if applicable?
  • If this grant is not awarded or if the request is reduced, what part of the project will be canceled or curtailed?

BUDGET

  • List all expenses related to this project or program
  • Total of all expenses
  • List any other funding sources applied to for this project or program. Include the amount and whether the funding has been received or is pending. Also list any other anticipated revenue sources and in-kind donations.
  • What is the size of your operational budget?

ATTACHMENTS

  • Board list (required)
  • Upload any additional materials to support your application
  • If this project is a collaboration, attach a letter signed by the leadership of the collaborating organizations that outlines each organization's support of the project and commitment to its implementation
  • If your organization is not a 501(c)(3), upload a copy of the signed fiscal sponsorship agreement

Award

$2,000 to $5,000


Deadline

October 12


How to Apply

Please read these important instructions.

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