Donate to a Fund - Give Current & Future Donors - Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation

For over 30 years, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has channeled generosity to where it is needed, bringing together resources and passion to tackle the region's most pressing issues and create lasting change.

We use a collaborative approach to philanthropy, working closely with donors to establish flexible donor advised funds, make grants and award scholarships, strengthen organizations, convene leaders and connect neighbors. Everyone has something to contribute. Together, we can make life here even better. 

Give to an Existing Fund at BTCF

Consider giving a gift to one or more of the funds established by individuals, families or organizations that are helping our communities thrive. If you need help deciding which fund to choose, you can rely on our expertise to help you identify one that matches your interests.

Donate Search Our Funds

About This Photo
About This Photo

Jiminy Peaks owners Brian Fairbank (right) and his son Tyler make gifts through a donor advised Brian established to support causes in their beloved Berkshire County. Photo by John Dolan. 


Give Now

Gifts to Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation come in all forms. You can use any of the following assets to establish a charitable fund or give to an existing fund at Berkshire Taconic.

A cash gift is the most popular type of charitable gift because of its simplicity. A gift of $25,000 or more establishes an endowed fund of your choice that begins generating income for grants or scholarships and continues in perpetuity. A gift of $10,000 establishes a donor advised fund.

Benefits to You

  • Give as much or as little as you want
  • Combine multiple gifts to establish a fund

How to Give Cash

  • Cash Wiring Instructions. Notify BTCF of your intention to transfer cash by calling 413.229.0370 or emailing
  • Please do not mail cash. Cash can be hand delivered to our office in Sheffield, MA. We are open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m to 5 p.m.

How to Give a Check

  • Make checks payable to Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation with the fund name in the memo line/or make the check co-payable to Berkshire Taconic/fund name
  • Mailing address:
    Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation
    800 North Main Street
    Sheffield, MA 01257

Long-term appreciated holdings, such as stocks, bonds or mutual funds may provide greater tax benefits than a cash gift of equivalent value, especially if they have a low-cost basis. You receive a charitable deduction for the full market value of your holdings – even if you bought it for far less. You also avoid capital gains tax – money you’d pay if you liquidated the holding. A gift of closely held stock is also a giving option.

Benefits to You

  • Charitable deduction for fair market value, not original investment
  • No capital gains tax
  • Combine multiple gifts
  • Recognizable tax savings
  • Reduces size of your estate

How to Give Stock

A home. A farm. A business property. Undeveloped land. Real estate assets make wonderful charitable gifts and Berkshire Taconic can help ensure your generosity does the most good. We accept the gift outright or show you how a charitable trust can be used to convert your asset into a gift that also produces income. You can also give tangible personal property (e.g. art, antiques, rare books, jewelry, gems and collections).

Benefits to You

  • Charitable deduction for personal property based on original investment
  • No capital gains tax
  • Recognizable tax savings
  • Reduces your taxable estate
  • Relieves you and your heirs of the burden of selling property

Many families establish private foundations to create a charitable legacy without realizing the complexities and expense of administration. A number of private foundations have chosen to convert to a fund at Berkshire Taconic so that the advisors can focus solely on the work they love – grant making! Compare [PDF, 64KB] a private foundation to a fund at BTCF.

Benefits to You

  • Lower administrative costs
  • Greater tax benefits
  • No payout requirement
  • Greater privacy


Give Later

Including Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation in your estate plan is an easy way for you to make a significant impact on your community and create a legacy that lasts forever. You can use a variety of assets to make a planned gift and accomplish your charitable goals.

You can, through a bequest, establish any kind of fund or give to an existing fund. Gifts provided through wills or trusts have become the foundation of the American philanthropic tradition. Such gifts enable you to make significant contributions that may not have been possible during your lifetime.

When you remember BTCF in your will, you may reduce your estate taxes while supporting your community. You may give a specific dollar amount, property or a percentage of your estate. You may also give the remainder of your estate after bequests to family and friends.

Sample Bequest Language [PDF, 496KB]
Bequest Intention Form [PDF, 123 KB]

Benefits to You

  • Divide property between loved ones and your charitable interests as you wish
  • Reduce your taxable estate
  • Create a charitable legacy today by telling BTCF what you want to give through your fund

Retirement plan assets are some of the most tax-efficient assets to transfer to charity upon your death. Deferred income tax and estate tax can erode the value of retirement assets; in some cases, the combination of taxes can reach as high as 80 percent, leaving very little for your heirs. By leaving retirement assets to your fund at Berkshire Taconic, you can preserve 100% of your hard-earned assets for the good of the community – forever.

Naming BTCF as beneficiary of your retirement assets is as easy as adding a sentence or two to your IRA beneficiary form: “I leave x% of my assets to Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF), a nonprofit corporation of Connecticut, to be used to enhance (or create) a component fund (to be) known as the _______Fund.”

Sample Bequest Language [PDF, 310KB]

Benefits to You

  • Avoid all income & estate taxes
  • Deploy 100% of your retirement assets toward your charitable goals
  • Create a charitable legacy today by indicating your intentions for the fund upon your passing

Giving a life insurance policy is one way to make a substantial contribution to BTCF. There are three ways to turn your life insurance policy into a charitable gift:

  • List BTCF as the beneficiary when purchasing a new life insurance policy or execute a change of beneficiary form on a current policy. Upon your passing, your estate receives a charitable deduction and the death benefit passes to BTCF tax-free.
  • Donate an existing, paid-up life insurance policy to the Foundation or purchase a new paid-up policy in BTCF’s name. You should receive a current income tax deduction equal to the lesser value of your basis in the policy or the policy value. 
  • Transfer an existing insurance policy or purchase a new policy on your life and name BTCF as the owner. Every year you donate sufficient funds to BTCF to pay the annual premiums.

Benefits to You

  • A simple & inexpensive way to create a significant future charitable legacy
  • Charitable deduction at time of gift on the current value of your paid-up policy
  • If a premium-due policy is donated, receive an additional tax deduction for annual gifts to charity for annual premium payments

A charitable lead trust allows you to “donate the fruit and keep the tree.” Essentially, you make significant charitable gifts now while later transferring wealth to your heirs at reduced gift and estate tax rates. Through the trust, you determine how much will be paid to BTCF and for how long. The principal that remains after the trust terminates will revert back to you or pass to another designated individual.

Charitable lead trusts are an effective tool for excluding assets – and subsequent appreciation on those assets – from your taxable estate while ensuring your favorite causes receive significant charitable support.

Minimum to establish a charitable lead trust: $250,000.

Benefits to You

  • Transfer appreciated property to family members at low cost
  • Reduce burden of gift taxes, probate costs and estate taxes
  • Useful in a year in which you have a large amount of taxable income – use as a large, current income tax deduction
  • Establish a donor-advised fund to receive the income payments, then enjoy recommending grants to your favorite charities over time

Giving through a charitable remainder trust (CRT) can support Berkshire Taconic’s future grant making while providing you or whomever you designate with income for life or a specified number of years. You, in effect, “donate the tree and keep the fruit.”

You place cash, property or other assets irrevocably into a trust, which distributes an annual income for life or for the duration of the trust to the income beneficiary. Payments can be a fixed dollar amount (an annuity trust) or a percentage of the principal (a unitrust).

Charitable remainder trusts offer a great deal of flexibility. Payments may be made to you throughout your life, and then directed to your spouse or other beneficiaries after your death. Or, the trust may be set up by your will, benefiting a loved one for his or her lifetime. The eventual distribution to the Foundation will take effect only at the end of the trust term.

The minimum to establish a charitable remainder trust: $250,000.

Benefits to You

  • Make a significant gift to charity
  • Provide a lifetime income for yourself and/or your beneficiaries
  • Reduce your taxable estate
  • Avoid immediate capital gains tax when the gifted asset is sold
  • Realize an income tax charitable deduction
  • Increase income by converting low-yield assets


Support BTCF’s Community Leadership Funds


Jiminy Peak owners Brian Fairbank (right) and his son Tyler make gifts through a donor advised Brian established to support causes in their beloved Berkshire County. Photo by John Dolan. 

The Community Engagement Fund promotes BTCF’s strategic priority in community engagement, which fosters connections and harnesses the expertise people can bring to organizations and communities.

Learn more


The Economic Opportunity Fund promotes BTCF’s strategic priority in economic opportunity, which strengthens the conditions that allow the economy to grow and residents to prosper.

Learn more


The Educational Attainment Fund promotes BTCF’s strategic priority in education, which focuses on increasing educational attainment across the age continuum.

Learn more


You can help address urgent needs in your community.

  • BTCF identifies needs and opportunities in the region and targets dollars where they are most effective
  • Support long-term solutions to issues such as early childhood development, hunger, homelessness and child welfare


The Taconic Fund is a designated fund that supports Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.


You can support the leadership work of your community foundation.

  • Support BTCF’s research and development work in communities throughout the region
  • Provide support for BTCF staff to implement community leadership initiatives


You can sustain the quality of life in a beloved town or geographic region.

  • Give to your local area through a permanently endowed fund with an advisory committee made up of local residents who understand the needs of your community and the nonprofits that address them
  • Support programs and services in the arts, education, health, human services and the environment

Learn More


You can improve the lives of our children

  • Support children from birth to five years in our region develop in a wholesome, healthy, learning-rich environment so that they are ready to learn when they enter kindergarten


You can help turn a good education into a great one.

  • Give public school children access to hundreds of exceptional educational opportunities not included in school budgets such as field trips, nutrition programs, theater, music and more
  • Support a permanently endowed source of funding for remarkable learning experiences

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You can help local families in economic distress.

  • Provide emergency assistance through small grants to help with overdue utilities, medical bills, short-term housing costs and transportation problems
  • Direct your donation to specific towns or communities or allow funds to be used where they are most needed

Learn more


You can help strengthen local nonprofit organizations.

  • Help nonprofits think strategically, govern effectively and operate efficiently
  • Fund seminars in best practices in nonprofit management
  • Provide scholarships to top-flight academic programs and intensive training for board and staff leaders
  • Support  nonprofit access to an online national grants database and free use of BTCF’s three conference rooms

Learn More