History - About BTCF - Learn About BTCF - Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation

berkshire taconic: A History of Leadership

In 1987, four friends from Salisbury and Sharon, Conn., could see that life wasn’t easy for many of their neighbors. Because they loved their community and wanted life to be better for everyone here, they raised $100,000 to form Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

Robert Blum, Founder of Berkshire Taconic Community FoundationOriginally named the Tri-county Community Foundation, it was an affiliate of the New York Community Trust. Salisbury resident Robert Blum was active in the management of the New York Community Trust for 34 years, and played the key role in the foundation’s formation. Donald Warner and William Olsen of Salisbury were also part of the leadership team that started the foundation. Dana Creel of Sharon, Conn., was the first board chair.

In the years since, you and your neighbors – hundreds of teachers, business owners, nurses, and artists – have followed suit and started funds at BTCF for causes you care deeply about.

The results so far? In financial terms, over $100 million or 1,000 times that initial investment, has returned to our communities for the benefit of all. But in a wider sense, donors like you have created thousands of opportunities for good works that have touched us all in surprising and inspiring ways.


Since 1987, BTCF has built a strong region-wide philanthropic infrastructure, creating charitable giving vehicles to help donors support causes that are important to them. Each year, thousands of gifts from individuals, families and organizations contribute to over 500 funds managed by Berkshire Taconic. Over 50,000 people have made contributions to these funds since 1987. Hundreds of citizens volunteer each year on BTCF committees that award grants – creating a network of caring that touches the lives of almost every person in our region.

Highlights from BTCF’s First 25 Years.

You Can Be a Part of Our Next 25 Years

There are many ways to partner with Berkshire Taconic to strengthen your community or support a cause:

About This Photo
About This Photo
Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation began as the bright idea of New York Philanthropist Robert Blum. Photo courtesy of daughter and Founding BTCF Trustee Alice Yoakum.

Dad (founder, Robert Blum) would be thrilled to see how BTCF has blossomed since he first proposed the idea to a few friends around his dining room table many years ago…

Alice Yoakum
Founding BTCF
Salisbury, Conn.