Report to the Community

Report to the Community

 

Message from Leadership

Berkshire Taconic is proud to play catalytic roles in our four-county region: as trusted donor resource and grant maker, convener and community leader. Last year, we brought together hundreds of residents to share knowledge and strengthen the many nonprofits making a difference in our communities.

These vital connections have a measurable impact and help us respond to the highest-priority issues facing residents.

Partnerships are instrumental to all aspects of our work. Our strategic priorities of increasing community engagement, economic opportunity and educational attainment are the building blocks for a stronger region as we collaborate with individuals and institutions for lasting change.

Additionally, our area funds and their committees of local leaders are acting urgently on issues that directly affect their neighborhoods, investing in important programs through grants to combat food inequality, prevent substance abuse, promote early literacy and enhance the educational experience for students.

As you will see below and throughout the pages of our Report to the Community, the roles we play are made possible by generous donors who support these causes and others they care about in our region and beyond. We are the community’s foundation, and working together, we can actively inspire philanthropy and increase permanent resources for our communities.

Peter Taylor, President
Sarah Stack, Outgoing Chair

 

By The Numbers

 

 

Investments

Generous donors have entrusted their philanthropy to Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation for three decades. We take seriously our responsibility to steward their gifts with prudent, long-term financial strategies that maximize grantmaking and preserve and grow resources for the future. The foundation’s investment program is led by a committee of volunteer investment experts, working with its professional staff and independent consultant, Prime Buchholz. The foundation strives to produce long-term returns that offset grants, inflation and administrative fees to maintain the real spending power of funds over time.

 

Highlights Of Our Work

 

Our new Arts Build Community initiative combines research, grant support, network- and capacity-building, and donor engagement to increase levels of involvement in the arts and creative process among year-round residents and organizations in Berkshire County. This partnership with the Barr Foundation focuses specifically on creating stronger connections among arts and community-based institutions and young people, people of color and immigrants, and low-income communities.

With a total of $200,000 in new grants, we are spurring innovation among these nonprofits as they launch new projects, expand existing ones and collaborate with others. Another aspect of the initiative is a yearlong learning program through which seven organizations are exploring barriers to participation in the arts and testing new ideas. Together, these organizations will receive an investment of nearly $120,000 in grants for technical assistance and pilot projects.

 

 

Our donor advised fundholders made a lasting impact in our region and beyond by awarding nearly $3 million to more than 800 nonprofits last year. These organizations focus on programs that support our neighbors and strengthen our communities, and the generosity of our donors helps make their important work possible. Grants from multiple donor advised funds contributed to the efforts of nonprofits with a variety of missions, from arts and education to health and human services.

One popular grantee, Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires, received more than a dozen grants to support its work serving over 5,500 patients last year.

 

 

Leaders from nearly 100 nonprofit organizations across the region gathered for the first-ever Board Leadership Forum last October. This daylong training and networking opportunity, which drew board leaders and executive directors from nonprofits of all sizes and missions, featured a total of nine workshops by experts on governance, fundraising and change management.

Our focus on board leadership reflects our belief that involvement in communities and organizations creates far-reaching social benefits.

 

 

 

 

 

Kenya

Kenya Rutland shared strategies for reducing bias and creating a more inclusive organization at the inaugural Board Leadership Forum. Photo by John Dolan

VIM

Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires provides free access to health care for income-qualified, uninsured and under-insured residents of the Berkshire region. Photo by John Dolan

ABCTalk

Resident-researcher Ranisha Grice (right) in conversation with staff from Berkshire County arts and culture organizations. Photo by John Dolan

HudsonSchools

With support from the Hudson Schools Arts and Humanities Fund, fifth-graders are enhancing their literacy skills through lessons focused on journalism. Photo by John Dolan