South Berkshire Fund - Better Together

South Berkshire County Fund - Better Together

Grant Guidelines

WHO CAN APPLY

Nonprofit organizations, public agencies or community organizations that provide services to the residents of Alford, Egremont, Great Barrington, Lee, Lenox, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Otis, Richmond, Sandisfield, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Tyringham and West Stockbridge.

GRANT INFORMATION

The South Berkshire County Fund recognizes that the community’s residents— including neighbors, children, parents, childcare providers, educators, coaches and support staff—are exhausted and overwhelmed by the stress and anxiety associated with the pandemic and its cascading effects.

In order to emphasize the importance of working together toward positive mental health and wellness, the fund seeks proposals from nonprofit organizations for new or existing projects and programs that support positive outcomes through healthy social interaction, emotional release, respite services, education programs, creative expression and physical activity for South Berkshire County residents. The goal is to help members of the South County community build resilience through interacting with one another while intentionally working to restore and replenish their own personal wellness, and help others do the same. 

Grants will be awarded for activities that support emotional wellness and healthy development for a minimum of 10 participants, such as: 

  • Counseling services 
  • Outdoor/park activities 
  • Parent Groups (i.e. Parent Cafés, playgroups) 
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and environmental programming 
  • Summer Educational/Camp programming 
  • Youth Peer-to-Peer Groups 
  • Arts and Cultural programming 
  • Promoting/incentivizing the participation in and completion of the Mental Health First Aid program, which is appropriate for anyone age 18 and older who wants to learn how to help a person who may be experiencing a mental health related crisis or problem. The adult course is available in both English and Spanish.

DEADLINE

Applications are due June 1 on Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation's online portal. The application process opens on May 1. 

AWARDS

Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded.

ELIGIBILITY

Proposals are considered from nonprofit organizations, public agencies or community organizations that provide services to the residents of Alford, Egremont, Great Barrington, Lee, Lenox, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Otis, Richmond, Sandisfield, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Tyringham and West Stockbridge.

The South Berkshire County 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. The fund's advisory committee believes in projects that develop and maintain community connections and look for organizations that incorporate diverse cultures, philosophies and experiences across their programming.  

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 South Berkshire County Fund for funding. The South Berkshire County 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 South Berkshire County Fund Committee. Members of this committee are primarily residents of the South 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.