Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

Berkshire Bank Awards $20,000 in Capacity Building Grants

Berkshire Bank Foundation, Inc. is excited to announce that it selected four nonprofit organizations to each receive a $5,000 grant as part of its Xtraordinary Day Grants.  Through the program, Berkshire invited proposals from nonprofit organizations in its footprint seeking to build their capacity, performance and impact. More than 160 organizations submitted applications.

Capacity building, defined as initiatives that bring a nonprofit to the next level of operational, programmatic, financial, or organizational maturity, is not just about the capacity of a nonprofit today but about the organization’s ability to deliver on its mission into the future. Examples of projects submitted include the development of a communications strategy, improving program design, volunteer recruitment, corporate partnerships, technology enhancements, and more.

The organizations and projects selected for awards included:

  • Rebuilding Together Boston (Jamaica Plain, MA): Data collection and evaluation project to improve operations and outcomes
  • Catholic Charitable Bureau of the Archdiocese of Boston, Inc. (Boston, MA): Teen career center technology upgrades 
  • Berkshire Horseworks (Great Barrington, MA):  Mobile trailer purchase
  • Better Neighborhoods, Inc. (Schenectady, NY): Policy and process development for home repair and accessibility modification  programs

“We’re pleased to support these deserving nonprofits with grants to take their operations and programs to the next level.” stated Lori Gazzillo, Vice President and Director of Berkshire Bank’s Foundation. “The overwhelming response we had to this grant opportunity speaks to the quality of those selected but also to the need for more funding dedicated to capacity building initiatives.”

A group of Berkshire Bank employee volunteers selected the winners by evaluating each submission using an electronic scoring system. Each submission was reviewed a minimum of three times with the average of the scores being tallied as the final score. The top four organizations with the highest scores received funding.  The grant review was offered to employees as a virtual volunteer opportunity on Berkshire’s Xtraordinary Day of Service that took place on June 7, 2017, during which 92% of the Company’s employees across the country participated, donating over 6,000 hours of service. The 65 volunteer projects that day benefited 75 nonprofit organizations and impacted more than 435,000 individuals.

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