Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

Berkshire Bank Foundation Grants Nearly $2 Million in 2017

Berkshire Bank announced today that its Foundation awarded a total of $1,995,462 in grants to non-profit organizations operating in the bank’s footprint in 2017. The grants supported a variety of important education and community development initiatives as well as health, human service and cultural programs. In all 556 organizations benefited from the funding.

“Our grants impacted more than 5.8 million individuals in 2017 helping to enhance economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for members of our community,” said Lori Gazzillo, Senior Vice President, Foundation Director. “We believe that by investing in what can be, we can transform possibilities into a brighter reality for the people and places we serve” Gazzillo added. 

Over one hundred thousand children and adults improved their reading skills, gained a better understanding of their finances, and/or enhanced their job/career readiness through programs that received education funding from the Foundation. As a result of supporting economic development efforts, the Foundation helped nearly one million individuals find affordable housing, grow their businesses, and rebuild and revitalize their neighborhoods in 2017. In addition, this year the Foundation also provided funding to organizations that address basic needs, making food, shelter, and basic healthcare services available to over 860,000 individuals.

The Foundation offers multiple grant programs, each with their own guidelines, programmatic criteria and desired outcomes.  In 2018, the Foundation will again accept proposals for education programs that help individuals become college, career and job ready. They also plan to accept proposals for economic development programs that create thriving places to live, work, and raise a family. Applications for these grant programs are due by April 1, July 1, and October 1, 2018. In addition to these two programs, the Foundation will offer two Requests For Proposals (RFPs) focusing on non-profit capacity and basic needs. Additional details about the foundation’s guidelines and application process can be found online at www.berkshirebank.com/giving.

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