The Impact of the Community Foundation Of Western Massachusetts


Foundation: Barr Foundation, Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts

The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts is one of hundreds of community foundations in the United States that help those in need. It brings together organizations, people, and institutions from all over the 413 and links those constituents, as well as contributors, with resources and opportunities to help them succeed. In order to enhance the quality of life for everyone in the Valley and to generate opportunity and equality for all, the organization's objective is to Individuals, rather than huge corporations, provide the majority of the foundation's donations. The Community Foundation had recently finished the formulation of a new strategic plan, which was being implemented immediately.

The agency reached out to charitable organizations and public officials in the region to identify areas of need. It optimized its grant-funding procedure in order to be able to respond to applications more swiftly and efficiently. As a consequence, grant money more than quadrupled in comparison to a normal year prior to the epidemic. It has been determined that the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts will be a Difference Maker in the year 2022. Listening has long been considered to be one of the most crucial characteristics of a good foundation.

Beyond just listening, it has taken action in a variety of areas, but particularly in education and the needs of local kids. "We're moving away from being transactional and just passing over a cheque to someone," says the CEO. Overall, the Massachusetts Community Foundation's donations to the community in fiscal year 21 reached $24.6 million, with a total of 1,668 contributors contributing to this amount. In addition to grants, $1.8 million in scholarships and interest-free loans were awarded to 848 students, totaling $16.7 million in grants and $1.8 million in scholarships and interest-free loans. In addition to scholarships, "we're looking into what kinds of mentoring and support can help individuals cross the finish line," Zobel explains. "We're not only looking into scholarships, but also looking into what kinds of mentoring and support may help people cross the finish line."

ValleyCreates, an initiative of the Barr Foundation, seeks to bring together the arts and creative communities in Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties in order to foster collaboration. A large number of $1,000 grants have been issued, many of which have been paired with coaching and business-resiliency webinars. Nicole Bourdon points out that the bulk of arts groups in our area are rather tiny, with extremely little resources at their disposal. According to her, there is a genuine need for capacity assistance. Given that Western Massachusetts does not have as many big foundations or private philanthropy as the eastern half of the state, attracting greater financing from outside of the region is vital to its success.

Approximately 60% of students graduate from four-year universities, whereas just 25% graduate from two-year colleges, according to a recent research. Nursing students who are close to completing their degree but must withdraw because they cannot afford to take license examinations are one example. According to Packard, "We're not only looking at scholarships, but also into what sorts of mentorship and assistance will help folks cross the finish line." According to Royal, the foundation's work to investigate challenges connected to college completion has been crucial in continuing attempts to determine the path of scholarship programs. Data is continuously being collected, and solutions are continually being developed, in order to increase graduation rates.

She believes there is unfairness in society and the charitable landscape of Western Massachusetts, and she wants to do something about it. Hurst: "I often see what is lacking and where the gaps are, as well as what we aren't doing." Read the Entire Article


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