Daily News

Berkshire Bank Announces $2 Million in Philanthropic Grants

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Bank Foundation awarded a total of $1,518,133 in grants to nonprofit organizations in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont during 2014. The grants supported important education and community development initiatives as well as health, human-service, and cultural programs. In addition, Berkshire Bank provided $500,622 in community sponsorships, raising its total contributions in the community to over $2 million.

“We are so pleased to continue providing critical funding to hundreds of nonprofit organizations across our footprint,” said Lori Gazzillo, vice president and director of the Berkshire Bank Foundation. “Our 2014 grants have supported programs and projects that are enhancing economic opportunities and improving the quality of life for members of our communities. On behalf of our entire Berkshire Bank team, we are honored to be able to give back in such a significant way.”

The bank’s charitable foundation and bank sponsorships fund nonprofit organizations and programs in communities that Berkshire Bank serves. While the foundation’s funding priorities are education and community and economic-development projects, it also supports youth, cultural, and human-service organizations. The bank also maintains an annual scholarship program for high-school seniors, which recently launched for 2015.

Meanwhile, recognizing that being a good corporate citizen and community partner is about more than writing a check, Berkshire administers an employee volunteer program called the X-Team, which provides employees with paid time off to volunteer during regular business hours. Through the program, more than 70% of Berkshire Bank’s employees donated in excess of 40,000 hours of service to benefit community organizations across the bank’s footprint.

Berkshire Bank’s philanthropic and community volunteerism efforts were honored in 2014 with the Capital Region Community Impact Award, the United Way Agar Volunteerism Award, two New England Financial Marketing Awards, and being named by the Boston Business Journal as one of Massachusetts’ Most Charitable Companies for the second consecutive year.

Berkshire Bank accepts requests for financial support at www.berkshirebank.com/giving. All requests must be submitted through the online system in order to be considered. Organizations interested in seeking funding are encouraged to read the foundation’s funding guidelines prior to applying for support. Complete guidelines for those seeking grants or bank community sponsorships are available on the website.

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