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Berkshire Bank Foundation Awards Nearly $1.9 Million to Nonprofits

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Bank Foundation announced that it awarded a total of $1,862,265 in grants to nonprofit organizations operating in the bank’s footprint in 2016. The giving represents a 3% increase in contributions compared to 2015. The grants supported a variety of education and community-development initiatives, as well as health and human service and cultural programs.

“Our philanthropic investments impacted millions of individuals in 2016, helping to enhance economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for members of our community,” said Lori Gazzillo, vice president and director of the Berkshire Bank Foundation. “We are so pleased to continue our support of so many community initiatives throughout our footprint.”

In total, the foundation’s funding affected more than 5 million individuals who received programming support from nonprofit organizations in the areas of education, especially reading, as well as community and economic development, including affordable housing, downtown revitalization, and employment. In addition, the foundation also helped meet the basic needs of individuals through funding to various health and human services initiatives.

Berkshire Bank Foundation recently announced changes to its philanthropic strategy, allowing it to continue meeting the growing needs of the communities it serves, while maximizing the impact of its contributions. As part of the transition, the foundation will continue to focus its funding in the areas of education and community/economic development, but will now seek specific outcomes associated with the programs it supports. In addition, the foundation plans to allocate a limited pool of funds to basic-need funding that will rotate each year to provide organizations doing good work, but that don’t necessarily fall within the foundation’s major focuses, the opportunity to receive funding.

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