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CFWM Launches Capacity Program, Sets Date for Valley Gives 2017

SPRINGFIELD — The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) has launched its Capacity Program, which was created to promote a vibrant nonprofit sector in the Pioneer Valley. The program provides resources and support so that organizations can maximize their missions and, in turn, enrich the quality of life of people in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties.

The first offering of the Capacity Program will be a four-session training program for organizations interested in enhancing their organizational effectiveness. CFWM is bringing additional nonprofit experts to the Pioneer Valley to assist local organizations to better support their missions. Since space is limited to 12-15 organizations, CFWM conducted a competitive application process to select participants, which will be eligible to receive a $3,000 mini-grant to address a specific organizational need. Applications are now closed.

This spring, as part of the Capacity Program, the CFWM will promote philanthropy across the Pioneer Valley with Valley Gives Day on May 2. This will be the fifth edition of Valley Gives. Last year’s spring event was successful in bringing new donors into philanthropic giving, as 47% of all donors had never participated in Valley Gives previously.

“Valley Gives is a practical way for people living in the Pioneer Valley to show their support for the many organizations that make our region a great place to live,” said Valley Gives organizer Michael DeChiara. “This is an opportunity for people and businesses to invest locally to support our quality of life.”

Mary Lynn Sabourin, development director for Franklin Land Trust, said the trust received numerous new donors during last May’s event.

“The Franklin Land Trust has participated in Valley Gives for the past four years,” she said. “We consider our participation hugely successful for our nonprofit, raising over $50,000 in 2016, with close to half of the 286 donors being brand-new to the organization. We are excited to be part of a regional giving day that strengthens the Valley that we call home.”

The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts is celebrating 25 years of encouraging generosity in the region this year. The foundation has given more than $140 million in grants, scholarships, and loans since 1991 in addition to promoting nonprofit sustainability.

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