Daily News

Community Foundation Grants More Than $1.2M to Area Nonprofits

SPRINGFIELD — The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts is awarding more than $1.2 million in competitive grants to local nonprofit organizations. A total of 99 Pioneer Valley projects will receive funding, with awards ranging from $2,000 to $52,500.

The Community Foundation awards competitive grants each year, with funds targeting projects addressing community needs inclusive of arts and culture, education, the environment, health, housing, and human services for residents of Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties. More than 60 of the projects funded were supported by trusts administered by Bank of America. The Community Foundation receives and reviews grant applications on behalf of Bank of America for four charitable trusts for which the bank serves as a trustee. Examples of grant awards include:

• $10,000 to Kestrel Land Trust to help preserve 1,170 acres of land in the Mount Holyoke Range in collaboration with the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation and the towns of South Hadley and Belchertown. This is part of a comprehensive multi-year plan to conserve the remaining 6,000 acres that comprise the 16,000-acre Mount Holyoke Range.

• $5,000 to Birthday Wishes Inc. to provide children living at homeless shelters in Springfield with birthday celebrations. Each party includes decorations, cake, and presents celebrating and recognizing a special day in a child’s life.

• $30,000 to the Northwestern Children’s Advocacy Project Inc. to help furnish its new Greenfield site that will provide services to abused children.

“This substantial investment in our community is made possible through the generosity of our donors, the commitment of our many volunteers, and the hard work and dedication of the nonprofits that we are privileged to support,” said Community Foundation Vice President for Programs Nancy Reiche. =

Funding for the competitive grant program comes from distributions from 47 funds established by various individuals and groups committed to supporting local nonprofits. These donors rely on the Community Foundation’s volunteers and staff to focus their funds for effective use by nonprofit agencies in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin county communities. Thirteen volunteer members of the Community Foundation’s distribution committee and 21 project reviewers carefully evaluated 109 applications for funding requests totaling nearly $1.5 million.