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EASTHAMPTON — The Beveridge Family Foundation awarded CitySpace $35,000 in support of the restoration of Old Town Hall into a center of the arts for the city of Easthampton and Western Mass.

In 2006, beginning with Old Town Hall’s first floor, CitySpace embarked on an effort to create affordable space for arts organizations and creative businesses under one roof in Easthampton’s Main Street Historic District. Now, CitySpace is raising funds to convert the unused, second-floor, 3500-square-foot hall into a flexible, accessible, 350-seat performing-arts and community space for performances, concerts, and community events. Renovations will include a new box office, elevator, entryway, theatrical lighting, and sound and projection systems.

To date, more than $4 million in grants and contributions have been received for the $6.9 million project. CitySpace plans to begin renovations in late 2022, and the organization seeks further support to complete the project.

“From the beginning of our campaign, the Beveridge Foundation has been incredibly generous and encouraging of CitySpace for the restoration of Old Town Hall,” said Burns Maxey, CitySpace board president. “We are deeply thankful and honored for the foundation’s growing support to create a vibrant destination for the performing arts for our Western Massachusetts community.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The building at 157 Pine St. served the people of Springfield for generations as a fire station, before being retired from service 25 years ago and converted into 16 studio and one-bedroom apartments. Today it’s home to people with developmental disabilities who receive support services through MHA.

During the conversion to apartments, the building’s heating system received some upgrades, but time has taken its toll. “Our facilities team has managed to keep the heating system afloat, but Band-Aid fixes can only do so much for so long,” said Kimberley Lee, vice president of Resource Development & Branding for MHA. “It’s just a matter of time before it will fail, and then we’d face the enormous challenge of trying to find places to live for all these folks, on top of finding a way to get the old heating system to work again. The obvious solution is a new heating system, but that would only be possible with the support of a community partner.”

Lee reached out to the Beveridge Family Foundation and made a grant request for $50,000 to fund the project. After evaluating the project, the Beveridge Foundation awarded MHA the full amount.

“Because of this generous grant, MHA is now able to request bids for a full-scale heating-plant renovation,” Lee said. “The result will be a more reliable, more energy-efficient heat and hot-water system to keep our residents safe and comfortable. What’s more, with new technology and warranties in place, our facilities team and outreach staff will have peace of mind that enables them to focus on what matters: the people we serve. We expect to move forward with the project in the spring. We are excited that we’ll be able to invest in a system that is built to last for many, many years to come.”

Ward Caswell, Beveridge Family Foundation president, noted that MHA has a “strong record of impactful service and financial stability, they have demonstrated their ability to meet a critical community need, and they work to support vulnerable persons who need our help. Having a significant role in an agency’s ability to directly impact the overall health and wellness of the persons they serve is incredibly satisfying.”

Daily News

WEST NEWBURY — The Beveridge Family Foundation provides support to nonprofits within Hampden and Hampshire counties. While continuing that critical work, it has started investing directly into social-impact projects and ventures. By leveraging its endowment, the Beveridge Foundation is significantly increasing the amount of funding it can deploy.

Local organizations with proposals for economically sustainable programs can now apply for investments of up to $250,000. These proposals must be at the pilot stage or later and already have significant evidence of demand and viability.

At a recent Human Service Forum event, Ward Caswell, the foundation’s president, noted that “Western Massachusetts has one of the most developed nonprofit sectors in the country. We’ve invented techniques that are the envy of the rest of the country. If we can package those techniques right, they can create impact for millions of people and bring significantly more funding to our region.

“Funders like us have trained nonprofits to be very good at writing grants, and not at how to build sustainable business models,” Caswell said. “That is why we’re working with Innovation Accelerator. We’ve watched them help nonprofits come up with ideas and turn them into things that have real potential. We cover up to 50% of the tuition for participating organizations and provide direct feedback to help teams qualify for an impact investment.”

Innovation Accelerator trains nonprofits to develop high-impact social ventures. Alumni have gone from sticky notes on a whiteboard to live programs that have raised more than $1 million in seed funding. Each team that participates in the flagship accelerator program generates mission-aligned ideas, gathers concrete evidence, and receives direct feedback from the Beveridge Foundation and other funders.

Organizations seeking to qualify for one of the foundation’s investments should learn more about the accelerator and apply before the deadline on Monday, Sept. 28 at 11:59 p.m. Those fitting the foundation’s criteria can apply directly at beveridge.org.

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