WHO CAN APPLY
Nonprofit organizations, public agencies, or community organizations that provide services to the residents of Alford, Egremont, Great Barrington, Lee, Lenox, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Otis, Richmond, Sandisfield, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Tyringham, and West Stockbridge.
Inadequate transportation is a barrier to accessing childcare, obtaining fresh and healthy food, receiving health services, attending education and cultural enrichment programs, obtaining and maintaining employment, and experiencing social inclusivity. The South County Fund Advisory Committee recognizes the need for additional transportation solutions and that public transportation is not the only transportation system available to residents.
We invite applications for projects whose goal is to increase or improve access to transportation for South County residents of all ages. Examples of possible projects include:
- New Volunteer Driver Programs: support to create new volunteer driver programs for people in underserved communities and populations.
- Nonprofit Program Access: support to ensure that more individuals, particularly low-income individuals, can access nonprofit programs that are offered in locations without public transportation options.
- Transportation Program Expansions: planning to expand existing transportation programs to new or underserved locations, on new days/times, or adding transportation services for new purposes (e.g., expanding transportation services from just medical appointments to also include supermarkets or social gatherings).
- Transportation Program Improvements: support to improve the effectiveness and/or efficiency of existing transportation programs. This may include developing partnerships with other service providers, improving technology, and/or training and outreach.
The Advisory Committee will place priority on applications that do one or more of the following:
- Meet gaps in services/programs or provide service/programming where there is none currently (in the case of new or expanding programs)
- Creatively use existing resources
- Are clearly laid out and ready to implement
Applications are due March 15 on Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation's online portal. The application process opens on February 15.
Grants will generally range up to $5,000. Collaborative proposals will be considered for higher amounts. Applicants should identify clear outcomes as part of the application process.
All applicants must meet Berkshire Taconic’s grant eligibility guidelines.
All grant requests may include:
- Staff time for program coordination
- Reimbursements or stipends for volunteers
- New software and/or technology
- Meetings for outreach to community members and organizations, and developing partnerships
- Inventories of existing programs or services, and identifying gaps
- Technical assistance
- Annual appeals and capital campaigns
- Multi-year requests (the grant period is one year, though an organization may submit requests in consecutive years)
- Expenses that have already been incurred
Proposals are considered from nonprofits, municipalities, community organizations or civic entities serving residents of South Berkshire County, MA: Alford, Great Barrington, Egremont, Lee, Lenox, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Otis, Richmond, Sandisfield, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Tyringham, and West Stockbridge. Please note that it is not the geographic location of an organization that determines its eligibility but rather providing service to South County residents.
- Community groups may apply using a nonprofit organization as a fiscal agent.
- Grants will not be awarded retroactively to replace funds that have already been expended.
- Requests from organizations working with or in schools must be accompanied by a letter of support from the school principal and or superintendent.
Neither the Fund for South Berkshire County Fund nor Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation supports organizations which in their constitution, by-laws or practice discriminate against a person or group on the basis of age, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation or religious belief.
All requests must include:
- An explanation of how the proposed programs or improvements will address existing gaps
- A plan for measuring the success of your program (e.g., increase in the number of riders, hours, or distances served, satisfaction surveys of participants and/or from organizations serving participants)
- Letters of agreement from proposed partner organizations
- A draft timeline for implementing the elements of the program
Applications for new transportation programs are strongly encouraged to consult or partner with an organization experienced in providing transportation to develop and help start their program.
Selections are based on the review criteria stated below:
- Extent of Impact: What is the potential impact of the project (numbers served and depth of impact), especially on lower-income residents?
- Quality: Is the goal of the project clear? Does the project meet the goal? Is it the right time for this project? Does it involve qualified individuals or organizations? Is it well conceived? Is it cost effective?
- Feasibility: Does the applicant exhibit a demonstrated capacity to initiate and successfully execute this project? Are the appropriate staff members or volunteers involved?
Applications will be reviewed fairly and competitively by the South Berkshire County Fund Committee. Members of this committee are primarily residents of the South Berkshire towns who are active in community affairs. The selected recommendations will be reviewed by Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s Board of Directors.
Up to $5,000. Collaborative proposals will be considered for higher amounts.