Scroll through this page to learn about the following funds and initiatives:
- Our regional network of area funds
- Education enrichment funds in every public school district
- Scholarship funds that help offset the rising cost of tuition
- Neighbor-to-Neighbor emergency relief for individuals and families in crisis
- Multiple food insecurity initiatives
- An initiative to address housing affordability in northwest Litchfield County
- A partnership with two local news organizations to help ensure the future of local journalism
Our regional network of area funds provides hands-on leadership for the foundation’s activities. These endowed funds support nonprofit operations and programs, invest in our impact areas and respond to emerging needs.
Each fund is led by a volunteer committee of residents with local ties and knowledge. They oversee fundraising, review applications based on published criteria and award grants annually with support and guidance from Berkshire Taconic staff.
William J. and Margery S. Barrett Fund
For Adams, Cheshire and Savoy, Mass.
Central Berkshire Fund
For Becket, Dalton, Hinsdale, Peru, Washington, Windsor and neighboring Cummington, Mass.
Fund for Columbia County
For all towns in Columbia County, N.Y.
Fund for Williamstown
For Williamstown, Mass.
James and Robert Hardman Fund
For Clarksburg, Florida and North Adams, Mass., and neighboring Stamford, Vt.
Northeast Dutchess Fund
For Amenia, Clinton Corners, Dover Plains, Millbrook, Millerton, North East, Pine Plains, Stanford, Washington, Wassaic and Wingdale, N.Y.
Northwest Corner Fund
For Falls Village, Cornwall, Goshen, Kent, Norfolk, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon and Warren, Conn.
For Austerlitz, Canaan, Chatham and the hamlet of Red Rock, N.Y.
South Berkshire County Fund
For Alford, Egremont, Great Barrington, Lee, Lenox, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Otis, Richmond, Sandisfield, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Tyringham and West Stockbridge, Mass.
Educational Enrichment Funds
In 1996, Berkshire Taconic established its first education enrichment fund to help students reach their potential through learning opportunities beyond the classroom.
Since then, we have partnered with hundreds of generous donors to launch and grow funds for every public school district in our region. The foundation manages the funds and volunteer committees – parents, business leaders, teachers and administrators – award grants for field trips, artists in residence, robotics programs, special projects such as building gardens and greenhouses, and more. Enrichment funds are a permanent source of support for extraordinary learning experiences.
Number of funds supporting enrichment programs in public schools
Total grants for school projects in 2021
- Adams Cheshire Educational Partnership
- Berkshire Hills Fund for Excellence
- Eagle Fund - Southern Berkshire Regional School District
- Farmington River Initiative for Regional Excellence
- Gateway Fund for the North Adams School District
- Lanesborough Initiative for Excellence Fund
- Lee Educational Enrichment Fund
- Lenox Educational Enrichment Fund
- Monument Mountain School Center Fund
- Pittsfield Education Enrichment Fund
- Richmond Educational Enrichment Fund
- Sustaining Educational Excellence Fund
- Seven Towns’ Education Partnership Fund
- Williamstown Elementary School Endowment
- Chatham Education Foundation
- Chatham Fund for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities
- The Columbia County Arts & Humanities Project
- Germantown Arts & Humanities Fund
- Hudson School Arts and Humanities Fund
- Kinderhook Central School District Arts and Humanities Fund
- New Lebanon Arts and Humanities Fund
- Taconic Hills Educational Enrichment Fund
- Taconic Hills Arts and Humanities Fund
- Dover Education Enrichment Program
- Millbrook Endowment for Excellence in Education
- Sustaining Educational Enrichment and Development (Pine Plains Central School District)
- Webutuck Quest for Excellence Fund
- 21st Century Endowment Fund
- Arts Fund for Region One
- Cornwall Consolidated School Fund for Excellence
- Kent Education and Learning Foundation
- Region One Athletic Fund
- Salisbury Central School Educational Enrichment Fund
- Sharon Center School Millennium Fund
As one of the largest private scholarship sources for our region’s students, we are helping young people and their families to offset the rising cost of tuition and reduce reliance on loans where possible.
Berkshire Taconic awards one-time and renewable scholarships to students attending trade schools, colleges and universities, and graduate programs through 75 scholarship funds.
We are privileged to partner with generous donors who make these funds possible, and we guide them, students, families, school systems and committees through our annual process.
Number of scholarship funds at BTCF
Total scholarships granted in 2021
Percentage of scholarships awarded to families who cannot provide any financial support for college in 2021
First established during the Great Recession and active throughout the pandemic, this network of funds provides emergency relief to individuals and families in crisis through grants to trusted social service partners, municipal offices or other community providers. These grants help with expenses such as mortgage payments or rent, heat and utilities, medical bills and even car repair. They are intended as one-time interventions to help recipients achieve a measure of stability and avert further crises.
- 18 Degrees
- The Adams Council on Aging
- Berkshire Community Action Council
- Berkshire Housing Development Corporation
- Berkshire Immigrant Center
- Cancer Center of the Berkshires (Berkshire Health Systems)
- Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity
- Community Health Programs (Great Barrington Health Center)
- Dalton Community Recreation Association
- Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc.
- Macony Pediatrics
- Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires
- West Cummington Congregational Church
- Williamstown Food Pantry
- Catholic Charities
- Columbia County Sanctuary Movement
- Columbia Opportunities
- Salisbury Family Services
- Town of Canaan
- Town of Cornwall
- Town of Goshen
- Town of Kent
- Town of Norfolk
- Town of North Canaan
- Town of Sharon
- Town of Warren
- Women's Support Services
- Dutchess Community Action Partnership (Dutchess CAP)
- Grace Immigrant Outreach
- North East Community Center
“Neighbor-to-Neighbor funding allowed us to help a woman with a disability who had become homeless during the pandemic. This made an enormous difference in her life.”
- Berkshire Community Action Council
Food Insecurity Initiatives
Columbia County: Fresh & Healthy Food for All
Launched in 2015, this donor-directed project is designed to transform the food system over time for the benefit of all Columbia County residents, especially low-income families and seniors.
Two principal grantees, Hawthorne Valley Association and The Sylvia Center, implement the project, whose accomplishments include: opening a grocery store in downtown Hudson and a mobile market serving the county with tiered pricing systems; expanding a gleaning program that delivers unused or unsaleable produce directly to food pantries countywide; and bringing one-of-a-kind healthy cooking programs for young people and their families to all six of Columbia County’s public school districts. Over 80 local community members involved in food-related industries across the county – including farms, food pantries, distributors, food retailers, community-based organizations and public agencies – contributed to the project’s development.
Berkshire County: CARES Act Grants
Berkshire Taconic is partnering with the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development to administer the CARES Act Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-CV) Food Security Program in Berkshire County.
We are one of more than a dozen community foundations across the state that will re-grant funds to local or regional community-based organizations with the capacity to efficiently provide immediate relief and support for individuals and families.
These one-time grants are intended to direct vital resources to individuals and households experiencing food insecurity as a result of the pandemic. Grants are supporting capital expenses and projects aimed at expanding and/or improving the capacity of food provision programs.
Berkshire County: Food Access for School Families
Berkshire Taconic donors concerned that school-age children and their families lack sustainable access to fresh food have launched a multi-year project in partnership with Fairview Hospital’s Rural Health Network.
Funding for a new food coordinator position there has helped to strengthen existing efforts while initiating a plan to fill gaps in critical free and reduced lunch programs. The project has grown to become a working group of food pantries, schools, health care providers and others dedicated to building a better coordinated and enduring food access system.
Berkshire Taconic is a funder of the Litchfield County Center for Housing Opportunity. Its aim is to facilitate a regional response to address housing affordability by providing data, critical resources, and technical assistance to municipalities and nonprofit housing organizations.
As part of this work, a mini-grants program to promote community engagement efforts began in 2022. Grants are helping to conduct a media campaign in Salisbury and establish affordable housing commissions in Cornwall and Warren, among other projects.
Supporting Local Journalism
Berkshire Taconic has partnered with two local news organizations—the Berkshire Eagle and the Columbia Paper—to help ensure the future of local journalism and expand the critical reporting that fosters community connection and public engagement.
The Berkshire Eagle Local Journalism Fund and the Columbia Paper Journalism Fund enable individual donors and funders to make tax-deductible contributions to sustain and expand reporting that contributes to the civic, cultural and economic vibrancy of Berkshire and Columbia counties.
The foundation serves as fiscal sponsor for these partnerships, receiving contributions from the public and administering the funds to ensure they are used for the intended charitable purpose. These media outlets maintain editorial control over content produced with resources from their funds. Contributors do not have any input into the reporting of stories or specific content that will be produced using the funds.
“With democracy under threat, helping to preserve local institutions like a free press is one way Berkshire Taconic can contribute to strengthening our communities,” said Peter Taylor, president of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. “The coverage of these papers is well-aligned with the foundation’s strategic priorities—community engagement, educational attainment and economic opportunity—and our values of achieving impact and inspiring generosity.”
“As our business model evolves, we look to new partnerships to help us serve local communities with news and information that would otherwise not be available to them.”
- Parry Teasdale, editor and publisher of the Columbia Paper