BTCF Launches Equity Fund: A BIPOC Community Grant Program Spanning Four Counties

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation is proud to announce the launch of the Equity Fund grant program, focused directly on addressing systemic inequities and supporting underserved communities across Berkshire, Columbia, northeast Dutchess, and northwest Litchfield counties. The fund’s grant application is now open, and BTCF invites local organizations, individuals, and coalitions to apply for funding to advance projects that promote equity and inclusion.

The Equity Fund grant program is a significant step forward in deepening the Foundation’s commitment to fostering a more just and inclusive society, and is part of a three-tier Equity Initiative: The Equity Fund for Grantmaking, The Leadership Advisory Committee, comprised of local leaders of color that make grantmaking decisions in collaboration with community, and the Donor Learning and Giving Circle, comprised of donors committed to shared learning, deeper understanding and collective action to advance racial equity and inclusion through philanthropic practice.  

The Leadership Advisory Committee members are: Gwendolyn VanSant (Board Liaison), Elena Mosley (Columbia County), Monti Lawson (Northeast Dutchess), Florence Afanukoe (Berkshire County), Mia Shepard (Berkshire County), and Alÿcia Bacon (Community Engagement Officer for Equity and Inclusion, BTCF).  

The initiative’s journey began in 2019 under the leadership of Gwendolyn VanSant (BRIDGE CEO & Founder and BTCF board member) who conducted focus groups with the BIPOC community to assess current needs. Local leaders of color were also invited to collaboratively design the Equity Initiative with BTCF and serve on the Leadership Advisory Committee. The grant will provide critical financial support to nonprofits and community-based organizations working on innovative solutions to address racial justice, economic disparities, educational inequities, and healthcare access.   

“The launch of the Equity Fund represents a transformative moment for our community,” said Alÿcia Bacon, Community Engagement Officer for Equity and Inclusion at BTCF. “By supporting initiatives that tackle systemic inequalities, and by placing leaders of color and our community at the center of those grantmaking decisions, we are investing in a brighter, more equitable future for everyone in our region and leading by example.” 

Key areas of focus for the Equity Fund

Racial and Social Justice: Programs that address racial disparities and promote social justice. 
Economic Empowerment: Initiatives that create economic opportunities and reduce income inequality. 
Educational Equity: Projects that ensure equal access to quality education for all students. 
Health Equity: Efforts to improve healthcare access and outcomes for marginalized communities. 
Leadership Development: Supporting emerging and new leaders and leveraging our collective brilliance to mentor each other. 

The Equity Fund is open to a wide range of applicants. Nonprofit organizations, individuals, and grassroots groups with collaborative projects that align with the fund’s mission are welcome to apply. Grants will be awarded to programs and initiatives that demonstrate a clear commitment to equity, have a measurable impact, and show sustainability. BTCF is dedicated to a transparent and inclusive grantmaking process. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed monthly. 

BTCF looks forward to partnering with local organizations and leaders to drive meaningful change and advance equity throughout the region. Interested organizations and individuals are encouraged to visit the Equity Initiative Fund grant guidelines page to learn more about eligibility criteria and upcoming informational sessions.


Please contact Alÿcia Bacon, Community Engagement Officer, Equity & Inclusion.