News & Updates: Spring 2023

Program, Philanthropy & Leadership Highlights

2022 Proves Record Year in Gifts, Grants and New Funds

Year in Review

BTCF's 35th anniversary year delivered record levels of giving – fueling an unprecedented $20 million in grants to area nonprofits, a 74% increase from 2021. We are deeply grateful for the generosity of our donors and the inspired leadership of our nonprofit community that works tirelessly to strengthen our communities, advance equity and economic opportunity, and meet the pressing needs of our neighbors.

BTCF Awarded Over $700,000 in Scholarships

Educational Attainment

In 2022, BTCF awarded over $700,000 in scholarships to help local students pay for college through funds established by donors, often in memory of a loved one. Read the inspiring story of one of our newest scholarship funds, the Peter W. Foote Memorial Scholarship to benefit Drury High School Students in North Adams, Mass. And remind the high school seniors in your lives to apply for scholarships by March 15!

A.R.T. and Martha Boschen Porter Fund Award Over $160,000

Grants for Artists

Over $160,000 was granted to artists and art organizations throughout our region from two BTCF funds: The Artist Resource Trust (A.R.T.) and Martha Boschen Porter Fund. View photos and the full list of awards.

Fund for Columbia County Expands Career Development

Economic Development

BTCF’s Fund for Columbia County (FCC) awarded $20,000 in follow-up grants for four projects to activate the ideas and energy generated at the Skilling The Gap forum to expand career-oriented learning:

Grants in the News

Virtual Town Hall with Berkshires' Legislative Delegation

Community Engagement

BTCF teamed up with the Berkshire United Way to present a virtual legislative town hall hosted by the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires to bring nonprofits up to speed on the new gubernatorial administration in Massachusetts, funding, and pending legislation.

Affordable Housing Task Force Columbia County

Community Development

The Columbia County Affordable Housing Task Force, including Senior Community Engagement Officer, Kelly Sweet of BTCF kicked off with a virtual meeting recorded here.

Young Musicians Benefit from BTCF Funds

Access to the Arts

Three BTCF funds, The William J. and Margery S. Barrett Fund, the Gateway Fund and Pauline Young Music Fund all provided awards to The Berkshires' Academy for Advanced Musical Studies, Inc. (BAAMS), increasing its ability to serve more young music students with scholarships and STARS' Residencies that bring students and teachers together with practicing artists. Support from BTCF's Pittsfield Education Enrichment Fund was also awarded for eight low-income students residing in Pittsfield to attend the Berkshires Summer Jazz Band Camp.

Pittsfield Educational Enrichment Fund Expands Opportunities

Education Enrichment

The Pittsfield Education Foundation will sunset its services this spring and BTCF's Pittsfield Educational Enrichment Fund (PEEF), which is permanently endowed, will assume primary responsibility for supporting arts and literacy curriculum for students well into the future with grantees chosen by volunteer committees comprised of parents, teachers, administrators and business leaders. $32,800 was granted to nonprofits last year to enrich the curriculum at Pittsfield Public Schools. Donate to PEEF here.

Board, Staff & Committee News

Deb Lans Pens Series on Child Care in Columbia County

Read BTCF donor advised fund holder, Deb Lans' latest article in a series for The Columbia Paper about the lack of child care in Columbia County entitled, "Why Can't We Fix Child Care's Failings?"

Suzette Brooks Masters on Philanthropy and a Better Future

Read BTCF board member Suzette Brooks Masters' article, in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, "2 Years After Jan. 6 Insurrection, Philanthropy Must Help America Envision a Better Future". Suzette leads the Better Futures Project and is a philanthropic consultant and nonprofit strategist.

We're Hiring!

Open positions include: Communications Officer and Community Engagement Officer, Equity and Inclusion. Learn more and apply.

New Staff

Jenn Frederick has joined BTCF as the Director of Communications and Marketing, leading communications strategy to strengthen community relationships and bring awareness to BTCF’s services and impact in the region. Jenn graduated from Taconic Hills High School in Columbia County, NY, and Smith College, with a B.A. in anthropology. She is currently earning a master’s-level certificate in Diversity and Inclusion Leadership from Tufts University. Welcome Jenn!

Staff Promotions

Kelly Sweet has been promoted to Senior Community Engagement Officer. Kelly joined BTCF in 2019 as community engagement officer for philanthropic services. She works to advance the foundation’s strategic priorities and enhance its donor and community relationships. She was raised in Hillsdale, N.Y., graduated from the Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass., and obtained degrees in inclusive elementary and special education, and sociology, from Syracuse University. She and her husband live in Alford, Mass.

Bailey Jacquier has been promoted from Finance Associate to Staff Accountant. She grew up working on her family's fourth-generation Laurelbrook Farm in East Canaan, Conn., and holds bachelor's degrees in business administration and equine business management from Centenary University.

Congrats Kelly and Bailey!

Coming Up!

Nonprofit and Board Leadership Virtual Conference March 28 to May 15

BTCF presents the 2023 Institute for Trustees (IFT), a virtual conference for nonprofit leaders and board members from March 28 to May 15. The 2023 IFT will offer 18 educational workshops and networking opportunities led by experts in the nonprofit sector. Participants can sign up for any of the workshops on topics ranging from strategic planning and fundraising to inclusion and board development. Registration is $130. Full board registration is available for $550 with no limit on the number of board members who can attend.

Register for the 2023 Institute for Trustees

Call for Nonprofit Nominations - Due March 17

BTCF has sponsored The 6th Annual Berkshire Nonprofit Awards which will take place on May 23 in Pittsfield. Nominations are welcomed in seven categories and winners will be profiled in a special section in The Berkshire Eagle. Nominations are due March 17.

BTCF at Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce on March 15

Community Engagement Officer Aileen Meehan will be the guest speaker at the Northwest Chamber Health Council meeting on Wednesday, March 15 at 8 a.m. Participants are encouraged to attend in person or access the meeting via Zoom. RSVP: or call 860-824-3868.

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