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In March, a coalition of philanthropy and business partners joined together to launch the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for Berkshire County to rapidly deploy resources to 501c3 organizations on the frontlines working with communities disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak.
Throughout the county, nonprofits have stepped up to assist residents with food, shelter, health and mental health services, and other critical support. The COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for Berkshire County, along with the Neighbor-to-Neighbor Fund at Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund, have awarded 183 grants totaling $2.96 million to 97 organizations responding to these basic needs.
As of mid-June, the fund has paused its grantmaking in order for our organizations – Berkshire United Way, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Northern Berkshire United Way and Williamstown Community Chest – to assess the longer-term needs related to the pandemic. In the meantime, donations continue to be accepted and are greatly appreciated.
We will continue to monitor emerging needs from our partners throughout Berkshire County. As our community continues to navigate the outbreak and response, we must turn to recovery. While we cannot predict exactly when that will be, we are focusing on building stability for vulnerable residents and the nonprofits that serve them beyond this initial crisis.
CARES Act Funding
Nonprofits can now apply for CARES Act funding. Funds are limited and will be granted on a first come, first served basis.
(From the National Council on Nonprofits)
We recommend reaching out to your local bank for guidance on how to apply. Here is a list of certified banks.
Adams Community Bank
Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund
Berkshire Agricultural Ventures
Berkshire Bank Foundation
Berkshire Gas Company
Berkshire Health Systems
Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation
Berkshire United Way
Callahan Dee Family Foundation
Commonwealth Children's Fund
The Joyce and Fred Crane family's Cooper Meadow Fund at Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation
Patty and Tim Crane Fund
The Feigenbaum Foundation
Jane & Jack Fitzpatrick Trust
Fuqua Family Fund
General Dynamics Mission Systems
The Gilson Family Foundation
The Green Foundation
Greylock Federal Credit Union
The James and Irene Hunter Fund
The Madroño Foundation
Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund
Donald C. McGraw Foundation/Blackrock Foundation Fund
Northern Berkshire United Way
Mary Pope Osborne
Joseph H. and Carol F. Reich Fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation
Williamstown Community Chest
Carlo and Amy Zaffanella
IN THE NEWS
Frequently Asked Questions
My organization is interested in resources from this fund. Can we be considered?
The fund provides flexible resources to nonprofit 501c3 organizations in Berkshire County working with individuals and families who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the economic consequences of this outbreak. It will help fund organizations that have deep roots in the community and strong experience working with the most vulnerable populations. Nonprofits can apply here.
How does my organization apply?
In order to move resources quickly, we have opened a simple, rolling, application process. Funds may be requested for up to $25,000. Berkshire United Way will administer grants from the fund in partnership with BTCF and in close collaboration with our partners. Grant amounts will be determined by funding availability. Nonprofits may email requests to BerkshireUW@gmail.com.
I am an individual who has been affected by COVID-19. Can this fund help me?
While this fund is not able to provide grants directly to individuals, it will support community-based organizations that have strong experience providing services to individuals and families. Direct service agency contacts can be found here. You can also dial 2-1-1 to connect to Mass 211, a free and confidential service funded by United Ways in Massachusetts that helps people find the local resources they need.
I want to donate. Can I restrict my funding to a prioritized grantee?
We are not considering restricted donations at this time. The fund was created to provide flexible funding as quickly as possible to the nonprofits that are operating on the front line of response.
Should I give to this fund instead of making other donations?
This Fund was not created to be the only vehicle resourcing critical community activities during this outbreak. Rather, it is working to facilitate getting more targeted resources into the community where they are needed most. If the fund’s priorities align with your interests, we hope you will consider making a donation. However, this is a critical time for so many, including the nonprofit organizations who have benefited from your generosity in the past, as well as those that have canceled annual fundraising events and public gatherings. Please continue to give to organizations you regularly support, and those that now need your help.
Is there a geographic area of focus for the Fund?
This fund supports nonprofit 501c3 organizations within Berkshire County.
Are my donations to this fund tax-exempt?
Yes. No goods or services are provided in exchange for your contribution. Please keep a copy of the receipt that is emailed to you for your tax records and consult your tax advisor for more information.
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