Dear Friends of CFWM,
I am saddened to announce the passing of Charles Barker, a former CFWM Trustee and longtime advocate for all things Franklin County. He was 91. Charles served our Foundation for nine years as Trustee, along with his wife, Betty who was a member of our Distribution Committee. Charles was both an extraordinarily generous contributor and a passionate advocate for us and those we serve. He tirelessly supported scores of other organizations, including the Greenfield Community College and the Franklin Medical Center, and was a true champion for those less fortunate.
Charles grew up in Maine, and after serving in the Army and studying aeronautics at the University of St. Louis, he started his career as a meteorologist. He and Betty were married in 1957. In 1963 the Barkers relocated back Massachusetts, where Charles joined his father and brother in the family business, Deerfield Plastics Company. Together, they led Deerfield Plastics to great success and sold the company in the 1996 to Huntsman Packaging. The Barkers spent their retirement in South Deerfield and Boothbay, Maine. Charles had lifelong love for sailing, downhill skiing, travel, maritime and military history, and was well-known for his love of animals, including his beloved golden retrievers.
Charles was always very candid and direct. Not long ago, he told me that his financial success did not belong to him. Instead, he was adamant that his role was that of a temporary steward of those resources, and they should “go back into the community.” He lived those values, and along with Betty, they demonstrated their deep and abiding devotion to the community with their service and care and the incredible generosity they shared so freely with so many. I am personally deeply grateful to have known Charles and been inspired by his example. Our hearts go out to Betty and their daughter, Ann. We will be forever grateful for the generous and enduring legacy that Charles leaves behind.
Katie Allan Zobel
A New Approach to Valley Gives is on the Horizon
2018 is a momentous year for Valley Gives. After this year, Valley Gives will shift from a single online giving day to a broader, year-round approach, expanding the capacity of our local nonprofits and promoting community philanthropy. The Valley Gives goals will remain the same: to encourage generosity and to help nonprofits navigate the changing trends and technologies that can strengthen their financial and organizational health.
Since its launch in 2012, Valley Gives Day has expanded the breadth and depth of philanthropic giving in the Pioneer Valley:
- raising over $8.5 million
- engaging 31,000 unique donors
- supporting more than 500 local non-profits
- providing nearly 100 of hours of training
- awarding almost $1 million in prize incentives
We developed Valley Gives to support nonprofit sustainability through philanthropic giving and capacity building. It began in the form of a giving day in order to promote on-line giving as an instrument for nonprofits. CFWM’s aim was to help local nonprofits attract more donors and create a vehicle through which donations of all sizes could be coordinated to have a greater impact. An online giving day was a cutting-edge model and enabled us to accomplish those goals.
Since then, the introduction of new platforms, tools, social media and changing donor behaviors requires CFWM and nonprofits to explore new approaches to motivate donor giving.
In 2019, CFWM will launch Valley Gives 360. We will move away from the single giving day to focus on the continuum of giving. We will offer regular trainings, on-line resources, and tools to strengthen the collective capacity of our nonprofits to meet the persistent needs of our community. We will expand our efforts to encourage generosity and connect donors to causes they care about.
We’re excited about the Valley Gives transformation and the potential to have a deeper impact on our local nonprofits, and community philanthropy.
In the meantime, please mark your calendar for the Valley Gives Day finale on May 1, 2018. Let’s make it the best one yet!