CFInfo: April 2016

CFinfo provides quick updates on initiatives and grants, reminds you of upcoming events as well as news about philanthropy at its best in the region.  We hope you find this issue informative and welcome any feedback you would like to share with us.

Community Foundation Begins 25th Year in Pioneer Valley

Print April 1st, 2016 marks the official start of the Community Foundation’s 25th anniversary year. Back in the spring of 1991 the Foundation got off the ground with early investments from a number of individuals and local financial institutions. Over the course of this year the Foundation will be celebrating 25 years of philanthropy, looking back at all that we have accomplished together as a community, and paying homage to all who have contributed in some way to making a better Pioneer Valley.

founding trustees

David Starr, John Gallup, Ron Weiss, and Peter Weston reminisce about the Foundation’s early days.

While we are just at the beginning of our 25th anniversary year, the signing of the trust document that created the Foundation actually happened on November 15, 1990, and we didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to honor our two living founding Trustees, John Gallup and David Starr. We invited David and John, along with Peter Weston and Ron Weiss, who were integral to the creation of the CFWM, for a little celebration of that important milestone.

John Gallup said of his early involvement with the Foundation, “When each of us was called to get involved with starting the Community Foundation, it was because we were already engaged in philanthropy and had a demonstrated concern for the community. David and I are two individuals who care deeply about the Community Foundation and want it to continue to grow.”

“I resisted at first, said David Starr. “I was scared that it would cut down on the funding I was already doing in the community. My wife and I have made it our mission to support cultural organizations like the Springfield Symphony, Springfield Museums, public radio, and public television.”

The Starrs, like many others in our community, now work in partnership with the Foundation to support the causes they care about.

You will be hearing much more in the coming weeks and months about plans to celebrate this important milestone in our history, but we begin with a big “thank you” to the many people who came together to make the Foundation possible.

Below are 17 of those people, the signatories of the original trust document:


Valley Gives Day, May 3, Is Almost Here!

VG-14-FB Mark your calendarsOver 500 non-profit organizations, schools, community groups, and religious organizations from across the Pioneer Valley are participating in Valley Gives this year. The breadth of work these organizations are involved in and the needs they address reflects the passion and diversity within our region.

The Community Foundation understands that the Pioneer Valley is a vibrant community, full of organizations that do good work. Valley Gives is an opportunity for everyone who holds a vision for a better world to come together on one day to give. With every year, Valley Gives has been able to increase the spirit of philanthropy in the Pioneer Valley; it is a tangible demonstration that a rising tide can lifts all boats.

The Foundation hosts Valley Gives, in part, because we recognize that there are only so many grants we can provide each year to directly support organizations. Valley Gives is a way to help organizations help themselves be more sustainable. The better organizations are at “fishing” (rather than being given a fish, as the saying goes), the more sustainable and effective they can be in the long term. Valley Gives is an investment that we all make in creating a stronger future for our region.

During the most recent Valley Gives in 2014, 463 organizations were supported by donations of over $2.6 million raised from more than 14,000 donors. With your generous support and active involvement in Valley Gives, we look forward to exceeding these numbers in 2016. Please visit on May 3 and support the organizations you are passionate about.

Sponsors (2)

Application for Mission Standard Grants Available Online Now

The deadline to apply for Mission Standard grants from the Community Foundation is June 10, 2016 and the grant application is now available on the Foundation’s website here: This is the first time that the Foundation is offering an online only application.

Mission Standard Grants are awarded through a competitive process and can be made for up to $25,000 for programming and/or infrastructure or for capital campaigns. Organizations seeking funding in support of a capital campaign may have the opportunity to receive a $50,000 matching grant opportunity through our Challenge program. For 2016 we will once again be running this grant opportunity concurrently with the Mission Standard Grants program.  Last year more than $1.5 million was given out through the Mission Standard and Challenge programs.

The Foundation is holding information sessions to give an overview of the program and the grant application process, and to answer any questions that organizations might have about applying for this year. The next session will be:

  • Thursday, May 5, 2016 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. in our Springfield Office. Click here to register.

 Volunteers Ready to Review Scholarship Applications

Jacqueline Johnson

Jacqueline Johnson visits the Foundation offices.

The Community Foundation’s Scholarship Application closed on March 31st, which means the Foundation offices will once again be buzzing with volunteers who will be reviewing applications and working in teams to make recommendations for awarding scholarships.

More than 50 volunteers will be part of the process, with review sessions scheduled to begin in mid-April and continue through the end of May. Volunteers will review 1,494 applications and award roughly $2 million in scholarships and no-interest educational loans. One of those volunteers is Jacqueline Johnson, who will be volunteering to review applications for the first time this year. A lifelong resident of the Pioneer Valley, Jacqueline is the Chief Operations Officer at Caring Health Center in Springfield, and received a scholarship from the Foundation in 2004. Now she wants to give back to her community and has reconnected with the Foundation.

“I am so filled with joy and honor to be able to give back to a foundation that helped me financially when no one else would, said Jacqueline. “I realize that the Foundation provided me with monetary assistance, but that was not the only thing I received. I felt like someone else was taking a chance on me and believed in me and in turn this boosted my confidence going forward. The Community Foundation recognized my potential back then and for that I will forever be thankful.”

We are grateful to Jacqueline and all the volunteers who help make all the work of the Foundation possible.

Celebrating 25 Years…With CF Fun Facts!

Did you know that the Community Foundation’s very first donation was from Dr. and Mrs. Paul Friedman in December 1990 and the Foundation’s first fund, the William Sadowsky Family Fund was established in May of 1991?

We invite you to join us in celebrating 25 years. Please send us your stories and memories about the Foundation. Send an email, or connect on Facebook or Twitter. We want to hear your stories!

Thank you for your interest in the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. If you would like to learn more please join our mailing list.