CFInfo December 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.

Shanley Future Scholars Fund awarded for first time

This year, a Future Scholar Fund award was given to Ilona Kondratyuk  in honor of Dr. Robert A. Shanley.

Dr. Robert Shanley

Shanley, a resident of Longmeadow and professor emeritus of political science at UMASS, generously gifted the Foundation one-half beneficiary of his Individual Retirement Account at Vanguard with the assistance of Atty. Peter MacConnell.

Dr. Shanley died on November 17, 2014. He was predeceased by his wife Charlotte in 1998.

Shanley, 92 at the time of his death, retired in 1994 and dedicated much of his time to volunteering in various capacities, including assisting immigrants in passing their citizenship exams, reading aloud to Springfield fourth graders, Meals on Wheels and Rachel’s Table. He also sponsored children in developing countries whose parents died of AIDS, and children in the Philippines who were abandoned by their American soldier fathers.

This unrestricted contribution allowed the Foundation staff the greatest degree of flexibility to respond to emerging needs in the organization and in the broader community we serve. Thanks to Dr.   Shanley’s generous gift, we were able to supplement the unrestricted operating endowment, increase our grantmaking programs, and award a student from our Future Scholars Fund in his honor.

The Future Scholars Fund is a permanently endowed fund established for unrestricted scholarship support. The current focus of the CFWM scholarship office is to award to those student/s selected as alternates for other CFWM scholarship funds who did not ultimately receive an award.

Kondratyuk is a Longmeadow resident who graduated from Chicopee High School.

She currently attends Springfield Technical Community College and majors in biology.


Honors to Honors launched

The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) collaborated with the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and The Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation to launch Honors-to-Honors, a ground-breaking program that helps community college students transition to the Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst this past fall.

This is a state-wide initiative that provides scholarships to honors level students in community college so they can attend the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in their junior year through a program referred to as Honors-to-Honors.

Through Honors-to-Honors, The Davis Foundation and CFWM will provide scholarships for first generation and low income graduates of the honors programs at the three community colleges in the region – Greenfield, Holyoke and Springfield Technical community colleges.

CFWM has committed $400,000 over four years to Honors-to-Honors students.

CFWM President Katie Allan Zobel said this innovative program will provide data that will help measure the impact of the Foundation’s scholarship funds. Zobel said tracking the data on those scholarship recipients is a task too large to tackle for just the Foundation itself.

“We have to do that with partners, and in this case, UMass stepped up to the plate to add this component to our collaboration,” said Zobel.

UMass Provost Dr. Katherine Newman said she created Honors-to-Honors after meeting with the region’s community college presidents and realized the potential of these students.

“I saw the extraordinary talent of the students in the community colleges,” she said. “We needed intentional bridge building between community colleges and four year colleges. This is a bold idea that reflects trends and data in current higher education research.”

Newman said Honors-to-Honors is positioned to become the national model for bridging the gap between community college and four-year college transition.

For more information on how you can get involved to support Honors-to-Honors, contact CFWM Vice President Janet Daisley at, or call 413-732-2858.

DonorCentral is the easy way to make recommendations

CFWM is happy to announce that our new web portal, DonorCentral, is live and being used by our fund holders.

DonorCentral makes it easy to give grants to the causes you care about. And, your fund statements are now being posted to DonorCentral rather than being mailed, which gives you easy access to your fund balance and helps us go green!

A group of volunteers served as early adopters for Donor Central this summer, including Sam Samuels who said the web portal is very easy to use and is convenient for donors.

“I like being able to look at my fund’s financial status and at recent grants in real time,” he said.

“Just today, I opened an envelope from one of my charities with a solicitation. Since charities understandably solicit sometimes more frequently than the donor’s schedule, it’s really helpful for me to be able to check my giving online to see that I’m indeed ‘on track’ with a particular charity, and can wait til later in the year to grant.”

Samuels chose to administer his funds through the Community Foundation at the recommendation of a professional adviser.

“The Foundation was highly recommended to me by my financial adviser as a trustworthy organization to house my fund,” said Samuels.

“I’m in the fund raising business myself, and I feel confident that my funds are being well-managed, and also that my funds will all go to charitable purposes in the future.”

CFWM is moving this spring!

CFWM will open its doors at 333 Bridge St. this spring.

Renovations are underway in the space, which was previously occupied by several tenants. Construction includes combining the offices into one large space and creating a new façade. Our expected move-in is April 1, 2017.


CFWM President Katie Allan Zobel, CFWM Vice President for Finance and Operations Bruce Hiltunen and Mitch Bolotin of Colebrook Realty stand in the entrance to 333 Bridge St., Springfield, the future office of CFWM.


Meet the Trustees: Paul Murphy


CFWM Trustee Paul Murphy, 64, grew up in Philadelphia and lived and worked in the Boston area for 30 years where he practiced at the law firm of Foley Hoag LLP. Paul moved to Florence eight years ago when he became Amherst College’s legal and administrative counsel.

Now semi-retired, Paul feels he has come full-circle.

”I graduated from Amherst College and my wife graduated from Mt. Holyoke College, so we were pleased to return to this area,” he said.

Paul and his wife Dale have three children – Michele, Bryce and Cassie – and grandchildren Gus, Sevi and JoBel.

In addition to being a CFWM Trustee, Paul is a Trustee of Baystate Health, Inc. and WGBH Educational Foundation, Inc., and serves as vice-chair of the WGBY Board of Tribunes.

Paul learned about CFWM several years ago.

“I was looking for a funding organization that makes a difference in our community,” he said.

“I heard about CFWM and sought opportunities to become involved with its work, initially through site visits to grant applicants and review of scholarship applications.”

Paul said CFWM is able to touch the lives of others throughout the Pioneer Valley through its wide variety of programs and grants, such as scholarships and economic development through a grant to Valley Venture Mentors

After joining Foley Hoag, Paul became interested in philanthropy.

“I began to accumulate the resources and experience that could help others,” he said.

“One of the primary attractions of Foley Hoag was its strong pro bono program.  I felt it was very important to give something back to the community, especially since I had been so fortunate.”

Paul said nonprofits are able to provide a wide range of services that help to support and enrich the lives of others, something he believes CFWM can continue in its next 25 years.

“I don’t think anyone can foresee that far into the future, however, it is my hope and expectation that CFWM will continue to thrive and serve an important role in our community,” he said.

Paying it forward: Mugs increase CFWM ‘CUP’acity

A generous donation to the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) from an anonymous donor is paying itself forward, in more ways than one.

Jean Bergstrom and Amos Adams display the mugs they created for the Foundation.generous donation to the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) from an anonymous donor is paying itself forward, in more ways than one.

When CFWM was gifted a donation for the creation of one-of-a-kind mugs for use in the office, Vice President for Programs and Strategy Janet Daisley reached out to a Franklin County potter she knew. The potter was not able to create the mugs the donor had in mind, but referred Daisley to someone who could – Jean Bergstrom.

The referral was serendipitous.

Bergstrom’s son Amos Adams was looking for a way to fund a return trip to Nepal. He spent his junior year at Colorado College working with children in Nepal whose parents were imprisoned, and he felt his work was not done when his semester was over.

After graduating with a degree in creative writing, he was compelled to finish what he started in Nepal, and the funds earned from creating the mugs was just what he needed.

Adams also happened to be an accomplished potter, so the mother-son team set out to create the unique mugs to fulfill a donor’s wish that ultimately sent Adams back to Nepal. And, it gave Bergstrom and Adams the opportunity to spend quality time together.

“We really loved making these together,” said Bergstrom, of Leverett. “We had so much fun – it was a lovely experience.”

Adams was able to use the funds from the mugs to complete his savings to return to Nepal.

Bergstrom said he is re-connecting with the youth he knew there before and is embarking on a project to help the children heal through writing while working with the Prisoners Assistance of Nepal.

CFWM President Katie Allan Zobel said she is appreciative of the donation, and that it is continuing to help others.

“We feel so lucky to have these unique, beautiful and locally made mugs to use in our office,” she said.

“And what makes it even better is that the same generous donation also helped Amos return to Nepal to continue his work.”