CFInfo April 2015

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.

Thank a Volunteer during National Volunteer Week
National Volunteer Week has been growing steadily since it was first established in 1974. This year’s theme for the week, April 12 – 18, 2015, is “Celebrate Service.” The week is about inspiring, recognizing, and encouraging people celebrateserviceto engage in their communities in whatever unique ways they choose. National Volunteer Week was created by the nonprofit Points of Light, which intends to honor the millions of people who make their communities better each year through their service.

The Community Foundation relies heavily on the volunteer service of roughly 150 people who live and work in the Pioneer Valley and want to see their communities thrive. The Foundation’s dedicated and talented volunteers make the critical decisions and do much of the legwork that then translates into real impacts up and down the Valley.

The all-volunteer Trustees and the various committees and other volunteers who contribute to or make spending, investment, and fundraising decisions are the very heart of the Community Foundation. National Volunteer Week serves as a chance for the Foundation and all nonprofits, government organizations, individuals, and families to honor the generosity of those who give of themselves and donate their precious time.

Volunteer Profile: Ellen Brout Lindsey

Ellen Brout Lindsey has been volunteering for the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts since moving to Amherst from San Francisco in 2004. Her background is in tech marketing, but having previously experienced the satisfaction of organizing a ellenbl1,000-person bike ride for the American Lung Association in the Bay Area, Ellen knew she wanted to continue working on behalf of nonprofits. New to the area and looking to become involved in her community, she met with Kristin Leutz and Katie Allan Zobel, then co-Vice Presidents of Philanthropic Services, to learn about potential nonprofit opportunities. Kristin and Katie knew Ellen would be a great fit for the Community Foundation, and soon Ellen was volunteering one or two days each week, helping out with marketing and databases.

Since that time, Ellen has pitched in countless times and in a variety of ways, including at annual meetings, participating in scholarship application reviews, working with nonprofits for Valley Gives, and most recently, as a Trustee. The first year of Valley Gives, Ellen volunteered many hours of her time to assist nonprofits in navigating the registration process and encouraging their participation. Ellen shares that the “thank you” she receives for a job well done is payment enough.

“I just loved seeing it go from concept to reality,” Ellen said of the Valley Gives experience. “It has been really gratifying to see it grow year after year and being a part of it has been a wonderful experience.”

Like almost anyone who volunteers will attest, there is a sense of satisfaction that comes from volunteering and coming together with others in your community to do good work. Ellen enjoys the opportunity to meet other volunteers and is happy to be a part of the Foundation as a Trustee. It goes without saying that the Foundation is lucky to have her energy, enthusiasm, talent, and time.

A Fun Way to Give Back

CHD’s Not Bread Alone prepares and serves three cooked, homemade meals each week to anywhere from 40 to 120 local residents each time. With only two part-time staff, the program simply could not operate without the help of volunteers.  The Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant last year to support the Amherst-based program.notbreadalone

Each Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday meals are prepared and delivered to tables for a family-style lunch. About six to eight volunteers are needed to ensure the smooth operation of each meal, and additional help is needed for program activities that fall outside of those mealtimes. Many Not Bread Alone volunteers are regular, dependable volunteers who come one, two, or even all three days each week. Other groups of volunteers, like local faith-based organizations, have designated days each month when they help out. Local college students, many in service clubs or organizations, also volunteer with the organization.

Bob Stover, Program Supervisor, coordinates the many volunteers and feels that people keep coming back because it is a fun and satisfying way to give back to the community. He even sees people who originally came to him to fulfill a court-ordered community service requirement keep returning long after their legal requirements were met.

“Everyone is welcome to both help out and eat, there is no test or eligibility requirement,” says Bob. “We are trying to eliminate the distinction between the people we serve and the people who volunteer. Many people come in to eat but want to help out and participate in cooking, cleaning up or setting up.”

Volunteers from CHD’s Not Bread Alone

Creating a More Vibrant Community
Mike Simolo volunteers his time for several local nonprofits including the Community Foundation, Dakin Humane Society, and the Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity. A partner at the Springfield-based law firm Robinson Donovan, P.C., specializing in simoloestate planning and administration, Mike has been living and working in the Pioneer Valley for the past 11 years.

Five years ago Mike met with staff from the Community Foundation and was immediately impressed with the organization, the staff, and the ambitious goals they articulated. Two years ago he joined the Philanthropic Services Committee, a volunteer group tasked with supporting the Foundation’s fundraising activities.

“I always come away having learned something,” Mike says of the committee meetings. “I get much more than I give and look forward to the creativity and energy of both the other volunteers and the staff.”

Mike particularly enjoyed being part of Valley Gives and spoke of the tremendous goodwill and excitement that was so much a part of the day. Working in Springfield, Mike’s hope is that the region could become a more vibrant place that would attract more young professionals like himself. He feels that the investments being made by the nonprofits throughout the Pioneer Valley offer a major step in the right direction.

Thanks for all you Do!
As volunteers of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, you help us plant the seeds for continued growth in the Pioneer Valley.volunteerseedgraphic_000
What Do you Want your Legacy to Be ?
The Foundation’s Legacy Society is made up of generous families and individuals who have a named fund, or an existing fund, at the Community Foundation as a beneficiary of their estate plans. There are currently more than 80 members of the Legacy Society. These people have made any of the following arrangements:

  • Bequest provision in a will
  • Charitable remainder trust
  • Charitable lead trust
  • Charitable gift annuity
  • Designation as beneficiary of qualified retirement plan assets
  • Gift of a life insurance policy

If you have made similar arrangements and would like to be recognized as a member of the Legacy Society, or want to learn more, please contact a member of our Philanthropic Services team.

Timm Zolkos, VP Philanthropic Services

Jenny Papageorge, Director of Development


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