CFInfo: December 2014

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.

Valley Gives: Just Days Away!

It’s time! The Pioneer Valley’s biggest day of generosity is Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014.  This will be the third year for Valley Gives, and we know from previous experience that the day will be full of fun, excitement, unexpected surprises and a tremendous feeling of goodwill running up and down the Pioneer Valley.

With 463 nonprofits participating this year, everyone will be able to find a good cause to support at www.valleygivesday.org. By participating, donors will help charities become eligible for special prizes totaling up to $228,000.VGyoutubeimage

Since year one in 2012, Valley Gives has grown on every measure: nonprofit participation, donor participation, dollars raised and visibility for our nonprofit community. This year we challenge everyone to keep the momentum building and see what we can accomplish as a community when we all work together. Please log on and support your favorite charities, and be sure to spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube …

Look for Valley Gives on YouTube to see the many
entries to the recent Valley Gives video contest.

Foundation Welcomes New Communications Director
The Foundation is pleased to welcome Brooke Lacey as the new part-time Communications Director. Brooke joins the staff after 14
Brooke-headshot_000years at MassMutual in a variety of communication roles. Her experience includes writing and editing for the company publication and the intranet, developing sites for MassMutual.com and writing articles for agents. Previously she was in charge of Internal Communications and Multimedia Services for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.Brooke has worked as a reporter for a daily newspaper, done technical writing and been a freelance writer/editor. She also serves as Development Committee Chair and is an involved volunteer for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., and a diploma in magazine publishing from New York University. She lives in the Forest Park section of Springfield with her husband Jim and their two children–Connor, 19, and Mavis, 16—a dog, Amber, and a cat, Winston.“I am thrilled to be part of such a great team that’s doing wonderful work in the community,” said Brooke of her new role.

Working Together, Changing Lives

The Community Foundation’s scholarship program is truly a collective effort, with more than 100 individual funds, many hundreds of donors, teams of volunteers and staff all working toward the common goal of helping students realize their educational dreams.

The Foundation is fortunate to have partnerships with local nonprofit organizations in the community who share our passion for this mission driven work. Two such organizations are the Educational Opportunity Center based in Chicopee, and the uAspire Springfield Promise Program. These local nonprofits work with the Foundation helping to connect students, educators and key stakeholders.

As an example, the Foundation shares data with uAspire, like applicant completion rates, and they, in turn support the Foundation in tracking students that are hard to reach. Many of the staff from Valley Opportunity Council ETS and Gear-Up programs volunteer annually and the Foundation refers students looking for additional supports to both programs.

Erica Rose of uAspire is not only program director for uAspire and a passionate community advocate for first generation low-income students, she is also a volunteer for the Foundation’s scholarship program, serving on the Education Committee.

Erica says, “Through our partnership with the Community Foundation it is our hope at uAspire that more of our students’ college dreams will not only be possible but more importantly affordable. We encourage all students to apply to the Foundation’s scholarship program as they navigate the financial aid process. We are fortunate to have this resource for our students.”

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Erica Rose of uAspire volunteers for the Foundation’s scholarship program

The scholarship application for 2015 will be available on Jan. 1, 2015, with a deadline of March 31, 2015. The program provides more than $2 million to students annually. This will be the first year that the application will be accepted online only. You can visit the scholarship application page for more information.

Business Leaders in Philanthropy

Our Business Leaders in Philanthropy program provides a way for local businesses whose charitable interests align with the Foundation’s mission to take a leadership role by supporting our work, thus inspiring others to be generous. We encourage you to take a look at the 2013-2014 Business Leaders in Philanthropy below, stop in and let them know that you appreciate their support of our community. If you have a business and would like to become involved in the Business Leaders program, please contact Jenny Papageorge at 413-732-2858.

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Distinguished Advisor Award Winner Jack Ferriter
Attorney Jack Ferriter was presented with the Pioneer Valley Distinguished Advisor in Philanthropy award at the Nov. 18 Ferritermeeting of the Pioneer Valley Estate Planning Council, recognizing his important work in philanthropy on behalf of the City of Holyoke. Jack was presented with a $1,000 grant to recommend to the charity of his choice (in this case the Greater Holyoke YMCA).

The Community Foundation, in partnership with the Pioneer Valley Estate Planning Council and the Estate Planning Council of Hampden County, presents the award twice annually. This awardhonors the important role that professional advisors play as champions of philanthropy in our region.

Jack was nominated by Kathy Viens, CEO of the Greater Holyoke YMCA. Jack has previously served as Board President and continues to generously donate his time and expertise.

“As a small non-profit it is comforting to know I have someone so giving of time and talent to us, said Kathy Viens: “Whether a simple question or an intricate personnel matter Jack has been extremely responsive and supportive. Quietly he has served as our professional advisor. I cannot express just how important his counsel has been during my tenure. As you may imagine solid legal advice in this business environment is crucial. A thank you does not seem like enough, yet that is all he requests.”

Jack is a native of Holyoke and has been an active member of the community, both as a trusted attorney and advisor, and through his extensive volunteer work. Among the many organizations that have benefited from his tireless devotion to his community are Holyoke Community College, the United Way of Pioneer Valley and the Holyoke Children’s Museum.

Learn About Our New Mission Grants
Mission Grants are popular for nonprofits that seek support for programs and infrastructure. In 2015, our competitive grants program has been renamed “Mission Grants” and now encompasses three types of grant opportunities:

Nonprofits may choose from one of the following:

  • Mission Standard Grants are awarded through a competitive process for new or existing programs or projects (including capital campaigns for 2015) that support an organization’s infrastructure. Mission Standard Grants deadline is Monday, Feb. 23, 2015. See the criteria page of our website for more details.
  • Mission Express Grants are a new enhanced fast-track option being piloted in 2015 for one-time expenditures.

The Foundation recognizes that there are times when nonprofits may not fit into one of the Mission Grant options noted above. Especially in times of unexpected challenges, CFWM offers a third type of grant:

  • Mission Critical Grants are designed to help a small number of well-run nonprofits respond to unanticipated circumstances for a limited time frame of up to six months.
Year End Giving Deadlines for 2014
If you are looking to receive a 2014 charitable income tax deduction, the following guidelines must be followed in order to obtain the required documentation from the Community Foundation:

  1. Check by Mail: Gifts must be mailed (postmarked) by Dec. 31, 2014. Please complete and include our donation form.
  2. Credit Card Donations: Make your donation online. All credit card donations must be entered by midnight on Dec.31, 2014.
  3. Donations of Stock: Please work with your financial advisor to ensure that donated stock is in the Foundation’s account by the last business day of the year, Dec. 31. Due to the high volume of transactions that occur at year-end, your financial advisor may need extra time to execute your request. Let us help you coordinate your donation – please contact Deb Koske at 413-732-2858 as soon as possible. Stock transfer instructions can be found here.
  4. If you are interested in establishing a new fund, or donating other assets (real estate, IRA, etc.), please call Kristin Leutz or Jenny Papageorge at 413-732-2858 as soon as possible.

For grant recommendations from your donor advised fund: If it is important that the charity receives your check before Dec. 31, 2014, your recommendations must be received by 10a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 17.

If it is important that the charity’s check simply be dated and postmarked by Dec. 31, your recommendations must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec.24.

What Would you like your Legacy to Be?
The Foundation’s Legacy Society is comprised of generous families and individuals who have made the decision to have a named fund at the Community Foundation as a beneficiary of their estate plans. There are currently 81 members of the Legacy Society. These donors 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 life insurance policy

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

Kristin Leutz, 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.