Quarterly Update
October 31, 2014
Berkshire Taconic
Grantee Spotlight: A Born Teacher 
Kirsten Kapteyn with 2014 Kapteyn Prize winner Bob Thistle (Photo: iBerkshires.com)

Bob Thistle loves the company he keeps.

Surrounded for 25 years by optimistic young students, he is a master teacher with a deep commitment to his school and community. Last Sunday, Bob was recognized for his achievements as the sixth James C. Kapteyn Prize winner.

Bob began teaching at Williamstown's Mount Greylock Regional High School in 1998, where he stayed for six years before returning to his alma mater, Pittsfield High. He then headed back to Mount Greylock in 2011, and two years later was named teacher of the year. He currently serves as the mathematics curriculum leader, teaches an SAT prep class in the evenings and coaches the boys' varsity basketball team.

Described by colleagues as a teacher who brings his subject alive and effectively reaches students who struggle with math and those who excel in it, Bob was chosen from a field drawn from 80 public and private schools in the four counties served by Berkshire Taconic, which administers the award. The prize provides an opportunity for teachers to stimulate and nourish their own intellects through a new experience -- study or travel -- and thereby enrich their students. Read more.
A.R.T. Fund Inspires Regional Projects

What's that giant chaise longue doing outside Edith Wharton's home?

Turns out it's a large format steel sculpture, one of 25 works on display throughout the grounds as part of the collaboration between the Mount and SculptureNow. And it's made possible in part by a grant from the Artist's Resource Trust Fund at Berkshire Taconic. Read more.
Training the Next Generation of Health Care Workers
To its recipients, it's a scholarship fund known as the Tabor Foundation. But this unique fund is much more -- a chance for health care workers to advance in their careers, and for their communities to reap the results.

Just ask Amber Victory. On track to become a registered nurse, she received a grant of $4,000 to continue her education through an RN to BSN program at Naugatuck Valley Community College. The scholarship allowed her to go to school full-time, unlike many of her peers who have been forced to drop out when they couldn't manage full-time work and school together. Read more.
BTCF Welcomes VP A. J. Pietrantone

Nonprofit executive A. J. Pietrantone has joined Berkshire Taconic as vice president for finance and administration. In this role, he will serve as the foundation's chief operating and financial officer and will provide high-level support to its finance and investment committees, which oversee its annual operating budget and $117 million in assets.

Pietrantone comes to Berkshire Taconic with 25-plus years of experience at a broad range of nonprofits. He has held senior finance and administrative positions with organizations focused on the arts, social services, civil rights and the environment, including national nonprofits Environmental Defense Fund and The Human Rights Campaign. Read More.
2015 Spending Policy
In order to preserve the purchasing power of the endowments in the Managed Pool while still providing essential funding to the community, the Board of Directors reviews the spending policy each year in the context of both historic and projected trends in investment income consistent with the Uniform Prudent Management of Investment Funds Act (UPMIFA). 

At its September meeting, the Board approved the recommendation of the Investment Committee to raise the spending rate from 4.0% to 4.5 % for calendar 2015. We are pleased that the prudent spending policies of previous years have made it possible for us to provide more funding in 2015 at a time when our communities really need it.

Assets will be transferred as of January 1; they will be available for spending according to the stated purpose of the fund and be reflected on first quarter fund statements. If you have an endowment fund, you will receive a spending policy letter next week outlining the specific amounts.
Quick Links
President's Message

We're in that wonderful time of year when we find ourselves thinking beyond our own needs. Our sense of community is naturally deepened as we gather with friends and family and think of whom we want to thank and whom we want to help. Read more.
End of Year Dates to Remember
Friday, December 19
Contact your financial institution to request stock transfers by this date so that BTCF receives the stock by the Dec. 31 deadline.

Tuesday, December 31
This is the last business day of the year to make a charitable gift. We're open until 5 p.m.!

Friday, December 12
Donor Advisors: Kindly submit your grant recommendations for 2014 by this date to ensure your grant is received by December 31.
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Contact Us
Berkshire Taconic
Community Foundation

800 N Main Street
PO Box 400
Sheffield, MA
t: 413.229.0370
f: 413.229.0329

Investment Returns as of 9/30/14
1-Year Return
3-Year Return
5-Year Return
Managed Pool*
Managed Pool Benchmark
Income Pool
Money Market
Socially Responsible Investment Pool
For the quarter ended September 30, 2014, the Managed Pool lost 0.4%, but outperformed the quarterly benchmark by 20 bps. The year-to-date return is a positive 4.7%, and the Managed Pool's market value ended the third quarter at $108.9 million.

The trailing 1-, 3- and 5-year returns are 9.7%, 11.9% and 9.1% respectively, performing above the benchmark in the long term, and just below in the short term. Results continue to demonstrate the benefits of diversification: performance with substantially less volatility than that of the general equity market, with anticipation of active management outperforming indices over long periods of time.

Domestic equity and flexible capital investments finished positive during the quarter, also outperforming their benchmarks, and contributed to the overall positive return. The Investment Committee reduced its positions with underperforming managers and highly concentrated fixed income holdings during the quarter to further protect against down-market risk, and will seek to adjust the portfolio in the coming months for greater long-term appreciation.

*As of September 30, 2014, the asset mix was 57.9% global public equity, 6.2% global private equity, 14.8% flexible capital, 16.8% credit strategies, 1.2% inflation hedging and 3.1% liquid capital.

Detailed performance reports for the investment pools, as well as by asset class and manager, are updated monthly and are available on our website.

For more information about the investment managers and performance, please visit our website, or contact A. J. Pietrantone, vice president of finance and administration.
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