Quarterly Update
April 30, 2015
Rebuilding Homes & Repairing Lives

"We got through the worst of it," whispered Audrey Bushnell into the ear of her trembling dog. She hugged him tightly and consoled him with kisses as the sharp clatter of hammers echoed from the ceiling of her mobile home. A team of workers was replacing Audrey's leaking roof. In all, 19 volunteers would work on her home throughout April to repair its significant damage - free of charge through local nonprofit Rebuilding Together Dutchess County.

Audrey and her husband Harold had rented an apartment above a laundromat for 30 years in Lakeville, Conn., where Harold worked for Arnoff Moving and Storage. When Audrey's parents died, she and Harold inherited the family home in Stanfordville, a hamlet in Dutchess County, NY.

For ten years, Audrey and Harold spent what they could on small-scale maintenance projects. Now in their late 70s and getting by on Social Security, the couple has forgone caring for their home in order to afford basic necessities. When the outdoor stairs began to deteriorate and the kitchen lost hot water, the couple had no children or willing neighbors to offer support. They were the perfect candidates for Rebuilding Together Dutchess County, a grantee of the Northeast Dutchess Fund that rehabilitates the homes of low-income homeowners. Read More
Spring Grantmaking Tops $1.5M
Berkshire Taconic's Board of Directors recently announced the recipients of its first round of grantmaking for 2015. We distributed $1.5 million: $194,242 in grants to individuals and nonprofits in the four-county region we serve, and grants totaling over $1.3 million from donors who have established charitable funds with us.

Through our competitive grantmaking, we awarded grants from the William J. and Margery S. Barrett Fund for Adams, Cheshire and Savoy; the Central Berkshire Fund; the Fund for Columbia County; the Alice and Richard Henriquez Memorial Fund/Youth World Awareness Program; the Northwest Corner Fund; the South County Fund; the Madeleine B. Wildes Fund; and three educational enrichment funds.

A full list of grants and grant recipients can be found at www.berkshiretaconic.org/springgrants.
Building Capacity in Regional Nonprofits

Communities prosper when nonprofits are strong. That's a core belief at Berkshire Taconic, and the premise behind our Center for Nonprofit Excellence, one of our leadership initiatives that builds the capacity of nonprofits.

This month, nine area organizations are taking part in our intensive training program known as the Nonprofit Learning Program. Led by Simone Joyaux, a widely recognized expert in nonprofit governance and fund development, the program brings together leadership teams from each institution for group trainings to help participants effectively mobilize their boards and donors in support of their missions. Since it was created in 2005, NPLP has trained over 200 board and staff leaders from more than 60 organizations. Read More
Housing Panel Seeks Solutions

On March 31, Berkshire Taconic's housing initiative, HousingUs, co-hosted a regional symposium, "Investing in Community: Housing Strategies for Economic Development in the Tri-Corner Region." The event gathered approximately 75 business leaders, policymakers, town planners and other community partners from Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York to share success stories that can help the region attract and sustain families and businesses.

Pictured, left to right: Jonathan Butler, president/CEO, Berkshire Chamber of Commerce; Jennifer Tabakin, town manager of Great Barrington, Mass.; BTCF board member Christopher Kennan, a co-proprietor of Little Gates Wine Merchants of Millerton and president of Townscape of Millerton, NY; and Chris Brooks, general manager, White Hart Inn and Tavern in Salisbury, Conn.

Quick Links
President's Message
Every donor who opens a fund with Berkshire Taconic has a story to tell - perhaps even more so after an experience of loss.

That's the case with the Rev. Ralph E. Peterson of Lenox, Mass., whose beloved wife of 46 years died in December. The accomplished Birgitta - a physician, musician and weaver - now lives on through the fund in her name, which will support early childhood development and children and adults with disabilities.
Read More
Upcoming Grant Deadlines
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 3/31/15
1-Year Return
3-Year Return
5-Year Return
10-Year Return
Managed Pool*
Managed Pool Benchmark
Income Pool
- 0.3
Money Market
Socially Responsible Investment Pool
For the quarter that ended March 31, 2015, the Managed Pool appreciated 2.0% but trailed the Policy Index for the period. This was primarily a factor of investment manager changes and short periods of idle resources as liquidations settled and new subscriptions were funded. The annual return was strong, however, at 6.1%, with long-term returns very close to or outpacing their benchmark in each period. The Pool's market value at the end of the quarter closed at $109 million.

A backdrop of improving economic conditions and monetary policies largely benefited globally financial assets, though the impact of a strong U.S. dollar varied by asset class. Public equities were a source of relative outperformance in the quarter due in large part to the Foundation's exposure to non-U.S. developed markets, with private equity also contributing positively to results. During the quarter, the Foundation liquidated its holdings in the Vanguard Developed Market Index and Ashmore Emerging Market Debt & Currency Funds. Proceeds were directed towards the Causeway Global Value Fund and expanded flexible capital investments in Varde Investment Partners and Anchorage Capital Partners.

Faced with an unpredictable global market environment, the BTCF Investment Committee remains cautious, making only modest adjustments in asset allocation within the authorized targets, and identifying managers with track records suitable to the current environment and constituent funding needs.

Quarterly results continue to demonstrate the benefits of diversification over the long term: performance with substantially less volatility than the general equity markets, providing reliable income streams to the Foundation's endowments. And while individual manager performance will ebb and flow depending on market conditions, active management is anticipated to continue to outperform indices over substantial periods of time.

*At March 31, 2015, the portfolio distribution was 59.5% global public equity, 6.5% global private equity, 22.3% flexible capital, 1.2% inflation hedging, 7.8% global fixed income and 2.7% liquid capital.

For more information on the Foundation's investment performance and managers, please visit our website or contact Vice President for Finance and Administration A. J. Pietrantone at apietrantone@berkshiretaconic.org or 413.229.0370.
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