Quarterly Update
July 31, 2015
GRANTEE SPOTLIGHT
One Teen's Unlikely Dream Comes True

For most of her youth, Shelby Jacquier of Canaan, Conn. felt that her dream of becoming a nurse or doctor was out of reach. She was raised to be a fourth-generation dairy farmer, and at age five was diagnosed with a severe learning disability that affects her capacity to read and write. Shelby assumed that after high school she would continue her family's proud tradition of working on the farm full-time.

Considering herself a long shot, Shelby decided to fill out an application for the Margaret Derwin "Blue Sky" Scholarship, a fund of Berkshire Taconic named in memory of a beloved 2005 graduate of Housatonic Valley Regional High School. In May, Shelby was named the fifth Derwin scholar, and has earned a grant of $100,000 to attend the four-year, U.S. college or university of her choice, and $5,000 to travel abroad for a summer community service program. Read more.

Litchfield Gains Two Education Nonprofits
SOAR's Kids Cook program teaches children how to prepare nutritious meals for themselves and their families.

In a sign of their extraordinary success, two of Berkshire Taconic's education enrichment funds in Northwest Connecticut have struck out on their own as independent nonprofit organizations this year. 

 

The 21st Century Fund for Housatonic Valley Regional High School and Salisbury Central School's SOAR (Seek, Originate, Aim and Reach) Fund have begun operating independently after a respective 17 and 15 years of growth as funds of Berkshire Taconic's. Read more.

Summer Grantmaking Hits $2 Million
The Drury Drama Team received a grant from the James and Robert Hardman Fund

Berkshire Taconic's board of directors recently announced the recipients of its second round of grantmaking for 2015. We distributed $2.1 million: $266,234 in grants to individuals and nonprofits in the four-county region we serve, $445,444 in scholarships to high school, college and graduate school students, and grants totaling $1.4 million from donors who have established charitable funds with us.

Through our competitive grantmaking, we awarded grants from the Arts Fund for Region One; the Fund for Williams- town; the James and Robert Hardman Fund; the New World Fund; the Northeast Dutchess Fund; the Northwest Corner Fund; the Quailwood Fund; the Region One Athletic Fund; eight education enrichment funds; and 46 scholarship funds.

 

A full list of grants and grant recipients can be found at www.berkshiretaconic.org/summergrants.




Quick Links
President's Message
 
It is said that transitions are difficult, perhaps because they bring unwelcome change. But what if they were considered a natural stage of growth? The start of a healthy transformation? 

That's how we're seeing things here at Berkshire Taconic since my announcement that I'll step down as president by the end of this year. After 16-plus years, it's time for a change for me and it's a great time for change for the foundation. Read more.
Upcoming Grant Deadlines
Contact Us
Berkshire Taconic
Community Foundation


800 N Main Street
PO Box 400
Sheffield, MA
01257-0400
t: 413.229.0370
f: 413.229.0329

info@berkshiretaconic.org
berkshiretaconic.org
Investment Returns as of 6/30/15
 
Q2
2015
1-Year Return
3-Year Return
5-Year Return
10-Year Return
Managed Pool*
2.9
3.6
10.1
9.5
6.6
Managed Pool Benchmark
2.8
3.4
10.3
9.3
5.7
Income Pool
- 1.3
- 0.6
1.5
3.1
N/A
Money Market
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
N/A
Socially Responsible Investment Pool
1.1
6.3
10.2
9.9
N/A
Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation's Managed Pool portfolio gained 90 basis points (.90%) in the second quarter of 2015, outpacing the Benchmark Index by .60%, with indications that both asset allocation and investment manager selection contributed positively to performance in the quarter. Year to date, the portfolio has appreciated 2.9%, effectively matching the Managed Pool benchmark of 2.8%. Since its inception in August 1999, the portfolio has generated an annualized return of 6.7%, outperforming a global blend of assets (65% MSCI AC World Index/35% Barclays Global Aggregate Index) by 2% with substantially less volatility. 

In a very volatile quarter, the portfolio's international equity, flexible capital and private equity segments drove returns. Exposure to smaller cap equities both domestically and internationally was beneficial in the quarter, and outperformance of a majority of emerging market equities also contributed to positive returns within the global equity segment. The foundation's flexible capital portfolio generated significant gains during the quarter, with all but one manager outpacing their respective HRFI benchmarks. The fixed income segment of the portfolio contracted 1.1% but held up better than the Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond Index, which declined 1.7% during the quarter. 

The foundation's portfolio is diversified and has been built for a variety of market conditions in an effort to generate long-term performance in excess of inflation and spending needs. While mindful of the market environment, the investment committee remains committed to the long-term, strategic management of portfolio assets, making only modest adjustments to the asset allocation and replacing non-performing managers when necessary. 

*Portfolio assets were $109.7 million at June 30, 2015, and the portfolio distribution was 59.3% global public equity, 6.4% global private equity, 24.4% flexible capital, 1.2% inflation hedging, 7.6% global fixed income, 1.1% 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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