Quarterly Update
November 1, 2016
High & Mighty Extends Services to Children in Foster Care
A volunteer grooms her horse before an end-of-day ride.

On a late afternoon in May, a peaceful silence pervades the grounds of High & Mighty Therapeutic Riding and Driving Center in Ghent, NY. A breeze whispers through blades of grass and chickens tiptoe around the driveway with no apparent destination in mind. One by one, three horses are led out of their stables for a final ride. They - like the volunteers beside them - seem content with the work they accomplished earlier in the day.

High & Mighty is not an average riding ranch. With over 100 expert instructors, volunteers and specialists, it offers equine-assisted activities for children, teens and adults with special needs. Situated on 50 acres with miles of trails, the farm, which recently received a grant from Berkshire Taconic's Fund for Columbia County, is dedicated to providing a safe environment and helping enhance the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of visitors. Read more
Berkshire Taconic Announces Regional Grants for Community Engagement & Affordable Housing Workshops
Volunteers of Philmont Beautification, a grassroots community organization in Philmont, NY.

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation's HousingUs initiative has awarded over $30,000 in grants to organizations across the region to plan and convene outreach activities that bring residents together to explore the interrelated issues of affordable housing, economic development and town center vitality. The awards follow a request for proposals announced in mid-July that has resulted in at least one funded project in each of the four counties Berkshire Taconic serves.

"Affordable housing and economic development are mutually reinforcing elements of a healthy community and pressing issues for our region," said David B. Rich, chair of the HousingUs advisory board and a Berkshire Taconic board member. "With these grants, HousingUs aims to inspire innovative thinking and cross-sector collaboration that can lead to sustainable solutions for our towns."

Grants include: Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (Pittsfield, Mass.): $8,000 to host a daylong housing institute for municipal leaders, advocates and developers; Housing Committee of Hillsdale, NY: $3,600 to partner with countywide nonprofit Columbia Opportunities in hosting a public forum on affordable housing and economic development; and Philmont Beautification, Inc. (Philmont, NY): $5,000 to engage residents, businesses, municipal leaders and nonprofits in workshops to boost results from the organization's community renewal project focused on the Philmont waterfront.
Jamaican Poet Safiya Sinclair Named 21st Clampitt Resident
Safiya Sinclair at Amy Clampitt's former residence.

We recently sat down with Safiya Sinclair, a young talent who was selected as the 21st recipient of the Amy Clampitt residency. For over a decade, the program has provided poets and literary scholars a paid six- or 12-month stay at Clampitt's former residence near Lenox, Mass., where they can focus exclusively on their work.

Safiya began her career as a poet when she was 16 years old. Since then, she has earned many fellowships and awards, including a 2016 Whiting Award given annually to 10 emerging writers (past recipients include playwright August Wilson, novelist Michael Cunningham and best-selling memoirist and poet Mary Karr).

Read an extended interview with Safiya here.
Berkshire Taconic Awards $769,000 in Fall Grants

In our third grantmaking cycle for 2016, Berkshire Taconic distributed $769,000 in grants: $50,134 to individuals and nonprofits in the four-county region we serve, and grants totaling nearly $720,000 from donors with charitable funds at the foundation. 

The Gateway Fund, Pauline Young Music Fund and Tabor Foundation Fund awarded competitive grants during this cycle. The Tabor Foundation Fund awarded over $30,000 to eight residents of northwest Litchfield County, Conn., and northeast Dutchess County, NY, who plan to undertake education or training in a field of health care and seek employment in their communities afterwards. The Gateway Fund and Pauline Young Music Fund - two of Berkshire Taconic's education enrichment funds that support projects to inspire and engage students across the region - awarded nearly $20,000 to schools and organizations in the North Adams School District. 

A full list of grants and grant recipients can be found at www.berkshiretaconic.org/fallgrants
Register Today! Collective Impact Workshop Thursday

This Thursday, John Kania - a leading expert on collective impact - will visit our region for a half-day workshop on this proven approach to tackling complex social problems. Registration is open until close of business Wednesday (limited onsite registration is available). Nonprofit, business, government and civic leaders are invited to join us at Crissey Farm in Great Barrington, Mass., from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Tickets are $40 and include breakfast and lunch.

Learn more and register. 


Additional Sponsorship

Quick Links
Updated Fund Statements Available
Please log in to DonorCentral to view your updated fund statement for Q3. To save paper, you can switch to an electronic update by contacting Lisa Mlynarczyk. Please note that online grant recommendations from donor advised funds are confirmed via email.
President's Message
This fall, Berkshire Taconic is listening and learning. Through a dozen focus groups and online surveys reaching thousands of people, the community foundation is gathering input from donors, nonprofit partners, civic and business leaders and residents on the issues, trends and needs in our region. (We've received nearly 2,000 responses alone to our resident survey, just one out of four surveys we conducted with our research firm to gather information from our key stakeholders). This outreach is integral to a community assessment process we are undertaking this year to deepen our understanding of the issues facing the region. The assessment results will help us sharpen our strategic focus and build our knowledge base to better support our donors and nonprofit partners. 

This process is perfectly timed for me as Berkshire Taconic's relatively new CEO. I've been gradually climbing a steep learning curve by listening to many people who know the region and the community foundation well. The outreach we are conducting has broadened my reach, allowing me to meet and learn from many of the community foundation's champions, key partners, healthy critics and people we'd need to engage more to have the impact and success we are striving for. Read more
End of Year Dates to Remember
Thursday, December 20
Contact your financial institution to request stock transfers by this date so that Berkshire Taconic receives the stock by December 30. 

Now that the IRA rollover has been made permanent, please contact your financial institution by December 20 if you wish to make a contribution from your IRA to an existing or new fund at BTCF (donor advised funds excluded from this provision).

Friday, December 30
This is the last business day of the year to make a charitable gift. We'll be open until 5:00 p.m.

Friday, January 13 
If you are a fund advisor and have checks that you've received from an event or appeal dated on or before December 31, we must have those checks here at the office by this date in order for the donor to be eligible to receive a 2016 tax deduction. 

Monday, December 19
We ask that donor advisors submit grant recommendations for 2016 no later than December 19 (earlier if possible) to ensure that the grants will be processed and in the mail to the recipient nonprofit organizations by December 23.
Upcoming Grant Deadlines

2016 Planned Giving Webinar Series
"Bequests and Simple Bequest Alternatives," the fourth and final webinar in our 2016 planned giving webinar series, will be held on Thursday, November 17 at 1Berkshire (66 Allen Street, Pittsfield).

A full description of the webinar can be found here.

For questions or to RSVP, contact Director of Philanthropic Services Jill Cancellieri.
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 9/30/16 

Q3 2016
YTD 2016
1-Year Return
3-Year Return
5-Year Return
7-Year Return
10-Year Return
Primary Managed Pool*
Managed Pool Benchmark
Socially Responsible Pool
Income Pool
Minimum Risk Pool
Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation's portfolio closed the third quarter with a gain of 4.0%, outpacing its benchmark, which advanced only 3.7%. Comparisons to the benchmark remain favorable over all periods, including the trailing one-year period ended September 30, 2016 in which the portfolio gained 8.9%. The 110 basis point (bps) lead indicates that both asset allocation and manager performance contributed positively to results. Since inception in August 1999, the portfolio has generated an annualized return of 6.4%, outperforming a typical global blend of assets (65% MSCI AC World Index/35% Barclays Global Aggregate Index) by approximately 180 bps per year with substantially less volatility. Read more
*Total assets exceeded $119.6 million at September 30, 2016, with a distribution of 59.4% global public equity, 6.0% global private equity, 23.1% flexible capital, 1.1% inflation hedging, 7.4% global fixed income and 3.0% 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 by email or at 413.229.0370.
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