Our mission is to mobilize philanthropy by matching donors and resources with community needs for the benefit of our region.

News from the Community Foundation
Introducing the new CFSEMA President, plus other timely news from the Community Foundation of Southeastern Mass.
Message from the Community Foundation Chair

Welcome to the arrival of Summer. I would like to update you on all the progress that we have made here at the Community Foundation. The Presidential Search Committee worked for more than five months and reviewed more than 80 applications to find our new president, New Bedford native John Vasconcellos, who will join us on August 1st. His energy, vision, and understanding of our region should quickly take the CFSEMA to new leadership roles. Read more about John in the story below.

The Scholarship Committee has worked very hard to select many highly motivated and smart students for more than 50 college scholarships. This helps our region by supporting our future leaders. Also, our Investment Committee reviewed and chose Prime Bucholz as our new investment advisor, and we look forward to their expert handling of your assets to meet our goal of matching resources with community needs.

I want to thank all our donors, grantees, vendors, and other supporters for your patience and understanding during this period of transition. Our great staff has been working overtime to get checks recorded, thank you notes out, grants to the community, and to keep you informed of all we do. We are working every day to improve our services to meet your needs. I  am very excited about the future of our Community Foundation, and look forward to our continued growth as we change direction and find new ways to help our region address the issues it is facing.

Thanks for your support, and please contact me with any questions or suggestions

Seth Garfield, Chair


New Bedford native John Vasconcellos will serve as the next president of the Community Foundation, beginning August 1, 2016.
John is a visionary collaborator and change leader who has extensive not-for-profit and fundraising experience and was chosen from a field of over 80 applicants. Through the generosity of the Carney Family Foundation, the Search Committee had the expert guidance of Janet Atkins of Ridgeway Philanthropy. The committee sorted and ranked the applicants on intellectual leadership, vision, financial acumen and fundraising as well as management experience.
Most recently, John served as Senior Regional Director for the Southeast and Boston regions of The Trustees of Reservations. Other experience includes Managing Director of Development and Marketing for the Gay Men's Health Crisis, Vice President of Development and Communications at the Buzzards Bay Coalition and Director of Development for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

Read the full press release 

  Jacobs Award $175,000 in Scholarships

Three New Bedford High School, one New Bedford Global Learning Charter Public School and one Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School graduating seniors have been awarded four-year scholarships to study math, science or engineering at a college or university, thanks to the J acobs Family New Bedford High Schools Scholarship, a fund of the Community Foundation.

City native and QUALCOMM co-founder Dr. Irwin Jacobs and his wife, Joan Klein Jacobs, flew in from their home in La Jolla, California in late April to present $175,000 in scholarships at the New Bedford Whaling Museum to Global Learning Charter Public School senior Viriato Nunes; GNB Voc-Tech senior Jacob Aubertine; and NBHS seniors Katherine Gomes, Zachary Silva, and Victoria Vafaee. Each will receive a $35,000 scholarship, to be distributed over four years.

Read the full press release

Other Scholarships Awarded

To date in 2016, the Community Foundation has awarded another $157,845 in scholarships to 99 students from 23 funds, in addition to the Jacobs Scholarships. They include:
  • Albert F. Carr Scholarship, $10,000 total awarded to two New Bedford High School students for one year in college studying engineering;
  • Anonymous Scholarship, $20,000 over four years to each of two NBHS students;
  • Sippican Philosophical Society, $1,795 to one student;
  • Daniel P. Bergeron Scholarship, $500 to a Fairhaven High School graduating senior;
  • George Earl and Katherine Hartley Church Scholarship, $4,700 total to four area students who are studying nursing;
  • Fairhaven High School Centurion Scholarship, $2,000 to one FHS student;
  • Frank and Eleanor Gracie Family Scholarship, $1,975 to one NBHS student;
  • Charles J. Lewin Interfaith Scholarship, a total of $5,750 to five graduating seniors;
  • Louis M. Rusitzky Scholarship, $2,500 to one NBHS student;
  • Nate King Memorial Scholarship, $575 to one NBHS graduating senior;
  • New Bedford Woman's Club, $500 each to one NBHS students and one from GNB Regional Voc-Tech High School;
  • Matthew "Matty" Ryan Oliveira Scholarship, $500 to each of two FHS students;
  • Katherine Hassan Penton, New Bedford High School Class of 1948 Scholarship,$3,450 to each of two NBHS students;
  • Frank D. Sylvia Trust Scholarship, $9,400 to a Somerset Berkley Regional High School student;
  • New Bedford High School Class of 1960 Scholarship, $500 to each of two students;
  • College Club of New Bedford, a total of $13,250 to 26 area students;
  • Ladies' Branch of  the New Bedford Port Society Scholarship, a total of $8,250 to 11 students;
  • New Bedford Half Marathon Scholarship, one $1,500 award;
  • Trevor Alves Memorial Scholarship one $2,000 award to a Dartmouth High School graduating senior;
  • Padanaram Foundation Art Scholarship, one $750 award to a Dartmouth HS senior;
  • Edward D. Thomas Trust, $4,000 total to four graduates of Foxboro High School;
  • Erika Hall Memorial Scholarship, 17 $1,000 awards;
  • Somerset Scholarship Foundation Fund, $22,000 total to 10 Somerset residents. 
Current college students can upload their transcripts to redeem their scholarship payments by clicking the Upload Your Transcript button on our website

Grants Awarded

Since March, 22 Community Foundation funds have awarded 113 grants totaling $416,817:
  • Acushnet Foundation Fund,18 grants totaling $219,500;
  • James Arnold Fund, 15 grants totaling $36,500.
  • Buckley Family Fund, 3 grants totaling $10,710;
  • CFSEMA Discretionary Fund, one $1,000 grant;
  • CFSEMA New Bedford Funders Fund, one $1,000 grant;
  • Mary Morley Crapo Hyde Eccles Fund, one $15,000 grant;
  • Gosnold Community Fund, one $1,400 grant;
  • Hawthorn Medical Fund, two grants totaling $12,500;
  • Howland Fund for Aged Women,$2,000 in quarterly installments to four women
    newly added as recipients of this fund's support;
  • Jacobs Family Educational Attainment Fund, one $12,980 grant for Sea Lab scholarships;
  • Kerry Lynch and Dean Slocum Charitable Trust, one $1,000 grant;
  • MacLean Children's Fund, one $5,000 grant;
  • Ladies' Branch of the New Bedford Port Society, one $5,000 grant;
  • New Bedford Education Foundation, 12 grants totaling $29,500;
  • New Bedford Education Foundation Fund-Carney Family Charitable Foundation-STEAM Grants, three grants totaling $10,470.
  • New Bedford Education Foundation Opportunity Grant, one $900 grant.
  • New Bedford High School Scholarship Funds, one $6,760 payment to NBHS;
  • New Bedford High School Young Alumni Association, one $50 grant;
  • Rainy Day Fund, four grants totaling $17,500;
  • SEEAL, five mini-grants totaling $6,674;
  • Ubunye Fund, one $8,093 grant;
  • Westport Education Foundation Fund, three grants totaling $3,620;
  • The Women's Fund LifeWork Project, $9,660 in savings incentives to 32 participants.

Among the grants was $1,000 from the New Bedford Funders Fund, which helped underwrite the SouthCoast Nonprofit Leadership Workshop on April 26 at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The workshop was hosted by the New Bedford Funders Group, of which CFSEMA is a member, and was designed for nonprofit Executive Directors and their Board members. David Grant, the former president and CEO or the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in Morristown, NJ, led the workshop, which focused on concepts such as nonprofit life cycles, the power of formative assessment, board development, and effective change.   

CFSEMA Earns Re-Accreditation by National Standards Board

CFSEMA has received its re-accreditation certification by the Council on Foundations'
National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations accrediation program. The Foundation submitted over 100 documents for peer review to confirm that we meet the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations. This accreditation represents an affirmation of operational effectiveness needed to foster excellence in community philanthropy.

"With this achievement, you continue to be a part of a group of community foundations that has
met the nation's highest philanthropic standards for operational quality, integrity and
accountability," according to a letter from Director of National Standards Lara Kalwinski. "National Standards accreditation is a commitment to transparency, excellence,
stewardship, and leadership.  Since 2000, more than 500 community foundations display the National Standards Seal that denotes they achieved accreditation."

CFSEMA Board Member Vera Vadeboncoeur
Honored as SouthCoast Emerging Leader

Community Foundation Board Member Vera Vadeboncoeur was one of five "gifted, community-focused leaders" under 40 years old to be recognized at the New Bedford Whaling Museum on June 2 as a SouthCoast Emerging Leader. Vera, office manager/controller for Fernandes Masonry in New Bedford, is also the treasurer for the Team Noah Foundation, a CFSEMA fund which is dedicated to making a difference for children and families with special needs and medical conditions to improve their quality of life. Also, recently retired Juvenile Court Judge Bettina Borders was honored with Irwin M. and Joan K. Jacobs Leadership Award.

Read more about it in The Standard-Times 

Patriot Ledger Reporter Wins 4th Annual MacGregor Fiske Award

From left, Fund Advisor Mary McCann Fiske, Jessica Trufant, and Patriot Ledger Publisher Mark Olivieri
Jessica Trufant, a general assignment reporter at The Patriot Ledger of Quincy, has been awarded the fourth annual MacGregor Fiske Novice Journalist Award. Ms. Trufant received a $1,000 stipend check during an award presentation on June 21 at the newspaper.

The MacGregor Fiske Fund, a fund of the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts, established the award to recognize a print journalist who is relatively new to the field, encourage him or her to persevere in the profession and honor the contributions of journalists to sustaining an informed society.

Ms. Trufant, an award-winning journalist with a proven track record of tackling complex issues and presenting them in readable stories, has worked for The Patriot Ledgers since July 2013. When she started at the newspaper, the Federal Emergency Management Agency had just released new flood maps and started implementing many changes to the National Flood Insurance Program. The flood zone re-mapping, coupled with shifting federal legislation would have caused insurance premiums to soar, devastating the coastal real estate market and forcing families from their homes.
Read the full press release

  • Our annual end-of-
    summer gala celebration, Summer's Last Blast, is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 9, at The Huidekoper residence, 8 Pokanoket Lane, Nonquitt, South Dartmouth.  Joinus for fine food and dancing at this beautiful seaside location, all to benefit the Community Foundation. For tickets or sponsorship opportunities, contact Nancy Harding.  Read about our sponsorship opportunities.
  • The Women's Fund of the Community Foundation invites you to the 3rd annual LifeWork Project Graduation and Celebration from 5 to 7 pm on Wednesday, June 22, at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The speaking program begins at 5 pm. The ceremony is open to the public.
  • Leadership SouthCoast is co-hosting a free energy forum from 6-7:30 pm on June 29th at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School. Building the South Coast's Clean Energy Future is part of the South Coast Community Energy Series. Panelists include Claire Miller, Lead Community Organizer for the Toxics Action Center; Roger Cabral, Organizer for South Coast Neighbors United; Peter Shattuck, Director of the Clean Energy Initiative and Massachusetts Office of the Acadia Center; and Janet Milkman, Executive Director of The Marion Institute. To register
Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts| 30  Cornell  Street | New Bedford, MA 02740 | 508-996-8283 | www.cfsema.org

For financial and operations questions, contact Pam Evans, Director of Finance and Administration

For grants, fund transfers and program support, contact Lauren Maher Patrick, Program Officer

For media inquiries, the website, and special events, contact Nancy Harding, Communications Director

For scholarships, gift and deposits, and SEEAL questions, contact Megan Boyle, Scholarship Manager