Quarterly Update
November 2, 2017
GRANTEE SPOTLIGHT
Feeding Hungry Children
With Backpacks Full of Food 
Linda Fix, the coordinator of the Columbia County BackPack Program,
feeds hungry children in Hudson with the help of volunteers.
 
When Linda Fix decided to help feed chronically hungry children in Columbia County in 2010, she reached out to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York for assistance. She was told that it would cost $5,000 to supply weekly backpacks full of food to 30 students in Hudson, N.Y. Without batting an eyelash, Fix and her team took on the challenge, raised the funds and kicked off the Columbia County BackPack Program.
 
Seven years later, the program has expanded to serve 90 students in the Hudson City School District: 30 each at John L. Edwards Primary School, Montgomery C. Smith Intermediate School and Hudson Junior/Senior High School. With the help of a $2,000 grant from the Fund for Columbia County, a group of dedicated volunteers can be found in a Hudson basement each week filling backpacks with items like cereal, oatmeal packets, bread, juice boxes, canned meat, fruit, vegetables and gift cards for a gallon of milk. Each backpack contains enough food for one child. Read more  
More Than $525,000 Will Help Students Follow Their Dreams 
Maya Finston-Fox, one of 20 recipients of the McLaughlin-Wilson Scholarship, is attending Baldwin Wallace University.

Thanks to the generosity of area donors and the hard work of volunteer committees, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation awarded over 200 scholarships totaling $525,470 this year. Bright, young students from Berkshire, northwest Litchfield, Columbia and northeast Dutchess counties will use these awards (which range from $1,000 to $25,000 annually) to pursue their dreams in a variety of fields, including science, art, humanities and trade skills. View our list of 2017 scholarship recipients.
 
As the costs of school and materials rise, every fund provides an important gift that allows these students to focus on their future with the support and inspiration of their communities.

Read more about a few of this year's scholarship recipients whose lives will be impacted by local donors.
LEADERSHIP SPOTLIGHT
In Second Year, Healthy Food Initiative Offers Seafood Club, Cooking Classes and More 
Hawthorne Valley Association launched a Seafood Buying Club
in Hudson that sells affordable fish to residents.
 
One in 10 of Columbia County's residents live in poverty. Approximately 13 percent of the population lacks sufficient quantities of affordable, nutritious food, and nearly 15 percent cannot get to a supermarket due to store closures and a lack of transportation. One-third of those struggling to avoid hunger are seniors and children.
 
To combat this food inequality and bring fresh and healthy options to Columbia County residents, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation launched  Fresh and Healthy Food for All in July 2016. The five-year, $750,000 project is funded by two anonymous donors and was developed after consulting with more than 80 local community members involved in food-related industries across the county - including farms, food pantries, distributors, food retailers, community-based organizations and county agencies.

For the initiative's second year, which is currently underway, a total of $150,000 has been awarded to fund projects and classes designed to transform the food system for all residents, especially low-income families and seniors.
Read more
Berkshire Taconic Awards More Than $2.6 Million in Grants  
Andrea Wagner's scholarship fund awarded its second grant to a female student studying science.

In our third grantmaking cycle for 2017, Berkshire Taconic distributed $2,650,865 in grants: $55,975 to individuals and nonprofits in the four-county region we serve, and grants totaling $2,594,890 from donors with charitable funds at the foundation.

The Gateway Fund, Pauline Young Music Fund, Region One Athletic Fund and six scholarship funds awarded competitive grants during this cycle.
Interview with Poet Malachi Black
Malachi Black is finding inspiration for his poetry in the Berkshires.

Malachi Black is the 23rd 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.

Quick Links
President's Message
  
In some important ways, Berkshire Taconic is in the knowledge business. Donors are more effective in their philanthropy and nonprofits can be more successful in their work if they have access to information on critical issues and trends. Our region is also stronger when community members are informed voters, volunteers and board members.
 
Our recently released report, " A Closer Look," is the first step in Berkshire Taconic's efforts to provide our donors, nonprofit partners and residents with data that can inform decision-making. Viewpoints from over 2,300 people from focus groups and surveys informed the findings, in addition to an analysis of existing reports and datasets from government and other nonprofit organizations. 

The report's findings have resonated in the region. We mailed 2,600 copies to volunteers and donors, over 4,700 people accessed the report via a BTCF email blast, and over 1,300 went to our website. The media also covered the report's release. Stories and editorials have appeared in newspapers across the region, as well as on public radio.
Upcoming Grant Deadlines

Hilpman, Wynn Join BTCF Board
Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation welcomes two new members to its board of directors. 

Elizabeth Hilpman
joined Barlow Partners in January 2001 as chief investment officer and a partner of the firm. She has a home in Norfolk, Conn.


Michael Wynn
has been serving and protecting his hometown of Pittsfield, Mass., for more than 20 years. He has led the Pittsfield Police Department since December 2007. 


Learn more about Berkshire Taconic's region-wide staff and board on our website.
Contact Us
Berkshire Taconic 
Community Foundation

800 N Main Street
Sheffield, MA 01257-0400
t: 413.229.0370 / f: 413.229.0329

info@berkshiretaconic.org
berkshiretaconic.org
Investment Returns as of 9/30/17 

 
Q3 2017
YTD 2017
1-Year Return
3-Year Return
5-Year Return
7-Year Return
10-Year Return
Assets Under Mgmt 
Primary Managed Pool*
3.8
12.7
14.3
7.1
8.6
7.8
5.6
$128M  
Managed Pool Benchmark**
3.7
11.2
12.0
5.8
7.6
7.4
4.2
 
Socially Responsible Pool
2.7
8.3
10.2
6.9
9.2
8.1
N/A
$3.3M  
Income Pool
1.1
3.7
2.0
2.5
1.8
2.8
4.8
$0.48M  
Minimum Risk Pool
0.2
0.3
0.3
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.4
$1.1M 
Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation's primary managed investment pool appreciated 3.8% in the third quarter of 2017, bringing year-to-date performance to 12.7% and outperforming the policy benchmark** by 150 basis points (bps). Long-term, risk-adjusted results remain favorable, leading the benchmark over all standard trailing time periods ended September 30, which indicates complimentary asset allocation and solid manager performance. Over the latest 1-year period, the portfolio returned 14.3%, soundly outperforming the custom benchmark, which returned 12.0%. Since inception in August 1999, the portfolio has generated an annualized return of 6.8%, outperforming a traditional global blend of assets (65% MSCI AC World Index / 35% Barclays Global Aggregate Index) by approximately 140 bps per year with substantially less volatility. In addition, the portfolio's performance remained in the top quartile among its peer community foundations Read more
 
*Total assets in the managed pool exceeded $128.1 million at September 30, 2017, with a distribution of 60.1% global public equity, 6.3% global private equity, 25.4% flexible capital, 6.9% global fixed income and 1.3% 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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