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Ron Ancrum, President

CFInfo: Celebrating Regional Philanthropy

Dear Donors, Volunteers and Friends,

This is the December issue of CFInfo from the Community Foundation of Western MA. In October we held our 19th Annual Meeting, convened our second Community Conversations, and launched our Annual Fund to help support our operating budget and selected funds.  In November we celebrated philanthropy nationally and locally by honoring Robyn Newhouse for her philanthropic work.  The act of giving for a charitable cause can be inspirational and often time is an expression of values.  But most of all, it should simply feel good. 
Ron Ancrum, President

CFinfo is to provide quick updates on initiatives, our grants program, remind you of upcoming events as well as news about philanthropy at its best in the region.  We hope you find this issue informative and welcome any feedback you would like to share with us.

Program Updates: Community Conversations 

Exploring Vital Issues for our Region: Creative Economy

In October, the Community Foundation convened an audience of approximately 35 for an intimate conversation around the creative economy. Maren Brown, Director of the University of Massachusetts' Arts Extension Service, did a fantastic job facilitating a panel of creative economy experts. The panel consisted of Stanley C. Rosenberg, MA State Senator; Meri Jenkins, Program Manager, Adams Arts Program, Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC); and Eric Nakajima, Senior Innovation Advisor, MA Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

The panel offered a historical overview of the Massachusetts creative economy and some insight into how arts and culture distinguishes the creative economy from the general economy.

Rosenberg shared highlights of 14 years of efforts in support of legislation in furtherance of cultural facilities programs. He is regarded a champion of the Arts, and is credited as having been the impetus behind many current developments. By demonstrating measurements of the economic impact of creative industries, he influenced set asides from the State Lottery fund, in support of the creation of local arts councils.

Jenkins reflected on the trials and tribulations of the MCC, lamenting over the drastic 62% budget cut her agency experienced in 2002, but managed to continue its efforts in funding millions of dollars to arts projects. Through the MCC's Adams Arts Program, over 8 million dollars has been dispersed since 2004 alone.

Nakajima shared some exciting prospects toward a new economic development Bill. He mentioned the development of the creative economy council's plans to convene meetings across the State to discuss new approaches in aligning businesses and industries, the intent being a concentrated focus on channeling resources to enterprises.

As an added bonus, Helena Fruscio, Executive Director of Berkshire Creative, was present. Fruscio spoke of successful endeavors in the Berkshires. Her organization has helped implement a number of cross-sector innovations, pairing local creation with local production, for a more robust local economy. This conversation elicited lots of positive feedback and ignited the creative thought processes of those in attendance.

If you have any specific questions regarding this event, or are interested in contacting any of the participants, contact Trevis Wray , Program Officer and Community Leadership Coordinator.

2010 Philanthropist of the Year for Hampden County
Robyn Newhouse and Ron Ancrum
Robyn Newhouse and Ron Ancrum
CFWM is proud to announce that Robyn Newhouse is the winner of the Western Massachusetts Association of Fundraising Professionals 2010 Philanthropist of the Year Award for Hampden County.  

We nominated Robyn for this award to recognize her outstanding generosity and dedication to many local nonprofits including the Community Foundation.

Robyn makes a difference with her giving through the Robyn Newhouse Charitable Fund, a donor advised fund at the Foundation that allows her to make grants to organizations she cares about, notably the Community Music School of Springfield, Bay Path College, the western Massachusetts chapter of the National Conference for Community and Justice, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, and the Community Foundation. We are thankful for Robyn's hard work as a member of the Foundation's Distribution Committee. Our system of distributing charitable assets is truly community-driven, representing the best collective wisdom we can bring together in our Valley, and Robyn's contribution to that is invaluable.

The award was presented to Robyn at a ceremony on November 17 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. Robyn expressed her appreciation in receiving this award, "my work with the Foundation's Distribution Committee has enabled me to meet many wonderful people in the region who are doing work to improve the quality of life in western Mass - people whom I might not have met otherwise. Having a donor advised fund helps me to budget and keep track of my annual giving, and it provides a way to continue support for many or most of the organizations I contribute to in perpetuity.  I am glad that we have a Community Foundation here in western Mass which provides for those things and makes philanthropy easier for all of us who are not mega-millionaires."

The Giving Season

Year End Giving Deadlines

If you wish to make a donation to the Foundation in 2010, please follow these guidelines to ensure the tax deductibility of your gift is not jeopardized:  

  1. Gifts of cash must be mailed (postmarked) by December 31, 2010. You can make your donation online, but all credit card donations must be made to the Foundation by 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 30th. UBS Financial Services suggests that all instructions for transferring stock or mutual funds be processed by 2:00 p.m. December 22nd, due to the high volume of transactions that occur at year-end. To ensure the timeliness of your transaction, please contact Debbie Koske at 413-732-2858 as soon as possible.
  2. If you are interested in establishing a new fund, or donating other assets (real estate, IRA, etc.), please call Katie Allan Zobel or Kristin B. Leutz at 413-732-2858 as soon as possible. 

More Tips on Year End Donations

Donor Advised Grants 

  1. If it is important to you that the charity receives your check before December 31, 2010, your recommendations must be received by 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 21st.
  2. If it is important to you that the charity's check simply be dated and postmarked by December 31st, your recommendations must be received by 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 28th.

More on Donor Services/Recommend a Grant

CFWM Annual Meeting 2010

The Community Foundation's 19th Annual Meeting was held in October at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. The evening began with an inspiring performance of the Children's Chorus of Springfield. The occasion was a thank you and recognition to The Honorable Elizabeth D. Scheibel (Betsy), who had completed her full three terms as Trustee and chair of the board. Peter Daboul, incoming, the newly elected chair, and Ron Ancrum, president, offered a few words about the current and future work of the Community Foundation.

Local Leaders elected to CFWM Board of Trustees

The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts is pleased to announce the following local leaders were unanimously elected to the Board of Trustees:

  • Amy Jamrog CLU, ChFC;  Managing Director of The Jamrog Group in Northampton
  • George C. Keady, III; Senior Vice President and Branch Manager of UBS Wealth Management in Springfield
  • Robert L. Pura, Ph.D.; President of Greenfield Community College in Greenfield

    The Foundation is pleased to announce new Board of Trustees leadership:
  • Chair - Peter J. Daboul; Executive in Residence at Western New England College in Springfield
  • Vice Chair - Dr. Sanford A. Belden of Hatfield.; Retired President of Community Bank System, Inc.

Announcing New Distribution Committee Members 

The Community Foundation's 13 member Distribution Committee makes the funding recommendations for the Competitive Grantmaking Program by reading grant applications, conducting site visits, and interviewing staff from nonprofit organizations.

Five new members joined the Committee in October 2010:
  • Barbara Braem of Southwick retired as Vice President of Training and Outreach of Woronoco Bank and as Executive Director of the Woronoco Savings Charitable Foundation.
  • April Estis-Clark of Greenfield has her own business providing consultation to individuals in career transitions.
  • Vinnie Daboul of Longmeadow is Senior Vice President for Sales and Business Development for TD Insurance.
  • Rob Humberston of Longmeadow is a Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager at Berkshire Bank.
  • Ronn Johnson of Springfield is President of R. D. Johnson Consulting assisting nonprofit organizations with strategic planning and board development.

Competitive Grants deadline approaching

CFWM's next competitive grants deadline is Thursday, January 6, 2011.  For the grant application and related information visit the Competitive Grants section of our website.

Thank you for your interest in the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. If you would like to learn more please join our mailing list.   

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