May 25, 2018
Grants...HAPHousing's New Name...CJP President to Retire

April 3, 2017 — Eliot Community Human Services gets $30K for training program...Berkshire Bank Foundation invites nonprofits to apply for grants...HAPHousing changes its name to Way Finders...CJP president to step down after three decades.

Eliot Community Human Services Gets $30K for Suicide Prevention Training

The Acton-Boxborough United Way, based in Acton, recently announced that it granted $30,000 to Eliot Community Human Services, a Lexington nonprofit that serves more than 30,000 people annually, providing a range of mental health services.

The grant, part of AB United Way's Healthy Teen Initiative, will support a community-wide training on suicide prevention that teaches the warning signs of suicide and provides training on how to access help. The program, entitled QPR, consists of three life-saving skills: how to Question, Persuade and Refer a person who may be considering suicide. Eliot Community Human Services will train community members and professionals who are in a position to be exposed to a teen in crisis.

Berkshire Bank Foundation Asks Nonprofits to Apply for Grants

Berkshire Bank Foundation based in Pittsfield recently announced that it will award $20,000 in grants to nonprofits in its service area that are seeking to build their capacity.

The foundation will award four grants of $5,000 each to fund a variety of activities that will improve an organization’s performance and impact. Examples of projects that will be considered through the grant opportunity include, but are not limited to, the developing of a communications strategy, refining program design, improving volunteer recruitment, enhancing corporate partnerships, upgrading technology, and delivering professional development, including conference attendance.

To be eligible for support, organizations must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in or directly providing services in communities served by Berkshire Bank. Organizations must also submit an application through the online process.

Applications are due April 30. Details.

HAPHousing Changes Its Name to Way Finders

HAPHousing, a 40-year-old Springfield nonprofit that provides a range of affordable housing services in the region, last week that it has changed its name to Way Finders.

The organization said the new name more accurately reflects its purpose: to find a way to build healthy, sustainable communities.

The change follows the formation of strategic partnerships with two local entities that Way Finders said will expand its capacity:
  • MBL Housing and Development, LLC, a real estate development/consulting firm that Way Finders and real estate developers have relied on for 20 years to create workable financing solutions for beneficial community projects.

  • Common Capital, Inc., a community development financial institution with roots in micro-enterprise lending that will enable the people that Way Finders serves to have greater access to home financing options and small business lending.
According to Peter Gagliardi, CEO of Way Finders, “This is a great day for the thousands of people we serve, our employees, and this region. Way Finders is built on a strong foundation: Our 40-plus year history providing high quality, safe, affordable housing solutions for all who are in need, regardless of circumstance. This important work will continue. What’s different is the resetting of expectations: We are intent on building strong, healthy, economically and socially thriving communities.”

President of Combined Jewish Philanthropies to Step Down

Barry Shrage, the longtime president of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), a Boston-based nonprofit that serves as the region's Jewish Federation, and the largest nonprofit in Massachusetts in terms of assets, will step down next year after three decades in the job, according to recent report in The Boston Globe.

"Shrage has been a transformative force, more than doubling the annual budget of Jewish Boston’s philanthropic arm from $24 million to $57 million, and challenging it to be nimble and creative in tackling the emergent challenges of a changing community," the paper noted. "And, long before some of his peers, he searched for ways to include individuals previously marginalized or excluded from Jewish life – intermarried couples, gays and lesbians, people with disabilities, the poor.

Shira Goodman, CEO of Staples, and Aron J. Ain, CEO of Kronos, have been appointed by the CJP board to conduct a national search for Shrage’s replacement with the help of an outside firm, The Globe reported.

Last fall, the Boston Business Journal ranked the CJP, with $1.2 billion in assets, as the largest nonprofit in Massachusetts.

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