News and Information about the nonprofit sector in Massachusetts. Check back frequently to keep informed.
September 20, 2020
Funds for W. Mass.; Donor-Advised Grants; Volunteers Beget Funds

August 18, 2020 — Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts launches stabilization grants... Coronavirus pandemic leads to increase in donor-advised grants... MassMutual volunteers spur $45K in grants to five Massachusetts nonprofits.

Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts Launches Stabilization Grants

The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) in Springfield recently announced the launch of Stabilization Grants for nonprofits that have been financially impacted by the pandemic, a multi-year commitment focused on re-envisioning and rebuilding nonprofits in the region.

Maximum grant awards will be $50,000 and will provide for up to six months of operation.

CFWM said organizations with various missions and target populations will be eligible to apply for Stabilization Grants, with priority given to local organizations serving the most vulnerable populations in the region, working to advance equity and opportunity.

In the coming months, CFWM will provide workshops and trainings to assist nonprofits as they evolve to remain active and viable during and post COVID-19.

Deadline to apply. Sept. 1. Details.

Coronavirus Pandemic Leads to Increase in Donor-Advised Grants

The National Philanthropic Trust (NPT), the nation’s largest independent donor-advised fund (DAF) sponsor, and one of the top grantmaking institutions in the U.S., last week reported a record-breaking $2.11 billion in donor-recommended grants in the year that ended June 30, 54% more than the year before.

NPT said the donations reflect an "unprecedented" level charitable response" from January through June, which coincides with the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.

NPT CEO Eileen Heisman said, “In the second half of fiscal year 2020, donors identified urgent needs that the coronavirus pandemic created and responded swiftly to support charities in most every philanthropic sector, including public society benefit, human services, international affairs and education.”

A DAF enables donors to contribute cash, securities, or other assets to a fund and take an immediate tax deduction, and then direct which charities those invested funds should support. However, it is not uncommon for funds contributed to a DAF to sit idle for years.

A recent report from the Institute for Policy Studies warned that the growing wealth gap in the United States is imperiling the nonprofit sector by, among other things, the "warehousing of wealth" in donor advised funds in the face of urgent needs.

MassMutual Volunteers Spur $45K in Grants to Five Massachusetts Nonprofits

The MassMutual Foundation last week announced it awarded $45,000 to five Massachusetts nonprofits, funding it made in connection with volunteer efforts of MassMutual employees to support those organizations.

The grants, made through the foundation's Community Service Awards program, were awarded as follows:

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mass Bay, Boston: $10,000
  • Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Boston: $10,000
  • Enchanted Circle, Holyoke: $5,000
  • Special Olympics Massachusetts, Framingham: $10,000
  • Wildflower, Lexington: $10,000

Under the program, grants are awarded to honor MassMutual financial professionals who demonstrate outstanding commitment to nonprofit organizations in their local communities

Dennis Duquette, president of the MassMutual Foundation, said, “We are proud to recognize these individuals who are making a difference in their communities and demonstrating what it means to live mutual through their volunteer efforts and dedication to the causes they support.”

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