Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF) works to strengthen the communities of Berkshire County, MA; Columbia County and northeast Dutchess County, NY; and northwest Litchfield, County, CT through grantmaking, promoting philanthropy, and supporting the nonprofit sector. By responding to the region’s highest priority issues, while addressing their root causes, Berkshire Taconic is expanding the role of philanthropy as a force for change, aligning its work around a set of strategic priorities, including educational attainment, community engagement, and economic opportunity, where philanthropy can make a measurable difference. BTCF currently manages over $200 million in charitable assets via 550 funds, awarding $20 million in grant and scholarship awards in 2022. It is also a key member of the Hudson Valley Funders Network.
In October 2022, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Columbia-Greene Community College, and Columbia Economic Development Corporation partnered to host a half-day, in-person forum for employers, schools, community-based nonprofit organizations, and funders to generate new ideas and partnerships for a thriving economy in Columbia and Greene counties. The forum was attended by 95 participants and included a presentation on specific workforce needs and challenges, a panel discussion with local leadership, and announcement and initiation of ideas for the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s Skilling the Gap grantmaking program.
In 2022, the Dyson Foundation made a grant towards Skilling the Gap to provide additional funding for workforce development initiatives in Columbia and Greene counties. The Skilling the Gap initiative aims to expand the depth of career-oriented learning in Columbia and Greene counties by creating opportunities for educators, nonprofits, and employers to learn together and take action. The goal is to expand existing, and create new, experiential learning opportunities that introduce career pathways and foster skills that support a successful transition into the workforce or post-secondary education. Following the forum, Berkshire Taconic distributed a total of 5 grants ranging from $2,500-$5,000 to strengthen community partnerships that activate the inspiration, resources, and relationships of stakeholders who have a shared interest in advancing workforce development in the region.
The Dyson Foundation’s grant towards the Skilling the Gap initiative is in addition to renewed general operating support.