PITTSFIELD, MASS, February 5, 2015 – Berkshire Bank Foundation awarded a total of $1,518,133 in grants to non-profit organizations in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut and Vermont during 2014. The grants supported important education and community development initiatives as well as health and human service and cultural programs. In addition, Berkshire Bank provided $500,622 in community sponsorships, raising Berkshire’s total contributions in the community to over $2 million.
“We are so pleased to continue providing critical funding to hundreds of non-profit organizations across our footprint,” said Lori Gazzillo, vice president & director of Berkshire Bank Foundation. “Our 2014 grants have supported programs and projects that are enhancing economic opportunities and improving the quality of life for members of our communities. On behalf of our entire Berkshire Bank team, we are honored to be able to give back in such a significant way.”
The bank’s charitable foundation and bank sponsorships fund non-profit organizations and programs in communities that Berkshire Bank serves. While the foundation’s funding priorities are education and community and economic development projects, it also supports youth, cultural and human service organizations.
In addition to financial support, Berkshire Bank annually operates a scholarship program for high school seniors—which recently launched for 2015. Recognizing that being a good corporate citizen and community partner is about more than writing a check, Berkshire administers an Employee Volunteer Program called the X-TEAM, which provides employees with paid time off to volunteer during regular business hours. Over 70% of Berkshire Bank’s employees donated in excess of 40,000 hours of service to benefit community organizations across their footprint in 2014 through their nationally-renowned X-Team program. Berkshire Bank’s philanthropic and community volunteerism efforts were honored in 2014 with the Capital Region Community Impact Award, the United Way Agar Volunteerism Award, two New England Financial Marketing Awards, and the Boston Business Journal named Berkshire one of Massachusetts Most Charitable Companies for the second consecutive year.
Berkshire Bank accepts requests for financial support online at www.berkshirebank.com/giving. All requests must be submitted through the online system in order to be considered. Organizations interested in seeking funding are encouraged to read the Foundation’s funding guidelines prior to applying for support. Complete guidelines for those seeking grants or bank community sponsorships are available on the website.
About Berkshire Bank
Berkshire Hills Bancorp (NYSE: BHLB) is the parent of Berkshire Bank, America’s Most Exciting Bank®. The Company, recognized for its entrepreneurial approach and distinctive culture, has approximately $6.4 billion in assets and 91 full service branch offices in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont providing personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth management services. To learn more, call 800-773-5601. Berkshire Bank is the official bank of the Boston Bruins coverage on NESN.
About Berkshire Bank Foundation
Through foundation grants to non-profits, scholarships to students, and employee volunteerism, Berkshire Bank is making a difference. Each year the Foundation donates nearly $1.6 million to non-profits in the bank’s footprint and employees provide over 40,000 hours of service—all on the company dime. In 2013 and 2014, Berkshire Bank was named one of Massachusetts’ Most Charitable Companies by the Boston Business Journal. This year, Berkshire Bank and NESN are teaming up to raise $50,000 for Habitat for Humanity by donating funds to the Hockey 4 Housing campaign each time the Boston Bruins achieved a penalty kill. To learn more about Berkshire Bank Foundation, visit www.berkshirebank.com/community.