PITTSFIELD, MASS, February 9, 2016 – Berkshire Bank announced today its two charitable Foundations awarded a total of $1,810,229 in grants to non-profit organizations in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut and Vermont during 2015. The grants supported important education and community development initiatives as well as health and human services and cultural programs. In addition, Berkshire Bank provided approximately $500,000 in community sponsorships, raising Berkshire’s total contributions in the community to more than $2.3 million.
“Our philanthropic investments impacted more than eight million individuals in 2015, helping to enhance economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for members of our community,” said Lori Gazzillo, Vice President & Director of Berkshire Bank Foundation. “Thanks in large part to the work of our non-profit partners, individuals improved their reading, writing, and math, graduated from high school, attended college and visited local cultural organizations. Our partners also created affordable housing, revitalized downtown centers and helped individuals gain employment. We are so pleased to continue our support of so many community initiatives throughout our footprint.”
The Bank’s charitable foundations and bank sponsorships fund non-profit organizations and programs in communities that Berkshire Bank serves. While the foundation’s funding priorities are education, community and economic development projects, it also supports youth, cultural and human service organizations.
In addition to financial support, Berkshire Bank operates a scholarship program for high school seniors, which recently launched its application for 2016. Recognizing that being a good corporate citizen and community partner is about more than writing a check, the Bank also runs the XTEAM, its employee volunteer program, which provides employees with paid time off to volunteer during regular business hours. Over 70% of Berkshire’s employees donated 40,000 hours of service in 2015. Berkshire Bank has received numerous accolades for their overall philanthropic work and civic responsibility efforts during the past year including being named one of Massachusetts Most Charitable Companies by the Boston Business journal for the third 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 Bank and 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 Foundation
Through foundation grants to nonprofits, scholarships to students, environmental programs, and employee volunteerism, Berkshire Bank is making a difference. Each year the Foundation donates over $1.8 million to non-profits in the bank’s footprint and employees provide over 40,000 hours of volunteer service. In 2015, 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 achieve a penalty kill. To learn more about Berkshire Bank Foundation, visit www.berkshirebank.com/community.
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 $7.8 billion in assets and 93 full service branch locations in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont providing personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth management services. In 2015, Berkshire Bank was named one of Massachusetts Most Charitable Companies by the Boston Business Journal. To learn more, visit www.berkshirebank.com or call 800-773-5601. Berkshire Bank, is the official bank of NESN’s Boston Bruins coverage.