Berkshire Bank Foundation Announces More Than $845,000 in Philanthropic Investments in Q2 2023

Pittsfield, MA – Berkshire Bank, a leading, socially responsible community bank with financial centers in New England and New York, announced more than $845,000 in Foundation philanthropic investments during the second quarter of 2023. These investments contributed to helping the communities Berkshire Bank serves.   

Photo Caption: Berkshire Bankers volunteered for a cleanup day at Camp Fuller
that is part of YMCA of Greater Providence, RI.

Grants awarded cover a wide range of projects that help foster upward economic mobility, support overall well-being, and enhance opportunities for the success of individuals and small businesses, particularly for underrepresented populations. These investments also support the company’s BEST Community Comeback which includes a planned $15 million in community contributions by the end of 2024.   

In total, the Berkshire Bank Foundation assisted 190 nonprofit organizations during the second quarter of 2023 by providing funding to support needs such as food insecurity, health, wellness, homelessness, educational advancement, arts, youth development, culture, diversity, and inclusion. The Berkshire Bank Foundation is committed to supporting programs that provide equitable opportunities for economic prosperity.   

“Though our financial support and volunteer service, we are proud to help lift up the communities that we serve,” said Director of the Berkshire Bank Foundation, Lori Gazzillo Kiely. She added, “We are pleased to continue to assist nonprofits doing great work to positively impact individuals, families and small businesses within the Berkshire Bank footprint.”  

Barbara A. Shaw, LCSW, executive director, Hands On Hartford shared “Berkshire Bank provided $2,500 to support Hands On Hartford in CT Foodshare’s Walk Against Hunger and an additional $5,000 contribution and volunteer assistance this September during the bank’s annual Xtraordinary Day. Through funding and volunteerism, Berkshire Bank directly impacts the lives of the folks who turn to Hands On Hartford for help with food and housing security, which are especially important in these challenging times, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the bank’s partnership.”  

Berkshire Bankers support Hands On Hartford
Walk Against Hunger. Photo Credit:  Hands On Hartford

In addition, the foundation supports programs that align with Berkshire Bank’s Center for Women, Wellness, and Wealth (CWWW)* to provide opportunities for women to build a future enriched with financial stability, balance and growth.  

“Funding from Berkshire Bank Foundation has been transformative to our work advancing women’s economic security across our four western-most counties, and particularly in Hampden County where we just released a new report,” stated Donna Haghighat, CEO of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts. She continued, “While the report painted a bleak picture of how vulnerable particularly women of color are, it also contained the seeds of promising solutions raised by the 195 women surveyed and the nonprofit employees of our seven community partners who conducted the surveys.”  

The Berkshire Bank grant recipients listed below are just a sample of the projects the bank has supported to strengthen organizations throughout Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont during the second quarter of 2023. Recipients include:  

  • Albany Medical Center Foundation, NY  
  • American Cancer Society in NY   
  • Barrington Stage Company, Inc. Playwright Mentoring Project, MA 
  • Berkshire County Branch NAACP, MA  
  • Berkshire Immigrant Center Inc, MA  
  • Berkshire County ARC, Inc., MA  
  • Berkshire United Way, MA  
  • Blackshires Community Empowerment Foundation, MA 
  • Burr and Burton Academy, VT  
  • Center for Disability Services, NY  
  • City Kids Inc, MA  
  • Dress for Success – Hartford, CT*  
  • EforAll Berkshire County, MA 
  • Elizabeth Freeman Center, Inc., MA  
  • Environmental League of Massachusetts  
  • Girls Incorporated of Worcester, MA*  
  • Girls on the Run Worcester County, MA*  
  • Glens Falls Area Youth Center, NY   
  • Hancock Shaker Village, Inc., MA  
  • Hands On Hartford, CT  
  • Heading Home Inc, MA  
  • InterCommunity Health Care, CT 
  • Latin American Health Alliance, MA  
  • Literacy Network of South Berkshire, MA  
  • Learning Disabilities Association of Central New York, NY 
  • Mohawk Valley Community College Foundation, NY  
  • Massachusetts Affordable Housing  
  • Northern Rivers Family Services, NY  
  • Northeast Opportunities for Wellness, CT  
  • Rutland County Pride, VT *  
  • Safe Futures, Inc., CT  
  • Self Esteem Boston Educational Institute, Inc, MA*  
  • Southern Vermont Arts Center, Inc., VT  
  • Springfield Boys & Girls Club, Inc., MA   
  • The Massachusetts LGBT Business Network, Inc., MA*  
  • Utica Children's Museum, NY  
  • VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region, VT  
  • Western Mass Women's Fund, MA*  
  • Westside Legends, Inc., MA  
  • Westfield State University – Urban Education Program, MA  
  • Womens Money Matters Inc, MA* 
  • Women & Family Life Center, CT*   
  • Worcester Center for the Performing Arts, MA  
  • Worcester Art Museum, MA  
  • YMCA of Greater Providence, RI  
  • Veterans Inc., MA  
  • United Way of Central Massachusetts Inc, MA  
  • YWCA Cambridge, MA* 

Additional details on the Foundation’s grant programs and focus areas can be found at   

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About Berkshire Bank    

Berkshire Bank, founded in 1846, is becoming a high-performing, leading, socially responsible community bank. It empowers the financial potential of its stakeholders by making banking available where, when and how it’s needed through an uncompromising focus on exceptional customer service, digital banking, and positive community impact. Providing a wide range of financial solutions through its consumer banking, commercial banking and wealth management divisions, the bank has approximately $12.1 billion in assets and a community-based footprint of 100 financial centers in Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Headquartered in Boston, Berkshire Hills Bancorp (NYSE: BHLB) is the parent of Berkshire Bank. Named one of America’s Most Trusted Companies by Newsweek and America’s Best Midsize Employers by Forbes, Berkshire is also listed in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index and a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality. To learn more, visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.     


Contact:  Alicia Jacobs, AVP, Public Relations Officer,  
[email protected]