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Community Foundation of Western Mass receives $560,000 grant from the MassMutual Foundation

March 20th, 2024

Funds to support and expand the Community Foundation’s Flexible Funding program.

 

SPRINGFIELD, MA—Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts announced today that it has received a $560,000 gift from the MassMutual Foundation to support grantmaking in Springfield, Massachusetts through the Community Foundation’s Flexible Funding Program. Through this grant, the MassMutual Foundation seeks to create more equitable access to social and economic opportunity in their local community.

“The Community Foundation appreciates the opportunity to partner with the MassMutual Foundation for the benefit of our community,” said President and CEO of the Community Foundation, Megan Burke. “Both Foundations consistently work to improve the quality of life for residents in our region. This innovative partnership, generously supported by the MassMutual Foundation, offers a new way for us to collaborate to advance equity and opportunity through increased financial resilience.”

Recognizing the urgent need in Springfield to address barriers to financial well-being, the MassMutual Foundation identified the opportunity to support the Community Foundation’s Flexible Funding Grant Program, which uses a trust-based approach, informed by community, to make resources available to those nonprofits best positioned to increase equity and opportunity for all residents. The MassMutual Foundation’s funding will specifically target programs and organizations with a focus on building financial resiliency through four focus areas: building networks, fostering financial health, fulfilling basic financial needs, and expanding employment opportunities.

“Our success in advancing financial well-being for the community is predicated not only on the value of the programs that deliver services themselves, but also on the direct input we receive from members of our community on where needs are the greatest,” said Dennis Duquette, head of community responsibility for MassMutual and president of the MassMutual Foundation. “We’re thrilled to partner with the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts to provide more open access to MassMutual Foundation resources for members of our community and the causes they recommend.”

The Flexible Funding program provides unrestricted financial support to nonprofits and other organizations assisting their communities in Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties, prioritizing organizations actively working to combat racial disparities, promote equity and justice, and create pathways for marginalized communities. The program is designed to uplift the day-to-day operations and sustainability of these organizations.

“We received grant requests totaling over $8 million this past year, but only had $2.3 million to deliver. It’s a clear indication that there’s tremendous need in the region,” said Meredith Lewis, senior director for Community Impact and Partnerships at the Community Foundation. “We’re excited to help shepherd more financial resources through our open grant cycle and collaboratively work to reach more organizations that help residents of Springfield and the surrounding area.”

Applications for the next Flexible Funding round will open in August 2024 and recipient grantees will be announced in December 2024. To learn more about Flexible Funding and Community Foundation events supporting this and other similar work, visit https://communityfoundation.org/.

 

About the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts
Founded in 1991, the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts seeks to enrich the quality of life for the people of our region. With assets totaling over $260 million, CFWM serves the three counties along the Connecticut River in western Massachusetts (Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin Counties) by serving as a resource, catalyst, and coordinator for charitable activities. To learn more, visit http://communityfoundation.org/.

About the MassMutual Foundation
The MassMutual Foundation, Inc. is a dedicated corporate foundation established by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). The MassMutual Foundation fuels initiatives that increase financial resilience within communities served by the company and fosters a culture of community engagement for MassMutual’s employees as well as affiliated financial professionals. In support of this mission, the Foundation invests in programs that help people access resources needed to earn, protect, and help build their financial capability and thrive. The Foundation also supports community vitality efforts where MassMutual operates. To learn more about the MassMutual Foundation, please visit www.massmutual.com/foundation.