Welcome to the third edition of the President’s Report. In this edition I will highlight some of our recent accomplishments and aspirations. To learn more about the Beveridge Family Foundation, please visit www.beveridge.org. Descendants of Frank Stanley Beveridge should be sure to read the “Bev Bucks” section near the end of this report.
Welcome Our Newest Board Member
In May 2017 the Board welcomed Alexandra Russell as a new director. Following is a brief bio. We are thrilled to have her join, bringing a wealth of philanthropic experience and a Western Massachusetts perspective.
Alexandra Russell currently directs a donor table called the Progressive Massachusetts Funders’ Collaborative. This Collaborative pools and raises funds to support initiatives that expand the permanent progressive infrastructure in Massachusetts, with a focus on building power within low income and communities of color. Most recently, Alex was the founding director of a national Working Group for funders on Money in Politics at the Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation. She worked with grant makers and field leaders to better connect democracy across other issues areas and facilitated spaces for funders to learn, network and strategize.
Previously, Alex directed the Barbara Lee Family Foundation and Lee Family Office, funding initiatives to advance women’s political leadership and to endorse and support female pro-choice candidates. She served as program director for the national media reform organization Free Press, running national grassroots campaigns on and offline. Alex directed Mass Voters for Clean Elections, a statewide grassroots election reform organization working to restore publically financed campaigns in Massachusetts. She began her career in Seattle as a Fellow with the Public Interest Research Groups (PIRG), managing door-to-door fundraising campaigns with college students and organizing legislative advocacy and field campaigns to support clean water and conservation efforts in the Northwest.
When she’s not chasing around her two young daughters, Alex lends her time to efforts that promote women’s participation in politics. She is a founding board member of Emerge Massachusetts, a statewide organization that recruits and trains women to run for office. In addition, she serves on the Advisory Council the Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact at the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts.
Alex graduated from Dickinson College with double majors in Religion and Spanish. Her Masters degree is from Boston University’s School of Theology. She lives in Northampton with her husband, a local public school teacher, and their two daughters.
Welcome aboard Alex!
At the October 2017 Board meeting, we authorized $640,800 is grants to a variety of organizations in Western Mass. Following is a list of the grantees with links to their websites so you can learn more about our wide variety of interests and the outstanding work done by these dedicated organizations.
BAY STATE READING INSTITUTE
BEST BUDDIES INTERNATIONAL INC
BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
CENTER FOR ECOTECHNOLOGY INC
CENTER FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INC
CHILDRENS MUSEUM AT HOLYOKE INC
CLARKE SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF
COMMUNITY MUSIC SCHOOL OF SPRINGFIELD INC
FRIENDS OF CHILDREN INC
Friends of Hampshire County Homeless Individuals
Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts
Home City Development
HOMEWORK HOUSE INC
MA Society for the Prev. of Cruelty to Children
MASS INT’L FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS INC
MASSACHUSETTS AUDUBON SOCIETY INC
NAISMITH MEMORIAL BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME, INC.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR BLACK VETERANS INC
OPERATION OUTREACH-USA INC
PEACE DEVELOPMENT FUND INC
PHOENIX CHARTER ACADEMY FOUNDATION
SAFE PASSAGE INC
SHRINERS HOSPITALS FOR CHILDREN
SOUTH END COMMUNITY CENTER INC
SPRINGFIELD CULTURAL PARTNERSHIP INCORPORATED
SPRINGFIELD DAY NURSERY CORPORATION
VALLEY HEALTH SYSTEMS INC
WESTFIELD MUSEUM INC
WILLIE ROSS SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF INC
Women Business Owners Alliance of the Pioneer Valley
YMCA OF GREATER WESTFIELD, INC
YWCA OF WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS
In addition to individual grants, we are part of a few collaborative funding projects. One is the Reading Success by Fourth Grade Funders Collaborative which was recognized as an All-America City winner at a conference in June in Denver. http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/06/springfield_recognized_as_2017.html
Pay for Success, Impact Investing, and General Operating Support
As of November 30, 2017, the investment value of the Foundation was at $57,500,554, up 3.2% since April 2017. The assets remain prudently invested among common sectors under the guidance of UBS.
The Beveridge Family Foundation seeks to expand the role of impact investing to help fulfill its mission. We have added a new fund to our portfolio that allows us to invest directly into Hampden and Hampshire Counties in Western Massachusetts, which are our focus areas for grant-making. It has been performing in-line with expectations. Learn more about it: Community Capital Management – CRA Qualified Investment Fund: Institutional Shares (CRANX)
Different forms of investment solve some problems, but the need for scale, and operational funding point towards Social Impact Bonds (SIB). We hope to remove the barriers to expanding SIB’s. In May, we released a report on our thoughts: https://wcaswell.wordpress.com/2017/05/26/impact-investing/
The report generated a great deal of interest and discussion. In October, the Foundation’s Board met to discuss how we could find adequate and stable funding solutions for non-profits. We intend to initiate a series of educational workshops within the community, to be conducted by trusted third party practitioners with expertise in various forms of alternative funding, including:
- Parallel for-profit activities
- Program revenue
- Cost recovery strategies
- Volunteer development
- Government funding
- Social impact bonds
The goal of the workshops will be to foster conversations from which “cohorts” could be developed to work through facilitated classes. The classes would move the cohort members through stages of evolution in developing and enhancing the relevant funding programs within their organizations. We have identified a number of providers with expertise in the different funding areas and will be working with our peers in the community to schedule the workshops. Please contact me about the workshops if you would like to participate.
As the sole employee of the Beveridge Family Foundation, it is sometimes a challenge to find people to speak with about work. There are other foundations in Western Mass, and we do a lot together, but we are not all working on the same types of problems and have very different structures. There are associations for family foundations which provide a steady stream of excellent dialogue, mostly in the form of questions from new entities, but few are in the fourth and fifth generation of family involvement, as we are. An area of discussion where I have been particularly focused this last year is on the need for enhanced funding models for non-profits, and how that overlaps with our desire to further leverage our assets, and not just our grants, through focused impact investing.
Each week, I talk with dozens of people from non-profits, other funders, and organizations working in the non-profit world. As I make my pitch for one thing or another, people tend to make referrals to others whom they have heard talk on similar subjects. One referral came last year from Wellspring, with whom we have a strategic investment on a hydroponic greenhouse cooperative. They suggested I speak with an organization called BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies.) BALLE believes in the power of small groups to work together for big changes. They develop cohorts of funders who meet several times a year in multi-day focused sessions on specific topics to broaden their understanding and strategize on solutions. After an extensive review of BALLE and other options, I elected to accept the invitation to join and in 2018 and 2019 will work within BALLE on the concepts of alternative funding models, pay for success, and impact investing.
The Beveridge Family Foundation Board met in Denver, Colorado in late October for two days. It was a great opportunity to gather with area family and enjoy each other’s company with discussions on the Foundation and how the next generation of family can get involved. We were privileged to have a brief presentation from Suzanne Banning, from the Florence Crittenton Services of Colorado and an Angelica, an inspiring young woman who talked about what that organization has meant to her. Thank you to all who attended.
Over the decades we have met in Springfield, Westfield, Northampton, Boca Raton, Boston, and now Denver. In April we will return to Pioneer Valley for meetings to be held in Northampton.
The Foundation has a special relationship with The Stanley Park of Westfield. For many years, both were run by a combination of family members and management of Stanley Home Products (Stanhome, Inc.). When Stanhome, Inc. left Westfield in the 1980’s the family, led by Philip Caswell 3rd, took over governance of the Foundation and the Park, ensuring the legacy of Frank Stanley Beveridge remained in the community. In the 2000’s the boards of the Park and Foundation became more separate to allow the Park to continue to operate more independently. Today we maintain four overlapping directors and the Foundation still provides the majority of the Park’s funding, a tradition that is structured to endure in perpetuity.
The Park is a rare gem, providing a place for quiet contemplation, free to the public. It is one of the largest parks of its kind in the eastern U.S. To further secure the status of the Park as a safe nature preserve, the Foundation has encouraged fundraising in support of new initiatives, thus ensuring that the resources of the Foundation are adequate to continue preservation of existing facilities. We are pleased to see the fundraising effort grow as the community learns more about the resource they have enjoyed for so many years. Many are under the misconception that the Park is a government supported entity. It is not. The Park is privately owned and supported. Frank Stanley Beveridge felt that the Park should not be controlled by any government entity, instead relying upon family and those who hold it dear, to continue its management and support.
Goodbye West Mass Hello Western Mass.
In the last report, we noted the name change of Pioneer Valley to West Mass. Apparently the branding was not well received and has been dropped. So long West Mass, we hardly knew you. Welcome back Western Mass. We’re glad you’re back!
Thank you to those who responded to the call from the last report for grant proposals from our new “Bev Bucks” initiative. We received two outstanding requests from Delia Richardson, daughter of board member Leah Richardson, and Fred Palmer, son of former board member Ian Palmer.
Delia made the case for Hope and Comfort in Newton, Massachusetts. Fred pitched on behalf of Partners Mentoring Youth in Fort Collins, Colorado. In both cases, they had volunteered with these organizations. The Board reviewed the applications and decided to award each, $5,000.
If you are a descendant of Frank Stanley Beveridge, I encourage you to get involved with a non-profit organization you find is deserving and interesting. You can volunteer to help in their work, raise money, or increase awareness. The joys of philanthropy are many. Foremost is the feeling of doing good. Other benefits include work experience, friendships with like-minded people, and a better understanding of how to work with others on a common goal. Please take the time. It’s worth it for yourself and others, and it is an important part of your family legacy.
As a descendent of Frank Stanley Beveridge, you can make a pitch for “Bev Bucks” to kick in and help your chosen charity. All you need to do is to write a short appeal for the organization. Include the organization name, address, and a contact person with their name, phone number, and email address. Write a bit about what they do, why it is important, and what it means to you. A personal connection is always a good touch. Email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get right back with you.
Thank you for reading through this update. As always, we hope to hear from you. Be sure to check out www.beveridge.org for more information about the history and mission of the Beveridge Family Foundation.
Ward S. Caswell
The Beveridge Family Foundation, Inc.