Northern Berkshire United Way
Northern Berkshire United Way (NBUW) is an independent local agency founded 76 years ago, dedicated to enhancing well being in the communities of Adams, North Adams, Williamstown, Clarksburg, Cheshire, and Florida in Massachusetts, and Stamford, Vermont. NBUW gathers data on community issues and progress, evaluates agencies, and provides funds and other vital services to strengthen effective programs in priority areas of need.
NBUW is a licensed affiliate of the United Way Worldwide, with rights to logo use, access to certain software and promotional materials, and required to observe the United Way Credo and strict non-discrimination code. NBUW pays to UWW each year a licensing fee equal to 1% of the net proceeds of each year’s local fund drive.
NBUW is governed by a 15-member Board of Directors who meet monthly. The organization is very low cost, with only one full-time and two part-time employees, and yet highly effective because of 350 volunteers working on committees in numerous areas including community needs, campaign, agency relations/allocations, marketing, finance, planned giving and more.
NBUW gathers funds for priority community programs through grant writing and local fundraising in constituent communities. These support major initiatives for Early Childhood and School-aged kids to improve outcomes for our youth and young families. They also provide foundation funding for more than 50 programs at 22 local health and human service agencies in North Berkshire County. The local fundraising campaigns each fall/winter provide over $500,000 for North County programs. Approximately 10,500 Northern Berkshire residents are served annually by these programs. In addition, in past years, NBUW has brought $3 million of grants to the area for after-school programs.
Examples of the crucial work enabled by NBUW funding:
- Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services of the Berkshires responded to 7,933 crisis calls in the past 12 months
- Through Home Visitors and Healthy Homes staff teams, Child Care of the Berkshires made over 1,200 visits to teen and other at risk parents last year
- Northern Berkshire Community Coalition was the primary force behind the Northern Berkshire Community Transportation Center (TANB)
- Over 1,500 Northern Berkshire youth benefit from programs at the Norther Berkshire YMCA, and Church Outreach to Youth (COTY), Youth Center, Inc- Adams Cheshire & Savoy.
Despite the successes, these are challenging times for most charitable organizations. In 2011-2012, many face reduced revenues and higher service requests, due in part to the uncertain economy and in part to the natural disasters and other national issues. NBUW’s leaders are determined to sustain funding for the highest priority programs and to continue enabling community progress.