News

Nonprofit Awareness Day

On Monday, June 5, at the Massachusetts State House, hundreds of nonprofit and business leaders, along with elected officials, will celebrate the work of the nonprofit sector and raise awareness of causes throughout the state at MNN’s celebration of Nonprofit Awareness Day. Click here for more information: https://www.tfaforms.com/4605328

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Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship

Please sign if you oppose proposals that would politicize the charitable nonprofit and philanthropic community by repealing or weakening current federal tax law protections that prohibit 501(c)(3) organizations from endorsing, opposing, or contributing to political candidates. https://www.givevoice.org/community-letter-support-nonprofit-nonpartisanship

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Winter Newsletter

Learn more about the day-to-day work of the Nonprofit Center in the Winter 2016 Newsletter.

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FOR RELEASE
November 2016
Contact: Liana Toscanini
(413) 441-9542
Cover artwork available
NONPROFIT CENTER OF THE BERKSHIRES PROVIDES GUIDE TO CHARITABLE OPPORTUNITIES IN THE BERKSHIRES

GREAT BARRINGTON – In this season of holiday giving and giving back, Berkshire County’s nonprofits are often the beneficiaries of our community’s generosity, providing the important funding that helps them carry out their mission all year long. Each of these organizations has a story to tell and specific ways those interested can make a gift or volunteer their time. Sharing that information with potential donors and supporters on behalf of all Berkshire County nonprofits is the goal of the new giving guide from the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires.

Giving Back: Your Guide to Charitable Opportunities in the Berkshires” is published by Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires, a new organization founded by Liana Toscanini and committed to facilitating growth for charitable organizations through shared resources, affordable products and services, and creative collaborations.

The 128-page Giving Back guide includes a directory of over 900 Berkshire nonprofits, profiles of 60 nonprofit organizations, and articles geared towards charities and donors. Five thousand copies of the guide are currently being distributed to real estate offices, town halls, banks, libraries, businesses, schools, community centers, and more throughout the county.

“I’ve been approached on many occasions by second home owners or people who haven’t lived here that long, asking for advice on where to volunteer or donate. They simply didn’t have the information they needed to make those decisions. I hope Giving Back helps make those connections for people,” says Toscanini, NCP’s founder.

Those interested can pick up a free copy at the Nonprofit Center’s office at 40 Railroad Street in Great Barrington or at any number of locations throughout Berkshire County. The guide will also be made available online at npcberkshires.org.

Giving Back is made possible by the generous support of Sponsors Kate & Joel Millonzi, Dr. Robert C. & Tina Sohn Foundation, Qualprint, and many local business advertisers. For more information call (413) 645-3151 or visit npcberkshires.org.

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FOR RELEASE
August 17, 2016
Contact: Liana Toscanini
(413) 441-9542
Images of presenters available
NPC LAUNCHES FALL WORKSHOP SERIES FOR NONPROFITS

GREAT BARRINGTON – The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires is offering 6 practical workshops geared to nonprofits with topics ranging from grant writing to starting an endowment.

Nonprofit Center founder Liana Toscanini said, “We’re featuring local experts because in the end, it’s all about connections. Our teachers are not only sharing their knowledge but also their passion for helping nonprofits succeed.” Toscanini identified areas of interest to nonprofits and then sought out experienced leaders she felt would enjoy educating and connecting with nonprofits.

On September 7 and 14, grant writer Ruth Dinerman leads a workshop series focusing on foundations and crafting a strong grant proposal. On September 27, Mary Nash will educate participants in using surveys for program evaluation. Consultant, Laurie Werner, will present “Grant Funding for Arts & Culture Organizations” on October 5th. Lee Bank is sponsoring a “Lunch and Learn” on November 2nd on the topic of starting an endowment. Presenters include Lee Bank CEO Chuck Leach and Gary Schiff of October Mountain Financial Advisors. Ruth Pearce will lead a two-part series on November 15 and 29 on “Strengths Training for Nonprofits.”

Workshops take place in a variety of locations including Berkshire Community College’s Great Barrington facility, Lee Bank, and 1Berkshire. Most workshops are $25 for NPC members, $35 for non-members. For detailed information or to register for a workshop, visit npcberkshires.org.

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FOR RELEASE
June 22, 2016
Contact: Liana Toscanini/Executive Director
Cell: (413) 441-9542

NONPROFIT CENTER LAUNCHES PRACTICAL WORKSHOP SERIES

GREAT BARRINGTON – The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires has launched a workshop series geared towards nonprofits. Each class features topical issues and a local presenter excited to share his or her expertise to help Berkshire nonprofits grow. The emphasis is on practical knowledge and hands-on assistance, with many presenters available to help beyond the workshop experience.

On June 29 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Berkshire Community College’s South County campus in Great Barrington Bill Tighe will present “HR for Nonprofits.”   Liana Toscanini, Executive Director of the Nonprofit Center explained, “Many nonprofits have no staff with Human Resources experience. As a result, nonprofit employees often don’t have job descriptions, annual reviews, contracts, or written policies they can refer to. As an HR professional with 37 years of experience, Bill is happy to share best practices and tips for implementation.”

Other workshops scheduled through the fall include “Creating Your Narrative” led by Anastasia Stanmeyer, editor of Berkshire Magazine; Bringing a Product to Market featuring Jayne Church, former Buyer for the Red Lion Inn Boutique; “Intro to Grant Writing” led by Ruth Dinerman; “The Use of Surveys in Program Evaluation” taught by Mary Nash; and “Starting an Endowment: Lunch & Learn” led by Chuck Leach, President/CEO of Lee Bank.

Toscanini hopes to have local business sponsors for many of the workshops so that the fees for participation remain affordable, even for smaller nonprofits. Most workshops will cost $25 for Nonprofit Center members, and $35 for non-members. For more information, call (413) 645-3151 or visit npcberkshires.org.

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FOR RELEASE
June 15, 2016
Contact: Liana Toscanini/Executive Director
Cell: (413) 441-9542
NEW ORGANIZATION FORMED TO MEET NEEDS OF NONPROFITS
Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires Focuses on Practical Solutions

GREAT BARRINGTON – Nonprofits seeking help with everything from marketing to fundraising, manpower and professional development can turn to a new entity called the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires. Founded by Liana Toscanini, former Development & Marketing Director for Community Access to the Arts, the Nonprofit Center (NPC) is located at 40 Railroad Street in Great Barrington.

The mission of the NPC is to facilitate growth for charitable organizations through shared resources, affordable products and services, and creative collaborations. “Many nonprofits need assistance getting to the next level. I enjoy connecting people in our community and using my corporate and nonprofit background to help organizations grow,” explains Toscanini.

Initially, services include a practical workshop series featuring local experts and a Giving Guide publication to connect nonprofits to community members interested in getting involved and learning more about local organizations. Toscanini is also coordinating interns and volunteers to assist nonprofits with their work.

“The NPC is structured similarly to a chamber of commerce,” said Toscanini. Membership dues are affordable ($75 for nonprofits with annual revenue under $200,000), and benefits include discounts on all products and services as well as some freebies such as a one-hour consultation and one free workshop from the nonprofit workshop series.

The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires is itself a nonprofit organization with a board of directors including: Betsy Andrus, Ronald Bernard, Maxine Carter-Lome, Rachel Louchen, Melissa Lydon, Matt Syrett, and Abbbie von Schlegell as well as an Advisory Board whose members include: Rich Aldrich, Anthony Blair, Alice Boyd, Brittany Brouker, John Katz, Joel Millonzi, J. Scott Rote, Barry Shapiro, and Richard Stanley.

For more information about the Nonprofit Center or to become a member call (413) 645-3151 or visit www.npcberkshires.org

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August 7, 2016
By Tony Dobrowolski for The Berkshire Eagle
tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com
@TonyDobrow on Twitter
Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires aims for shared growth among charitable groups

GREAT BARRINGTON — Liana Toscanini is a great-granddaughter of renowned Italian classical music conductor Arturo Toscanini.

But unlike that Toscanini, music isn’t this Toscanini’s forte.

“I like to say that I conduct business,” she said.

A transplanted New Yorker with 20 years of experience in the Berkshire nonprofit sector, the South County resident recently formed the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires, an entity designed to facilitate growth for charitable organizations through shared resources, affordable services and creative collaborations.

Tosacanini’s organization joins 1Berkshire’s Nonprofit Business Network, formed in 2012, to provide services to the county’s nonprofit sector, which provides an economic impact of $2.2 billion to the Berkshire economy, according to a 2012 report released by the North Adams-based Center for Community Development.

Toscanini, who has served on many boards and worked full-time for the Great Barrington-based Community Access to the Arts, is still setting up her organization, which officially launched in June. The center is located at 40 Railroad St.

The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires has so far held three workshops featuring local speakers on subjects of interest to nonprofits. Toscanini is also compiling a 200-page “Giving Guide,” a periodical that will include profiles of Berkshire nonprofits ranked by category, “to make it easier for someone who wants to help or get involved,” she said.

Toscanini expects to release her guide, which she claims is the first of its kind in the Berkshires, this fall.

“I don’t know why anybody’s never done it,” she said.

Since relocating to the Berkshires from the New York City area in 1996, Toscanini has volunteered for several nonprofit organizations, including helping to raise funds for the restoration of the Sandisfield Arts Center building, which received a preservation award from the state.

She has also edited newsletters, chaired a local cultural council, assisted nonprofits with marketing, served on many boards, and owned a small business in Great Barrington. It was a “combination of things” that led Toscanini to form the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires.

“I’ve done so much volunteering that I became the go-to person for every little nonprofit,” Toscanini said. “One week four different people came up to me and asked me for help. So that was kind of the catalyst.

“I have a marketing background,” Toscanini said. She spent a decade as the vice president of marketing for a slipcover firm in New York City before coming to the Berkshires. “Helping people tell their story is something I’ve been doing for a long time. Around here the little guys certainly struggle getting the work out and some of the larger organizations, too.”

The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshire currently has 15 members. “I haven’t actively solicited members yet,” she said.

The organization’s board of directors includes Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Betsy Andrus and local businessman Richard Stanley, who owns the Triplex and Beacon cinemas.

Membership fees are $75 annually for nonprofits with yearly revenues under $200,000; $125 for organizations with budgets between $250,000 and $750,000; and $195 for those with budgets over $750,000.

Membership is not required to attend a workshop — the cost is $25 for members, $35 for nonmembers.

“The mission of the nonprofit center is to have affordable services,” she said.

For more information about the nonprofit center call 413 645-3151, or visit www.npcberkshires.org