The idea for the Nonprofit Center evolved over a period of ten years, sprouting from the founder’s involvement in many small civic and nonprofit groups. In 2016, after meetings with professionals from both the nonprofit and business worlds, a structure for the Nonprofit Center emerged. Similar to a Chamber of Commerce, the NPC serves as the clearing house for information for nonprofits and has become a vital resource for the community.
Over five years, 22 programs have been launched, the most popular of which have served to bring the sector together with the community at large. These include webinars taught by local experts, the annual Berkshire Nonprofit Awards, Volunteer Fairs and a “Giving Back” guide containing a directory of all 1,000 nonprofits and details on how to help.
Supporting nonprofit leaders is our primary activity. Every day the NPC fields requests for information and referrals, making life just a little bit easier for those on the frontlines of nonprofit work. Communication vehicles like a listserve, gala calendar, peer support group, and monthly newsletter help leaders stay in touch and on top of what’s going on in our vibrant sector.
In its growing advocacy role, the NPC hosts legislative Town Halls and serves on the board of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network. Strategic planning confirmed the NPC needs to build its own internal capacity to meet increasing demand for services including a development service and rollout of the Philanthropy in Schools curriculum.
With all the ingenuity and flexibility of an entrepreneurial enterprise, the NPC was able to adapt most of its programs during the pandemic. NPC membership remains strong at 145. We’re extremely grateful for our loyal members and supporters, and look forward to meeting up with everyone in person when we are able.
Liana Toscanini moved to the Berkshires from New York City in 1996, and became an active volunteer, using her marketing background to help raise funds for restoration of the historic Sandisfield Arts Center building and winning a preservation award from the Commonwealth as well as placement on the National Register of Historic Places. She has edited town newsletters, chaired a local cultural council, and assisted the town of Sandisfield with park planning, a 250th town birthday celebration and history book. She was recognized as an Unsung Heroine in 2006 by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women and by Berkshire Magazine as one of the 25 most dedicated, creative & influential people of 2018. She currently serves on the Board of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network. Liana’s passions include community building, historic restoration, zinnias and dessert.