Addressing Critical Community Needs

Mariah DavisPosted by Mariah Davis on January 7, 2022

At the end of 2021, Mascoma Bank contributed more than $285,000 to area nonprofit organizations in an effort to meet some of the area’s biggest needs. The funds target some of the most pressing issues facing residents of Vermont and New Hampshire, including housing, childcare, workforce development, and food insecurity.

“We proactively reached out to businesses, nonprofits, and civic leaders to understand the biggest challenges facing them right now,” Mascoma’s Chief Marketing officer Samantha Pause said. “The Bank has been committed to philanthropy since our founding in 1899, but we took some additional steps this year to address critical needs our neighbors are encountering.”

The Bank sent a needs assessment survey to local groups and heard from community leaders, executive directors and business owners, that the four areas mentioned above present major challenges for economic development.

Mascoma’s Community Impact Manager Mariah Davis said, “In order for businesses to thrive and expand, they need workers with adequate housing and consistent, reliable childcare. The Bank’s giving takes important steps to address those concerns.”

Specifically, the Bank gave $100,000 to five groups to assist with weatherization programs; $105,000 to six area childcare organizations; $30,000 to assist groups working to increase opportunity for workers from diverse backgrounds; and $50,000 to area food banks.

“We made a point of giving to organizations that need funding to clear the way for impactful thinking and strategy,” Pause said. “We are hopeful that these dollars will lead to lasting, positive developments in everything from reimagined childcare to new opportunities for diverse entrepreneurs to launch and expand their businesses.”

“Our Weatherization program works within the homes of low-income individuals and families to make their homes safer and more energy efficient,” said Beth Daniels, Chief Executive Officer, Southwestern Community Services. “Whether it be a heating system replacement, insulation, or a variety of other measures, the goal of the program is to reduce the overall energy costs of the home while improving both health and safety. Mascoma Bank’s $20,000 donation will allow the staff to continue production by filling some of the gaps between what other funding can do. Mascoma Bank has been a wonderful and supportive community partner.”

Mascoma Bank was able to provide additional funding for Coos County Director Network, Monadnock United Way, Upper Valley Childcare and Education Alliance, Endowment for Health, Vermont Community Loan Fund, Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity, Let’s Grow Kids, Tri County Community Action, Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, SEVCA, and COVER Home Repair

Overall, Mascoma Bank and the Mascoma Bank Foundation donate more than $2 million annually to local nonprofits, municipalities, and other organizations focused on improving the quality of life for residents and workers in Vermont and New Hampshire.