We are writing to introduce the Lathrop Community Fund for 2016 and to invite your participation, but first we want to share how your gifts last year enhanced the lives of residents and our entire community. Last year’s gifts totaled $26,305 and were allocated by you to the following funds in the amounts indicated. We are pleased to share the impact of your gifts. Your generosity made a real difference.
“Music Matters” – This fund received $3,925 from the Community Fund last year, which enabled the Music Committee to present more programs of higher quality than ever before, including frequent Sunday afternoon concerts. The ability to pay additional modest stipends increased the number and diversity of the concerts. A special series on Music and Creativity featured local composers talking about the artistic process and demonstrating their work.
Land Conservation – This fund received $6,740 last year. This was hugely helpful as it provided the necessary matching funds for two grants that enabled us to complete the first year (on the Northampton campus) and the second year (on the Easthampton campus) of our three-year process to clear invasive species from 50 acres of our land and encourage the healthiest possible mix of flora and fauna in our surroundings. The granting agencies were impressed by the strong show of resident support. New donations in 2016 will be used to continue and extend this work.
Staff Development – This fund received $2,130 last year. Lathrop has an initiative for training and education of employees called Lathrop Academy, started in 2013. Initially, the majority of the curriculum was taught by in-house resources, but as funds grow it will be possible to raise the level and increase the breadth of this training. Investment in staff members pays off
in numerous ways, including greater employee retention and better services to residents.
Easthampton Residents Association – This fund received $1,680 last year, which supplemented income from a variety of other sources. Although no single expenditure in 2015 was underwritten by this fund, the Association has over time invested in a number of developments such as sound, TV and video systems in the Mt. Tom Room, and much more of this type of project is expected in the future.
Northampton Residents Association – This fund received $5,305 last year. This was allocated in numerous ways to help build a sense of community. Speakers on various topics were brought in; several receptions and social functions were held; a contribution was made to Friday Friends; the online hosting of the new residents’ website was underwritten; art hanging apparatus and a sturdy garden cart were purchased; and some money was set aside for future needs.
Unrestricted – Last year $6,525 was donated unrestricted. The nice thing about unrestricted gifts is that the money can be spent where the need is greatest. No matter how well an organization plans and budgets, surprises can happen – and the availability of unrestricted funds to meet unexpected needs and opportunities can be a huge help.
Now let’s look forward! The 2016 drive for the Lathrop Community Fund has the same six “buckets” among which you may allocate your donations. Each of these areas will benefit from your support. As usual, a separate solicitation for the Employee Appreciation Fund will be conducted in the fall.
Your tax-deductible contribution to the Lathrop Community Fund is a tangible expression of your commitment to our interconnected community. The spirit of caring that made last year’s campaign such a success was a joy to behold, and we hope that a high percentage of residents will participate again this year. A reply sheet and envelope are enclosed. Please consider generous support! On behalf of our entire community, we thank you!
Marilyn Richards Peter Van Pelt Joan Wofford
Philanthropy Committee: Marilyn Richards, Director and committee chair
Karen Clark, Director, Easthampton resident
Susan Clopton, Director
James Dowell, Easthampton resident
Lorna Peterson, Director
Peter Van Pelt, Director, Northampton resident
Joan Wofford, Director, Northampton resident