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Community Spotlight Series: The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts

Jun 30, 2022

The Markens Group’s Commitment to Community

We are thrilled to highlight deserving non-profit organizations in our Community Spotlight series! We created the series as an avenue for non-profits to share their mission with a larger audience. We’re proud to showcase local organizations that TMG staff members work with and support.

To strengthen our commitment to the community, team members at the Markens Group are allotted 8 hours a month to donate their time to a local non-profit of their choice during their traditional work hours. Kristen Wing, our Senior Account Manager, has proudly served the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts for the last 13 years.


What is the Community Foundation?

Kristen shared that the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts is a non-profit organization based out of Springfield, Massachusetts. Established in 1991, the Community Foundation is dedicated to transforming our community, the Pioneer Valley, into a better place to live. Through their efforts they’ve increased their initial endowment of 20 million to 26 million as of 2021.

Why and how do you serve the community foundation?

“I have served the Community Foundation for the last 13 years through their Education Committee which assists students from all paths with financial assistance through the foundation’s scholarship fund,” Kristen said. She continued, “Each year in the spring I have the opportunity to review the applications submitted to help the foundation distribute its scholarships.”

To determine who will receive scholarships on behalf of the Foundation, Kristen follows a comprehensive process to review applications stating, “First, I review the financial aspects of the student’s application, as well as their academic records. I try to take time with the applications because I want to know and understand who the person applying is, and how this could help them reach their goals.” Kristen continued, “It’s exciting to be part of this program as we give out over 800 scholarships each year to incoming students, regardless of whether their path is to move on to a traditional four-year institution or a trade school.”


How can people get involved?

Kristen shared that the Community Foundation is always looking for volunteers to support its programs and carry out its mission. “There’s an opportunity to donate to the Annual Fund as well as the COVID-Relief Fund,” said Kristen. “Another option is to support them during Valley Gives, which streamlines your giving initiatives because it functions as a one-stop giving site. Valley Gives is powered by the Community Foundation to raise money and awareness for local non-profit organizations within our community, helping to connect people with causes they want to support in this time of critical need.”

Learn more about how you can support The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts by becoming a donor or an advisor, and discover how to connect students to scholarship opportunities, and partner with local non-profits by visiting their website:


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