Week by week, investment pays community dividends

Week by week, investment pays community dividends 

Enterprise Bank’s ‘20 Weeks of Giving’ strengthens local nonprofits — and they’re not nearly done

By Anna Burgess, Sentinel and Enterprise on 7/9/2015 


Halfway through Enterprise Bank’s “20 Weeks of Giving,” local nonprofits are seeing the benefits. From left are LUK’s Michael Roberts, Cynthia Delaney and Richard Hooks-Wayman; and Enterprise Bank representatives Cheryl Gaudreau, regional business adviser, and Scott Myers, commercial lending officer.

COURTESY PHOTO 

FITCHBURG — Only halfway through Enterprise Bank’s “20 Weeks of Giving,” Community Banking Director Ken Ansin is already declaring the campaign a success.

On May 1, Lowell-based Enterprise Bank began donating $1,000 each week to a deserving local nonprofit organization as part of their 20 Weeks of Giving campaign. The bank asked area residents to submit nominations for nonprofits, and each week presented three finalists for community members to vote on, donating the $1,000 to the organization with the most votes.

The 20 weeks has reached its halfway point, and Ansin said the campaign has been extremely successful so far, with some weeks bringing in thousands of votes for nonprofits. The winning nonprofits, so far, are the Children’s Hunger Association of Winchendon, Ahimsa Haven Animal Rescue, the YMCAof Central Massachusetts, Lipton Early Intervention at Umass Memorial Community Healthlink, Alyssa’s Place at the A.E.D. Foundation, the Montachusett Interfaith Hospitality Network, LUK Inc., and the Sizer School.

“There are some really interesting, smaller not-forprofits that I hadn’t heard of before, as well as some of the larger ones,” Ansin said, “so it’s been a fun way for some of us that thought we knew all the non-profits to get to know some new ones, and getting them some exposure to a larger audience is one of the goals of the campaign.”

Lynn Hennigan, the director of services for young children at the Lipton Early Intervention Program, an organization that works with families of infants and toddlers that have been diagnosed with developmental delays, said receiving the donation will hopefully raise awareness about Lipton.

“Enterprise Bank set the bar and led the way for how a community can help, but its important for the comm to think about services for our youngest children and know that there are early intervention programs across the state” Hennigan said they were “absolutely delighted” to find out they had been nominated, “because the donation will certainly go a long way toward helping the children in this program.”

After they found out they were nominated, Lipton employees began spreading the word to friends and coworkers at Community Healthlink and asking people to vote on social media. Cindy Delaney, the public relations specialist for LUK, Inc., said they took a similar strategy after hearing of their nomination.

“We really mobilized through social media,” she said. “We were so thrilled to see that our work means enough to people that they went on this website to go and vote for us.” The level of voter participation, Ansin said, has been great all around.

“It’s hard to know how something like this will go, but voting has been off the charts,” he said. “I think that speaks to the fact that this campaign has been really well received, and to the ability of certain nonprofits to get their networks out to support them.”

“It’s been really impressive to see,” Ansin added.

Now that they’ve received their donation, Delaney said LUK will put the money toward recreational activities for the youth they serve. Hennigan said Lipton Early Intervention is “thinking about buying supplies that some of the families can’t afford to buy, educational resources, handouts, workshops, and kind of spreading the money around a little bit.”

Ansin emphasized that the 20 weeks are only half over, he said, and Enterprise Bank is still taking nominations for non-profits.

“We encourage organizations that haven’t been nominated yet, or have been nominated and not finished first, to keep trying,” he said, “because there are still several weeks left and more money to give away.”

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