New name for community mission

The Permanent Endowment will now be known as Martha's Vineyard Community Foundation.

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A new name results in a changed logo.

The Permanent Endowment of Martha’s Vineyard has changed its name to Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation, a moniker that better reflects its mission of providing funds to assist Island nonprofits and responding to community needs, officials from the organization said in a conference call Monday.

The name change is being announced and explained to the foundation’s donors in the organization’s annual appeal letter, executive director Emily Bramhall told The Times.

“This is about saying what we really are,” Bramhall said. “We really have expanded our reach and funding models.”

Isabelle Lew, a board member for M.V. Community Foundation, said the new name better reflects how the foundation responds to community needs.

During the ongoing pandemic, an emergency relief fund has been established to provide assistance for nonprofits dealing with the effects of COVID-19.

Both Lew, Bramhall, and board member Sandra Grymes, who was also on the call, made it clear that some of the benevolent missions of the organization will remain — the annual awards, the Creative Living Award, and scholarships for high school students.

Bramhall acknowledged that the Permanent Endowment name gave some the impression that the organization already had all the funds it needed to distribute, and perhaps some potential donors didn’t understand how their donations might be used because of the word “endowment” in the name.

“It was very challenging,” Bramhall said. “It has evolved so much in the last five years.”

Bramhall listed some of the accomplishments in the past year — responding to the pandemic in a way that reflects that community name. In April, with a spike in unemployment, the Permanent Endowment teamed with Dukes County Regional Housing Authority to provide funding to help renters and landlords affected by job losses.

More recently, the Permanent Endowment was the recipient of $200,000 in state funds to regrant to community-based organizations on the front lines of addressing food security, housing support, technology needs brought on by remote learning, emergency childcare, and transportation to the Island’s vulnerable communities.

The foundation has also worked with Island elderly advocates like Healthy Aging M.V. to streamline rides for the Island’s elderly, and recently provided the tuition money and payment for Portuguese interpreters for the Island’s community ambassador program, Bramhall said.

“We’ve helped a lot of families,” Bramhall said. “We’ll go out and figure out how we can meet the need.”

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