Two key players on the Northfield area nonprofit scene − Northfield Area Foundation and 5th Bridge − have announced that they are merging under the new name Northfield Shares.

The new organization pools the resources of 5th Bridge and Northfield Area Foundation effective immediately.

The mission of Northfield Shares is to sustain and transform the Northfield community by advancing philanthropy, inspiring volunteerism and promoting collaborative leadership.

Northfield Shares will provide all of the services and initiatives of the two originating organizations plus additional services to support area nonprofits.

“This is an exciting and advantageous change for Northfield, said Dale Ness, chair of the Northfield Shares board of directors. “Both organizations have a wonderful reputation in our community and together we will have an even greater positive impact on the quality of life in the Northfield area. There’s no question that we are stronger together.”

By leveraging financial resources, volunteer engagement and collaborative leadership, Northfield Shares aims to create a healthier, vibrant and better connected community in which to live and work. The new organization intends to have a direct impact on extending nonprofits’ resources and inspiring volunteers and donors.

The new organization’s agenda is threefold:

• Northfield Shares will become the primary advocate and resource for community volunteerism which was the historic role of 5th Bridge.

• Northfield Shares will also continue Northfield Area Foundation’s work of building our community endowment, administering funds and extending grants to local nonprofits to help them carry out their missions.

• Additionally, Northfield Shares will facilitate access to shared training, information, equipment and collaborative opportunities that will enrich and strengthen the local nonprofit network.

“Northfield Shares will call upon all area citizens to lend their time, talents and treasures to make Northfield even better,” Ness said. “As a community, we have an opportunity to reach out and show what a caring, generous group of people we are. Everyone is a stakeholder. Everyone is a beneficiary.”

The Northfield Area Foundation was established in 1993 as a community endowment to receive, manage, and disburse resources for the benefit of the greater Northfield community. The initial funds were scholarship funds for Northfield High School graduates.

Over the years, additional donor-advised funds were added, and in 2000, the Marston and Dorothy Headley Fund provided an endowment from which grants could be made by the Advisory Board.

5th Bridge was founded in 2007 as a volunteer, donor-focused organization with a mission to enhance individual and community life in Northfield by encouraging the habits of volunteerism and philanthropy. The organization is widely recognized as one that serves as an advocate for enhancing the quality of life in Northfield through education, promotion, connection and recognition of Northfield-area volunteers.

Northfield Shares strives to create a culture of volunteerism, philanthropy and leadership for Northfield and the surrounding area. The nonprofit organization aspires to support, empower, fund and advocate for local nonprofits. For more information, visit northfieldshares.org.

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