Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Northampton Community Chest Records
In 1922, the Northampton Chamber of Commerce retired from its leadership in the local Community Chest, and a separate Northampton Community Chest Association was established. The Community Chest sought the federation of non-sectarian social service agencies doing welfare work in Northampton, Massachusetts, for the raising of funds necessary to carry on the work of their several agencies.
The Community Chest Association continued its work until 1933 when four of six agencies withdrew from the Chest. The Community Chest Board then recommended that the Council of Social Agencies serve in the Chest's former capacity and it briefly disbanded. In 1936, however, the Community Chest resumed its work.
The Chest frequently did not meet its campaign goals; public apathy and ignorance of the Chest's purpose were reasons often cited for the failures. Public confidence in the Chest was greatly weakened by a theft of funds from the Chest Office in 1957. The Board minutes reflect an interest in joining the United Fund as early as 1955, but that decision was deferred until 1969, when the Northampton Community Chest association reincorporated as the Hampshire United Fund, Inc.