Giving Season Spotlight: 10 Martha’s Vineyard Non-Profits Making a Difference

As the giving season continues, the spirit of generosity is in the air, especially here on Martha’s Vineyard. Our island is not only known for its breathtaking landscapes and vibrant communities but also for the countless organizations working tirelessly to make a positive impact on the lives of its residents. Whether you’re a year-round islander, a visitor, or one of our cherished summer residents, supporting these non-profits on Martha’s Vineyard is a wonderful way to stay connected to this special island, even when you’re not here. Here’s our Giving Season Spotlight: 10 Martha’s Vineyard Non-Profits Making a Difference

This holiday season, we’re excited to shine a spotlight on 10 remarkable organizations that are making a difference in our community. At Point B | Compass, we are proud to be actively involved in supporting many of these organizations through staff volunteer efforts and ongoing partnerships. 

Giving Season Spotlight: 10 Martha's Vineyard Non-Profits Making a Difference Martha's Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite Fundraiser MV Boys & Girls Club
The MV Teddy Bear Suite fundraiser supports the food programs of the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club.

Non-Profits on Martha’s Vineyard: The MV Boys & Girls Club

At the top of our list of Martha’s Vineyard non-profits to support this holiday season is the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club, a cornerstone of our community. Each year Point B | Compass sponsors the annual Teddy Bear Suite fundraiser, now in its 13th enchanting year, both in-person and online. The mission of the Teddy Bear Suite is to raise awareness and funds for the MV Boys and Girls Club food security and safety net programs, now titled Beyond the School Bell, which help to provide nutritious meals and snacks to students after school. To date, the fundraiser has generated over $400,000 for this incredible cause. This year the event debuts at the new Faraway Martha’s Vineyard during Christmas in Edgartown from Dec. 8–12. Join us in creating lasting family memories while contributing to a cause that truly matters. Expect hundreds of teddy bears, endless photo opportunities and dozens of smiling faces! Online donations can be made at through the end of the year.

Non-Profits on Martha’s Vineyard: Agricultural Society

Founded in 1859, the Agricultural Society is the leading organization in preserving and promoting Martha’s Vineyard’s rich agricultural heritage. With over 1000 Lifetime and Annual Members, MVAS supports agriculture, horticulture, land conservation, mechanic, and domestic arts through grant programs and scholarships. In recent years, the Society reintroduced 4H to Island youth and established a Dukes County Farm Bureau, advocating for Island farmers at the State level. Today, the Ag Hall is the hub of the Island’s farming community, hosting events like the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair, Farmers Social, and more. Last but certaintly not least, the Ag Society hosts the time honored MV Agricultural Fair, which is going into its 162nd year! Save the dates for August 15-18, 2024! Your support of the MV Ag Society sustains these vital programs and events, ensuring that Martha’s Vineyard’s agricultural traditions thrive for generations.

Giving Season Spotlight: 10 Martha's Vineyard Non-Profits Making a Difference Island Grown Initiative  Island Grown Initiative runs a mobile market that brings farm fresh food across the island
Island Grown Initiative runs a mobile market that brings farm fresh food across the island. Photo courtesy Island Grown Initiative.

Non-Profits on Martha’s Vineyard: Island Grown Initiative

Since 2006, Island Grown Initiative has led an innovative, collaborative effort to increase local food production, reduce food waste, promote climate-friendly farming techniques, and expand access to healthy, affordable food throughout the Martha’s Vineyard community. IGI grows, gleans, cooks, distributes, and provides free food for those who need assistance. They also teach Island children about food from its history and ties to our culture, to how to grow and prepare healthy meals. Island Grown operates a mobile market as well as the Island Food Pantry. The Food Pantry is open to anyone facing financial barriers to obtaining necessary food or experiencing financial challenges. Emphasizing healthier options, the Pantry allows clients to choose items, reducing food waste and promoting nutritious meals. Additionally, the Pantry welcomes food donations, contributing to the weekly 4,000 pounds of groceries and produce distributed. Non-perishable, unopened, and unexpired items can be donated through Purple Boxes, community drives, or direct drop-offs.

Non-Profits on Martha’s Vineyard: Martha’s Vineyard Community Services

For over 60 years, Martha’s Vineyard Community Services has been an unwavering support for our island community, catering to diverse needs from childhood to eldercare. As a Community Behavioral Health Center, they pioneer innovative mental health care, addressing issues ranging from housing insecurity to trauma. Their early childhood programs provide a nurturing foundation for the island’s youngest residents, while their Substance Use Disorder Services guide individuals on the path to recovery. Their CONNECT to End Violence program, a dual domestic violence program and rape crisis center, provides free and confidential services to individuals who have experienced or witnessed domestic or sexual violence as well as loved ones, friends, acquaintances or coworkers who may also be impacted. With a commitment to inclusivity, they ensure that everyone, regardless of their ability to pay, has access to comprehensive services. Your generosity sustains their efforts, enlarging the safety net for families and enhancing the overall quality of life on the island we proudly share.

Giving Season Spotlight: 10 Martha's Vineyard Non-Profits Making a Difference Martha's Vineyard Shellfish Group

Non-Profits on Martha’s Vineyard: Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group

Since 1976, the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group (MVSG) has been a non-profit dedicated to revitalizing shellfish resources for the benefit of the entire island community (and your plate!). Operating facilities in Chappaquiddick, Tisbury, and Oak Bluffs, MVSG played a pivotal role in cultivating 13.5 million quahogs, 27.5 million scallops, and 12.5 million oyster seeds for the Shellfish Departments of our six island towns in 2019. The organization is actively involved in replenishing scallop and oyster populations, releasing millions of eggs and larvae into the wild. Key projects include annual shellfish seed production, oyster habitat restoration through shell recycling, and initiatives for eelgrass and bay scallop habitat preservation. MVSG’s ongoing efforts contribute to the health and sustainability of Martha’s Vineyard’s marine ecosystems. Learn more about Martha’s Vineyard’s oyster farms on our blog here.

Non-Profits on Martha’s Vineyard: The Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard

The Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard, established in 2009, is a beacon of compassion, dedicated to educating and inspiring the community to champion the well-being of the island’s animals. Operating as an independent non-profit since 2012, the shelter is housed in the Kitty Foote building, generously gifted by the MSCPA. Committed to efficient, high-quality, and humane care, the shelter is self-supporting through donations, grants, and fundraising events. As a “no-kill” shelter, it provides a haven for animals, offering shelter, medical care, love, and support until they find their forever homes. Your contribution ensures the shelter’s continued service to both the animal and human communities of Martha’s Vineyard.

Non-Profits on Martha’s Vineyard: Island Housing Trust

The Island Housing Trust, a non-profit Community Land Trust organization, plays a vital role in creating and sustaining permanently affordable housing on Martha’s Vineyard. With over a decade of impactful service, the trust has provided hope and opportunity to hundreds of low and moderate-income island families, selling and renting 126 homes and apartments. Their visionary goal of creating 150 additional year-round ownership and rental homes by 2025 requires a collective effort, with a target of raising $60 million over the next five years. Your support contributes to building a stronger, more resilient, and sustainable future for our year-round island community.

Giving Season Spotlight: 10 Martha's Vineyard Non-Profits Making a Difference  Sheriff's Meadow Sanctuary Cedar Tree Neck Sanctuary in West Tisbury is one of the many conserved properties managed by Sheriff's Meadow Foundation
Cedar Tree Neck Sanctuary in West Tisbury is one of the many conserved properties managed by Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation.

Non-Profits on Martha’s Vineyard: Sheriff’s Meadow Sanctuary

The mission of Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation is deeply entrenched in the preservation of Martha’s Vineyard’s natural and rural landscape for the benefit of current and future generations. Serving as the local land trust, the foundation protects a remarkable 3,220 acres of land across the island, including beloved properties Cedar Tree Neck Sanctuary and Sheriff’s Meadow Sanctuary. With 75 distinct preserves comprising 2,390 acres and an additional 41 conservation restrictions over 830 acres, the foundation is a stalwart guardian of the island’s natural beauty. Beyond conservation, Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation actively engages in a multifaceted approach, from maintaining public trails for various recreational activities to providing environmental education programs, leading guided natural history walks, and caring for cultural resources and rare plants and animals. Be sure to download the organization’s free Trails MV app which is an interactive guide to 220+ miles of public trails on more than 100 protected properties. Your support ensures the continued stewardship of Martha’s Vineyard’s unique and cherished landscapes.

Non-Profits on Martha’s Vineyard: MVY Radio

Since 1983, WMVY Radio has been a distinctive voice on the airwaves, with a newly updated studio on State Road in West Tisbury. Independently owned and reflecting the eclectic spirit of the local community, the station has been unwavering in its commitment to being A Voice For The Vineyard. Through its rich history, MVY Radio has become a cherished cultural institution, showcasing diverse music and connecting the island community with a unique and authentic sound. Your support ensures the station’s continued independence and ability to amplify the vibrant musical tapestry of Martha’s Vineyard.

Giving Season Spotlight: 10 Martha's Vineyard Non-Profits Making a Difference WMVY Radio
MVY Radio has been broadcasting live from Martha’s Vineyard since 1983. Photo courtesy MVY Radio.

Non-Profits on Martha’s Vineyard: MV Cancer Support Group

The Martha’s Vineyard Cancer Support Group is a group for cancer patients, survivors, their families, friends, and caregivers.​ Cancer patients often need financial assistance as well as emotional support. That’s why the non-profit M.V. Cancer Support Group Inc. was created. One of their aims is to enhance the quality of life for Vineyard cancer patients, survivors, and their families, by providing temporary and emergency financial assistance. The funds they provide are used primarily for travel expenses not covered by insurance. They also provide information about resources available to Vineyard cancer patients on the island and elsewhere in New England.

This giving season, let’s come together to make a meaningful impact on Martha’s Vineyard. These ten non-profits, dedicated to causes ranging from affordable housing to environmental preservation and cultural enrichment, shape the heart of our island community. Your support contributes to their vital work, ensuring a sustainable and thriving future for Martha’s Vineyard. Join us in giving back to the island we love. Lend your support this holiday and be a part of the positive change these organizations bring to Martha’s Vineyard.

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