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Funder Networks

Philanthropy Massachusetts believes that networked philanthropy is more effective than individualized philanthropy. Connecting, learning, and pooling funds are just a few examples of what happens when donors come together. We facilitate a networked approach amongst our members and the broader philanthropic sector across Massachusetts by supporting and catalyzing donors to come together. 

Grantmaker networks form around shared interests, identity, place, or common roles. Within the networked approached, we also look for opportunities to exchange ideas and resources with the policy and nonprofit sectors.  Our networks are dynamic and evolving communities. We invite you to become involved. 

  • The networks below are actively convened by Philanthropy Massachusetts. These networks respond to donor needs and meet on a regular schedule, either in-person or via  Zoom technology. To learn more and become involved, contact Jessica Berns, Vice President, Network Vibrancy. See list below.  VIEW CALENDAR for 2023 Network Meeting Dates
  • For other philanthropy networks that exist within Massachusetts, or national networks that have city or state level presence, Philanthropy Massachusetts serves as an ally, providing support in different ways. Each of these networks has a specific contact person listed within their respective descriptions. View Other Funder Networks

(Photo to right: Funders visit Boston’s Latin Quarter neighborhood during Funders Day Out site visit.) 

Behavioral Health Funders Network: The Behavioral Health Funders Network (Network) is a state-wide network of funders working in the area of behavioral and mental health and wellness. For over 4 years the Network has been meeting regularly for peer learning, knowledge sharing, and relationship building. The Network meets every other month. We come together as a Network of funders to improve behavioral health services by providing opportunities to 1) learn from one another, and 2) potentially collaborate on shared efforts. Please read the Network's Vision Statement. A listserv for connecting with others in the Network is available. To join the listserv, please email Jessica Berns.  The Advisory Committee includes: Shanna Shulman, Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation;  Don Matteson, The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation; Jacquie Anderson, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation; Karen Darcy, Charles F. and Beatrice D. Adams Charitable Trust; Jennie Blake, The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts; Sunny Daily, Community Foundation for Nantucket; Jessica Castro, Trefler Foundation; Julie Burns, RIZE Massachusetts.

Central MA Funders Network: This is a Network for representatives of grantmaking institutions based in Worcester County or funding in the County. The goals of the Network are to:

  • Build community / strengthen relationships with peer funders
  • Exchange knowledge / share practices around grantmaking strategies and approaches
  • Leverage collaborative voice/philanthropy to influence policy in MA

The Network Advisory is comprised of: Jonathan Cohen (Greater Worcester Community Foundation), Kerry Conaghan (United Way Central MA), Kimberly Salmon (Hanover Insurance), Megan Maceiko (Community Foundation of North Central MA), and Jennie Blake (Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts). If you are interested in participating in this Network, contact Jessica Berns.

CFO/Finance Director Network: This Network meets quarterly, a combination of in-person and virtual gatherings, the group focuses on content unique to philanthropy and finance, and relevant to the job descriptions of foundation CFOs, Finance Directors, and other staff who primary responsibility is the oversight of financial services. A listserv for posing questions and exchanging resources exists. Network Chairs: Karen Kelley Gil, Patrick J. McGovern Foundation; Debra Moniz, Cedar Tree Foundation; and Mark Paley, Hyams Foundation. To join the listserv for this network, please email Jessica Berns

MA Community Foundation Partnership: The MA Community Foundation Partnership  is a coalition of 15 of the community foundations which convenes ongoing capacity building and peer learning activities for all Community Foundation staff regardless of membership with the Partnership.  Philanthropy MA serves as convener of the Partnership. To join the listserv for Community Foundations, please email Jessica Berns. In addition, review our list of benefits specifically available for Community Foundations here.

Corporate Funders: This group is open to any staff that is part of a corporation’s giving program, social responsibility initiative, citizenship or community relations department. Philanthropy MA offers programming during the year specifically targeted to corporate funders. To engage with your regional corporate colleagues and to extend your connections across the country, Philanthropy MA Members can join the regional corporate listserv managed by our staff and the national level listserv managed by the United Philanthropy Forum. To join the listservs, please email Kelton Artuso

Data Collective: The mission of this network is to maintain a collaborative space for funders to explore, understand, and share data and data practices as it pertains to philanthropy and the nonprofit sector with an eye to equity, transparency, and best practices. This group is open to any funder interested in discussing data and it’s uses and collection within philanthropy. If you are interested in participating in this Network, please email Kelton ArtusoThe advisors to the network are: Leigh Handschuh, The Boston Foundation; Caitlin Healy, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation; Rory Neuner, Barr Foundation; Erin Peterson, The Klarman Family Foundation; Shani Wilkes, Combined Jewish Philanthropies.

Essex County Funders: This group of individual and institutional funders is currently convened by the Essex County Community Foundation and The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation with Philanthropy Massachusetts as a partner. The shared interest of the group is the vitality of the Essex County region. Historically, the group has come together yearly for a networking, learning, and sharing session focused on opportunities and needs that exist in the County, but will soon be meeting twice yearly.  Funders with an interest in improving the quality of life in Essex County are invited to participate, regardless of where they are based.

Family Foundation Network for Non-Family CEOs: Non-family member CEOs of Family Foundations created this learning community to address specific needs they face in their role. They meet four times a year. Of these meetings, two times per year CEOs of private, independent foundations join the family foundation CEOs. If you think you might meet criteria for participating in this Network or to join the listserv for this network, please email Jessica BernsThe Advisors for this Network include: Lynne Doblin of the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation, Megan Reilly of the Clowes Fund, Vanessa Plant of The Alku Foundation, and Paul Belsito of the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation.

Funders that FundraiseFunders that Fundraise is a new Philanthropy MA convened network as of spring 2023 that responds to the uniqueness, opportunities, and challenges faced by funders that fundraise. Any funder type that fundraises, not matter your size or location, is invited to participate (eg: Community Foundation, private, independent foundation that raises funds, public charity, other). The Network first met in Spring 2023 and will meet twice yearly. The advisors to the Network are Stacey Landry, Essex County Community Foundation and Christine Dixon, Someone Else's Child Foundation.

Grantmakers of Color: Established in 2005, Grantmakers of Color is a network of people of color who work in philanthropy. This peer and support network, managed and sponsored by Philanthropy Massachusetts, exists to provide opportunities to learn from those within the field and offer professional development opportunities for members. Alex McCray is the contact person for Grantmakers of Color. Review the Charter for the Grantmakers of Color NetworkThe Steering Committee includes: Rayana Grace, the Island Foundation; Eric Esteves, Advisor to Boston Impact Initiative; Phillip Gonzalez, Point32Health Foundation; Jacquie Anderson, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation; Natanja Craig Oquendo, Boston Women's Fund.

Greater Lowell Funders: The Greater Lowell Community Foundation, the Nathaniel & Elizabeth P. Stevens Foundation and the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation plan a yearly gathering for funders with an interest in advancing the greater Lowell community.

MA Jewish Funders Collective: Philanthropy MA convenes a group of funders for whom their Jewish identity informs their giving.  This network plans to meet 2 times per year. The advisors to the network are: Melanie Camp, Combined Jewish Philanthropies; Sheri Gurock, The Beker Foundation; Liana Krupp, Krupp Family Foundation.

Massachusetts Arts Funders Network: This longstanding network meets six times yearly, including one site visit. A meeting space for funders from across the state investing in arts and culture within the Commonwealth, the network explores specific topics of relevance, elevates examples of interesting work, and participates in site visits. The advisors to the network are: Anne-Marie Lubenau, Harvard Graduate School of Design;  Laura Sherman, Klarman Family Foundation; Rayana Grace, the Island Foundation; San San Wong, Barr Foundation; Brian Boyles, Mass Humanities; Cuong Hoang, Mott Philanthropic; Karen Ristuben, Essex County Community Foundation. Financial support for this network is provided by the Barr Foundation. To join the listserv for this network, please email Jessica Berns

Massachusetts Legal Aid Funders Network: The mission of this network is to maintain a collaborative space for funders to act to increase access to justice, reduce poverty, promote equity, and to support civil legal aid.  Members include grantmaking institutions, individual donors, and philanthropy advisors interested in learning more about legal assistance and strategies, providing funding, and exploring co-funding opportunities. The Advisory Committee includes: Nadia Harden; New Commonwealth Fund; Kathy McHugh, Philanthropy Professional; Beth Lynch, Cabot Family Charitable Trust; Sonia Shah, Sudbury Foundation; Steve Johnson, MA A2J Commission REC; Marijane Benner-Browne, MA A2J Commission REC; Lonnie Powers, MA A2J Commission REC.

Program Staff Learning Network: This network convenes mid to senior level program staff who share elements of a common program staff job description but work across issue areas and types of funding institutions. The two criteria to participate in the network are: 1) that you have worked in a professional setting for at least 10 years and 2) are currently situated in philanthropy at a foundation or grantmaking program as mid to senior level program staff. The purpose of the Learning Network is to create an ongoing, safe space for mid- to senior level program staff to learn together, furthering their professional development alongside their peers.  For more information please review this Overview Document. Partial financial support for this Network comes from the Barr Foundation. The Steering Committee includes: Malka Travaglini, Klarman Family Foundation; Amy Hampe, Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation; Carol Lavoie Schuster, Essex County Community Foundation; Hannah Kanstroom, Bank of America Private Bank; Sarah Grosvenor, Mott Philanthropic; SueEllen Kroll, Barr Foundation; Victoria Prudden, the Lynch Foundation; Matt Jose, Foundation for MetroWest.

Summer Fund: Managed and operated at Philanthropy Massachusetts, the Summer Fund is a donor collaborative providing a strategic coordinated approach to build, strengthen, and sustain a network of high-quality summer camps and programs for disadvantaged and at-risk youth. The Fund provides resources to ensure that summer program opportunities are accessible to underserved communities in Greater Boston. The contact for the Summer Fund is Sean Higgins, Program Manager. (Photo to right: Youth Enrichment Services - Track & Field at Saunders Stadium in South Boston) 

Western Masssachusetts Funders Network : An inclusive network for grantmakers funding in, or based in,  the four counties of Western Massachusetts: Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin. The network exists as a peer community to support grantmakers in the region and ultimately, to create a positive impact throughout Western Massachusetts.  The network currently meets  2-3 times per year. A Network priority is advancing racial equity through grantmaking in Western MA. The intent is to do this for, and with, the most marginalized in the communities of the region. Network members desire to keep learning, dialoging on a regular basis, and collaborating in its effort to advance racial equity through grantmaking. A Race, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion working group is charged with moving this effort forward.  Network Co-chairs are Donna Haghighat, CEO of Women's Fund of Western MA and Lori Kiely, Director of the Berkshire Bank Foundation. View Network purpose statement and guidelines.

Women & Girls Funders Network: This network is comprised of women’s funds and women, girls and gender equity focused giving circles across Massachusetts AND those foundations and grantmaking institutions with a broader mission that includes a women, girls, and gender equity stream.  This network plans to meet 2 times per year.  The advisors to the network are: Donna Haghighat, Women's Fund of Western MA; Kristina Dakos, Women4Progress; Natanja Craig-Oquendo, Boston Women's Fund.There is a Slack group for this Network. To join it, please email Jessica Berns.

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