Home » Events » Philanthropy Massachusetts 54th Annual Meeting: The Power of Collaborative Learning and Action

Philanthropy Massachusetts 54th Annual Meeting: The Power of Collaborative Learning and Action

September 27th, 2023
9:30AM to 1:00PM
WBUR CitySpace, 890 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215 or Virtual
Grantmaker, Philanthropic Advisor
Event type:
Best practices
Base fee:

In-person registration is now closed. Virtual registration is open until Tuesday, September 26th at 2pm.

*This year’s event is hybrid. There is different pricing for in-person ($75) and virtual ($40) participation and you will be given the option to choose upon registering. Virtual guests will be able to watch the event via livestream. For guests joining us in person, there will be a light breakfast and lunch provided.

Join us at Philanthropy Massachusetts’ 54th Annual Meeting! Each year, the Annual Meeting provides an opportunity for funders to come together, connect with peers, and be reminded of the important role philanthropy serves in society. At this year’s meeting, you’ll hear stories of collaboration within and beyond the field of philanthropy.

The complex, intersectional issues facing us – poverty, housing crisis, climate change, food insecurity, health and education disparities, to name a few – cannot be addressed by philanthropy alone. Resources needed to tackle these issues – time, talent and treasure – are not all housed within a single philanthropic entity or individual. To have meaningful progress it will require funders, nonprofits, the public sector and beyond to step outside of our own thinking, approaches and work, and partner with each other.

From exchanging information, learning, and making decisions together to creating and adopting a shared goal and acting collectively across sectors, the possibilities are endless when it comes to collaboration. Time and again we have experienced the power and impact of collaborative learning and action.

Come with curiosity and an openness and eagerness to learn. Leave with inspiration and actionable ideas in our move towards a more just, equitable and thriving society for everyone.


Kim Driscoll, Lieutenant Governor

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Kim Driscoll is the 73rd Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She was sworn in on January 5, 2023, joining Governor Maura Healey in an historic series of firsts: Governor Healey is the first woman and first openly LGBTQ person elected Governor of Massachusetts, and together, Healey and Driscoll are the first all-women executive team to lead Massachusetts. 

Driscoll was elected the City of Salem’s first woman Mayor in 2006, taking office at a time when the community was struggling with record deficits, poor financial management, and a declining bond rating. As Mayor, she turned deficits into record surpluses and saved taxpayers’ money by strengthening city services, revitalizing Salem’s downtown, leading a vast improvement in Salem’s k-12 schools, reforming city pensions and health insurance programs to protect employee benefits, bidding public contracts, and bringing transparency to City Hall. Read full bio.

Elizabeth Solomon, Director of Administration, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Elizabeth Solomon is an enrolled member, officer, and elder of the Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag, the original people of the greater Boston area. As a Black Native woman, she works to advocate for local Indigenous interests and educate the public on Black and Native histories and perspectives. In this capacity she serves on multiple advisory and management boards and speaks frequently on local Indigenous issues. Ms. Solomon has a master’s degree in museum studies and a commitment to work with communities that are currently underrepresented in museum exhibits and public history programs to bring their voices and stories to the forefront.

Ms. Solomon currently works as a Director of Administration at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health where she brings more than three decades of public health experience in research, community outreach, and administration.

Featured Stories of Collaboration:

Rise Up Cambridge


Tina Alu, Executive Director, Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee

Tina Alu has worked at Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee (CEOC) for 36 years. She began her career at CEOC as the Family Planning Director. Tina became the Executive Director in 2018. What she has valued most about her work at CEOC over the years is that it has given her the opportunity to implement programs that the community has asked for, including its free tax preparation service, FAFSA assistance, financial coaching and small cash grants. Tina has had the privilege to work alongside numerous dedicated colleagues, elected officials, and community members, whose voices are often not heard, to advocate for public policies that challenge the causes of poverty and income inequality.



Geeta Pradhan, President, Cambridge Community Foundation

Geeta Pradhan, President of the Cambridge Community Foundation (CCF), draws on deep experience in philanthropy, urban planning, and economic development to address Cambridge’s needs. The foundation for all of Cambridge, CCF aspires to make the community vibrant, just, and equitable for all. It is an effective and high impact grant-maker and an influential civic leader, serving as a neutral voice on issues, and a collaborative philanthropic partner, working across sectors to address needs.

Geeta collaborates closely with both the Cambridge and Greater Boston nonprofit sectors. She organized the creation of Massachusetts Nonprofit Network and serves on the Board of Philanthropy MA. 


Sumbul Siddiqui, Mayor, City of Cambridge

Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui is currently serving her second term as Mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mayor Siddiqui immigrated to the United States from Karachi, Pakistan at the age of two, was raised in Cambridge affordable housing, and attended Cambridge Public Schools. As the first Muslim woman to be elected Mayor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, her priorities include increasing affordable housing, supporting local businesses, improving Cambridge Public Schools, and tackling income inequality. Read her full bio.




Castle of our Skins & Project STEP


Ashleigh Gordon, Artistic Director and Co-FounderCastle of our Skins

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Ashleigh is co-founder, Artistic Director and violist of Castle of our Skins, a Boston-based concert and educational series devoted to celebrating Black Artistry through music. In recognition of her work, she has presented at IDEAS UMass Boston Conference and 180 Degrees Festival in Bulgaria; has been featured in the International Musician and Improper Bostonian magazines as well as the Boston Globe; and was awarded the 2016 Charles Walton Diversity Advocate Award from the American Federation of Musicians. She is a 2015 St. Botolph Emerging Artist Award recipient, a 2019 Brother Thomas Fellow, a nominee for the 2020 "Americans for the Arts Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities,” and named one of WBUR’s “ARTery 25”, twenty-five millennials of color impacting Boston’s arts and culture scene. 

As an advocate of social change through education, Ashleigh served as viola instructor in the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra's Intensive Community Program, a rigorous string instrumental program that provides instruction to populations often underrepresented in classical music. Beyond instrumental instruction, she has presented lectures on citizen artistry and entrepreneurship, workshops for fellow educators on Caribbean folksongs, and guest lectured at Gettysburg College (PA), Keene State College (NH), Oberlin College Conservatory of Music (OH), and North Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts (NC). She has shared the stage as a guest panelist at the Sphinx Connect Conference and Chamber Music America Conference discussing topics of diversity in classical music, and is an Instructor of Teaching Artistry at the Longy School of Music at Bard College.

Ian Saunders, Artistic Director, Project STEP

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Dr. Ian Saunders is a performer, educator, and the Artistic Director for Project STEP, an institution providing young musicians from historically underrepresented groups in classical music with comprehensive music instruction. Throughout his performance career, Dr. Saunders has appeared with The Cleveland Orchestra, The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, The Sphinx Symphony and more across The United States.

A committed educator, Dr. Saunders has taught in youth programs in Virginia and Maryland and was associated with Cincinnati’s El Sistema program; additionally, he has taught at the collegiate level including The University of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky University, and Penn State University. Prior to Project STEP, he served on the leadership teams of The Eastern Music Festival as the Assistant Dean of Students, and The Longy School of Music as Assistant Dean for Artistic and Social Change. His insight has also been tapped to help shape the vision and future, as a board member, for Equity Arc (formerly National Instrumentalist Mentoring and Advancement Network), and Emmanuel Music in Boston, MA. In addition, he is also a fellow in the prestigious Sphinx LEAD program, a 2-year leadership program designed to evolve the industry landscape by empowering the next generation of executive leaders.

Dr. Saunders earned both his bachelors and master’s degrees in double bass performance from The Pennsylvania State University. He continued his studies at the University of Maryland, where he received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree.


We hope to see as many of you as possible!

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Registration type: 
Normal registration

Zoom Instructions for Virtual or Hybrid Programs:

Zoom information: Zoom information for the program will be sent out to all registrants one week before AND in the afternoon of the business day before the session is scheduled to take place.  Please reach out to info@philanthropyma.org if you believe you are registered for this program and do not receive the link.

Registration & Program Follow-up Materials: Registration for the program will be closed at 2pm EST on the day before the program is scheduled to take place.  If you register after this point, you will be added to the waitlist and will be able to receive the program recording as well as all follow-up materials from the session.  For fee-based Nonprofit Partner programs, you can request these materials for a discounted rate.  Please note that it may take up to a week to prepare and disseminate those materials to all registrants.

Community Guidelines, Program Policies and In-Person Protocol:

Philanthropy Massachusetts has adopted these Community Guidelines & Policies for all programs.  

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Phone: 617.426.2606
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