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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, Network Vibrancy Director. See list below.  
  • 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. The stated goals of the Network are: 1) Improve behavioral health services by providing a space and opportunity for learning from one another, and 2) Exchange information with the potential for collaboration on projects ranging in size from large, overarching initiatives to smaller community-based projects.

CFO/Finance Director Roundtable: The Roundtable 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 list serve for posing questions and exchanging resources exists. Co-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

Community Foundation Roundtable: There are seventeen Community Foundations across Massachusetts. The Roundtable is open to staff of all the Foundations and meets twice yearly in-person plus an additional virtual meeting. The meetings have a content focus but also allow for ample networking time. The location of each meeting varies to ensure convenient access to Community Foundations across the state. To join the listserv for this network, please email Jessica Berns. In addition, review our list of benefits specificaly available for Community Foundations here.

Essex County Funders' Group: 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 Learning Collaborative for Non-Family Executive Directors: Non-family member Executive Directors of Family Foundations created this learning community to address specific needs they face in their role. They meet two to three times a year, rotating between different family foundation offices.

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.

Greater Lowell Funders' Group: 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.

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, The Bruner Foundation; Cathy Edwards, New England Foundation for the Arts; Gioia Perugini,  Hemenway & BarnesJeff Poulos, Philanthropy Massachusetts; Laura Sherman, The Klarman Foundation; Rayana Grace, the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts; San San Wong, Barr Foundation. Financial support for this network is provided by the Barr Foundation. To join the listserv for this network, please email Jessica Berns

Massachusetts Census Equity Fund: The Massachusetts Census Equity Fund is a statewide funding initiative working to increase participation in the 2020 Census, specifically in communities that are at risk of being undercounted. The Fund provide grants for grassroots organizations working toward creating an accurate and fair count, as well as a learning community for partners. 

Metrowest Funders' Group: An example of a place-based network, funders from the Metrowest region of Massachusetts meet to discuss issues of relevance to the area and exchange ideas. The group is open to funders based in other parts of the state with an interest in supporting the communities of Metrowest. Co-chairs are: Marilyn Martino, The Sudbury Foundation; Dana Neshe, Middlesex Savings Bank; Judy Salerno, Foundation for Metrowest.

Program Staff Learning Network: This newly formed 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

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  twice per year. Co-chairs: Matt Bannister, PeoplesBank & Katie Allen Zobel, Community Foundation of Western MA. View purpose statement and guidelines.


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