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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. 

  • Select networks 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. These networks are listed 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 decriptions. View Network Listing


CFO Roundtable:
One of our newest networks, CFOs of foundations first came together in 2018 and now meet twice yearly.  The group focuses on content specifically  relevant to the work of foundation CFOs. A list serve for posing questions and exchanging resources exists. Co-chairs: Karen Kelley Gil, Patrick J. McGovern Foundation; Mark Paley, Hyams Foundation; Alfonso Perillo, GMA Foundation.

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. 

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.

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.

Immigrant Inclusion Network: The Immigrant Inclusion Network (IIN) is a pilot network of eleven nonprofit organizations who share a commitment to citizenship and immigrant inclusion work in greater Boston. The IIN which creates opportunities for ongoing connections for the participating nonprofits and seeks to build broader awareness and develop cross sector support for citizenship as a pathway to inclusion.

Massachusetts Arts Funders Learning Collaborative: This longstanding group 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 group explores specific topics of relevance, elevates examples of interesting work, and participates in site visits. The advisors to the Collaborative are: Cathy Edwards, New England Foundation for the Arts; Anne-Marie Lubenau, The Bruner Foundation; Jeff Poulos, Philanthropy Massachusetts; Laura Sherman, The Klarman Foundation; San San Wong, Barr Foundation.

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.

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.

Western Masssachusetts Funders Group: An inclusive group for grantmakers funding in communities throughout Western Massachusetts. The group exists as a peer community to support grantmakers in the region and ultimately, to create a positive impact throughout the communities of Western Massachusetts.  The group currently meets  twice per year. Co-chairs: Matt Bannister, PeoplesBank & Katie Allen Zobel, Community Foundation of Western MA.

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