January 22, 2019
Flutie Foundation for Autism Names Nick Savarese as ED

Nick Savarese
December 28, 2017 — The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism in Framingham, which helps people with autism get access to care, lead more active lifestyles, and grow toward adult independence, recently announced that Nick Savarese has been named executive director.

He succeeds Lisa Borges, who resigned after serving in the post since the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism was founded 18 years ago.

Doug Flutie, the former National Football League quarterback who founded the foundation, said, “Nick is no stranger to the disability community and his expertise in fundraising and helping those in need will continue our mission of helping children and families live life to the fullest.”

Savarese spent 11 years at Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA) working in a variety of capacities, most recently as vice president for advancement and marketing. While at SOMA, Savarese led initiatives across all disciplines of fundraising - including major gifts, foundation relations, and corporate development, as well as the organization’s communications and digital marketing efforts. Savarese also worked directly to build inclusive Special Olympics sports programs in communities and schools across Massachusetts.

Earlier, Savarese founded “Sky’s the Limit”, a Colorado-based organization providing inclusive social and recreational programs for children with and without disabilities. He also worked as an employment counselor for adults with disabilities, as well as a special education para-educator early in his career.

“I am very excited to join the Flutie Foundation and work with people who are just as passionate as I am about improving the lives of people with disabilities”, said Savarese. “Lisa has laid down a tremendous platform over the last 18 years, and I am excited to continue to help families affected by autism in the years to come.”

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in nonprofit organization management from Metropolitan State University of Denver. He recently completed the core leadership program at the Institute for Nonprofit Practice.

During her tenure with the foundation, Borges oversaw the granting of $12 million to more than 600 service organizations and schools throughout the United States and Canada, launched Flutie Spectrum Enterprises, a social enterprise that promotes employing adults with autism, and established an endowment for the foundation, now valued at $2.5 million.

Earlier this month, the foundation granted $450,000 to 36 organizations, funding initiatives that include direct family support, group therapy for anxiety, vocational training, sensory equipment, music therapy, swimming programs, teen recreational experiences, inclusive summer camps, and social enterprises.

Raising a son on the autism spectrum inspired Flutie and his wife, Laurie, to establish the foundation, which today serves families throughout New England, New York, New Jersey, southern California, central Florida, and Canada.

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