News and Information about the nonprofit sector in Massachusetts. Check back frequently to keep informed.
May 18, 2022
Commonwealth Corps; Grants; Renaming; New VP; Free Consulting

April 19, 2022 — Commonwealth Corps selected for 16 Massachusetts nonprofits. Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts grants $50K to advance racial equity. Tower Hill Botanic Garden renames to New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill. International Institute of New England names chief advancement officer. Nonprofits invited to apply for free consulting support.

Commonwealth Corps Selected for 16 Massachusetts Nonprofits

The Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA), a Boston nonprofit that serves as the as the state commission on community service and volunteerism, last week announced it selected 16 nonprofits across the state to host Commonwealth Corps members for the 2022-2023 program year.

Established in 2007, the Commonwealth Corps is a state-funded service internship program that engages Massachusetts residents of all ages, backgrounds, and identities in direct service to strengthen communities, address critical needs, and increase volunteerism. Commonwealth Corps members serve at their host site organization for 10 months in a full- or half-time capacity and receive a living stipend, health insurance, extensive professional development and training, and a monetary completion award upon finishing the program, among other benefits.

“We are very proud to be able to provide Commonwealth Corps members to these exceptional organizations because we know their ability to meet their mission will be greatly enhanced by their members,” said Emily Haber, MSA CEO.

The following organizations will receive at least two full-time or half-time Commonwealth Corps members:

  • Boston Cares and English for New Bostonians, Greater Boston
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro South, Taunton and Brockton
  • Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association, Lowell
  • Cambridge Women's Center, Cambridge and Greater Boston
  • Cape Cod Times Needy Fund, Cape Cod
  • Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, Pittsfield
  • Friends of the Rafael Hernandez School, Roxbury
  • Growing Places Garden Project, Inc., Gardner, Winchendon, Clinton, Leominster, Fitchburg
  • Kids in Tech, Lowell
  • Martha's Vineyard Boys & Girls Club, Martha’s Vineyard
  • METCO, Boston
  • Open Sky Community Services, Fitchburg and Worcester
  • Perkins School for the Blind, Statewide
  • Regional Environmental Council, Worcester
  • Somerville Homeless Coalition, Somerville
  • THRIVE Communities of Massachusetts, Lowell

Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts Grants $50K to Advance Racial Equity

The Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts, based in Fitchburg, this week announced it granted $50,634 to seven nonprofit organizations that serve and empower communities of color and address systemic and institutional racism.

Stephen Adams, president of the foundation, said, “These grants will help nonprofit organizations working to advance racial equity through youth empowerment, social justice, awareness, education, training, and other innovative approaches that empower communities of color.”

Receiving the funds were the following:

  • The Farm School, Athol: $5,000 to support general operations.
  • Making Opportunity Count, Fitchburg: $10,000 to support continued implementation of racial equity and social justice programs into the Youth Innovation Center’s core programming portfolio.
  • Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, Athol: $5,000 to support a collaboration with Nipmuc Cultural Preservation to create cultural respect and use agreements, resource inventories, forest management, and rematriation plans.
  • Spanish American Center, Leominster: $5,000 to support hiring a consultant to conduct anti-racist work for the organization.
  • Three Pyramids, Fitchburg: $10,000 to support six weeks of training to empower and share ideas, information, and resources with multiracial community residents and youth.
  • Virginia Thurston Healing Garden, Harvard: $5,634 to support outreach and engagement strategies centered around diversity.
  • YWCA, Central Massachusetts, Worcester: $10,000 to support racial equity workshops for nonprofit leaders.

Tower Hill Botanic Garden Renames to New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill

Tower Hill Botanic Garden, a Boylston nonprofit that traces its roots to 1840, which works to advance horticulture, last week announced it changed its name to New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill to reflect its goal of “helping people all over New England make joyful connections with plants.”

“Our new name is not about redefining who we are as a horticultural society and a garden but embracing who we have become and opening up the possibilities to be more,” the organization said.

The organization also announced it recently completed a number of improvements. They include doubling the size of its parking lots, creating ADA-accessible paths, expanding the entrance to its Visitors Center, and improving the Entry Garden.

Since the 171-acre Tower Hill Botanic Garden opened in 1986, it has emerged as a popular tourist destination. Last fall, the Boston Business Journal ranked it as the eleventh most popular nonprofit museum in Massachusetts. In the years prior to the coronavirus pandemic breakout in 2020, the garden received about 150,000 visitors annually.

International Institute of New England Names Chief Advancement Officer

The International Institute of New England (IINE), a nonprofit refugee resettlement and immigrant services agency based in Boston, yesterday announced that Alexandra (Xan) Weber, former IINE chief program officer, was appointed chief advancement officer and senior vice president.

“Xan’s been an influential leader at IINE since 2008, and an architect of how our mission translates into modern practice,” said Jeff Thielman, IINE’s President and CEO. Weber began at IINE as a Community Services Manager in Boston, and over the past 14 years has made significant contributions to the professionalization and expansion of IINE programming including designing IINE’s theory of change and creating its current program strategy. Weber has managed IINE’s public contracts and private grants for years, doubling the size of both funding streams in that time.

Weber, a licensed independent clinical social worker, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Georgetown University and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Iowa, and graduated the Tufts University Institute for Nonprofit Practice Core Certificate program.

For the year ending September 30, 2021, IINE reported $11,051,005 in revenue, of which 47% came from federal and state grants and 41% from philanthropic grants and contributions and the remaining from donated goods and services and fee-based revenue.

Nonprofits Invited to Apply for Free Consulting Support

The Highland Street Foundation, based in Newton, recently announced it is inviting nonprofit organizations to apply for Community Impact Consultants program, which will provide a free, six-month consulting engagement valued at $30,000.

The program aims to address key organizational issues, such as fundraising/development planning, strategic plan development, stakeholder engagement, strategic communications, marketing/branding, board development and governance, and accounting and financial planning.

Eligible, organizations must be based in Massachusetts, a 501(c)(3), and have an annual operating budget between $500,000 and $4 million.

Deadline to apply: May 18. Details.

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