Statewide Coalition Launched to Strengthen Mass. Nonprofits
Massachusetts Community Foundations Partnership

November 16, 2020 — A statewide coalition of 14 community foundations today announced the formation of a new partnership designed to stabilize and strengthen Massachusetts nonprofits, by addressing issues critical to their well-being, and enhance their ability to assist local communities recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Massachusetts Community Foundations Partnership said it aims to strengthen the Massachusetts nonprofit sector to achieve greater impact, work collectively to lead on common challenges facing local communities, and improve the effectiveness of community foundations and their collective missions.

Beth Francis, president of the Essex County Community Foundation and partnership co-chair, said, “We are in this together. While there are certainly challenges ahead for the sector, this partnership is one step in proactively planning for the long-term, sustainable recovery of our communities."

Participating in the partnership are the following:

The partnership is working with Philanthropy Massachusetts, a regional association of grant makers, and the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, the state’s nonprofit trade association, to coordinate programming and ensure access to a wide nonprofit audience.

Based on a survey of 1,100 nonprofit professionals, the partnership beginning this month will initially sponsor a virtual series of technical assistance and capacity-building programs for nonprofit staff and board leaders. The educational programs will address topics such as strategic planning, fundraising, financial management, and racial justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion work.

Peter Taylor, president of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and co-chair of the partnership, said, “We are deeply appreciative of our community foundation partners, who have formed this statewide coalition. By joining forces, we can work at a larger scale to support nonprofits which will in turn allow them to more effectively support our communities across the Commonwealth..

“While nonprofits have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, they are still going above and beyond to meet the significant needs in their communities. We rely on their services now more than ever, and this partnership will maximize our ability to help sustain and enhance their services during the crisis and over time.”

Francis added, “By working together, foundations will be able to deliver support more efficiently and effectively to a broad audience of nonprofit practitioners, particularly in this virtual world. Our hope is to raise a collective voice on behalf of the sector as a whole and co-fund these critical training and education opportunities.

“We aim to focus our initial capacity building programs on organizations that have not had access to consultants or other support services, advocate on behalf of the underserved, and to ensure the racial, geographic, and subsector diversity of participants.