Leader of Central Mass. United Way, Comm. Foundation Retiring

Philip Grzewinski
March 2, 2019 — Philip Grzewinski, who simultaneously serves as president and chief executive officer of the United Way of North Central Massachusetts and the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts, both based in Fitchburg, will retire from both positions, the organizations announced this week.

Grzewinski held his position at United Way of North Central Massachusetts for 28 years and at Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts for 18 years since it was established in 2001. He will step down this summer.

The boards of both organizations have formed search committees to identify separate CEOs to succeed Grzewinski.

Winfield S. Brown, board chair of United Way, said, “Phil has been a prime mover in the growth of the United Way for almost 30 years. During his tenure, annual United Way funding has increased from $1.1 million to $3.3 million. He has been recognized nationally for his leadership in founding the Tocqueville Society at the United Way of North Central Mass that has successfully raised large gifts to its annual campaigns.

"He has focused on giving to partner agencies and measuring grant outcomes. Phil has also helped the United Way to form new initiatives to reduce childhood hunger, to supplement basic needs for working families, to promote early childhood literacy, and to provide emergency shelter.”

Henri L. Sans, board chair of the foundation, said Grzewinski "broke new ground in offering a broad array of philanthropic and giving options to interested donors, and he is a champion of accountable grant making. We will miss him but our communities are stronger because of his service."

During Grzewinski's tenure, the foundation's assets grew to $52 million and today encompasses 225 individual funds. Since 2001, it has distributed $58 million in grants.

Grzewinski said, “My retirement will allow me to spend more time with my family. I am grateful to the Boards of the United Way and the Community Foundation for giving me the opportunity to lead both organizations and for making this planned transition so smooth and organized. I have had one of the best jobs one could imagine, working with the finest leaders, donors and friends to make life better for so many in the region.”

The foundation last year distributed $509,000 in grants from general endowment funds and $3.27 million in grants from donor-advised, designated, scholarship & other funds.

In January, the foundation announced revised grantmaking guidelines, which, among other changes, beginning next year, organizations that received two or more awards in the previous three years will not be eligible for receive general or organizational development grants the current grant year.

For the year ending June 30, 2018, the United Way reported $3.41 million in revenue, of which $3.24 million came from contributions and grants, and $3.46 million in expenses, according to its most recently available federal tax filing.

The Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts serves 33 communities: Ashburnham, Ashby, Athol, Ayer, Barre, Bolton, Clinton, Devens, Erving, Fitchburg, Gardner, Groton, Harvard, Hubbardston, Lancaster, Leominster, Littleton, Lunenburg, New Salem, Orange, Pepperell, Petersham, Phillipston, Princeton, Royalston, Shirley, Sterling, Templeton, Townsend, Warwick, Wendell, Westminster, and Winchendon.

United Way of North Central Massachusetts serves 22 communities: Ashburnham, Ashby, Athol, Ayer, Devens, Fitchburg, Gardner, Groton, Harvard, Hubbardston, Leominster, Littleton, Lunenburg, Petersham, Pepperell, Phillipston, Royalston, Shirley, Templeton, Townsend, Westminster, and Winchendon.