Mass. Nonprofit Sector Grows; Funds Raised; Youthful Philanthropy

April 9, 2019 — Massachusetts nonprofit sector gains strength... Boston Arts Academy Foundation gets $1M for inaugural capital campaign... Horizons for Homeless Children celebrity challenge raises funds... Greater Worcester Community Foundation youth committee wins grant.

Massachusetts Nonprofit Sector Gains Strength

The nonprofit sector, historically a key employer in Massachusetts, has become even more prominent, accounting for one out of nearly every six private sector jobs, according to newly compiled numbers released last week by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.(BLS),.

Total nonprofit employment in Massachusetts 2017 was 17.7% of all private employment, accounting for 1,404,000 jobs, according to BLS.

The new figures represent a gain over the approximately one of every seven jobs that the nonprofit sector controlled a decade ago.

BLS said the Bay State ranks fifth—after Washington, D.C., Vermont, Maine, and New York—in terms of nonprofit employment as a share of total private employment statewide.

Nationally, nonprofits account for 10.2% of all private employment, or 12.5 million jobs.

Boston Arts Academy Foundation Gets $1M for Inaugural Capital Campaign

The Boston Arts Academy Foundation last week announced it received two gifts totaling $1 million to support fitness, health, and wellness at the city’s only public high school for the visual and performing arts.

The gifts of $500,000 each, one from philanthropist Donna Harris-Lewis and the Lewis family and the second from an anonymous donor, were announced in connection with the launch of the foundation’s first-ever, five-year, comprehensive campaign, which aims to raise $30 million to support the academy.

To recognize the Lewis family’s gift, Boston Arts Academy’s first fitness center will be named after Harris-Lewis’ late husband, Dr. Reginald “Reggie” Lewis, Sr., captain of the Boston Celtics and NBA All-Star.

The anonymous gift will support the school’s Health and Wellness Program, which provides critical assistance for students struggling with emotional and socio-economic challenges by helping them build resilience and coping strategies so they can keep up academically and reach their full-potential.

Horizons for Homeless Children Celebrity Challenge Raises $50K

Horizons for Homeless Children, a Boston-based nonprofit combatting the trauma and stress of homelessness on children and their families, last week announced it raised $50,000 at its annual Celebrity Circuit Challenge.

The funds will support children in Horizons classrooms and the Playspace program, which creates play rooms in shelters across Massachusetts;

The event, held for the fourth year on March 31 at the Seaport EverybodyFights location, engaged 11 teams in a circuit-training workout under the leadership of Boston celebrities, including Celtics players Aron Baynes and Robert Williams.

This year’s teams were sponsored by Criteo, OneZero Financial, Aberdeen Standard Investments, Charlesbank Capital Partners, Goulston & Storrs, Feldman, Momentum Enterprises, and Northwestern Mutual Boston. Hosting the event were Horizons, NBC Sports Boston, and EverybodyFights.

Greater Worcester Community Foundation Youth Committee Wins Grant

The Greater Worcester Community Foundation yesterday announced a young person-led grant-making committee of the foundation received a challenge grant for a pilot project designed to empower young people.

The Youth for Community Improvement (YCI) will receive a Powers of Youth Challenge grant from America’s Promise Alliance and Peace First, a national effort aimed at catalyzing leadership of young people.

“We decided to use the skills we learned in YCI—grant writing, reviewing, event organizing, networking, and public speaking— to start a program of our own, addressing an issue that is very important to us,” said Devin Kelly, a student member of YCI. “It is absolutely essential that voices from all backgrounds have access to the table and can be amplified when it comes to making decisions that affect them.”

YCI members spent five months developing “Understanding Youth Philanthropy,” a program that will address the barriers young people face on issues they care about. This grant will enable YCI members to deliver the program through a leadership conference held in partnership with a local high school. If executed successfully, they will be eligible for an accelerator grant of $5,000 to scale the program.