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News and Insights

GMA is on the Move!


We are pleased to let you know that GMA will be in new offices as of May 1, 2017

Our staff is looking forward to working together on a single floor in a recently renovated building, and to continuing to host meetings in our ample conference rooms. Our phone numbers, email addresses, and commitment to effective and joyful philanthropy remain the same.

Please note our new mailing address:

GMA Foundations
2 Liberty Square, Suite 500
Boston MA  02109

2 Liberty Square is at the corner of Milk and Kilby Streets, steps from Post Office Square Park. The closest T stop is State Street – on the blue and orange lines. Government Center, Park Street, and South Station are all within a 5 to 10 minute walk.

Learning a New Language of Gender

pink-and-blue-rndObservations from an NPO Conversation at GMA

There is an emerging awareness of the concept of gender as a spectrum, with many possible expressions that don’t fit neatly into the traditional male-female binary. Last month we invited nonprofit leaders to join us for a discussion about the programmatic implications of shifting gender norms. Each guest represented an organization that offers gender-specific or gender-sensitive programming, and we discussed how this issue has affected their approaches to meeting the needs of the populations they serve.

Our guests shared some of the ways that their organizations are working to be more inclusive. Many expressed an awareness that gender-specific programs risk reinforcing the idea of gender as a strict male-female binary, but believe nevertheless that these types of programs are still much needed. While the concept of gender is more fluid than ever, many gendered expectations and prejudices persist, and gender-based violence continues to be a significant problem.

Awareness, sensitivity, and inclusion

Gender intersects with race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, and many other aspects of identity. As such, it is both complex and deeply personal. Organizations feel an obligation to meet clients where they are; the challenge is that clients’ felt and expressed needs are varied and changing. A mother may approach an organization to find an adult male mentor for her son, because she wants him to be “more of a man.” She may have very traditional views of what it means to be a man. How can an organization best meet such a client’s need without embracing rigid definitions? Continue Reading »

Beating the Housing Challenge with (a lot more) Cooperation

edward-everrett-sq-lightsObservations from an NPO Conversation at GMA

Last month we were privileged to gather for lunch with nonprofit leaders working on housing in the Boston area. We examined the current state of housing in the city and the challenges that residents are facing and sought insight into the role funders can play in developing solutions.

While the housing issue in Boston is sometimes presented as the people versus the developers, our guests painted a much more nuanced and complicated picture. Housing is expensive to create, and models that worked previously are no longer viable in the face of challenges including reduced federal dollars, the movement of people back to urban centers from the suburbs, and the legacy of racially discriminatory housing policies in the United States.

There is still reason for optimism. We have the opportunity to bring residents, government, and the private sector together to expand and support creative alternatives and exciting new policies and practices that can ensure the availability of affordable housing that meets the needs of low- and moderate-income families who live here now.

Continue Reading »

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