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How will you change the world?

GMA Foundations helps you define a clear path to transformative philanthropy, and then walks the path with you as an ally and a guide.

We partner with individual and organizational donors as managers, advisors, and facilitators. With over thirty years of insight and field experience, GMA Foundations is changing the world by helping you change the world.

How new brain research is informing changes in grantmaking

brain livescience-comResearch into the physical effects of traumatic experiences on the brain is revealing possible new pathways to change and reshaping measures of program effectiveness. With increased knowledge of the stress-induced barriers to mental well-being, education, health and human services organizations are incorporating trauma-informed approaches into their programs.

Research around trauma has historically focused on war veterans. In 1995 the CDC began the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES) which demonstrated the lasting effects of childhood trauma into later life. The ACES research has been instrumental to understanding the long term effects of trauma and has provided compelling justification for early intervention. The CDC’s ongoing analysis has led to more inclusive definitions of trauma and has pointed to strong connections between childhood experiences and adult health status and behaviors.

Recent research into brain development is helping explain this connection in concrete terms – our brains change. In one article the Children’s Bureau explains the effects of maltreatment on brain development, and an article on describes how Post-traumatic stress disorder changes the brain.

Bridging a sense of isolation

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Helping others embrace the American dream

The A.C. Ratshesky Foundation celebrates 100 years

Ratsheskey trustees 2016 sm2To celebrate his 50th birthday, a Boston-area banker named Abraham “Cap” Ratshesky chose to give a gift to his community by setting aside some of his wealth to create a foundation.

“Because man’s life is of such short duration, and those services he may do for his fellow man are so few at best, I deem it a privilege to be allowed to give during my lifetime,” Ratshesky wrote at the time.

A century later, that giving continues.

Continue reading about A.C. Ratshesky’s family philanthropy in this article on the National Center for Family Philanthropy’s site

Healing Lives Affected by Trauma

NPO Conversation on May 25 at GMA Foundations

mosaic_roundedWe invite leaders of nonprofit organizations to join us periodically for a brown-bag lunch discussion about issues, ideas, and concerns in the nonprofit and philanthropic community. The meetings are a time for us to move beyond the usual conversation between foundations and nonprofit organizations.

Each session focuses on a particular topic, and reservations are required. Guests will learn a little more about GMA and a lot about their peers’ perspectives on important issues.

Topic for Conversation: Trauma-informed programs

Integrated programs addressing the whole-person provide new and innovative approaches to working with youth and their families to end the cycle of trauma. Recent developments in neuroscience demonstrate the positive effects of such interventions. As these trauma-informed programs gain traction, and there is a growing interest among funders, we would like to learn from your experiences.

Our informal discussion will be organized around several questions, similar to these:

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