Opioid Response Fund, 2020


Funder Community, 2020

Opioid Response Fund

The GMA Funder Community established the Opioid Response Fund (“the Fund”) to explore effective, community-based responses to the opioid addiction crisis that is ravaging our country. The Fund offered a six-month pooled giving & immersive learning experience to donors eager to understand the complexity of the problem and fund solutions with results and reach.

The Opioid Response Fund concluded in November 2020 with awards to four Eastern Massachusetts nonprofits to recognize their exemplary leadership in confronting the opioid crisis in our hardest-hit communities. These organizations understand the complexity of addiction and are working to intervene with the right type of support at critical moments in people’s lives.

We are pleased to share the announcement of unexpected and unrestricted grants to:

Fund Background

Crowd on a Boston subway
credit: Alan Light, Boston Subway; 2013 Flickr

The public health crisis affects everyone, and, disproportionately, people in groups typically the focus of funders’ efforts—people who have experienced ACEs and related trauma, foster care, homelessness, unemployment, and incarceration. Parental substance use is now one of the primary reasons for children entering foster care. Unintentional drug overdose is the leading cause of injury death at work, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Before launching this fund, we spoke first with Boston-area leaders immersed in the problem. They gave us reason for hope. GMA’s Carolyn Rau summarizes their perspectives in a brief article, Rising to Respond to the Opioid Addiction Crisis.

Our learning sessions during the Opioid Response Fund featured a generous group of experts from these important Boston-area organizations: Improbable Players; Mayor of Boston’s Office of Recovery Services; South Shore Peer Recovery; New Hampshire Charitable Foundation; and the Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center.

We are grateful to them for sharing their deep understanding and expertise with us.

Fund Participation

The Fund is a project under the fiscal sponsorship of Philanthropy Massachusetts. Participation is open to private foundations, corporate giving programs, donor-advised fund accounts, and individual donors. It is a funder-directed initiative that does not accept unsolicited applications.

Participants in the 2020 Opioid Response Fund are:

The Paul and Edith Babson Foundation, Richard K. and Nancy L. Donahue Foundation, The Fuller Foundation, Inc., The Lynch Foundation, The Nordblom Family Foundation, Theodore Edson Parker Foundation, Mabel Louise Riley Foundation, Abbot and Dorothy H. Stevens Foundation, Peter and Elizabeth Tower Foundation, and Philanthropy Massachusetts

Contact GMA Director Phil Hall by phone 617-391-3097 or email phall@gmafoundations.com to learn more about the GMA Funder Community.