Trauma and Resilience Fund, 2019


GMA Funder Community, 2019

Trauma and Resilience Fund

Our inaugural fund—the Trauma and Resilience Fund—was established to explore innovative responses to the adverse effects of childhood trauma. The Fund offered a six-month pooled giving and immersive learning experience to donors eager to understand and address the impact of childhood trauma, particularly the trauma of living in chronic poverty. All funds were distributed in August 2019.

The design of this Fund was informed by the work of the Lookout Foundation, which has played a catalytic role in supporting the field of complex trauma.

The ACE Pyramid

The landmark CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, conducted from 1995 to 1997, demonstrated the lasting effects of childhood trauma into later life. Recent advances in brain research show the possibility of reversing the damaging effects of trauma when people enjoy supportive, stable adult relationships.

Together with the Fund’s program staff, the Funder Community delved into the science of trauma and the promise of resilience, and concluded with a few significant grants to nonprofits doing exemplary work in this field.

Read a short article about trauma-informed programs shaped by new brain research written by the Fund’s program manager, Danielle Belanger.

Fund Participation

Participants in the Trauma and Resilience Fund have recognized the need for leadership and urgency in this evolving field; they are:

The Paul and Edith Babson Foundation, Fish Family Foundation, The Fuller Foundation, Inc., Lookout Foundation, The Lynch Foundation, James S. McDonnell Family Foundation, The Nordblom Family Foundation, Theodore Edson Parker Foundation, Mabel Louise Riley Foundation, Gardiner Howland Shaw Foundation, and Philanthropy Massachusetts

The Fund is a project under the fiscal sponsorship of Philanthropy Massachusetts. Participation in the GMA Funder Community is open to private foundations, corporate giving programs, donor-advised fund accounts, and individual donors.

Grants Announced

In July 2019, GMA Funder Community’s Trauma and Resilience Fund recognized four Boston-area nonprofits for their exemplary work and leadership in addressing the pervasive and poorly-understood problem of childhood trauma. These organizations have developed innovative methods of building resilience in youth to reverse the effects of adverse experiences and are building trauma-sensitive communities that support all children.

The unexpected and unrestricted grants have been delivered to: Fathers’ Uplift ($40,000), College Bound Dorchester ($40,000), Silver Lining Mentoring ($20,000), and Massachusetts Advocates for Children’s Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative ($20,000).

Modeled on research showing the importance of supportive, stable adult relationships, these programs offer an example and hope to any organization that works to support healthy children and communities.

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

Note: This is a funder-directed initiative that is not accepting unsolicited applications.