Funder Community

The GMA Funder Community promises a great experience in breaking out of traditional giving models. We aim to tap into the potential we see in groups of individual funders with overlapping missions and goals.

Funder Community, 2021

Environmental Justice Fund

The GMA Funder Community has established the Environmental Justice Fund (“the Fund”) to explore local, inclusive responses to the challenges posed by climate change. The six-month pooled giving and comprehensive learning experience is open to donors eager to understand the place for philanthropy in a large-scale problem and fund innovative community-driven solutions.

Focus on local action

The Fund will award a few significant grants to organizations in the greater Boston area that are doing exemplary work to create more livable communities for all. Complementing state plans to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, the Fund will focus on local work to build:

  • sustainable food systems,
  • land conservation and access,
  • infrastructure, and
  • community-level resilience.

Historically, low-income, Black, Indigenous, and immigrant communities have borne a disproportionate share of environmental exploitation and the effects of climate change. We are at a turning point: aligned with grassroots calls for action, a new federal administration, and the state’s renewed commitment to this work, community groups have seized the moment and are driving change for a better future.

Together, participants in the Fund will dig into the evidence with expert speakers, discuss priorities, and select promising approaches that are equitable and inclusive.

Read about Three Grantmaking Approaches for Climate-Resilient Communities identified in a recent conversation with leaders of nonprofit organizations that participated in Boston’s Climate Action Plan.

Fund Participation

Green CIty Growers - Fenway Farms
credit: Green City Growers, Fenway Farms. Learn more at greencitygrowers.com

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.

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

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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, 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

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

 


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
cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childabuseandneglect

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 phall@gmafoundations.com to learn more about the GMA Funder Community.

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