Chelsea leaders

Amplifying Community Leadership

Amplify community power to meet needs and shift systems for marginalized communities.

Our Vision

Movement leaders, social service organizations and infrastructure partners are equipped to provide crucial leadership and support for marginalized communities and nonprofit organizations.

Our Work

Amplifying Community Leadership remains grounded in these priorities:

  • Elevating and embracing the self-determined needs of leaders and organizations
  • Strengthening individual relationships and equitable philanthropic practices
  • Valuing collaboration rather than transactional partnerships with leaders and organizations
  • Investing in community-led grantmaking to aid individuals and families 

Current Opportunity

A black and white photo of a woman with a serious expression standing in a kitchen
Vitas mori. Albus orexiss ducunt ad gabalium. Ubi est altus nomen? Liberi de castus bubo, pugna species! Persuadere diligenter ducunt ad bi-color barcas.

Safety Net Grants

The Safety Net Grants program provides $50,000 general operating support grants to social service organizations that respond to essential needs for marginalized communities and vulnerable residents in Greater Boston.

Learn more about Safety Net Grants and apply

Our Team

Jennifer W. Aronson
Deputy Vice President, Programs
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Juliana Brandão
Senior Program Associate, Shifting Power and Advancing Justice
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Candace Burton
Program Officer, Safety Net Grants
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Vetto Casado
Director, Shifting Power and Advancing Justice
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Leigh Handschuh
Senior Program Officer, Nonprofit Sector Infrastructure
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Carlos Muñoz-Cadilla
Senior Associate, Nonprofit Sector Infrastructure
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Quynh Nguyen
Associate, Safety Net Grants
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At a Glance:

The Amplifying Community Leadership pathway supports the individuals and organizations that push Greater Boston and the Commonwealth toward a more just society. The pathway includes three focus areas:

We believe strongly in the power of lived experience and its ability to deliver more impactful results. For example, we believe leaders with physical disabilities are uniquely positioned to lead organizations that serve those with physical disabilities, or that Latino leaders are best positioned to lead organizations that serve Latino communities.

Our Why

Movement leaders champion equity and social justice but often face inequities while serving their communities. Many movement leaders come up against hesitant boards and funders, siloed funding and “incremental support or crisis funding rather than long-term infrastructure dollars.”Movement leaders of color in Massachusetts find that they are “frequently excluded from networks and relationships of wealth. As a result, movement leaders may be overlooked by funders, even though they are the leaders who could most effectively drive investments in underserved communities.”

On top of structural barriers, leaders of identity-based nonprofits report higher levels of stress “being called upon to represent a community.” These inequities affect leaders, community safety nets and the broader nonprofit sector. Investments in movement leaders bring us closer to shifting systems and restoring the wellness, safety and joy they deserve.

With rising costs and an economy recovering from a pandemic, community needs have remained. In 2022, more than half (52%) of low-income parents said they did not have enough money for food, rent or mortgage. Responding to people’s health, housing and job emergencies increases their chances of well-being. Through the power of a social safety net, funders help Greater Boston’s nonprofits ease vulnerable residents’ burdens, enabling them to participate in self-determined futures.

In addition to supporting movement leaders and safety-net organizations, we are committed to supporting the health of a nonprofit sector that centers racial equity and its workforce. Increasingly, reliance on nonprofit services without proportionate investment has strained the sector’s infrastructure including its workforce wellness, delivery of essential services, advocacy efforts, and fundraising capacity. Supporting sector infrastructure equips organizations to shape and push forward policies and practices that create sustainable and thriving conditions for the people the sector employs and serves. Funding for the sector’s infrastructure needs to increase, as investment continues to fall behind the overall growth of giving and inflation, with only 5% of funders making up more than half of infrastructure funding nationally.

By creating opportunities with and for individuals, organizations and infrastructure partners, we envision reknitting the fabric of what makes our communities whole.