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 

Our Team

Jennifer W. Aronson
Deputy Vice President, Programs

Juliana Brandão
Senior Program Associate, Shifting Power and Advancing Justice

Candace Burton
Program Officer, Safety Net Grants

Vetto Casado
Director, Shifting Power and Advancing Justice

Leigh Handschuh
Senior Program Officer, Nonprofit Sector Infrastructure

Carlos Muñoz-Cadilla
Senior Associate, Nonprofit Sector Infrastructure

Quynh Nguyen
Associate, Safety Net Grants

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.

New in Community Leadership

Orlando and Candace

Our Journey to Community-Based Philanthropy

In the first of a new series from Orlando Watkins, our Chief Program Officer writes with Safety Net Grants Program Officer Candace Burton about the years-long learning journey to weave community leadership throughout our collective work.

Read more
TBF arrow logo. Shifting Power and Advancing Justice 2024 Movement Leaders

TBF invests over $4 million in six movement leaders in launch of new ‘Shifting Power, Advancing Justice’ partnership

The six partners will work together in a three-year effort to strengthen their leadership and move their organizations forward in their efforts to spark social, economic and political change in Massachusetts.

Learn more and meet the leaders