Movement leaders, social service organizations and infrastructure partners are equipped to provide crucial leadership and support for marginalized communities and nonprofit organizations.
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
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.
Applications open: January 26, 2024 - March 1st, 2024Learn more about Safety Net Grants and apply
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:
Nonprofit Sector Infrastructure
A resilient and diverse Greater Boston nonprofit sector is critical to meet the challenges fueled by systemic and structural inequities imposed on marginalized communities. The Nonprofit Sector Infrastructure focus area will provide grant support for key infrastructure partners. The support will help advance equitable models, policies and practices that disrupt the status quo to create the conditions for a sector that uplifts and supports historically excluded leaders and organizations.
Shifting Power & Advancing Justice
This focus area uplifts movement leaders to reclaim their power and strengthen the communities they serve. Through multi-year funding and resources, we will launch three years of sustained support (beginning in 2023) for a group of core leaders and their organizations that have critical roles in advancing social justice in Greater Boston.
Support for the Social Safety Net
Bolstering the safety net is critical to help stabilize marginalized communities so they can thrive. When residents struggle to make ends meet, a social safety net makes the difference between sickness and health, scarcity and plenty. With a commitment to those most vulnerable in our communities, like seniors and people with physical disabilities, this focus area supports the components of life that make people whole by responding to their immediate needs. Through the Safety Nets Grants (SNG) program, we will distribute grants semi-annually to organizations and/or leaders who reflect the communities they serve.
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.