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dot Applications Available for Nonprofit Learning Institute
Sunday, September 14, 2014





Don't miss out of your change to apply!

Over the last 3 years, the Nonprofit Learning Institute program has increased the capacity and effectiveness of 60 nonprofits from throughout Massachusetts through a series of workshops

Don't miss your opportunity to apply for this amazing program. This program is free of charge to accepted applicants.




The Nonprofit Learning Institute provides a series of free technical assistance and capacity building sessions for a cohort of 20 nonprofit organization, each of which can send two representatives to each session. Sessions are led by experts from leading service organizations and/or consultants in each topic area. In addition to the sessions, there are a number of opportunities to meaningfully engage, network, and share experiences with peers.


Application Deadline: 5pm on October 3, 2014.



dot Going Sock-less
Thursday, August 28, 2014

AGM Executive Director Jeff Poulos blogs about Challenging Orthodoxies

How would you feel about going sock-less for a week when you hadn’t planned your wardrobe for that situation?

In July I attended the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers’ annual conference in San Diego, representing Associated Grant Makers, an association of over 120 foundations and grantmaking organizations and over 625 nonprofit organizations serving Massachusetts and the surrounding region. (AGM is one of the RAs in The Forum Network, the largest philanthropic network in the U.S. with 34 regional grantmaking associations and more than 5500 participating foundations, funders, nonprofits and other philanthropic affiliates.) The week started in Encinitas, about 25 miles north of San Diego, for a board dinner and meeting. It was here that when I got to my hotel room I learned that I forgot to pack socks.

Read what happened next...


dot America Gives More Act
Thursday, August 21, 2014

America Gives More Act

You may have heard recently about the America Gives More Act (H.R. 4719), a bill that passed in the House of Representatives in July. This bill brings together five tax provisions (described below) related to philanthropy. Associated Grant Makers joins The Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, the National Council of Nonprofits, the Council on Foundations, Independent Sector, Alliance for Charitable Reform, and a number of our sister regional associations in supporting this legislation.

AGM’s board has endorsed this proposed legislation and encourages our members to lend their voice in support as well. AGM has also sent letters to Massachusetts and New Hampshire Senators to support this legislation as well.

These vital giving incentives will help increase the resources available to charitable organizations that are working hard to help people in need throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Below, we have included a brief description of the five tax provisions in the America Gives More Act. We have also included talking points from which you may draw to craft your own EMAIL, and we have provided links to submit an email. We have also included mailing addresses, if you prefer to send via USPS.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact AGM Executive Director Jeff Poulos at 617.426.2606 x113 or email Jeff.



IRA Charitable Rollover
H.R. 4719 would make the IRA charitable rollover permanent law, removing the uncertainty of this tax incentive for charitable giving requiring new legislation every year or two.  Under the Rollover provision, individuals age 70½ and older can donate up to $100,000 to charitable organizations directly from their Individual Retirement Account without having to treat the distribution as taxable income.  In order to qualify, contributions must go directly to a public charity and be made from traditional IRAs or Roth IRAs. Donors may receive no goods or services in return for their contributions and must obtain written documentation of their contribution from each recipient charity.

Private Foundation Excise Tax
H.R. 4719 would simplify the private foundation excise tax on net investment income to a single rate of 1 percent.  The current two rate system is viewed by many foundations as an administrative burden and disincentive for increased giving.  Under current law, private foundations are required to pay a 2 percent excise tax on investment income.  The excise tax rate is reduced to one percent in any year in which the foundation’s distributions for charitable purposes exceeds the average level of the foundation’s charitable distributions over the preceding five tax years. Foundations spend money on accountants to comply rather than communities.  Additionally, the perverse result of this current system is that foundations are penalized for giving away large sums of money when they want to respond to natural disasters or communities in crisis.

Charitable Deduction Deadline
H.R. 4719 would give taxpayers until April 15 to make charitable contributions eligible for the charitable deduction, instead of requiring those gifts to be made by the end of the calendar year. 

Food Inventory Donations
H.R. 4719 would make permanent and enhance the benefit of a current provision that allows a tax deduction for charitable contributions of food inventory.

Land Conservation Easements
H.R. 4719 would make permanent and enhance the benefit of a current provision that allows a tax deduction for contributing land conservation easements.


ACTION: >>>>> Please send an email or letter to your Senators to urge Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the America Gives More Act (H.R. 4719) to the Senate floor for a vote as soon as possible in September when the Senate returns from recess.

Massachusetts Grantmakers:

Senator Elizabeth Warren
317 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

Senator Edward J. Markey
218 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

New Hampshire Grantmakers:

Senator Jeanne Shaheen
520 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Senator Kelly Ayotte
144 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510



  • Urge Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the America Gives More Act (H.R. 4719) to the Senate floor for a vote as soon as possible in September when the Senate returns from recess.
  • These vital giving incentives will help increase the resources available to charitable organizations that are working hard to help people in need throughout our state.
  • Simplifying the private foundation excise tax to a single rate, for example, will lift an administrative burden that creates a perverse incentive for private foundations to give less, not more, in times of need.  When foundations want to increase their giving for unanticipated grants, such as for disaster relief, they could be penalized with a higher tax burden.  Simplifying this complex tax will free up foundations to invest less resources in tax compliance and more in communities in our state.
  • The IRA charitable rollover, for example, encourages individuals to donate retirement account assets directly to a public charity without incurring a tax liability on the donation.  Rollover donations help countless public charities to fulfill their charitable purposes.  Our community foundations manage these rollover gifts and invest them in projects you see every day—from the new center at the local hospital or the new college scholarship program to the preservation of a historic community landmark and community development centers.  We know firsthand that the IRA charitable rollover makes a difference in growing philanthropy in our state.
  • The IRA charitable rollover, along with the enhanced deductions for food contributions and conservation easement donations, have been passed, expired and extended several times in the past decade.  The practice of extending these provisions at the eleventh hour—or later—chills these charitable activities.  With certainty, donors can plan in advance and contributions will increase.
  • We also know from our work with donors that extending the deadline for claiming charitable donations on the previous year’s tax filing through April 15 will help grow charitable giving in our state. It would provide a natural time for people to make financial decisions in a comprehensive way.


This position is that of Associated Grant Makers and does not necessarily represent the individual views of AGM Members, trustees and staff of Member organizations.


dot Explaining the Community Investment Tax Credit for Foundations
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A new state tax credit taking effect in 2014 provides foundations, individuals and corporations with an unprecedented opportunity to deepen the impact of their philanthropy.  The Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC)  is designed to encourage individuals, companies, foundations, and others to donate to highly effective organizations that are helping to expand economic opportunities for families and communities across the state.  These organizations, called Community Development Corporations, enable local residents to come together and take concrete steps to improve their communities by building affordable housing, renovating dilapidated properties, starting and growing local businesses, helping families build financial knowledge and capacity, and otherwise improving the quality of life in their community.  What’s more, emerging research is demonstrating that effective community development can improve community and public health, increase educational attainment, reduce violence and crime, and promote environmental sustainability.  This means that donors with a wide range of philanthropic motivations might be interested in the CITC.

The CITC was enacted in 2012 and took effect earlier this year when the state allocated $3 million in tax credits to 38 organizations across the state.  These tax credits allow donors to receive a 50% tax credit for every dollar donated to these selected organizations: Give $10,000 and receive a $5,000 tax credit on your Massachusetts state taxes.  And if you don’t have any tax liability, you can get a refund!  This means that Donor Advised Funds and Foundations can participate as well, with the 50% refund (or rebate) being deposited back into the Fund or the Foundation for future giving.  The Mass. Department of Revenue has just released its regulations which explain how different entities can claim the credit.

Foundations with specific geographic areas of focus can target their donations to CDCs serving those areas. Foundations with specific programmatic priorities can target their donations to CDCs which advance those priorities. And foundations that want to support the entire sector can donate to the United Way’s Community Partnership Fund that is aggregating donations on behalf of the entire sector.  In each case, state government will effectively match your donation dollar for dollar.

The CITC will generate a total of $6 million for high-impact, resident-led community development in 2014 and twice that amount in 2015 and beyond when the tax credit cap is extended to $6 million annually.  The scale and structure of this exciting new program provides a great opportunity for Individuals, foundations and corporations to work with the best CDCs in the state to improve our communities. 

For more information, contact Joe Kriesberg or John Fitterer at MACDC or Susan Dickason at the United Way.


dot Poverty in New England - It’s a Suburban Thing
Thursday, August 14, 2014

In follow-up to “Big Impact, Small Cities”, a program presented by AGM in MetroWest in September 2012, we recently came across this article of interest. At that program, Stephen Pratt, Director of Consulting for Root Cause, presented findings from his article Creating Big Impact in Small Cities, noting that “philanthropy has not yet caught up to the changing demographics of poverty.” This article, Poverty in New England - It's a Suburban Thing by Elizabeth Kneebone, The Brookings Institution, which was published in Communities & Banking, by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, touches upon many of the same themes. We welcome your feedback, input and thoughts on what work is taking place at your organization in relation to the issues expressed here.


dot House Passes America Gives More Act
Thursday, July 17, 2014

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the America Gives More Act of 2014, a package of bills to extend a number of giving incentives for charities. “This legislation is a big win for those who are served by the nonprofit community, which in one form or another, is much of the country,” Joanne Florino, senior vice president for public policy for The Philanthropy Roundtable, said via a statement.

The package, H.R. 4719, is a combination of five measures. Four of them are existing, temporary giving incentives that were allowed to expire on December 31, 2013. The America Gives More Act will make them permanent and retroactive to that date. The fifth will take effect in 2015.

Read more


dot The Art Connection Sets the Mood at AGM's Office
Thursday, July 10, 2014

Associated Grant Makers has received donated original art work through a local organization, The Art Connection. To learn more, please visit their website at

The artists include:
John Borchard, Madeleine Evans, Marja Lianko, Janet Shapero, David Barnes, Deborah Clearman, Cassandra Tondro, Martha Jane Bradford, Carol Monacelli and David Kupferman.

(artist credit: John Borchard)


dot Improving Student Achievement Through Human Capital in the Boston Public Schools
Thursday, June 26, 2014


On Wednesday, June 11, Mayor Marty Walsh, Peter & Carolyn Lynch (The Lynch Foundation), Bob Gallery (Bank of America), and Paul Grogan (The Boston Foundation) hosted a conversation with foundations about “Improving Student Achievement through Human Capital in the Boston Public Schools”. We have included an overview of the strategy as presented as well as a budget and timeline for your review. Contact information for Ross Wilson, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Human Capital, is also included on the overview. Read overview



dot Sold-out attendance at AGM's 45th Annual Meeting
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Paramount Center hosted over a sold-out crowd of grantmakers and foundation leaders at AGM's 45th Annual Meeting last Wednesday. Jim Canales, Barr Foundation President, kicked-off the meeting with a keynote address on the culture of philanthropy and rethinking our default settings. This led to a lively panel discussion of philanthropy's next chapter moderated by Cynthia Parker, Interaction Institute for Social Change.   

During AGM's Business Meeting, Executive Director, Jeff Poulos, recognized and thanked the out-going board members: Craig Dutra and Lois Smith for their service to the board. Jeff also welcomed new
directors to the AGM board elected for a 3-year term: 

Lori Gazzillo, Berkshire Bank Foundation

Christopher O’Keeffe, Greater Worcester Community Foundation

Denise Porché, The Island Foundation

Alicia Verity, Bank of America


After a catered lunch, grantmakers and colleagues were offered a tour of the newly restored grand Paramount Center.

If you were not able to join us for the meeting or just want to revisit some of the highlights - including Jeff's selfie, please view our Storify of the Annual Meeting



dot The 2014 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Survey Is Now Open
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

This year, Associated Grant Makers has partnered with the Council on Foundations to encourage participation in the 2014 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Survey, a valuable benchmarking tool designed specifically to collect compensation data for positions at community, private (family and independent), and public foundations, and other staffed grantmaking entities. This annual survey is one of the most important and effective resources for our members and we encourage you to participate. To learn more and take the survey contact 


dot AGM Launches Updated Grant Makers Directory with Over 1900 Grant Maker Profiles
Thursday, April 24, 2014
In late 2013, AGM announced that we were making a significant investment in our Grant Makers Directory, and that we would quadruple the number of grant maker profiles at your disposal. In March, we launched the updated Grant Makers Directory, with over 1,900 grant maker profiles and an updated searchable database.

For over 45 years, AGM has been providing critical fund development tools and resources for the nonprofit community. The updated GMD is just the latest example of AGM's continued dedication to supporting the nonprofit sector here in our region. 

The Grant Makers Directory is the go-to tool to find local grant makers. We update the Grant Makers Directory daily and we use accurate information directly from grant makers. Now, with over 1,900 grant maker records at your fingertips, there are more opportunities than ever to share the work you do throughout the region. We encourage you to take advantage of the many resources that we offer for the nonprofit sector around fund development.


Online access to the GMD is available only at the Associate/Fellow Levels.  

dot Charitable Deduction Cap Once Again Included in Proposed Federal Budget 2015
Tuesday, March 11, 2014

AGM continues to keep watch on policies that would impact the field of philanthropy. The federal budget proposed by President Obama for FY2105 again includes a proposed cap at 28% on the charitable deduction. As we stated in 2012, we continue to oppose any proposal to reduce or cap the tax value of charitable contributions. We are joined by many other leaders in the philanthropic community including the Charitable Giving Coalition (CGC), which issued the following statement regarding the President’s budget proposal:  “If the 28 percent cap included in the Administration’s FY 2015 Budget were enacted, donations to the nonprofit sector could decline by more than $9.4 billion per year. That is more than the annual operating budgets of the American Red Cross, Goodwill Industries International, the YMCA of the USA, Habitat for Humanity, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Catholic Charities USA, and the American Cancer Society combined. This figure represents billions of dollars that would prevent America’s charities from fulfilling their missions and serving our communities and those in need.” 
Read full press release

Additionally, Congressman Dave Camp, the new Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, released a comprehensive plan to reform the individual and corporate tax codes. Although many in Washington believe that Rep. Camp’s plan will not advance as written, it does includes a number of positions that should not be ignored. Most notably, Rep. Camp calls for a 2% floor on the charitable deduction, which would limit the donor from claiming a deduction for the full value of the donation.

AGM will continue to monitor the administrations’ proposed budget as it develops as well as any proposals for tax reform and keep our members informed of any call to action.



dot Need a Room? It's Available with AGM Membership
Tuesday, February 04, 2014

As an AGM Grantmaker Member you receive the use of our new AGM Conference Room for free!  You may use it for your Trustee meetings, trainings, affinity group convenings and more.  The room holds up to 40 people

and can be configured in a variety of setups.  AGM is conveniently located in Boston near South Station and Downtown Crossing.  Please email Michael Underhill or call 617.426.2606 to reserve your meeting space.

Click here to view room setup options. 


dot Excellence for Nonprofits: Measuring Our Impact
Thursday, January 02, 2014

On December 10, almost 100 participants made it out to the IBM Offices in Cambridge to learn more about the differences between outputs and outcomes. Keynote speaker Prentice Zinn of GMA Foundations gave some valuable insights into how grantmakers see outcomes measurement and evaluation. Then, participants broke out into separate groups to walk through utilizing logic models and data planning collection tools in the context of real world examples, including Crittenton's Women's Union and YearUp Boston. Finally, the whole group came back together to share some best practices learned, reflect on the workshop, and collect takeaway tools to bring back and help their organization move towards outcomes measurement. 


dot MassNeeds Announces $13 Million Commitment to Nonprofits Providing Hunger, Heat, Housing and Health Care Support for Bay State Residents This Winter
Monday, December 02, 2013

As costs rise and wages decline, many low- and moderate-income families in Massachusetts face desperate times this winter. Today, MassNeeds – a statewide coalition of corporate, public and private foundations supporting more than 200 nonprofit organizations –
announced that 51 funders have committed in excess of $13 million to help provide hunger, heat, housing and health care support for Massachusetts residents – a more than fifty percent increase over last year’s efforts.
The increased commitment comes at a critical time for Massachusetts nonprofits, which are facing drastic cuts in federal aid and the looming possibility of a government shutdown in early 2014. The MassNeeds campaign has set records in each of its five years, with contributions of more than $30 million to Massachusetts nonprofits. It has also served to highlight urgent basic needs faced by children, families, the elderly and the hundreds of organizations stepping up to meet those needs.
More details at


dot How to Help the Typhoon Victims in Philippines
Tuesday, November 12, 2013

AGM is working to keep our Members informed of the resources available to offer assistance to those affected by the devastating typhoon in the Philippines.  Our Disaster Relief Resource page has an up-to-date listing of agencies providing assistance to this area.  If you have any resources you would like us to add please email AGM.  
View Disaster Relief Resources
Quick Facts from The Center for Disaster Philanthropy


dot The Overhead Myth
Monday, November 11, 2013

A movement is building to combat the overhead myth, which erroneously focuses on overhead as a viable measure of nonprofit effectiveness. This misconception, long held by many donors, often results in nonprofits that are starved of resources they need to have impact.  The Bridgespan Group and Donors Forum (Illinois)

have been working together to bring together dedicated funders and nonprofit leaders to tackle the issue through education, sharing of stories, and collective action. We want to change the conversation from overhead to answering the question “What do good outcomes cost?” and moving toward more meaningful ways to measure and communicate impact.  As part of this effort—and to spark conversation amongst a large set of organizations—a group of Donors Forum members created this short, pithy video to serve as a conversation starter.  Watch the video and share your thoughts.


dot Once again foundations combine efforts to address basic needs this winter
Wednesday, November 06, 2013

MassNeeds is a coordinated effort by foundations to address urgent hunger, housing, heating, and health needs throughout Massachusetts in winter.  It gives funders an opportunity to leverage their existing or planned giving to further help the communities and organizations they support.  Through information sharing, coordinated media activities, and a central web presence, MassNeeds:

 ·         Uplifts community need – MassNeeds brings attention to the current and emerging hunger, housing, heating, and health needs of residents across the Commonwealth;

 ·         Raises the visibility of grantees and their work – MassNeeds shines a spotlight on the great work our grantees are doing to meet these urgent winter needs;

 ·         Facilitates more responsive and appropriate institutional giving – MassNeeds creates public learning opportunities on urgent needs and shares information on funders’ winter assistance giving in order to prevent duplication of efforts and identify potential funding gaps;

 ·         Catalyzes community giving and action – MassNeeds provides a central location for both funders and citizens to learn about, connect to, and support (through time, talent, or treasure) organizations working to meet our communities' urgent winter needs.

Last year, this consortium grew to more than 40 foundations directing more than $8.6 million in winter assistance to more than a hundred organizations statewide.  MassNeeds is NOT a traditional funder collaboratuve where funders pool resources and jointly decide what to fund. That said, it does provide a great opportunity for funders to be more informed, strategic, and impactful with their winter assistance dollars.  

The need continues to be great.  Help support the communities and organizations you care about – visit!



dot AGM Moves to New Location
Friday, September 06, 2013

Associated Grant Makers is excited to announce our new location effective September 24, 2013. Our new office is accessible via the MBTA from the Orange, Red, and Silver Lines.  AGM’s phone and fax number will remain the same.  Please refer to or our Facebook page for updated information.

Our new address is:

133 Federal Street, Suite 802
Boston, MA 02110
phone 617.426.2606 
fax 617.426.2849



dot Grantmakers of Color: Working in Concert - video available
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

On June 3, 2012 AGM hosted Grantmakers of Color: Working in Concert that brought together over 80 grant makers of color in an effort to strengthen our work together. Below is the video link of our wonderful gathering which brought together cultural performances by Hyde Square Task Force's Afro-Latin youth performance troop and Shaw Pong Liu as well as foundation staff and trustees from across the Commonwealth. We are looking forward to continuing our Grantmakers of Color programs in the 2013-2014 program year.

View Grantmakers of Color June 2013


dot 2013 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Survey Deadline Fast Approaching
Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The deadline for the survey is August 23, 2013 at midnight EST and we strongly encourage you to complete the survey by this time. Organizations that absolutely cannot complete the survey by the deadline will be extended a limited grace period provided they contact by close ofbusiness on August 23. 
Once again, 
Associated Grant Makers has partnered with the Council on Foundations to encourage participation in the 2013 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Survey, a valuable benchmarking tool designed specifically to collect compensation data for positions at community, private (family and independent), and public foundations, and other staffed grantmaking entities. This annual survey is one of the most important and effective resources for our members and we encourage you to participate.  Take the survey.


dot CEP's Phil Buchanan keynotes AGM's 44th Annual Meeting
Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thank you to all who joined us for AGM’s 44th Annual Meeting at the historic Pine Manor College in Brookline on June 19, 2013.  We had over 85 attendees hear The Center for Effective Philanthropy's Phil Buchanan give a dynamic and thought-provoking keynote on what foundation CEOs see as barriers to impact and how to overcome them. Following the keynote, was a well-balanced panel discussion with Jude Goldman, Executive Director of The Lenny Zakim Fund; Aixa Beauchamp, Consultant in philanthropy; Jaimie Phinney, Trustee of The Nathan Cummings Foundation and Program Director of Slingshot; and Cynthia Gibson, Fellow and Consultant at The Philanthropic Initiative, moderated by Judith Kidd, Consultant and former Trustee of Brookline Community Foundation.  It provided for a lively conversation with attendees and offered a mixing of mature voices with new perspectives in philanthropy.  The afternoon was capped off with a luncheon and business meeting where the new chair and AGM board members were announced.

Please join us in welcoming AGM's New Board Chair: Mari Brennan Barrera, Eos Foundation; and new Board Members: Annie Chin-Louie, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley; Stephen Flaherty, Liberty Mutual Foundation; Phil Hall, GMA Foundations and The Theodore Edson Parker Foundation; and Dana Neshe, Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation.

Hot off the presses!  View AGM's Annual Report 2012-13


dot Launch of the Disability Funders Affinity Group
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Thanks to generous support from the J.E & Z.B. Butler Foundation and the Ruderman Family Foundation, AGM is pleased to announce the formal launch of a Disability Funders Affinity Group. The Group will provide a periodic forum for funders with similar interests and concern regarding the disabled community to learn about issues, share research and best practices, and highlight grantees and model programs in the region addressing issues for the disabled community. The Group may also serve as an opportunity for collaborative and/or coordinated funder efforts to emerge.  Over the next 12 months, AGM plans to convene three forums for Disability Funders, periodically distribute a Disability Funders affinity group newsletter that shares articles, research, RFPs, other opportunities, and raise greater visibility among the philanthropic community on issues important to this funder group. If you are interested in being part of this group or learning more, please contact Allyson Goldhagen. Watch this space for upcoming opportunities and more information, and thank you to the Butler Foundation and Ruderman Family Foundation for their leadership in serving the disabled community.


dot Devastation in Oklahoma - How to Help
Tuesday, May 21, 2013

On May 20, 2013 a two mile wide tornado has devastated the town of Moore, Oklahoma. The National Weather Service reported the scale of the tornado is at least EF4, the second most severe classification of tornado. Moore, Oklahoma has a population comparable to the city of Medford, Massachusetts. As the search and rescue mission continues, so begins the mobilization efforts on the ground, helping the victims of this natural disaster. AGM has updated its Disaster Relief Resources page offering listing of how to help the Moore, Oklahoma area.

Center for Disaster Philanthropy offers advice - Oklahoma tornado devastation: What to do now?


dot Highlights of AGM Teleconference: Philanthropic Response to the tragedy at the Boston Marathon
Monday, April 29, 2013

On April 18, 125 funders from Boston and across the country participated in a telconference on the philanthropic response to the bombings at the Boston Marathon hosted by AGM.  Bob Ottenhoff, President and Regine Webster, Vice President of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy provided the audience with guidelines for funding strategies to support the needs of a community in times of disaster.  During times of emergency, immediate needs are being taken care of.  It's the intermediate and long-term needs that private philanthropy can play a key role in.  One recommendation for donors is to align funding with their current population served by location or population related to the disaster. 

Howard Leibowitz, Chief of Projects and Special Partnerships from the Mayor's Office, announced the creation of the to help the people most affected by the Boston Marathon bombings.  The Fund will be administered by Kenneth Feinberg, a conflict resolution attorney who has overseen the September 11 and BP Oil Spill Compenation Funds.  

Kate Guedj, Vice President of The Boston Foundation, offered her support of the efforts by the offices of Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino and encouraged those interested in helping the victims of this tragedy donate to the OneBostonFund. 

PowerPoint Presentation: Teleconference: Boston Philanthropic Community Response to Bombings at the Boston Marathon

Quick Links
AGM's Distaster Relief Resource Page
Center for Disaster Philanthropy
Office of the City of Boston -
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino have announced the formation of The One Fund Boston, Inc. to help the people most affected by the tragic events that occurred in Boston on April 15, 2013.  The purpose of the fund is to raise money to help those families most affected by the tragic events that unfolded during Monday’s Boston Marathon.

*As of April 26, 2013 the One Fund has raised $25 million from corporation and individuals.

AGM is working to share the information about the many funds that have been established to benefit those affected by the Marathon Bombings. Watchdog groups have issued warnings about possible fraud from charities claiming to raise money for Boston Marathon bombing victims. However, as with all charitable giving, AGM recommends due diligence before contributing to any fund. 


dot State of the Sector: Rebuilding Trust, builds confidence in organizations
Monday, April 08, 2013

Michael Durkin, UWMBMVOn Thursday, April 4, over 150 attendees participated in AGM’s State of the Sector at the Federal Plaza in Boston. Jeff Poulos, AGM’s Executive Director, kicked-off the program with statistics from a pop-survey registrants responded to prior to attending the event. The results yielded a pessimistic view on the economy at a national level, however, attendees were more optimistic and hopeful about our local economy and what could be accomplished in the future. These perceptions provided a platform for the event’s keynoter, Michael Durkin, CEO of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, to begin the discussion of the state of our nonprofit sector. Following the keynote, Susan Wolf Ditkoff, partner at Bridgespan, moderated a panel of thought leaders in a discussion on how the state's changing demographics are impacting the need for services across Massachusetts. The panel included: Rick Jakious, Chief Executive Officer of Massachusetts Nonprofit Network; Maicharia Weir Lytle, Executive Director of LIFT-Boston Region; and Jim Stergios, Executive Director of The Pioneer Institute. Wrapping up the program, speakers and attendees engaged in a networking salon which offered lively small discussions with colleagues.

AGM's Survey Results Presentation

Media Coverage: "Nonprofits Told They Must Be More Decisive About What to Do",


dot Join the AGM Public Policy Committee
Monday, February 25, 2013

AGM is seeking nominations, and self-Nominations are welcome. 

What will the AGM Public Policy Committee do?
AGM's strategic plan has five goals, including “AGM will be a leading voice of philanthropy in the region.”  The AGM Board has adopted the following approach to achieve this goal: 

  • Provide programs and discussions throughout the region to inform Grantmakers about public policy issues and opportunities to promote responsible and effective philanthropy
  • Develop relationships with government representatives and policy makers to educate them about the role and value of Philanthropy in the region; and
  • Continue to consider and, if appropriate, advocate public policies that would have a direct, positive impact on philanthropy and the operations of Grantmakers.

Why join the Public Policy Committee?
Protect the interests and work of foundations, and have an impact on the issues you and your foundation care about. Work and learn with your peers, and increase your foundation's knowledge and capacity as well as your own skills.

The Committee will meet as needed, at least three times a year.  Meetings will be held via teleconference or in person with a call-in option.  If you are interested in participating in this work, we invite you to reach out to AGM Board Member and Public Policy committee chair Ann McQueen or Executive Director Jeff Poulos.


dot Charitable Tax Deduction to be Examined Again
Friday, February 15, 2013

In December 2012 we highlighted the joint letter sent by Associated Grant Makers and the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network toThe US Capitol Congress and President Obama to protect the charitable giving incentive.  We joined forces with the Council on Foundations and the National Council of Nonprofits, Independent Sector as well as many of our sister regional association of grantmakers on this position.  Although we received a two month reprieve, it looks like the Charitable Deduction will once again be examined by Congress at their February 14th hearing.  As reported in an article on February 6th by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, "The deduction will be one of the many issues considered at a session the committee is holding as it assesses what issues to consider in a broad overhaul of the tax system.  Rep. Dave Camp, the Michigan Republican who chairs the committee, said hte hearing will also 'receive testimony from witnesses on previous proposals to modify the deduction and its value.'"  Read More

Follow-up article in The Nonprofit Quarterly:
Execs Testify In Harmony Regarding Tax Incentives - 02/14/2013


dot Packed House for Meet-the-Donors
Thursday, January 03, 2013

On Friday, December 14, over 200 people packed into the Lyric Stage Company for a panel discussion around general operating support. The panel included Miki Akimoto, Vice President, Market Philanthropic Director of US Trust, Philanthropic Solutions, Bank of America; Jessica del Rosario, Program Officer at The Boston Foundation; Kathryn Everett, Executive Director of The Lynch Foundation; Jude Goldman, Executive Director of The Lenny Zakim Fund; and, Philip Hall, Program Officerof GMA Foundations. The panel was moderated by Celina Miranda, Senior Program Officer of Richard & Susan Smith Family Foundation. During the discussion, panelists spoke about the myths, misperceptions, and philanthropic attitudes around general operating support to the nonprofit community. They also spoke insightfully about trends in the philanthropic sector around operating support. Nonprofit staff members in the audience then had time to ask blunt and poignant questions about fundraising efforts of nonprofits in Massachusetts, and panelists gave candid and honest answers about the misunderstood notion of general operating support.


dot AGM Diversity Committee met on Road Map for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Monday, December 17, 2012

AGM Board Members and Committee co-chairs Delia Arellano-Weddleton and Mari Brennan Barrera report that on November 5, AGM’s Diversity Committee had a robust conversation led by Vicki Rosenberg, who designed and led the development of the Council of Michigan Foundations’ diversity, equity and inclusion work including Transforming Michigan Philanthropy through Diversity & Inclusion initiative, the most comprehensive effort of its kind in the nation. 

Vicki guided the group through a rich, albeit challenging, discussion of diversity in the philanthropic sector.  The meeting was attended by 15 members who expressed an eagerness to roll up their sleeves and start the work.  Delia and Mari noted that much work is needed in this area and that the process of diversifying the field will not be easy or quick and yet from the conversations in the room it is also clear that there is a sense of urgency to take on the work, coupled with a willingness to take necessary risks. 

The committee will next look to define what we mean by diversity, equity, and inclusion, and will identify initial work that will help AGM members understand and participate in efforts to transform the field of philanthropy in our region.

If you are interested in participating in diversity and inclusion work for the sector, contact Jeff Poulos.


dot Call to Action on Charitable Tax Deduction
Thursday, December 13, 2012

Earlier this month, Associated Grant Makers and the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network sent a joint letter to Congress and President Obama to protect the charitable giving incentive. AGM and MNN join the Council on Foundations, the National Council of Nonprofits, Independent Sector, and many of our sister regional associations of grant makers and state associations of nonprofit organizations on this position.

Congress is considering a cap or elimination of the itemized charitable deduction as part of a deal to avert the fiscal cliff.  AGM strongly supports preserving the full deductibility of itemized charitable deductions. We oppose efforts to cap the charitable deduction or eliminate the charitable deduction altogether.

This approach would have significant, adverse impacts on the work of grant makers and charitable nonprofits in Massachusetts.  According to the IRS, Massachusetts residents made $4.3 billion in itemized charitable contributions in 2010.  60% of those contributions were made by individuals with incomes greater than $200,000.  A national study, released last month by Bank of America, asked wealthy philanthropists (those whose incomes also were $200,000 or more and who held more than $1 million in assets) whether their giving habits would change if the charitable giving deduction were eliminated.  Nearly half (49%) indicated that they would decrease their giving, and 20% indicated that their contributions would "dramatically decrease."

If you share this concern, we encourage you to reach out to your senators and congressional representatives to educate them about your important work and urge them to protect the charitable giving incentive.


dot Nonprofit Leaders Expect High Demand for Hunger, Heating, Housing and Health Assistance this Winter in Massachusetts
Tuesday, December 04, 2012

MassNeeds Funding Collaborative Dedicates $8.4 Million to   Address Basic Needs and Encourages Others to Take Action

On December 4, 2012, during a statewide press conference call, nonprofit leaders raised awareness of the challenges many Massachusetts residents will face in meeting their basic needs this winter. Representatives from the MassNeeds funding collaborative, which includes 41 corporate, public and private foundations, also announced an $8.4 million commitment to support more than 150 nonprofits focused on hunger, housing, heating and health needs in Massachusetts this winter. The coordinated effort is nearly double the amount committed in 2011-2012 by MassNeeds collaborative members.  “The data show what we already know to be true – that thousands of Massachusetts families are struggling again this winter,” said Paul S. Grogan, President of the Boston Foundation, which is one of the founding members of the MassNeeds Collaborative. “MassNeeds is a coordinated effort to address basic needs across the Commonwealth, and it is a call to action for all of us in Massachusetts to do what we can to meet the need.” 

This is a record-­-breaking year for the annual MassNeeds effort. Founded in 2009 by the Boston Foundation, Eos Foundation and Highland Street Foundation, the collaboration has benefitted from a partnership with the Associated Grant Makers, the regional association of philanthropic organizations.
Read full press release

Related Media Coverage:



dot Key Lessons Shared in Nonprofit Branding Workshop with IBM
Monday, November 26, 2012

Over 70 participants, including nonprofit staff members and IBM Corporation volunteers, gathered at IBM’s Cambridge Offices on November 19, 2012, to explore the issues of nonprofit branding at a workshop entitled Branding in a Crowded Marketplace: Marketing Excellence for Nonprofits. Participants came together to explore what it takes to successfully brand an organization, learning key takeaways, some best practices, and common pitfalls to avoid. Teresa Yoo, Director of Brand Expression for IBM Corporation, provided an overview of the branding process through the lens of IBM, harkening on key lessons that are applicable to the nonprofit community. Lively breakout sessions followed the keynote speech, utilizing real life examples from nonprofit organizations – including Roca, Inc., uASpire (formerly ACCESS), and Cradles to Crayons – to delve deeper into different phases of the nonprofit branding process. Participants then came back together to share some lessons learned and close out the workshop.  This program was made possible by an IBM Catalyst Grant.

View more AGM Program Briefings


dot Webinar for Funders on Responses to Hurricane Sandy
Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A webinar convening funders and Regional Associations from across the nation to hear updates on the short-term and long-term planning for Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts is scheduled for Wednesday, November 28, 2012at 4pm EST.

Coordination Updates on the Philanthropic Response to Hurricane Sandy: A Webinar for Funders and Regional Associations Nationwide

Date: 11/28/2012
Time: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: WEBINAR
Registration: Register for this event

There will be updates from the New York and New Jersey grantmaking communities about the dozens of recovery funds that have been established, what we learned from our first convening of those recovery funds. We will also provide updates on what is happening in storm affected communities and make the connection to the various ad hoc funder groups developing around aging populations, youth programs, disabled individuals, housing and other topics. A FEMA official will present a regional update and begin to describe the areas where gaps may remain after insurance and government provide what they will – both in the short- and long-term. The conversation will illuminate areas where private and corporate dollars would be most helpful and effective in recovery efforts.

This webinar is designed to update funders across the country on efforts happening around Hurricane Sandy, an assessment in the damage done and what is emerging as likely areas of need, and lessons learned by colleagues from other disasters around the country.

AGM's Disaster Resources Page is updated to provide some guidance in ways to help and provide support during times of need. We surveyed our Members in the grant making community to ask about their support and funding response to Hurricane Sandy. The goal is to the share information with colleagues to promote the efforts that are underway and to help maintain an informed network that can work together effectively to maximize its impact.  If you have any resources or funding updates to include please email us.

Here’s what we've heard from AGM Members so far: 
BNY Mellon
plans to contribute at least $1 million to the American Red Cross, local food banks and agencies engaged to support basic urgent needs in the wake of the storm. BNY Mellon'??s Hurricane Sandy relief fund includes a $500,000 corporate gift and an additional $500,000 in matching funds for contributions made by its employees.

State Street Foundation made a $500,000 grant to the American Red Cross for its Disaster Response Fund; and implemented a special Disaster Relief Matching Gift Program, matching employees' gifts to the ARC up to $250,000.

In addition, we heard from other funders as to their efforts of support:

BJ's Charitable Foundation has donated various products needed by individuals affected by the hurricane.

Verizon Foundation Awards $100,000 Grant to American Red Cross
Verizon also is matching employee donations to the American Red Cross and Salvation Army (up to $1,000 per employee). In addition to the American Red Cross grant, Verizon Wireless customers can make a $10 donation by texting the numbers listed below:

             REDCROSS to 90999 to support the American Red Cross

             STORM to 80888 to give to the Salvation Army

             HUMANE to 80888 for the American Humane Association

             UWHC to 52000 to the United Way of Hudson County, N.J.


dot AGM Fall Programs Underway: Access program materials online
Thursday, September 20, 2012

AGM's fall programming is underway with Workshops, Roundtables and Funders Briefings.  We invite and encourage you to attend our programs, however, if you cannot make an event or want to review the materials presented at a program please visit our Issue Briefings Highlights. This summary page will provide an overview of the program and links to access the materials presented in the session. 

Here are the Issue Briefings available online:

What’s the Story Behind the Numbers? A Grant Maker's Guide to Understanding Nonprofit Audits - September 19, 2012

Disabilities Funders Working Group Kick Off - July 26, 2012

Silence is Not an Option Funder’s Briefing - June 7, 2012

Funders' Briefing on Citizenship - April 25, 2012     

View More Issue Briefings Highlights


dot Over 80 philanthropic leaders engage in Social Capital discussion
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Over 80 foundation and philanthropic leaders gathered at Brandeis University on June 20 for AGM's Annual Meeting to hear from Thomas Sander, Executive Director of the Saguaro Seminar for Civic Engagement to explore "Social Capital in Action".  Mr. Sander provided an overview of the role Social Capital plays in addressing community needs and how grant makers can best leverage community involvement.  It led to a lively Q&A session with the audience and the panel discussion that followed the keynote continued to engage all in the room.   David Crowley, Executive Director of Social Capital Inc, moderated the interactive panel discussion of social capital in action with practitioners from around the region: Pat Brandes, Executive Director of the Barr Foundation; Derek Lumpkins, Executive Director of Discover Roxbury; Bill Traynor, Strategic Advisor, Lawrence Community Works; and Mayor Lisa Wong of Fitchburg.

Read David Crowley's Blog of "9 Tips for Putting Social Capital Into Action"



dot For Funders: Root Cause Developing How-To-Guide
Monday, June 18, 2012

AGM member, Root Cause, is in the early stages of developing a How-To guide for nonprofits on financial sustainability planning.  Stephen Pratt, Root Cause's Director of Financial Sustainability, will be the lead author and AGM will be partnering with Root Cause to provide a funders only briefing on this report and its findings in the fall.
Root Cause is relying extensively on interviews with foundation, government, and nonprofit leaders in order to produce this work. For funders, they are interested in learning:

  • what financial sustainability means to you when you talk about it with your grantees,
  • what concerns you have about the sustainability of your grantees and of the sector as whole, and
  • how you interact with other funders—public and private—on the topic.

If you are interested in offering your insight to Root Cause as they develop this How-To guide,  please contact Stephen’s assistant or 617-299-2129 to set up a 45 minute interview preferably with the Executive Director or Program Officer from your foundation in June or July.


dot Access to National Center for Family Philanthropy Online - AGM Member Benefit
Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Through AGM's partnership with The National Center for Family Philanthropy, AGM Members have access to its teleconferences and online Knowledge Center.  With more than 1000 resources for giving families and those that work with them, the FP Online Knowledge Center allows seaches by keyword, browse by topic, author, or look for the kind of resource—article, chapter, past teleconference—you need for your work.   To login you must click this url: and enter your AGM login information.

Here is a sampling of the recent teleconferences offered by The National Center for Family Philanthropy

“At the Wheel – Women in Family Philanthropy” - May 2012
In nearly 90% of high net worth households, women are either the sole decision-maker or an equal partner in decisions about charitable giving. This teleconference analyzes statistics regarding what drives women’s philanthropic choices. In a 2011 study of high net worth women’s philanthropy, it was found that women are more likely than their male counterparts to be motivated to give when they are moved by how their gift can make a difference in the world or community.

“Creating Your Own Identity: Tools and Tips for Next Gen Philanthropists” -
February 2012
Many family foundations are looking to engage the next generation of philanthropists in a meaningful way. In the age of technology and immediate results, the key incorporate the future foundations in a way that fosters their own future giving. This teleconference discusses different tips and tools of how to successfully incorporate the Millennial Generation into the family foundation.

To read more about these programs, log into the National Center for Family Philanthropy to view the transcript.


dot AGM launches interactive website mapping philanthropy in Merrimack Valley
Thursday, May 17, 2012

Local funders and community activists looking to understand the scope and nature of philanthropy in the Merrimack Valley now have a new tool.   The newly-released Interactive Map of PhilanthropicActivity (IMPACT) helps to frame the larger social challenges of 36 communities in the Merrimack Valley in concrete and at times provocative terms.

The IMPACT website – --provides access to detailed information on 1,699 grants, totaling nearly $70million, awarded to nonprofits in the Merrimack Valley region of Massachusettsbetween 2007 and 2009. Focusing on the areas that receive the greatest philanthropic support, IMPACT maps funding and community indicators in a vividand visual format across a variety of focus areas, including education, arts& culture, health and human services, community development, and youth development.  “Rapid advances intechnology are providing innovative ways to access and share valuable information,” states Jeff Poulos, Executive Director at Associated Grant Makers, the regional association of grant makers in Massachusetts.  “IMPACT harnesses some of these recent advances and allows funders to better use their collected knowledge to provide greater societal benefits.”
Read More and Try IMPACT


dot The Secretary’s Award for Community Foundations
Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, in partnership with the Council on Foundations’ Public-Philanthropic Partnership Initiative, announces the inaugural annual Secretary’s Award for Community Foundations as part of the Council’s annual Fall Conference for Community Foundations.  HUD

In the United States, community foundations serve tens of thousands of donors, administer more than $49 billion in charitable funds, and address the core concerns of more than 725 communities and regions. Not only are community foundations a valuable repository of local wealth resources held in perpetuity, they are led by a local board of trustees and staff that provide in-depth knowledge of community challenges, opportunities, and broader resources. This facilitates the foundation’s capacity to provide leadership on housing and community development while guiding donors toward impactful investments in housing solutions. By strengthening the connection between the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and community foundations, this award highlights the power of collective impact that can be achieved through public-philanthropic partnerships between government entities and foundations.

All entries must be completed using the award’s fillable PDF form and submitted via e-mail to
The fillable PDF form will be available beginning Monday, March 12, at and

The deadline for completing submissions is 11:59 pm (Pacific) Friday, May 11, 2012.
More details


dot Nonprofit Sector in the midst of a "wicked problem"
Monday, February 20, 2012

AGM's 2012 State of the Sector draws over 200 attendees
On Thursday, February 16, over 200 foundation and nonprofit leaders convened at Northeastern University's Curry Ballroom to attend AGM's State of the Sector Briefing. 

State of the Sector affords us an opportunity to reflect upon where the philanthropic and nonprofit sector communities have been this past year, take a snapshot of the sector at this very moment, and have a dialogue about where we are going," stated Jeff Poulos, AGM's Executive Director, as he welcomed the attendees and panelists. 

Moderated by Kristen McCormack from Boston University's Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership, the panel of regional experts shared their perspectives and engaged in an interactive discussion on the impacts the prolonged economic uncertainty and projected cuts in the state and national budget will have on the nonprofit sector and the communities we serve.  Kristen opened the discussion as stating the nonprofit sector is facing a "wicked problem" defining it as "a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize and in the effort to solve one aspect of a wicked problem creates other problems."  This led into an informative discussion with the panel as to the implications our state and national budget cuts will have on our communities and what new problems will arise from this as we work to find solutions to continue to improve our sector's effectiveness.

The regional panel of experts included:

  • Noah Berger, President, The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center
  • Jo Comerford, Executive Director, National Priorities Project
  • Joe Kriesberg, President and CEO, The Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations
  • Geeta Pradhan, Director of Programs, The Boston Foundation
If you would missed the event, you may view the panelist's PowerPoint presentation online. provided news coverage of AGM's State of the Sector. 

To succeed in an era of financial constraint and greater demand for services—"the new normal”—nonprofits need to communicate a compelling story and engage with external communities, more than 200 Massachusetts nonprofit leaders attending a forum on the state of the sector were told yesterday.  “In times of crisis, there is a tendency to be inward facing, but to do well nonprofit organizations must get of their office and talk to peers, funders, building new relationships while keeping old ones,” Joe Kriesberg, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations, the policy arm of community development corporations in Massachusetts, told the Boston gathering.  Read full article


dot 2011 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Survey Report
Thursday, December 08, 2011

Associated Grant Makers was pleased to partner with the Council on Foundations and the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers on the 2011 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Survey. This survey collected data on compensation, staff demographics and benefits costs across a wide range of positions and grantmaking entities. Thank you to our AGM grant making Members that participated in the survey this past summer.

The Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report analyzed current salaries and salary trends over a varirty of positions and grantmaking entities—community, private (family and independent), and public foundations and corporate grantmakers.  The report is summarized for the New England Region and the Northeast Region.  To access these reports you must be an AGM Member. If you need any assistance with your login please contact AGM.
Access Reports



dot Letter from Jeff Poulos, Executive Director
Tuesday, December 06, 2011

What year did you become part of the philanthropic community?

Was it in 1969 when 15 foundations assembled to form Associated Grant Makers?
Did you first discover AGM in 1980 at our first “Meet the Donors” panel?
Were you part of the inaugural Diversity Internship class in 1992 or one of the Diversity Fellows in 2006-2010?
Were you with us at John Hancock Hall in 2009 as we celebrated 40 years serving the sector?

For me, it was 2010, when I began at AGM as Executive Director, joining a community of over 120 grant-making organizations, 600 nonprofit partners, and over 1500 professionals currently part of the AGM network. I was immediately impressed by the collegial culture among staff and trustees within the philanthropic sector, noticing how similar long-time practitioners are to the college alumni system.



dot Foundations join together to meet Mass. residents’ basic winter needs
Monday, December 05, 2011

Working together with 21 regional funders, AGM has created a website,, to highlight the work done by Coordinated Winter Assistance Grantmaking Effort.

As of December 5th, $3,066,980 has been pledged toward the effort, with more grants expected over the coming months.
Please take a moment to explore this site and learn more about how you can be involved in this innovative collaboration.


dot "Be Intentional", "Mentor" and "Lead" messages of the Grant Makers of Color Reception
Thursday, December 01, 2011

GMOCRobert Lewis, Jr. VP of programs at The Boston Foundation set the tone for the Grant Makers of Color Reception on Tuesday evening. Mr. Lewis challenged the over 75 attendees from local chapters of affinity groups in philanthropy and grant making leaders to lead in the sector and "agitate" to make change happen. The program included a panel discussion moderated by Jessica del Rosario, past AGM Diversity Fellow and now with The Boston Foundation, with local grant makers of colors addressing concerns and opportunities for people of color in philanthropy.

The panelists, Shani Dowd, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation; John Hoang Sarvey,The Hyams Foundation; Klare Shaw, EdVestors; and Josefina Vázquez, Boston Women’s Fund encouraged mentoring, the value of being in a position to offer access, and the importance of community organizing.

The evening concluded with a series of small group discussion and networking. Before departing, attendees were given a call-to-action by Kelly Bates of Access Strategies, to create “I want us to” and “I will” statements to empower this group to achieve their goals.


dot AGM Public Policy Position on Charitable Tax Deduction
Thursday, November 17, 2011

Associated Grant Makers strongly supports preserving the full deductibility of itemized charitable deductions. AGM opposes efforts to cap the charitable deduction at 28 percent or eliminate the charitable deduction altogether.

AGM joins many of its sister regional associations of grant makers, the Council on Foundations, Independent Sector, the National Council on Nonprofits and thousands of nonprofit organizations across the country in calling on Congress, the Super Committee, and President Obama to protect the charitable giving incentive.

The Council on Foundations has provided an issue paper with an overview and rationale on this position which can be downloaded here.

Call to Action: Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is a member of the “Super Committee”, which is the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. AGM encourages you to share with Senator Kerry how important the charitable deduction is to the nonprofit sector and charitable community of Massachusetts.

Contact Senator John Kerry
To call: (202) 224-2742
To email: Click here 

This policy reflects the views of AGM as a whole and does not necessarily represent the individual views of AGM Members or trustees and staff of Member organizations.


dot Sell Out Crowd for MNN/AGM Nonprofit Conference
Thursday, October 27, 2011

MNN Conference

It was a sell-out crowd with over 600 attendees at the 4th annual conference sponsored by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) and Associated Grant Makers (AGM).  During the conference, attendees participated in workshops ranging from Strategies for Media Advocacy to Building Your Dream Board to a Meet-the Donors panel discussion. 

The conference kicked off with a keynote by Jackie Jenkins-Scott, president of Wheelock College, encouraging the audience to thank each other for the work being done in the nonprofit sector and motivating the sector to continue to be engaged learners and provide strong leadership in our communities. This year's Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Bill Walczak, CEO of Carney Hospital, for his 37 years of work and dedication in the nonprofit sector.  Bill co-founded the Codman Square Health Center in 1979 and servced as its CEO until February 2011 and was the founding board president of MNN.  Commenting on the current environment, Bill told the audience "we're in a toxic political environment" and those in the nonprofit sector need to continue to do the right thing and protect and care for our disenfranchised citizens.  Wrapping up the afternoon was Earl Martin Phalen, CEO of Reach Out and Read, a nationwide nonprofit that promotes early literacy and school readiness in partnership with pediatric doctors to provide free books to children.


dot Associated Grant Makers Receives $10K Grant From IBM to Help Build a Smarter Planet
Thursday, September 29, 2011

AGM was awarded a grant of $10,000 from IBM to help build a smarter planet.  The grant - known as an IBM Catalyst Grant - is part of IBM's Centennial Celebration of Service.IBM100

AGM received the grant to help nonprofit organizations in its association learn how to more effectively employ low cost measures such as social media and new marketing tactics to increase awareness and effectiveness in reachingnew donors and volunteers by applying these technology enabled tools. Partnering with IBM, AGM will host a series of workshops to share best practices to promote skill building in the age of social networking. Read more.


dot AGM testified at Public Hearing on Bill Regulating Compensation of Board Members Set
Tuesday, September 27, 2011

AGM's Executive Director, Jeff Poulos and Attorney General, Martha Coakley, presented opposing positions at the public hearing on September 27 at Massachusetts State House in front of the Joint Judiciary Committee for legislation to regulate compensation of board members of public charities. View AGM's Brief on Compensation for Independent Directors of Nonprofits, Foundations and Trusts. 

Read related article from

AGM will continue to follow this issue closely, and we will be sharing with legislators educational information about trustee compensation, drawing from industry standards and materials issued by Council on Foundation, Association of Small Foundations and other sources. We also encourage you to share your thoughts with your legislator. If you would like additional information, need any help, or want to discuss this issue in more detail, please contact Jeff Poulos.


dot Disaster Relief Resources
Wednesday, August 31, 2011

On August 31, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation announced a $250,000 commitment to support the American Red Cross Disaster Fund for the 2011 hurricane season, starting with their relief response to Hurricane Irene that impacted states from North Carolina to New England.  "Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this hurricane and the resulting floods that have caused significant damage along the East Coast,” said Kerry Sullivan, president, Bank of America Charitable Foundation. “We are pleased to assist the American Red Cross as they help families transition through this difficult time.”  In addition, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will match employee donations to relief efforts through the bank’s Matching Gifts program.

AGM continues to post news articles and recovery efforts relevant to these natural disasters as well as updating the Disaster Relief Resources Page . This page provides some guidance in ways to help and provide support for disaster that happen both locally and abroad. If you have any resources you would like us to include please email us.  


dot Standing Room Only for AGM's Meet-the-Donors
Tuesday, August 02, 2011

In late July, AGM held its popular Meet-the Donor series, dedicated to the topic of Environmental Funding. The topic of “environment” is one that bridges many aspects of our daily lives such as green building initiatives, global warming and endangered species protection. The event, at Suffolk University Law School, was standing room only with over 80 nonprofit representatives participating in a panel discussion with leaders from the governmental and philanthropic sectors in our region. 

The participants included: Moderator, Brooke Nash, Branch Chief, Mass Department of Environmental Protection; Panelists: Jennifer Marshal Grantham, Director of the SEEAL (Southeast Environmental Education Alliance) Program, Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts; Sarah Kelley, Senior Program Officer, Island Foundation; Mariella Puerto, Senior Program Officer, Barr Foundation; Prentice Zinn, GMA Foundations, manager of the Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust, Herman and Frieda L. Miller Foundation

One attendee commented:

“This is one of the best AGM programs I've ever attended! Location at SU Law School was very convenient, speaker panel was well chosen, adequate time for Q&A - didn't feel rushed and moderator did a great job moving things along. I hope you will do this Meet the Donors again!”


dot AGM's Annual Meeting encourages us to "Do More Than Give"
Thursday, June 16, 2011

OJohn Kaniaver 90 foundation leaders and AGM Members attended AGM’s 42nd Annual Meeting at The Yawkey Theater of WGBH’s LEED-certified green space in Boston yesterday.  John Kania, author of Do More Than Give, encouraged foundation leaders to create “collective impact” in order to achieve impactful solutions.  Collective impact involves aligning all parties involved – philanthropy, government, nonprofits – to accomplish large-scale changes in communities.  John emphasized the need to “do more than give” by asking the audience to consider the line of business we are in – is it just giving away money or is it making a positive impact on social problems in our society.

The conversation continued with a moderated panDavid and Lewel discussion led by Ruth McCambridge, Editor-in-Chief of The Nonprofit Quarterly, with Lew Feldstein, formerly with the  NH Charitable Foundation, Susan Musinsky of Social Innovation Forum and David Nee of the William Caspar Graustein Foundation.  Each panelist shared stories of lessons learned in how they engaged in the practice of collective impact to create positive changes in their regions.  

A brief business meeting was held to elect new Directors to the AGM Board each to serve a three-year term including Tref Borden (Fish Family Foundation), Jennifer Chow (Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation), Laurel Davis Ferretti (Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation), James Grace (Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston), Claudia Jacobs (Sillerman Center, Brandeis University), Amanda Northrop (State Street Foundation), Dora Robinson (United Way of Pioneer Valley), and Randal Rucker (Family Service of Greater Boston). In addition, the AGM board elected officers and executive committee each to serve a one-year term including as Chair, Jean Whitney (Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation), as Vice Chair, Anne Marie Boursiquot King Jean (Tufts Health Plan Foundation), as Treasurer, Mark Paley (Hyams Foundation), as Clerk, Craig Dutra (Community Foundation of Southeastern MA), as at large members of the Executive Committee, Mari Brennan Barrera (Eos Foundation) and Orlando Watkins (The Boston Foundation), as Past Chair ex-officio, Mary Phillips (Charles Hayden Foundation/GMA Foundations) and as Executive Director, Jeff Poulos.  Also, outgoing board member Bill Eaton (Sailors’ Snug Harbor) was recognized for his 9 years of board service including a two-year term as chair, Jeffery Hayward (United Way of Mass Bay/Merrimack Valley) and Celina Miranda (BNY Mellon) were thanked for their 3 years of board service as they stepped down, and Mary Phillips was presented with a gift in recognition for her nine years of service, the past two of which she has served as Board Chair.

The program ended with a lunch and networking as well as a special Green Tour of the WGBH radio and studio facilities highlighting WGBH’s environmental strategies and their impact.

AGM's Annual Report to the community for 2010-2011 was distributed at the meeting.  It is accessible online or if you prefer to receive it via mail please email your request to us.


dot IRS Revocation of Tax-Exempt Status
Thursday, June 09, 2011

On June 8, 2011, the IRS posted a list of organizations that have had an Automatic Revocation of Tax-Exempt Status.  Over 6,800 Massachusetts organizations appear on the list. The IRS believes a majority of the organizations are defunct, but groups that are still operating may apply to get their tax-exempt status back. To review the list, you may visit Tax-exempt organizations other than churches and certain church-related organizations are required to file an annual information return or notice with the IRS. Organizations that do not file for three consecutive years automatically lose their tax-exempt status.  An automatic revocation is effective on the original filing due date of the third annual return or notice. The IRS published the initial list of organizations whose tax-exempt status was automatically revoked because of failure to file a required Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF or Form 990-N (e-Postcard) for three consecutive years.  IRS has posted the list on The list gives the name, employer identification number (EIN), organization type, last known address provided by the organization to the IRS, effective date of revocation and the date the organization was added to the list. IRS will post monthly updates with additional organizations whose filing dates have come due.


dot Western MA Welcomes Meet-the-Donors
Thursday, May 19, 2011

WMTDestern Massachusetts showcased area funders at AGM’s well-regarded Meet-the-Donors series to over 85 nonprofit professionals.  The focus was on the unique challenges, issue areas, and funding needs of the Western Massachusetts community. The distinguished panel included a variety of grantmaking organizations funding a diverse range of program areas. John Ebbets, CEO, United Way of Hampshire County led the discussion with colleagues Cindy Adams, MassMutual Life Insurance Co; Alex Eisenzopf, Amelia Peabody Foundation; Nancy Infante, Institutional Investments & Philanthropic Solutions, Bank of America; Gary Levante, Berkshire Bank Foundation, Inc and Carla Oleska, Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts.


dot Nonprofit Learning Insitute Series Launched
Wednesday, April 20, 2011

AGM was pleased to co-host with Bank of America the Nonprofit Learning Institute - State of the Sector: Adapting to the ‘New Normal’, featuring Clara Miller, president of The Heron Foundation and founder of Nonprofit Finance Fund and Rebecca Thomas, vice president of Nonprofit Finance Fund.  The speakers engaged over 100 nonprofits representatives as they presented the results from Nonprofit Finance Fund’s 2011 State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey and lead a conversation about how nonprofit organizations can creatively respond and adapt to a “new normal,” characterized by increased need for services and limited resources to pay for them. 

View program materials


dot Understanding Fiscal Budget 2012
Thursday, April 14, 2011

In light of the recent cuts in the fiscal budget 2012, AGM has compiled a resource page to help with review and analysis of the federal and state budget priorities.
Here are some quick links:


dot ADA@20 Program at the Museum of Fine Arts
Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Last week, over 40 funders and other experts in the area accessibility and inclusion participated in an AGM Funders Briefing, The Art of Inclusion: The ADA at 20, at the Museum of Fine Arts. The presentation included both national and local statistics of persons with disabilities dealing with issues such as employment and housing.  A panel discussion of local funders, including corporate and private foundations, followed sharing their approaches and experiences in funding inclusion.  Attendees then received a unique tour of the MFA’s new wing. 
View materials from this program 


dot Another Great "Meet-the-Donors" Event!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011

On March 29th, representatives from over 70 nonprofit organizations attended our Meet-the-Donors: Donor Advised Funds event at Boston Private Bank. The panel was expertly moderated by Melanie Damsker, Director of Partnerships, of the GreenLight Fund. The panel included:

  • Amy Ellsworth, Senior Philanthropic Advisor, The Philanthropic Initiative
  • Christopher R. Harris, Philanthropic Services Officer, The Boston Foundation
  • Cuong Hoang, Director of Programs, Mott Philanthropic
  • Marjorie Ringrose, Executive Director, Social Venture Partners Boston

After some brief introductions, a lively engaging conversation developed around this often misunderstood source of funding. Thanks to everyone involved and special thanks to AGM Member Boston Private Bank for their generosity in providing the facilities.


dot Applications Now Accepted for Diversity Fellowship
Sunday, March 27, 2011

Proteus Fund is pleased to announce that applications for the 2011-2012 Diversity Fellowship are now being accepted through May 6, 2011.  Proteus Fund is a national grant making organization committed to advancing social justice through democracy, human rights and peace. The Diversity Fellowship is a Proteus Fund special project. The mission of the program is to identify, recruit and cultivate emerging practitioners of color who represent the next generation of philanthropic leaders and offer them training, support and strong community. The application and a guide to frequently asked questions is available on the Proteus Fund website.  Any questions please contact Tammy Dowley-Blackman.

The Fellowship was founded and formerly housed by Associated Grant Makers.


dot Resources for the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami
Sunday, March 13, 2011

Japan was hit with a 8.9 magnitude eartquake which spawned a deadly tsunami on March 11. Details about this tragedy continue to emerge. AGM has updated its Disaster Relief Resource Page with information on sites providing emergency support and funding to help those in Japan.

Local efforts are underway to help in Japan. As your organization plans ways in which to respond to the short- and long-term needs of the people in Japan, please keep AGM informed via email so we may include the information in our web resources.

Recently AGM sent a survey to Members regarding the philanthropic response to the crisis in Japan.  Thank you for responding.  While many Members incorporate funds for international grantmaking in their mission already some are taking additional actions to provide assistance in the regions hardest hit in Japan.  View Member Responses.


dot Video of the State of the Sector event posted!
Sunday, February 27, 2011

We have posted the full video of the event online in 13 YouTube sections:


You can view the playlist here:

  • Segment 1: Introduction by Jeff Poulos, Executive Director of AGM
  • Segments 2 - 6: Keynote Speech by Alan Khazei
  • Segments 7 - 13: Philanthropy Panel Discussion

dot Over 200 attend AGM's State of the Sector Briefing at City Year
Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More than 200 foundation and nonprofit representatives came to hear an inspiring and engaing Alan Khazei, co-founder of City Year, founder of Be the Change and author of Big Citizenship: How pragmatic idealism can bring out the best in America. Mr. Khazei along with a distinguished panel of foundation and service provder leaders presented their perspectives on the philanthropic landscape for the year ahead. There was a lively Q&A that followed the presentations.
The panel included:

Reporters from the and the Boston Business Journal were on hand to cover the event. - Massachusetts Nonprofit Leaders Told They Need to Engage Better
Boston Business Journal - Philanthropy forum focuses on leading


dot Foundations join forces to create Catalyst Fund for Nonprofits
Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Catalyst Fund for Nonprofits, sponsored by the Boston Foundation, the Hyams Foundation, and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley (all grantmaking Members of AGM) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, will give nonprofits access to a stable of consultants, who will be able to perform feasibility studies for organizations looking to merge part or all of their operations. Read article


dot Looking for Shared Office/Business Incubator Space? Check out AGM's offering!
Sunday, February 20, 2011

AGM provides a special Membership for philanthropic organizations looking for an office solution.  Receive all the benefits of AGM Membership plus shared office space by joining AGM’s Shared Office Space program.
View program details


Older Stories (pre-2011)