MNN Commits to Eliminate Gender Wage Gap by Signing 100% Talent Compact



The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) has recently signed on to The Boston 100% Talent Compact, a first-in-the-nation, business community-driven effort to level the playing field for working women. By signing the 100% Talent Compact, we have joined forces with the Boston Women’s Workforce Council, a public-private partnership between the City of Boston and Boston University, and more than 215 other Boston-area employers to close the gender wage gap.

According to the Boston Women’s Workforce Council’s 2016 report, women who work in Greater Boston earn significantly less than their male colleagues, while women are the majority of both Boston’s residents and workforce. We recognize that this pay discrepancy poses consequences on the company’s talent pool and that women are one of Boston’s assets: when women thrive, companies and communities thrive.

The Council’s mission is to work with the businesses in the Greater Boston area in a private-public endeavor to eliminate the gender wage gap, remove the visible and invisible barriers to women’s advancement, and ensure that 100% of the talent pool is used to make Boston the best area in the country for working women. As a signer of the 100% Talent, MNN will work with the Council to take concrete, measurable steps to eliminate the wage gap within their own company and to report their progress anonymously every two years.

For more information or to join the 100% Talent Compact, check out:

How You Can Help Those Affected by Hurricane Harvey

Our hearts go out to the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas and all affected areas. Making landfall over the weekend, Harvey continues to wreak havoc on the lives of millions, and will likely do so for many years. We are also sending strength to all first responders currently helping with relief efforts, including volunteers and staff of nonprofit organizations.

If you’re interested in helping out, there are many ways you can, including donating resources, your time, needed goods such as nonperishable food, toiletries, etc. Visit the links below for more detailed information.

Center for Disaster Philanthropy –  Recording of webinar: “Hurricane Harvey Recovery: How Donors Can Help.”

Boston Magazine – “How to Help People Displaced by Hurricane Harvey”

NECN – “Help for Houston: Boston Helping Those Affected by Hurricane Harvey”

United Philanthropy Forum – “How to Respond to Hurricane Harvey”

Boston Business Journal – “Boston Area Businesses Reach Out to Respond to Hurricane Harvey”

As we would expect in the event of a disaster here in Massachusetts, local and national nonprofit organizations have stepped up with characteristic vigor and have on-the-ground teams responding to the immediate needs of victims. In addition to organizations like the American Red Cross, consider following the work of these and other nonprofits on the front lines:

Feel free to be in touch with any questions or additions to this list. Contact Communications Manager Fernando Martinez at

MNN’s Statement on Charlottesville and the Response to It

MNN joins the country in feeling revulsion at the protests fueled by white supremacists and those propagating bigotry in Charlottesville, grief for the deaths of Heather Heyer, Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, and Trooper Berke M. M. Bates, and anger at the President’s implication that both sides stand on the same moral ground.

Forces of hate and discrimination- covert and overt- are not new to many of our member organizations and to nonprofits across the country. Every day, Massachusetts nonprofits are at the vanguard of the fight for respect, opportunity and fair treatment for all.

MNN remains committed to working with these organizations as well as leaders from the public and private sectors towards a vision of Massachusetts where people of all races, ethnicities, creeds, nationalities, ages, abilities, sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions have equal opportunities to live, work, play, and create.

We were invigorated by the largely peaceful protests of tens of thousands in Boston this past Saturday. We are reminded that collective action is essential to the fight for social, economic, and racial equality.

Nonprofit, Community, and Business Leaders Celebrate Local Unsung Heroes at Third Annual Light of Dawnn Awards Ceremony







Nonprofit, Community, and Business Leaders Celebrate Local Unsung Heroes at Third Annual Light of Dawnn Awards Ceremony

Nonprofit Workers and High School Students Honored for Their Remarkable Contributions to Their Communities

BOSTON, MA (February 28, 2017) – Nonprofit, community, and business leaders, along with the Jaffier Family, came together at the West End House Boys and Girls Club for the third annual Light of Dawnn Awards Ceremony to honor the life of Dawnn Jaffier. During the ceremony, three nonprofit workers and three high school seniors were recognized for their outstanding work and commitment to serving their communities. Also in attendance were elected officials including State Representative Kevin Honan and City Councilor Mark Ciommo.

“There is no better way to honor the life of Dawnn Jaffier than to celebrate those who have continued to carry on her legacy through acts of goodwill and service to our local communities,” said Mayor Walsh. “I congratulate Juan, Dawnmarie and Tha for being the recipients of this year’s Light of Dawnn Award, a distinguished recognition honoring those who have gone above and beyond to lend a helping hand to others, and who continue to make the City of Boston proud.”  

The Light of Dawnn Awards were created three years ago to honor the memory of Dawnn Jaffier, who in 2014 was tragically killed at just 26 years old. While just a young woman, Dawnn had already made a significant impact in her community through her work with the West End House Boys and Girls Club, Playworks, City Year, and Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston. Upon Dawnn’s untimely passing, her family, friends, and colleagues came together to create the Light of Dawnn Awards so that her legacy may continue to inspire. Each year, three individuals who represent Dawnn’s spirit are selected to receive a Light of Dawnn Award and a $5,000 prize. The Awards are presented by the Highland Street Foundation and managed by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.

This year’s recipients are Dawnmarie Salmons, Music Clubhouse Director of Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston: Edgerley Family South Boston Club; Juan Manuel Cantú, Jr., College Success Coordinator at Hyde Square Task Force; and Tha Thai, Boston Team Crisis Coordinator at Roca, Inc.

“Juan, Dawnmarie, and Tha quietly go about their work every day, not in pursuit of recognition, but purely driven by a desire to make a difference in someone’s life,” said Blake Jordan, Executive Director of the Highland Street Foundation.  “It is an honor to shine a light on them and a privilege to do so in the name of Dawnn Jaffier.”

“We are honored to be here today with Dawnn’s friends and family, community partners, and Mayor Walsh to remember Dawnn and further her positive spirit and legacy by honoring this year’s outstanding Light of Dawnn Awards recipients,” said David Shapiro, Chairman of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network’s Board. “The heart, talent and dedication that Dawnmarie, Juan, and Tha bring to their work day in and day out reminds us of Dawnn’s unique ability to build relationships, community, and to simply be there for so many all in the name of strengthening support, opportunity, and connection.”

Also during the ceremony, three high school seniors were awarded the Light of Dawnn Scholarships for their community work. Now in their second year, these scholarships were created by John Hancock, where Dawnn’s mother is a longtime employee, in partnership with The Foundation To Be Named Later. The scholarships award $5,000 to each student to go towards pursuing a college education.

This year’s scholarship recipients are Justina Riopelle, Sominisha Wright, and Noor Al-saad.

“We thank the Jaffier family, and our community partners, for giving us the opportunity to help honor Dawnn’s extraordinary life and legacy,” said Tom Crohan, AVP & Counsel, Corporate Responsibility and Government Relations at John Hancock. “We honor her best by drawing strength from her inspiring example, and we are proud to recognize Justina, Sominisha and Noor for their commitment to serving others and giving back to their communities.”



MNN’s Statement on Federal Travel Restrictions

February 1, 2017

Last Friday’s order imposing federal travel restrictions continues to generate widespread concern and outrage, including among the nonprofit community. At MNN, we are closely following the policy and legal debates as they unfold. MNN members with concerns or questions about the travel restrictions, or other federal issues, should contact Tonja Mettlach at

The skills, ideas, contributions, and commitment that immigrants bring to Massachusetts strengthen our Commonwealth each day. MNN is committed to supporting immigration, diversity, and the values upon which our sector was built.

Massachusetts Nonprofit Network Appoints Robert Gittens to Board of Directors


January 26, 2017

Massachusetts Nonprofit Network Appoints Robert Gittens to Board of Directors

(BOSTON, Mass) The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN), the statewide association that strengthens the nonprofit sector through advocacy, public awareness, and capacity-building, is pleased to announce that it has appointed Robert Gittens, Executive Director of Cambridge Family and Children’s Service, to its Board of Directors.

“On behalf of MNN’s Board of Directors, I want to extend a big welcome to Bob Gittens,” said David Shapiro, Chairman of MNN’s Board. “Bob brings with him a wealth of experience in both the public and nonprofit sectors, and we look forward to benefitting from his volunteer leadership as we work to elevate and advocate for the central role of nonprofits in making the Commonwealth a great place to live.”

“We are very excited to welcome Bob to MNN’s Board of Directors,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN. “Bob has been an important leader in the community for many years. His vast experience in public affairs and advocacy will be invaluable as we work to strengthen the nonprofit sector.”

“I am thrilled to be joining the board of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network,” said Bob. “I am very much looking forward to working with a great group of leaders to support and promote the Commonwealth’s vibrant nonprofit sector.”

Bob has been the Executive Director at Cambridge Family and Children Services since 2016. Prior to his current role, he served as the Vice President of Public Affairs at Northeastern University for 13 years. He served as cabinet secretary of the Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services from 2001-2003 and was commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services from 1997-2001. He was First Assistant District Attorney in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office from 1992-1997 and Chairman of the Massachusetts Parole Board from 1990-92.

Bob holds a J.D. degree from Northeastern University School of Law and a B.A. in Political Science from Northeastern. He has been a leader in the community as Chairman of the Massachusetts Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee and member of the Governor’s Youth Violence Task Force. Bob has served as a board member of numerous organizations including Judge Baker Children’s Center, Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and Goodwill Industries.

You can view a full list of MNN’s Board here.


About the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) is the voice of the nonprofit sector, bringing together all parts of the nonprofit ecosystem – organizations, funders, community and business leaders, and elected and appointed officials – to strengthen nonprofits and raise the sector’s voice on critical issues. MNN understands that strong nonprofits build strong communities. It is MNN’s mission to strengthen the nonprofit community through advocacy, public awareness, and capacity building.  MNN has more than 650 nonprofit members made up of organizations from eight subsectors and located in every part of Massachusetts, from the Berkshires to the Cape and Islands. For more information about the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, visit

Nominations sought for nonprofit representative to state energy efficiency council

Media Contact:
Kaitlin Henry, Communications Manager
Massachusetts Nonprofit Network
617-330-1188 x 285,


BOSTON- Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN), the statewide organization representing the nonprofit sector, is seeking nominations for a representative to the state’s Energy Efficiency Advisory Council. The Council, established as part of the Green Communities Act in 2008, reviews and approves the three-year energy efficiency plans prepared by the Commonwealth’s gas and electric distribution companies and approved municipal aggregators. The Council was expanded, in this year’s electricity bill, to include a representative from MNN’s network of nonprofit organizations.

“Nonprofits represent 16.7% of the workforce in Massachusetts and control over $250 billion in annual revenues,” commented Massachusetts Nonprofit Network CEO Rick Jakious. “The inclusion of nonprofits on the Council recognizes to scope and scale of the sector and its importance in helping the state meet its long-term climate control goals.”

The role of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network representative to the Council is to review, approve, and  monitor energy efficiency plans and programs required of the state’s investor-owned gas and electric utilities and energy providers and to help the nonprofit sector save energy and lower operating costs by advocating for nonprofit targeted efficiency programs. The Energy Efficiency Plans are designed to deliver energy savings, improve energy security, create local jobs, and reduce pollution including greenhouse gas emissions.

MNN is seeking interested candidates who are dedicated to improving efficiency opportunities available to nonprofits, with a background in energy, sustainability or a related field. Interested applicants should visit MNN’s website at



Nonprofits, corporations look for common ground

Worcester Telegram & Gazette
November 25, 2012
By Brian Boyd

While nonprofit groups want to tap the resources of the private sector, many have a difficult time getting their foot in the door with busy corporate leaders. 

Although many organizations know which companies they want to target, half of the Massachusetts organizations that participated in a recent survey said they find the hardest part is making the initial contact with the company. 

More than a third of survey respondents rated “identifying how businesses will benefit from partnering with my organization” as one aspect at which they are least effective, according to a news release on the survey. 

“Nonprofits and corporations have to work closer together,” said John Hailer, president and chief executive officer of Natixis Global Asset Management — The Americas and Asia, a co-sponsor of the survey. 

Nonprofit leaders need to go beyond just describing their mission to business people, Mr. Hailer said. They must show how a partnership can also engage the company’s employees and improve their corporate culture; charitable work can bring employees closer together as they collaborate on a common cause, he said. 

For their part, corporate executives should be open to stronger relations with nonprofit groups and understand how charity benefits both the companies and their communities, Mr. Hailer said. 

Natixis, a global asset management company headquartered in Boston and Paris, supports social service charities. Its philanthropic approach includes giving employees a day off to give back to the community, he said.

The company decided to sponsor the survey after hearing about the challenges their nonprofit partners face. The survey was based on the online responses of 103 nonprofit organizations from across the state. 

Some corporations have shifted their thinking on philanthropy. Some companies want to move beyond the traditional approach, where business leaders simply cut a check and consider their work done, said Rick Jakious, chief executive of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network. 

Corporate partners are interested in contributing their time and knowledge to charitable endeavors, and nonprofit organizations need to show companies how both sides can benefit from a partnership, Mr. Jakious said.

“They want to know how can you put their skills and talent to use, either by engaging their employees or having members of their staff serve on your board of directors,” he said. 

David Waters, chief executive officer of Community Servings Inc., one of the nonprofits surveyed, said he was not surprised by the results. He said companies face a barrage of nonprofits seeking their support. 

“It’s hard to engage corporations, because there are many human services groups going to the well,” Mr. Waters said. “Also, corporate people are very busy, so how you engage them and how easy you make it for them to get involved often determines your success.” 

Community Servings delivers specially prepared meals to people with illnesses who cannot shop or cook for themselves. The meals are tailored to their specific medical needs. The organization is based in Boston and expanded to Worcester six weeks ago, he said. 

Based on his organization’s experience with corporations, Mr. Waters said if a nonprofit approaches a company with different ways for its staff to get involved, rather than just asking for money, it will more likely get a positive result. 

From a company’s perspective, philanthropic partnerships provide opportunities to build up their brand in the community and create positive word of mouth, Mr. Jakious said. 

At the same time, corporate sponsors are more interested in seeing results that nonprofit organizations can quantify, he said. 

Asked how nonprofit leaders can break the ice with company executives, Mr. Jakious said business leaders often travel in the same circles, attending chamber of commerce meetings and events for other nonprofit groups, and some companies have specific staff members given the task of working on corporate philanthropy goals. 

The financial services industry was the top contributor to the nonprofits surveyed in the study. 

A large majority of the nonprofits, 86 percent, received some support from banks, insurance companies and other financial service businesses. The next most common sector for corporate support was the health care industry (47 percent), followed by the construction and development industries (35 percent), according to the results. 

The economy isn’t making it easier to forge corporate partnerships. 

More than a third of the organizations reported that their funding decreased over the last year. On the positive side, though, more than half of the organizations said corporate funding has remained steady or increased, according to the survey. 

Moreover, the difficult economy ensures there will be a need for nonprofit programs that help the less fortunate, Mr. Hailer added. 

“The needs are going to be greater for the next few years,” he said.

Partnerships viewed as crucial to charities

The Boston Globe

October 29, 2012

By Erin Ailworth

With more Massachusetts residents in need of social service programs, many nonprofits that provide such services say one of their biggest challenges is building stronger relationships with the corporate donors that fund them, a recent survey by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network and Natixis Global Asset Management shows.

The survey, of 103 Massachusetts nonprofits, highlighted the difficulties such organizations faced when the economic downturn put more people in need of help but led corporations to cut back on giving as their businesses suffered. That forced many aid agencies to compete against each other for a smaller pool of money.

“Breaking the ice is hard in any new relationship, and it’s particularly challenging for human service and other nonprofits pursuing corporate partners in an increasingly competitive landscape,” said John Hailer, president of Natixis Global Asset Management in the Americas and Asia.

More than half of the nonprofits surveyed said they felt they were “least effective” at making “initial contact” with potential business partners.

More than a third said their funding has dropped somewhat.

These problems can be addressed, Hailer said in an interview, if nonprofits figure out how to get “better about approaching businesses.” Corporations, he added, also need to rethink the way they support charities so that they are providing manpower as well as funding.

“Treat it like a partnership,” Hailer said. “Getting people connected and involved not only makes for a better charity and better giving, it makes a better company.”

The survey identified the state’s energy and biotechnology sectors as among the weakest sources of money for nonprofits, while construction and real estate businesses and health care providers were more reliable.

The strongest support came from financial services companies.

Earlier this year, Liberty Mutual said it would increase its charitable donations in Massachusetts in 2012 by 20 percent, to $17 million.

Bank of America, John Hancock Financial­ Services, and State Street Corp., said their philanthropic giving this year should be about the same as in 2011.

Rick Jakious, chief executive of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, said social service agencies should try to tap corporations for support — in large part because many businesses are seeking volunteer opportunities for their employees that lead to tangible results in Bay State communities.

“In this day and age, companies are looking for more than cutting a check. They’re looking for more than checkbook philanthropy,” Jakious said.

“And human services organizations [can] bring that impact and engagement to the ­table.”

Social Services Agencies and Other Nonprofits Struggle to Build Relationships with New Corporate Partners, but Deeper Levels of Engagement Extend Beyond Hard Dollars

The Boston Herald

October 29, 2012

Making the first key outreach to potential corporate partners is the biggest challenge for nonprofits in Massachusetts, according to a survey released jointly today by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network and Natixis Global Asset Management (NGAM), one of the 15 largest asset managers in the world.

The challenge is particularly daunting for nonprofit human service agencies, which need creative ways to stand out amidst competition from larger arts and cultural organizations.

More than half of the 103 Massachusetts nonprofits surveyed said they were “least effective” in making “initial contact” with potential business partners and identified that as the most difficult part of getting support from the business community.

“Breaking the ice is hard in any new relationship, and it’s particularly challenging for human service and other nonprofits pursuing corporate partners in an increasingly competitive landscape,” said John Hailer, president and chief executive officer of NGAM – The Americas and Asia. “Nonprofits are an essential part of our community fabric, delivering services that provide a safety net and help fuel our economy. Those that provide critical human services are too easily overshadowed by large cultural organizations and brand-name arts and humanities nonprofits.”

Even after contact is made, demonstrating the value proposition for a potential corporate partnership is daunting. More than 35 percent of survey respondents rated “identifying how businesses will benefit from partnering with my organization” as one of the things at which they are least effective. Compounding the challenge is fierce competition from others in the nonprofit sector, including well-known arts and cultural organizations. In fact, nearly three-quarters (almost 74 percent) of organizations surveyed believe it is more difficult for nonprofits that focus on core social services to gain corporate support for their organization.

“The private sector can be a powerful partner to nonprofits and, as the survey illustrates, it is often under-leveraged by human service organizations,” said Rick Jakious, CEO of the Massachusetts

Nonprofit Network. “Human service organizations can benefit from the time, talent and treasure of the private sector. It is critical, however, that they understand that strong corporate engagement must be based on real partnership, not just checkbook philanthropy.”

Several of those surveyed said their most effective partnerships were with corporations that took time to learn about the organization they were supporting and who understood the significance of its mission. Many also reported that corporations are increasingly expressing a desire to take an active role in the work of their nonprofit partners. Other organizations said businesses are demanding “accountability” on the part of the non-profits and evidence of positive outcomes that result from their work.

“A plaque at a homeless shelter doesn’t reach the same number of eyes as a sponsorship ad at a musical program or a fundraising gala,” Hailer said. “But the relationship created offers a different – and often deeper – kind of experience. Both parties benefit from that.”

Jakious observed that while “marketing and brand visibility” are key metrics by which corporate funders evaluate potential partnerships, there are other measures which play better to the strengths of human service organizations. Chief among them: the opportunities a partnership provides to engage employees of the company.

“Employee engagement, when executed well, is a win-win for the nonprofit and its partner. And it can come in the form of one-day or ongoing volunteer opportunities,” Jakious said. “Increasingly, employers are seeking out skill-based volunteer opportunities. This can be a source of crucial expertise to a nonprofit, such as legal support, financial guidance, marketing expertise and so forth.”

Read more here: