House Speaker DeLeo, Senate President Spilka, Secretary Kennealy Celebrate Nonprofit Awareness Day


Yesterday, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Karen Spilka, and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy joined hundreds at the State House to celebrate Nonprofit Awareness Day: A Celebration of Nonprofit Excellence, an awareness event honoring the contributions of nonprofits in Massachusetts. The celebration was hosted by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) and presented by Citizens Bank.

“Over 33,000 nonprofits are making a difference in every corner of the Commonwealth, adding significant contributions to the health and vitality of our communities,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN. “Yesterday, we recognized 27 nonprofits that typify the excellence of the state’s nonprofit sector. We are also grateful for Citizens Bank for their continued support of the Nonprofit Awareness Day Celebration.

“Yesterday we celebrated the 33,000 nonprofit organizations that are the cornerstone of our communities,” said Jerry Sargent, President of Citizens Bank, Massachusetts. “At Citizens Bank, we are honored to partner with the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network and celebrate the remarkable work of over half a million employees providing valuable resources for our fellow citizens day in and day out.”

Nonprofit Excellence Awards were presented to four organizations and two professionals that exemplified the innovative and effective work of nonprofits across Massachusetts. The winners were nominated by peers and community members and were selected by an independent panel of nonprofit and business leaders. This year, the independent panel selected 27 finalists for the Nonprofit Excellence Awards from almost 100 nominations.

The Nonprofit Excellence Award winners were:

In the month leading up to Nonprofit Awareness Day, MNN’s #MAkingadifference social media campaign engaged hundreds of nonprofit and business leaders on social media to communicate the positive impact of nonprofits across the state. Participants in the social media campaign shared thousands of pictures, stories, and statistics that illustrated the depth and breadth of the state’s nonprofit sector.

MNN Kicks Off 2020 Census Efforts with Statewide Partners

2019-04-01 10.08.22

Secretary of State Bill Galvin launches statewide 2020 Census efforts in Framingham, MA.

Last Monday, MNN took part in two Census kickoff events. Secretary of State Bill Galvin launched statewide efforts at a ceremony in Framingham hosted with Mayor Yvonne Spicer (click here for Boston Globe coverage of the event). Boston Mayor Marty Walsh held a kickoff event with nonprofit and community leaders in East Boston (click here for WBUR coverage).

As trusted messengers, nonprofits can play an important role in driving Census participation in hard-to-count communities. Nonprofits that are interested in learning more about and getting involved with the 2020 Census can:

  • find and join their local Complete Count Committee using this tool on the Secretary of State’s website;
  • promote job opportunities with the Census Bureau within their networks; and
  • visit for an up-to-date list of tools and resources to aid in Census public education and outreach.

MNN will provide additional information and resources as the 2020 Census draws closer. Contact Fernando Martinez with any questions or comments.

In Memory of Youth Worker, Light of Dawnn Awards Shine Light on Local Unsung Heroes

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Pictured from left to right: Alma Huerta Dominguez; Ian Jaffier, Jr., Dawnn’s brother; Ian Jaffier, Sr., Dawnn’s father; Ketsy Caraballo; Randy Wiskow.

BOSTON, MA (February 26, 2019) – Nonprofit leaders, government officials, and community members came together at the West End House Boys and Girls Club on Tuesday for the fifth annual Light of Dawnn Awards Ceremony to honor the life of Dawnn Ashley Jaffier. Three front-line nonprofit professionals and three high school seniors who embody Dawnn’s legacy were recognized for their service to their communities.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker lauded the award winners for their contributions in a video message that was played at the ceremony.

“I thank the West End Boys and Girls Club for making it their mission to ensure that we remember the example of service demonstrated by Dawnn in her lifetime,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Congratulations to Alma, Ketsy, and Randy and the scholarship recipients for emulating the empathy, compassion, and leadership that Dawnn brought to every aspect of her life.”

The Light of Dawnn Awards were created to honor the memory of Dawnn Jaffier, who was killed on August 23, 2014, while on her way to a neighborhood celebration. At 26 years old, Dawnn had made a significant impact in her community through her work at nonprofits, including the West End House, Playworks, City Year, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston.

After Dawnn’s death, her family, friends, and colleagues came together to create the Light of Dawnn Awards to honor Dawnn’s legacy of compassion and service. The Awards aim to raise the public profiles of nonprofit workers doing important direct-service work, particularly those who do not have prominent or externally-facing roles.

Every year, three direct-service nonprofit professionals are selected to receive a Light of Dawnn Award and a $5,000 cash prize. The Awards are presented by the Highland Street Foundation and managed by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.

This year’s awardees are Ketsy Caraballo, a Community Health Worker and Case Manager Doula at Health Care Without Walls; Alma Huerta Dominguez, the Bilingual Client Services Coordinator at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center; and Randy Wiskow, the Art Director at Cardinal Cushing Centers.

“It is an honor to recognize Alma, Ketsy, and Randy for their outstanding contributions to our community,” said Blake Jordan, Executive Director of the Highland Street Foundation. “Just like Dawnn, these individuals quietly go about their work every day driven by a desire to make a difference in someone’s life.”

“We are pleased to recognize this year’s impressive Light of Dawnn Award recipients that remind us of Dawnn and her legacy of service,” said Jim Ayres, chair of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network’s board of directors. “Alma, Ketsy, and Randy are outstanding examples of the thousands of nonprofit professionals working in Massachusetts to make their communities stronger.”

In addition, three high school seniors were awarded the Light of Dawnn Scholarships for their community work. Now in their fourth year, the scholarships were created by John Hancock, where Dawnn’s mother is a longtime employee, and the Foundation To Be Named Later. Scholarships of $5,000 are given to each recipient for higher education.

This year’s scholarship recipients are Angelina Botticelli of Boston Arts Academy, Etinnah Garcia of John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science, and Dawry Ruiz of Roxbury Preparatory High School.

“It is an honor to celebrate the life and legacy of Dawnn Jaffier by once again joining her family and civic partners to pay tribute to leaders who are serving their communities,” said Rita German of John Hancock. “We are especially proud to recognize Angelina, Dawry, and Etinnah and hope this award helps make their journey just a little bit easier.”


MNN Calls for an End to Federal Government Shutdowns

Today MNN sent a letter to the Massachusetts congressional delegation calling for their support of legislation that funds the government through the end of the fiscal year and prevents future shutdowns.
“Shutdowns place an undue burden on nonprofits that step in when people who work for and rely on the federal government are left vulnerable,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN. “We encourage Congress to enact a mechanism to prompt automatic continuing resolutions that protect service organizations and workers, and prevent the harmful disruption of future government shutdowns.”
The historic 35-day shutdown that lasted from December 22, 2019, to January 25, 2019, had significant, and likely long-lasting effects on nonprofits throughout Massachusetts.
In January, MNN surveyed nonprofits to determine how the shutdown impacted organizations and the people they serve. The specific impacts on nonprofits reported in the survey included:
  • increases in demand for services under existing budgetary constraints;
  • disruptions in current funding streams, and little to no federal technical assistance;
  • delays in anticipated grant cycles, including uncertainty around the status of grant applications and planned projects;
  • lapses in federal approval needed to carry out local activities.
The full letter can be viewed here.

Massachusetts Nonprofits Feel Squeezed by the Federal Government Shutdown

Nonprofits and those they serve are being impacted by the federal government shutdown, and many more may be affected if the shutdown continues, according to a survey conducted by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN).

“The results of the survey speak to the incredible strain on nonprofits caused by the uncertainty of federal funding and increased demand for services,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN. “Many organizations are on the front lines serving furloughed federal employees and others who are impacted by the shutdown.”

Among the specific impacts cited by nonprofits include:

  • disruptions in current funding streams, including delays in current grant programs, uncertainty around entitlement funding, and little to no federal technical assistance on grant and program administration;
  • delays in current or upcoming grant cycles, including uncertainty around the status of completed applications and planned projects;
  • lapses in federal approvals needed to carry out local projects and activities;
  • a reduced ability to carry out daily operations while facing an increased demand for services.

Erin McAleer, President of Boston-based nonprofit Project Bread, said, “Our clients—SNAP recipients—are confused and anxious. We are hearing from more people who need help accessing food, including furloughed federal employees. Mitigating the impact of the shutdown is our top priority, but as a nonprofit, the attention the shutdown demands is consuming significant resources and staff time across our entire organization.”

“The results from the survey make it clear that the shutdown must end,” said Klocke. “MNN recognizes the heightened need caused by the shutdown and will continue to serve the nonprofit sector during this critical time.”

MNN Releases 2019 Public Policy Agenda

Today MNN released its 2019 Public Policy Agenda that outlines the organization’s policy and advocacy priorities for the year. The agenda focuses on the following three goals important to the entire nonprofit sector:

1. Helping the people served by nonprofits.

Specifically, MNN supports: ensuring a complete count for the 2020 Census; reducing and eliminating “cliff effects,” which can force people served by nonprofits to choose between income growth and the loss of vital services; and expanding nonpartisan efforts to promote democracy, civic participation, and voting.

2. Strengthening nonprofits’ ability to serve people and communities.

Specifically, MNN supports: matching reporting requirements to the size of nonprofits, including the elimination of duplicative requirements placed upon small nonprofits; improving state policies that affect nonprofits as employers, including the new paid family leave policy and the employer medical assistance contribution; and enhancing the sustainability of state funding through long-term funding continuity and full and timely payment for services, including indirect and administrative costs.

3. Ensuring fair tax policy and supporting accountability.

Specifically, MNN supports: protecting the nonprofit tax-exempt status and educating decision-makers on the community benefits that nonprofits provide; improving the federal charitable tax deduction and re-establishing the state charitable deduction; and preserving the integrity of the sector by promoting best practices for nonprofit fiscal management.

To read the full 2019 Public Policy Agenda, click here.

MNN thanks its members for their expertise and support. MNN looks forward to continuing to represent the sector to decision makers at all levels of government, working collaboratively with its members and the broader nonprofit community.

New Report: Nonprofit Fundraising Strategies to Soften the Blow of Federal Tax Reform

Today the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) released its latest edition of Commonwealth Insights, “Strategies to Make the Most of Year-End Fundraising.”

“We are confident that integrating these fundraising strategies will help nonprofits secure financial support and increase their ability to do the work that is essential to the Commonwealth,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN.

The report details five fundraising strategies for nonprofits to integrate into their year-end fundraising starting this year to increase support for their important missions:

  • Increasing outreach to mid-level donors;
  • Promoting Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) to donors age 70 ½ and up;
  • Encouraging accelerated giving;
  • Soliciting non-cash donations;
  • Fundraising from business partners.

The report is released at a time where the landscape of nonprofit giving is rapidly changing. MNN reported in detail on the changes from the 2017 federal tax overhaul that affect middle-income donors. Of particular concern is the doubling of the standard deduction that will lower the amount of middle-income donors itemizing their contributions by raising their cost of giving by an average of 28%.

MNN estimates that these changes could potentially put as much as $513 million in charitable contributions at risk every year in Massachusetts.


About Commonwealth Insights
Commonwealth Insights publications highlight policy, issues, and trends important to the nonprofit sector published by MNN. This is the third edition of Commonwealth Insights in 2018. Earlier editions focused on 2020 Census, federal tax reform, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Prior editions can be viewed at The work of MNN, including the Commonwealth Insights series, is supported by its organizational sustainers: the Barr Foundation, the Boston Foundation, and the Highland Street Foundation.

650 Nonprofit Workers Learn, Network, Inspire, and Impact that MNN’s Annual Conference

FRAMINGHAM, MA. Yesterday, over 650 nonprofit and business leaders attended the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN)’s annual conference, Learn, Network, Inspire, Impact. The conference provided a space for nonprofit leaders to learn in workshops and network with their peers, featured a keynote panel discussion on equity, diversity, and inclusion in the nonprofit sector, and honored Carol Duncan and Hubie Jones with Lifetime Achievement Awards.

“The work you do, and your overarching commitment to the common good, is exactly what our country needs more of,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN, to conference guests in his opening remarks.

The conference opened with a keynote panel discussion moderated by Michelle Hantman, President and CEO of the United Way of Greater New Bedford, and featuring Carol Fulp, President and CEO of The Partnership, Inc., Elaine Ng, CEO of TSNE MissionWorks, and Deborah Re, President and CEO of Big Sister Association of Greater Boston.

The panel discussed diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Massachusetts nonprofit sector. In particular, they focused their discussion on the recent demographic shifts within the sector, and the potential for millennial professionals in addition to cross-sector partnerships to build more inclusive and representative nonprofits.

“I’m learning a lot from the millennials about starting discussions on diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Deborah Re. “As someone who leads an organization that serves 91% people of color, building a culture that promotes diversity in the workplace is my moral imperative.”

“During this pivotal demographic shift, it’s essential that nonprofits and businesses partner together on rebuilding workplace cultures,” said Carol Fulp.

The panelists also noted that although progress had been made in recent years, more work is needed to build a truly inclusive and representative nonprofit sector in the state.

“Equity is about changing leadership structures, and that’s the challenge,” said Elaine Ng. “The heavy lift is how you leverage different backgrounds and experiences.”

MNN also presented its 2018 Lifetime Achievement Awards to Carol Duncan, former executive director of Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell, and Hubie Jones, Social Justice Entrepreneur-in-Residence at City Year and Dean Emeritus of the Boston University School of Social Work. Duncan and Jones were honored for their impact on the nonprofit sector in Massachusetts and their improvement of communities across the state.

A fixture in the Lowell community for her extensive service at nonprofits, Duncan recounted the story of a former client of Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell in her acceptance remarks. Her story of a girl in need that she served who is now pursuing a college degree highlighted a motivation that drives many people to work for nonprofits.

“Our work had an impact in this woman’s life, and I really believe this woman’s story will have a happy ending. That’s what nonprofits live for,” said Duncan.

Jones, a Boston area social justice icon with a storied career that includes founding and leading over 30 nonprofit organizations, concluded the speaking program with a sage perspective on his life largely spent fighting for social, economic, racial, and educational justice for Boston residents.

“Service is the rent that we pay for living. That’s what I do: I pay my rent,” said Jones. “I urge you all to do the same.”

The conference also featured almost 50 business exhibitors focused on serving nonprofits. Held every year since the organization’s founding in 2007, MNN’s conference is one of the largest events dedicated to building nonprofit capacity in Massachusetts.


Carol Duncan, Hubie Jones will be honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards

LAA winners combined-minMNN announced today that Carol Duncan, former Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell, and Hubie Jones, Social Justice Entrepreneur-in-Residence at City Year and Dean Emeritus of the Boston University School of Social Work, will be the recipients of the organization’s 2018 Lifetime Achievement Awards. The awards will be presented at MNN’s annual conference on Wednesday, October 10 at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel and Conference Center.
“We are thrilled to honor Carol and Hubie for their years of distinguished service as members of the Massachusetts nonprofit sector,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN. “Their dedication to serving others, to strengthening their communities, and to making Massachusetts a better place for all to live will have lasting impacts.”
“It is truly a great honor for me to have been chosen by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network for a Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Carol Duncan. “My time as Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell and my service in retirement on various boards and advisory boards focusing on youth, education, and the arts has been very rewarding for me.”
“Founding and building nonprofit service ‎institutions has been the joy of my life. Through this work, I have helped to build stronger social fabrics in communities and save lives,” said Hubie Jones. “It just doesn’t get better than that.”
Every year, MNN honors outstanding nonprofit leaders who have positively impacted the nonprofit sector. Past Lifetime Achievement Award winners include Tim Garvin, Paul Grogan, Beth Smith, Joan Wallace-Benjamin, and the Rev. Gloria White-Hammond.
Carol Duncan
Carol Duncan is being honored for her extensive service to the Greater Lowell community in her roles at nonprofits, on boards of directors, and as an experienced educator. Carol served as Executive Director of Girls Inc. from 1991 to 2013, where she put her passion for serving young women into leading an organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. In her tenure, Carol oversaw a $400,000 renovation to the organization’s office to expand program capacity, and significantly elevated its public profile, receiving the national Girls Inc.’s Outstanding Affiliate Award two years in a row.
Carol has received numerous honors for her outstanding service. In 2014, she was honored at the Celebration of Today’s Women event at Girls Inc. She was featured in the Lowell Sun Salute to Women Project in 2012 and the YWCA of Greater Lawrence Tribute to Women in 2011. Carol was an honoree at the First Annual ATHENA Award Program in 2002 and has received community service awards from Lowell-based Community Teamwork, Inc. in 1995 and from the American Textile History Museum in 2008.
Carol remains active on numerous boards of nonprofits in her retirement, including at Challenge Unlimited at Ironstone Farm, the Whistley House Museum of Art, the Patient Care Board at Lowell General Hospital, and the advisory board of the Angkor Dance Troupe.
Hubie Jones
Hubie Jones is being honored for his contributions to the social justice movement in Boston, where he has held numerous positions in academia, founded several nonprofits, served on multiple nonprofit boards, and played a leadership role in the social development of the city and its people.
Hubie is Dean Emeritus of the Boston University School of Social Work, where he previously served as Professor and Dean. Before joining the faculty at Boston University, Hubie was Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Urban Affairs at the University of Massachusetts Boston, an Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was acting president of Roxbury Community College.
Hubie has played a key role in the formation, rebuilding, and leadership of at least 30 community organizations within the black community and across the city. In 20 of these organizations, he served as chairman of the board or executive director. His leadership roles include executive director of the Roxbury Multi-Service Center, board chairman of the Massachusetts Advocates for Children, and board president of Roxbury Youthworks, the Roxbury Community College Foundation, and the Citywide Educational Coalition.
Hubie Founded Higher Ground, Inc., modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone. Since 2002, he has been founder and president of the Boston Children’s Chorus.

Expert Panel to Examine Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Massachusetts Nonprofit Sector

BOSTON, MA – The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) announced that an expert panel featuring top nonprofit leaders will address the topic of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the Massachusetts nonprofit sector at the organization’s Annual Conference on October 10, 2018 at the Sheraton Framingham.


The Conference’s keynote panel will be moderated by Michelle Neves Hantman, President and CEO of the United Way of Greater New Bedford. The panelists are Carol Fulp, President and CEO of The Partnership, Inc., Elaine Ng, CEO of TSNE MissionWorks, and Deborah Re, President and CEO of Big Sister Association of Greater Boston.


“We are thrilled to have Michelle, Carol, Elaine, and Deborah on our keynote panel this year,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN. “Their skills, experience, and savvy will produce a great discussion at the Conference.”


Promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion has been identified as a key area of growth by many in the state’s nonprofit sector. In a 2018 survey of Massachusetts nonprofit professionals commissioned by The Boston Foundation and carried out by Building Movement Project, 33% of the respondents of color who work at nonprofits indicated that they felt their race had impacted their career advancement “very or slightly negatively.”


Every year, the MNN holds its annual conference for nonprofit organizations across Massachusetts. In addition to the keynote panel, MNN will present two nonprofit sector leaders with its Lifetime Achievement Award. The conference is expected to draw over 600 attendees from Massachusetts nonprofits and for-profit companies that serve nonprofits. The conference is one of the largest gatherings of nonprofit professionals in Massachusetts.


About the Panelists


Michelle Neves Hantman is the President and CEO of the United Way of Greater New Bedford, an organization that fights for the health, education, and financial stability of the Greater New Bedford community. Michelle currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, the New Bedford Whaling Museum Board of Trustees, the UMass Dartmouth Leduc Center for Civic Engagement Advisory Board, and the South Coast Regional Network to End Homelessness Leadership Council.


Carol Fulp is the President and CEO of The Partnership, Inc., an organization whose mission is to enhance the competitiveness of the region by attracting, developing, retaining, and convening multicultural professionals. Carol serves on the Harvard Kennedy School Women’s Leadership Board and as a trustee of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.


Elaine Ng is the CEO of TSNE MissionWorks, an organization dedicated to building the knowledge, power, and effectiveness of individuals, organizations, and groups that engage people in community and public life. In addition to serving as a Barr Fellow, Elaine has served on numerous boards and committees including the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, the BPS School Quality Working Group, and the Chinatown Land Trust.


Deborah Re is the President and CEO of Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, an organization that ignites girls’ passion and power to succeed through positive mentoring relationships with women and enrichment programs that support girls’ healthy development. She serves on the Advisory Board for the West End House Boys and Girls Club, the Selection Advisory Council of the Greenlight Fund, and serves as co-chair of Mass Mentoring Partnership’s Leadership Council.