A bi-weekly update from the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.                                        


A Celebration of the Sector


 "Like the 351 flags hanging above our heads, representing every city and town in the Commonwealth, each of our nonprofits is a unique part of a rich and vibrant tapestry that is, collectively, the nonprofit sector." - MNN CEO Rick Jakious to attendees at the 2014 Nonprofit Awareness Day celebration.


Yesterday, at the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network's 7th annual celebration of Nonprofit Awareness Day, presented by Citizens Bank, the Great Hall of the State House was packed with more than 200 nonprofit, business, and elected leaders from across the Commonwealth. They gathered to recognize the essential role nonprofits play in strengthening the Commonwealth and honor the best work being done in the nonprofit sector through the Excellence Awards.


State Treasurer Steve Grossman thanked the attendees for their commitment to community and explained that he had his grandfather to thank for instilling an understanding of the importance of giving back. Senate President Therese Murray also shared her own experience serving nonprofits, and told the crowd they were "deserving of our utmost gratitude because you make the Commonwealth a better place."



The highlight of the event was the presentation of the Nonprofit Excellence Awards. The 32 impressive finalists were honored for their work and the eight awards were presented to nonprofit organizations and employees that exemplify the most innovative, creative, and effective work being done throughout the Commonwealth.


Pavel Payano, when accepting the Young Nonprofit Professional Excellence Award, described the struggles he had overcome to get where he was today: "We've heard 'no' all our lives... but the 'no's' energized us..." Deb Samuels, winner of the Excellence in Leadership Award, explained that like many nonprofit leaders, her career was a labor of love: "We think about our jobs and the people we serve morning, noon and night. We don't stop thinking about them until we go to bed. And even then, we dream about them!"  


Congratulations to the 2014 Nonprofit Excellence Award winners:

  • Excellence in Advocacy: Strategies for Children, Inc.
  • Excellence in Board Governance: Junior Achievement of Northern New England
  • Excellence in Collaboration: Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness
  • Excellence in Communication: Mass Mentoring Partnership
  • Excellence in Innovation: Beacon Academy
  • Excellence in Leadership: Deb Samuels, Crossroads for Kids
  • Excellence by a Small Nonprofit: Falmouth Artists Guild
  • Young Nonprofit Professional Excellence Award: Pavel Payano, Greater Lawrence Young Professionals Network

You can view a full list of finalists and winners, along with descriptions, here.


These organizations motivate and encourage us all to be better citizens and ambassadors for the nonprofit sector. As Jerry Sargent, President, Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, Massachusetts, presenting sponsor of the event said "The organizations being honored this year by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network should serve as an inspiration for all of us to work together and invest our skills, time and dollars to helping our neighbors in need meet their challenges head-on." 


As the celebration came to a close, the energy of the Great Hall was topped only by the sense of camaraderie among the attendees. It was a nice reminder that although we often work for difference causes, or are miles apart, we -nonprofits, and the businesses and elected officials who support us-are in this together. And it is only by working together that we will strengthen the nonprofit sector, just as the sector strengthens the Commonwealth every day.


Treasurer Grossman Announces Major Step Forward in Creation of Nonprofit Retirement Plan

At yesterday's Nonprofit Awareness Day celebration, Treasurer Steven Grossman announced that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has ruled favorably on a proposal to create a new 401(k) plan that will make tax-deferred retirement savings available to more nonprofit sector workers (those at organizations with 20 or fewer employees), a plan MNN worked closely with the Treasurer's Office to have signed in to law by Governor Patrick in 2012. 


"This is a huge step forward, bringing us closer to the point when we can dramatically enhance the availability of retirement plans to nonprofit workers," said Grossman. "These women and men provide critical services that reach underprivileged and struggling segments of our community, and this provision will benefit thousands of people as they continue that important work."


 "This program will be the first of its kind in the country, leveraging existing resources at no additional cost to taxpayers, to support nonprofit workers," said Jakious."It will be a game changer because studies have repeatedly shown that the concerns over retirement savings are a significant barrier to recruiting and retaining people into the nonprofit sector." Read more...


TSNE Compensation and Benefits Survey Report

The dedicated employees of nonprofits are the biggest asset to the sector, and it is important to develop fair compensation and benefits to keep them.


A new report from Third Sector New England, Valuing Our Nonprofit Workforce 2014: A Compensation and Benefits Survey of and for Nonprofits in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Adjoining Communities, includes salary and benefits information from a range of different types of nonprofits.


You can download the report and use the searchable database to assess your compensation practices or salary data by organization budget, employee population, location, or field of service. Salary information within the report represents 134 positions from 250 organizations reporting on nearly 23,000 individual salaries. 

Thank you to our #nonprofitsmakesense partners! 
This year's #nonprofitsmakesense campaign produced hundreds of posts and tweets that resulted in an amazing online conversation.
The photos, stories, and stats you shared were heartwarming, creative, moving, and funny, and highlighted the importance of nonprofits. Everyone got in on the #nonprofitsmakesense movement -from Governor Patrick to the office cat at Rodman Ride Ride for Kids
We loved seeing how you impact your community and why you think #nonprofitsmakesense! See the action for yourself on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

MNN Report

Charting the Course: Establishing a Public Policy Agenda for an Effective, Efficient, and Essential Nonprofit Sector in Massachusetts


At nine statewide focus groups in early 2014, MNN convened nearly 300 nonprofit leaders to identify public policy ideas to strengthen and protect the state's nonprofit sector. From these meetings, MNN created a report that details the public policy ideas that emerged repeatedly across the nine discussions and will serve as the foundation for a long-term legislative agenda for the sector.


MNN's Public Policy Foundation:

  • Build a Strong & Stable Nonprofit Workforce
  • Invest in Promising Ideas & Proven Solutions
  • Promote Citizen Philanthropy & Volunteerism
  • Preserve & Protect the Nonprofit Tax Exempt Status
  • Strengthen Nonprofit & Government Collaboration

You can view the full report here.

NONPROFIT 411: Engaging Young Volunteers
How Thinking Small Can Impact Your Nonprofit In Big Ways 

By Molly Yuska, Founder, Project Giving Kids 


Have you ever been asked whether your nonprofit has volunteer opportunities for kids? Have you ever debated with your board or amongst your staff the logistical or liability considerations of having young volunteers? Chances are you answered "yes" to one or both of these questions. Chances are also fairly good the answer to whether you currently have volunteer opportunities for the smallest of the small is "no." But perhaps this issue deserves another look.


Setting aside minor operational hurdles like not knowing where to put a gaggle of young children or figuring out what they could possibly do to help propel your mission forward, consider for a moment the potential benefits of such engagement... Read more.

Executive Director, Jane Doe Inc.

VP of Human Resources, Cradles to Crayons

Development and Communications Manager, Women's Lunch Place

Boston Director, Stand for Children

COO, Asian Community Development Corporation

Executive Director, SkillWorks

Assistant Director, Minuteman Senior Services

State Director, The National Center on Time & Learning 

Executive Director, Community Action Agency of Somerville

Director of Human Resources, Martha's Vineyard Community Services

STEM Club Fellow, Mass General Hospital Center for Community Health Improvement

Manager of Foundation Assessment Tools, Center for Effective Philanthropy



Grant & Award Opportunities

Finish Line Youth Foundation, Rolling Deadline
Trainings & Events 

Using ROVI Methods to Leverage Volunteers Strategically, Holyoke, June 11

Lawyers Clearinghouse 26th Annual Meeting, Boston, June 11

How to Negotiate and Lead Nonprofits so Everyone Wins, Boston, June 13

Commercial Development 101: A Primer for Housing Developers, Boston, June 13 

A Nonprofit Marketer's Day of Learning, Westfield, June 16

Articulating a Compelling Vision and Inspiring Organizational Change, Boston, June 17 (email Communityinvestment@bostonprivatebank.com for more details or to RSVP)

Moving Mentoring Forward, Roxbury, June 17

Nonprofit Leadership Forum, Boston, June 19

Social Media: Tips and tools for using social media to build support for your mission, Boston, June 19 

How to Launch a Mobile Communications and Fundraising Campaign for Your Nonprofit, Webinar, July 8

Proposal Writing, Boston, July 17


Check out MNN's online Professional Directory for companies throughout MA 

New & Returning Affiliates

*Special discount for MNN members


Alexander Communications provides project-based support in writing, fundraising, communications, content marketing, planning and small business development. *25% discount


Colette Phillips Communications, Inc. provides public relations and marketing services in Boston.

MNN's work is made possible by The Barr Foundation, The Boston Foundation & State Street Foundation.
If you'd like to share a story or have a job, grant or other information that is important to Massachusetts nonprofits, contact llynch@massnonprofitnet.org .