A bi-weekly update from the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.                                        

JUST ONE WEEK LEFT: Nominate a Nonprofit or Nonprofit Professional in Your Community
Submit a nomination by March 10 to highlight the work of your organization, or one you admire, and help tell the story of the important, innovative, and impactful work being done in nonprofits across the state. Award winners will be announced and honored at Nonprofit Awareness Day, presented by Citizens Bank, on June 8 at the State House.  Nominations are due March 10- submit a nomination now.

The MNN Nonprofit Excellence Awards are a great way to increase awareness and visibility of your work.  "In addition to being a great honor, being the recipient of the 2013 Nonprofit Excellence in Collaboration Award greatly strengthened Sharing the Harvest's visibility both within our community and amongst nonprofits statewide, while also increasing our outside support to directly strengthen out mission." - Daniel King, Farm Director, Sharing the Harvest.

Choose among the following categories: Advocacy, Board Governance, Collaboration, Communications, Innovation, Leadership, Small Nonprofit, and Young Nonprofit Professional.


Honoring a Young Legacy: 
Celebrating the Light of Dawnn
Oscar Aquino unveils the mural he painted of his friend and mentor Dawnn Jaffier.

When Dawnn Jaffier was four years old, she told her father she wanted to be a teacher. Her passion to teach and mentor youth never wavered, and Dawnn went on to impact young boys and girls across Boston in her role as a youth worker. On Wednesday, February 25, through a bright mural painted by her friend Oscar Aquino, Dawnn's big eyes and warm smile looked over the almost 100 people who had gathered to celebrate her life and those who will carry on her legacy through the Light of Dawnn Awards. Assembled at the West End House Boys and Girls Club in Allston, Dawnn's family, friends and colleagues joined nonprofit
leaders, community members and elected officials to celebrate the first three recipients of the annual award.

Created to honor the work of Dawnn Jaffier, a beloved youth worker who was the innocent victim of gun violence last August, the Light of Dawnn Awards recognize frontline nonprofit workers whose tireless dedication to serve their community mirrors that of Dawnn's. It was her legacy that inspired the creation of the awards, as those who knew Dawnn felt that her memory would be best used as a way to inspire others to continue her work building stronger communities.


Award winners Frank Coleman, Vanessa Lewis and Reggie Jean.

This year's Light of Dawnn Awards honored three outstanding individuals who were chosen from more than 50 nominations. The 2015 Light of Dawnn recipients are: Frank Coleman, Adolescent Program Manager at Friends of the Children- Boston; Vanessa Lewis, Leadership and Life Skills Coordinator at West End House Boys and Girls Club; and Reggie Jean, Teen Director at the YMCA of Greater Boston- Dorchester Branch.  


These remarkable recipients are driven by service and demonstrate the spirit that is Dawnn's legacy- a compassionate and unwavering commitment to assisting those in need.  The award winners were chosen by a selection committee comprised of Dawnn's family and community leaders. Click here to read more and see photos from the awards ceremony.

Strategic Planning Simplified: 
The Why, What & How
Does the idea of strategic planning make you break out in hives? Do you have an old or existing strategic plan that has never seen the light of day? Are you seeking a simpler, more effective strategic planning option that results in a plan you will actually use? 

Join us on March 18 for a live webinar as part of MNN's new monthly webinar series. This month, MNN will be partnering with EssentialWorth to highlight why strategic planning is important for nonprofits, the critical components of a strategic planning process, and the key elements of a strategic plan. You will also learn how to assess your readiness for strategic planning and important steps to get you started.


Participants will learn:
* Why strategic planning is important for nonprofits
* The 3 critical components of a strategic planning process
* The 6 key elements of a strategic plan
* If you are ready for strategic planning

Register now.

This is an important conversation. 

We want to hear what you have to say.

The 2015 series of regional meetings will focus on building a strong and stable nonprofit workforce. We hope you'll add your voice to this important conversation and join MNN to learn about ways that your organization can support and develop its employees through the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund Program: a statewide program that provides employers in the Commonwealth with funding to train their employees.

These interactive and informative meetings will provide an overview of the features and benefits of each of the Workforce Training Fund Grant programs followed by a facilitated conversation to identify and address professional development needs across the nonprofit sector to ensure we have a strong pipeline of nonprofit leaders. 


Upcoming Meetings: 

Berkshires, March 17

Cape Cod, March 19

Pioneer Valley, March 24

Central MA, March 25

Northeast, April 1

Metrowest, April 2


Learn more and find a meeting in your region.


Baker Plans to Double Tax Returns for Low Income Families

Governor Baker's proposed state budget, which will be released tomorrow, March 3, will call for a doubling of the state's Earned Income Tax Credit. This boost would increase the tax returns of low-income working families to $1,873 within three years. To pay for this increase, the Governor proposes nixing the state's film tax credit. As reported in the Boston Globe, Baker said "I think it's an important opportunity for us to both do something real and also send a signal that we believe in supporting people who are working real hard to get ahead...This is one way, in addition to increasing the minimum wage and some others, to provide them with more bang for their buck." 


Possible Early Retirement for Thousands of State Workers

Also in state budget news, the Associated Press reported that Gov. Charlie Baker plans to file legislation that would allow thousands of state employees to retire early, and if that doesn't work, the state may resort to layoffs.  If passed, the legislation could save the state $178 in the coming fiscal year.

Workstyles of the Rich and Famous: How to Engage Celebrities to Benefit Your Cause  

During the course of my career I have experienced the pleasure and, at times, the pain of working with celebrities on behalf of both nonprofit and for for-profit corporations. Whether they are actors or athletes, politicians or performers, the best ones understand they have a job to do and use their popularity to draw attention to an issue or institution. According to a study conducted by Rutgers University, finding the right match can have a positive impact on fundraising and boost an organization's credibility. 

For organizations thinking about securing a celebrity to host a program, perform at a gala or serve as a spokesperson, be specific when it comes to expectations and get everything in writing. Whether it's a memo for someone donating their time or a contract for a paid appearance, negotiate in advance. Be sure to specify... 

Executive Director, Grow Associates, Inc.

Major Gifts Officer, Horizons for Homeless Children

Executive Director, 2020 Women on Boards

Chief Financial Officer, The Guild for Human Services

Chief Financial Officer, Northeast Arc

Food Pantry Director, Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry

Executive Director, Families for Depression Awareness

Major Gifts Officer, Rosie's Place

Director of Development, iCivics

Director of Institutional Advancement, American Textile History Museum

Executive Director, Cambridge Historical Society

Executive Director, Fenway Community Development Corporation

Executive Director, New Economy Coalition

President, Cristo Rey Boston High School

Development Director, Bridges Together

Program Director, Nonotuck Resource Associates Inc.

Major Gifts Officer, Zoo New England

Chief Marketing Officer, Citizen Schools


Grant & Award Opportunities

Carter Manny Award, Due March 15
ArtWeek Boston, Due March 20
Project LAUNCH, Due March 30
Second Chance Act grants, Due March 31

Trainings & Events 
*Discounts for MNN members

*Effective Supervision: Creating A Culture of Mutual Respect, Boston, March 5

Basics of Community Organizing, Roxbury, March 5

BlumShapiro Accounting and Auditing Webinar, March 11

*Sick and Tired: Managing Employee Illness, Injury, Disability, and Leaves of Absence, Holyoke, March 11

Marlboro Board Leadership Institute, Brattleboro, VT, March 7- April 16

MNN Berkshires Regional Meeting: Leveraging State Resources to Invest in Your Staff, Pittsfield, March 17 

Strategic Planning Simplified: The Why, What & How, Webinar, March 18

Careers in the Nonprofits Sector, March 18

Merging Generations Luncheon, March 18

MNN Cape Cod Regional Meeting: Leveraging State Resources to Invest in Your Staff, Hyannis, March 19 

Social Media: Tips and Tools for Using Social Media to Build Support for your Mission, Boston, March 19

Raise More Money: Major Gift Fundraising for Smaller Nonprofits, March 19

*10 Easy Steps to Rock Your Online Communications, Boston, March 19

*HSF Supervisory Skills Certificate Series, Holyoke, March 19

*Courage in Leaving: An Act of Leadership for the Transitions Ahead, May 21-22 (registration deadline is January 30)

MNN Pioneer Valley Regional Meeting: Leveraging State Resources to Invest in Your Staff, Northampton, March 24
*Boston Fiduciary Summit, Boston, March 25

Bentley University Nonprofit Fair, March 26

How to Ask for Money, March 31

Women's Forum: Getting Healthy Staying Healthy, Boston, April 16

*Succession Planning: More Than Assessing Bench Strength, Boston, April 30

*Fearless Presenting, Boston, May 7

Next Steps Workshop for Nonprofit CEOs, May 11-12


2015 Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards: Nonprofits throughout New England are encouraged to nominate deserving volunteers for the 2015 Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards and an opportunity to receive grants of $25,000, $10,000, and $5,000 in honor of Myra Kraft. For more information and to submit a nomination, please click here!

Downtown Boston Office Space for Sub-Lease: 
Fabulous space perfect for a small organization or start-up, located at 727 Atlantic Ave, across the street from South Station. Features include: sunny office with big windows, and accessibility to Red, Green, Orange, Silver Lines and Commuter Rail. Please contact Diana Meyers at diana@afcmentoring.net or by calling (617)830-5528.


Office Space for Sub-lease: 21,906 square foot sublease available at 888 Commonwealth Ave in Boston, with a mix of open space and perimeter offices. Features include: located directly on the MBTA Green line, on-site restaurants, parking, and various retail amenities nearby. If interested, please contact Derek Losi at (617)758-6021.


MetroCreate 2015 Free Website Program: MetroCreate Studios is excited to welcome nominations of nonprofits for its 2015 Free Website Program. Each year, MetroCreate accepts applications from or on behalf of nonprofit organizations located around New England which are in need of marketing support. To submit a nomination, please visit 2015 Free Website Program.


Check out MNN's online Business Directory for companies throughout MA. 

New & Returning Affiliates
*Discounts for MNN members

Ann Donner Consulting

A skilled strategist with experience leading complex projects for business, nonprofit and government organizations, Ann Donner works with her clients in order to ensure that strong ideas do not go unexplored because of the demands of day-to-day operations. Services include: Project Management of Strategic Initiatives, Interim Leadership Program Design and Implementation, Strategic Planning and Facilitation Advocacy and Public Engagement, Program Research and Feasibility Assessment. *10% Discount to MNN Members.