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How will you change the world?

GMA Foundations helps you define a clear path to transformative philanthropy, and then walks the path with you as an ally and a guide.

We partner with individual and organizational donors as managers, advisors, and facilitators. With over thirty years of insight and field experience, GMA Foundations is changing the world by helping you change the world.



What will it take to meet Boston’s housing challenge?

NPO Conversation on September 7th at GMA Foundations

HKS Democracy and HousingWe invite leaders of nonprofit organizations to join us three times a year for a lunch discussion about issues, ideas, and concerns in the nonprofit and philanthropic community. The meetings are a time for us to move beyond the usual conversation between foundations and nonprofit organizations.

Each session focuses on a particular topic, and reservations are required. Guests will learn a little more about GMA and a lot about their peers’ perspectives on important issues.

Topic for Conversation: What will it take to meet Boston’s housing challenge?

An age old problem – the lack of adequate and affordable housing – is getting bigger in the Boston area. More than half of renters and one-third of homeowners are now considered “housing burdened,” spending over 30 percent of their gross income on housing. At least 70 percent of residents earning less than $20,000 per year experienced this burden as of 2010. (The Greater Boston Housing Report Card 2015 and The Boston Indicators Project).

Mayor Walsh’s Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030 calls for strengthening partnerships across sectors and across the city to ensure housing of all types is available and accessible to residents in all socioeconomic groups.

What is your organization’s strategy for shaping Boston’s housing future? How does that tie into Mayor Walsh’s Boston 2030 vision? Join us for a conversation with non-profit leaders who are close to the problem and working on creative solutions!

Our informal discussion will be organized around a few questions, similar to these:

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Activating a Network for Large-scale Land Conservation

tree leaves networkedFoundations that move beyond traditional grantmaking to joining funding collaboratives or to awarding grants to coalitions are willingly entering a realm that can be less predictable, possibly risky, yet powerful.  Across the country funders are increasingly supporting networks, coalitions, and partnerships – fostering learning, cooperation and strength.

One New England funder’s network- and coalition-centric grantmaking is paying off in many ways.  It is  increasing land conservation as measured by dollars and acres, while also helping build a network of conservation organizations that are smarter and more ambitious than ever.

Regional Conservation Partnerships

The most recent initiative of the Jessie B. Cox Trust supports coalitions of conservation organizations in New England – where challenges of increasing density persist and the cost of land has sky-rocketed.  These coalitions, called Regional Conservation Partnerships (RCP), share the goal of increasing the scale and pace of land conservation. Read about the Network of RCPs and the Wildlands and Woodlands vision to conserve 70 percent of New England permanently free from development.

Just as the forests and habitat that the Cox Trust seeks to help protect operate at a regional level, so must its nonprofit organizations and partners.  Networks and coalitions can address challenges of scale, connectivity, strategy development and fundraising in ways that a single nonprofit organization could not.

Risk and opportunity

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How new brain research is informing changes in grantmaking

brain livescience-comResearch into the physical effects of traumatic experiences on the brain is revealing possible new pathways to change and reshaping measures of program effectiveness. With increased knowledge of the stress-induced barriers to mental well-being, education, health and human services organizations are incorporating trauma-informed approaches into their programs.

Research around trauma has historically focused on war veterans. In 1995 the CDC began the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES) which demonstrated the lasting effects of childhood trauma into later life. The ACES research has been instrumental to understanding the long term effects of trauma and has provided compelling justification for early intervention. The CDC’s ongoing analysis has led to more inclusive definitions of trauma and has pointed to strong connections between childhood experiences and adult health status and behaviors.

Recent research into brain development is helping explain this connection in concrete terms – our brains change. In one article the Children’s Bureau explains the effects of maltreatment on brain development, and an article on BrainBlogger.com describes how Post-traumatic stress disorder changes the brain.

Bridging a sense of isolation

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