December 2018 Newsletter

The Link

December 2018

Learn more about TPC’s 2018-2019 Grantees


Philanthropy Dialogues…
We are continuing our theme for this year’s Dialogues of “Life on the Economic Margins,” with our focus trained on disparities in access to justice, education, opportunities, and health care in Greater Boston.

Register soon for our last three Dialogues of the year:

Special Dialogue and Book Discussion: January 10 (Boston)

Dialogue about Accessing Opportunity: February 6 (Boston)

Dialogue about Accessing Health Care: March 5 (Chestnut Hill)


Check out all of TPC’s Events


What We Are Learning

On Monday, November 26, 15 TPC members and guests gathered at the offices of Ceres, a Boston-based sustainability non-profit, to watch 4.1 Miles, an Oscar-nominated short film that follows the story of the coast guard on the Greek island of Lesbos as they grapple with the mass migration of refugees across the Mediterranean Sea.

Though this film was made in 2016, when the mass migration of people seeking asylum from war and conflict was picking up, its message still resonates today. Lesbos remains home to several refugee camps on the island, many of which offer little hope of a better life and dismal living conditions, according to a recent article in the Guardian.

Members discussed a wide range of issues, unpacking their experience watching the film. Here are some of the key questions that remained:

  • In our globalized world, what is the moral case for borders and nation states?
  • How will climate change – through sea level rise, more frequent and severe storms, drought and wildfires – exacerbate displacement?
  • How are other collective giving groups addressing immigration, refugee, and humanitarian issues? Is there an opportunity for groups to pool funds to work at the root causes of these issues, and not just supporting the moments of crisis?

There exist many local organizations and educational resources to learn more and engage including past TPC grantees. A few are listed below:

The film is free to screen at:


Grantee Impact: Health Care Without Walls
TPC Liaisons: Barbara Elfman and Darlene HeikkinenHealth Care Without Walls is a non-profit dedicated to providing free, compassionate medical care, education, and advocacy to homeless women and children in greater Boston. TPC liaisons Barbara Elfman and Darline Heikkinen interviewed founder Roseanna Means (pictured right) and COO Linda Cundiff to learn more about this new addition to the TPC family of grantees.

Can you tell us about the community you serve? Do you see this community expanding or retracting?

The number of women we serve has grown – most recently we have seen an increase in women who are older and those who are pregnant. It is difficult to know the actual number of homeless women because when the City of Boston does its annual count of the homeless, we believe that many women are not included. Recently, A bill has been proposed by state representative Kate Hogan to create a commission to explore methodologies and ways to better serve the homeless women all around us. To support that effort, we met with Mary Lou Sudders, Secretary of Health and Human Services, and a lobbyist, Mary Ann Hart, to advocate for the women we serve.

Continue interview with Roseanna Means and Linda Cundiff


Member Impact: Massachusetts Conference for Women

On December 5 and 6, TPC exhibited for the first time at the annual Massachusetts Conference for Women. This year, over 13,000 women attended the Conference to learn from dozens of expert speakers about issues that matter to women: personal finance, volunteerism, business, entrepreneurship, and more. Keynote speakers included Amal Clooney and Elizabeth Gilbert, together with an impressive line-up of very accomplished and noteworthy women.

The exhibition hall, open for 13 hours over 2 days, was staffed by 20 TPC members who rotated in and out of booth duty shifts. We had an exceptional first year as an exhibitor, engaging in in-depth conversations with over 100 visitors, and providing printed information to many who wished to peruse it on their own. While we do not yet know how many women will join as a result of these efforts, all 20 of us were happy to help spread the word about our work and community.


Young Philanthropist Initiative

Philanthropy on the Field
On the morning of December 1, several TPC Young Philanthropists attended this event, which was sponsored by Doris Buffett’s Learning by Giving Foundation. The event highlighted the work the Foundation is doing to teach the next generation of philanthropists, primarily through coursework it has developed and offers across college campuses. The day’s event abbreviated the semester-long program into an action-packed series of learning and giving: at the end of the educational sessions, participants granted over $100,000 to select non-profits. We were delighted to hear that former grantees Boston CASA, Future Chefs, and Silver Lining Mentoring each received grants.

Cynthia Andre (to the right of Doris Buffett) recounted that participants heard from speakers and panelists, including THE BASE founder Robert Lewis, Jr., Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy, and Congressman Joe Kennedy and Lauren Birchfield Kennedy. Issues discussed spanned hypocrisy and diversity in philanthropy; bringing the client to the table; and working collaboratively on beyond the surface-level issues. These compelling and probing discussions were rooted in the RISE framework – Relevance, Impact, Sustainability, and Excellence in Management and Operations – which Prof. Rebecca Riccio taught attendees to use for assessing and understanding non-profits and philanthropy.

Nyah Macklin (far left in photo) was most moved by Congressman Kennedy’s and Colleen Richards Powell’s transformational thoughts on the true history of philanthropy in Massachusetts and what truly inclusive philanthropy needs to look like for the field to move forward with as robust a community as possible. Nyah also appreciated learning about the RISE framework, noting that it allowed all in the room to become more engaged and in-tune philanthropists not only when joining the non-profits on the floor below, but also in life when deciding how to allocate money, time, and experience for future giving-centered endeavors. She is looking forward to taking everything she learned and applying it to her everyday giving exercises.

The part that struck Sophie Gildesgame (to the right of Nyah) the most was hearing Robert Lewis talking about transformative philanthropy. Philanthropy is inextricably linked to power: as people with access to resources and wealth, we have a responsibility to drive change in this industry. Who has a voice? Who has a seat at the table? And, more importantly, who is not being heard and why? (Or, asked differently, who is “given” a voice, and who are the people who determine who gets to speak and take up space?) As people with power (of all kinds) we have the privilege and responsibility to try to create “brave spaces” (as opposed to safe spaces) where traditionally marginalized voices can be centered and heard. Robert shared that the long-term change that non-profits and philanthropists set out to achieve can only be accomplished with these values at the center.

After a very full day, the YPs headed to Game On! for the after-party, mingling with others who attended the event, sharing their experiences, and even picking up a T-shirt to commemorate the day.

LxG has prepared a summary of the day in you’d like to read more about this terrific event. And, finally, thank you to the Learning by Giving Foundation and a group of generous TPC members who sponsored some of the YPs in attendance.




Corporate Sponsor of
Philanthropy Dialogues:

Young Philanthropist
Initiative Sponsor:

Connect the Dots
Events Sponsor:

Copyright © 2018 The Philanthropy Connection. All rights reserved.


The Philanthropy Connection’s mission is to inspire and enable a community of women to learn, grow, and engage in collective giving to support nonprofit organizations that address systemic inequities impacting individuals and families within the greater Boston area.

Phone: 617-544-7812

TPC members include all women who identify as cisgender, transgender, agender, gender queer, and femme. TPC welcomes everyone for whom “woman” is a meaningful identifier or experience.

TPC qualifies as a public charity under section 501(c)(3) for US tax purposes. Our EIN is #46-0665444.