December 2022 Newsletter

The Link

December 2022

Reflections from Bridget Dunn, Co-President

As I conclude my term, I would like to thank TPC for the opportunity to serve as your Co-President over the past two years.

It has always been easy to see that TPC’s funding, engagement, and programming achievements are impressive. However, one of the great joys of my presidency has been the opportunity to gain critical insight into the forces driving change in this organization each and every day. Over the last two years, I have been pleased to have a front row seat for some incredible progress led by our members and volunteers, including:

  • The Grants committee continually iterating, reflecting, and improving on its processes to adopt the principles of Trust-based Philanthropy, better serve our grantees, and establish TPC as an engaged and forward-thinking funder. In this time, they significantly overhauled the LOI and application processes, orchestrated the first-ever Catalyst multi-year grant for systemic change, and completed the first-ever feedback survey of grant team participants. 
  • The Membership committee rolling out a bold new membership structure, one of the first of its kind nationwide. This has created more equitable access to TPC and local philanthropy and has resulted in higher membership numbers and the return of previously lapsed members. It has also led to many collective giving groups replicating our structure and looking to us for thought leadership in this area. 
  • Hosting our first major in-person event in 2+ years this September at our 10th Anniversary party. I left the evening feeling so invigorated by catching up with old friends, meeting new ones, and hearing from our grantees. This fall we also piloted a new model of watch parties, allowing members to gather and enjoy events in small groups while retaining the flexibility and accessibility of our virtual programming offerings. 
  • The complete re-structuring of our grantee liaison program into a more robust Grantee Engagement initiative intended to provide support “beyond the check,” allowing us to better serve our grantees. 
  • Immeasurable other accomplishments, including updates to our committee structures, the establishment of more robust digital marketing efforts, and the rollout and iteration of comprehensive DEI programming. 

I am continually impressed by the remarkable women who make up TPC and by the bold vision they have for what collective giving can be. I am honored to have served these past two years alongside Co-Presidents Barbara Gaskin and Leslie Levenson and TPC’s incredible Board, and to have had the support of so many devoted and engaged member volunteers.

I wish all of the best to our new Co-Presidents, Leslie Levenson and Kelsea Médard, and look forward to continuing my service for TPC as a Board member. Thank you again for your support and devotion to TPC, and best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season.


TPC Officers and Board of Directors for 2023

The TPC Board gathered in November for its Annual Meeting, which is focused largely on presenting and electing a slate of vetted candidates for Officer and Board of Director positions. Officers of the Corporation, who serve one-year terms beginning in January, include Co-President (2), Treasurer, and Clerk. We are pleased to announce that Leslie Levenson is returning for a second term as Co-President and will be joined by Kelsea Médard in that role; Cathy Konicki will serve a third term as Treasurer, and Leigh Chandler will serve her first term as Clerk. Bridget Dunn, who served as Co-President in 2021 and 2022, will continue to serve on the Board, completing her second three-year term in 2024.

We are excited to welcome six new Board members: Lina Cañon, Tatiana Joyce, Tariana Little, Bodi Luse, Sarah Rahman, and Penny Weeks. They will begin their terms in January. Each of these women has been involved with TPC in a variety of roles and we are looking forward to their contributions to leadership. Please be sure to read their bios when they are posted to the website in January. We’d also like to bid a fond farewell and extend our gratitude for the hard work and dedication of the women rolling off the Board at the end of the year: Caroline Boeckman, Erin Cooper, Amber Gomes, Osa Osagie, Kathy Dunigan, and Cheryl Wakeham.


Membership Update

We are closing in on the end of our fiscal year, which will determine the size of our grantmaking pool. If you have not already done so, please renew today, recruit a new member, or consider an additional donation directly to the grant pool.


Upcoming Education Events

Education events will resume in February with a series of Dialogues featuring our current grantees. If you are interested in getting in on the fun of planning Dialogues with other TPC members (commitment lasts about 6 weeks) please contact Jenny Morrison.

Last-Minute Wish List Request

Ready, Inspire, Act (RIA) is looking for interested TPC members who can help with holiday gift bags for the women and families RIA serves. RIA’s goal is to have 50 holiday bags for its adult participants and 30 holiday gifts for children of participants.

RIA would love your help with funding to support gift items (adults: Dunkin gift cards, hats/mittens/socks, body care products, etc.; children: pajamas, winter boots, stuffed animals, board games, etc.). Please send any donations (earmarked “holiday gifts”) to:

Heather Wightman 


330 Cochituate Road, #1784

Framingham, MA 01701

If you have any questions about this request, please contact Heather directly. Thank you so much in advance for contributing to this annual RIA holiday tradition.

Get to Know Lawyers Clearinghouse

Lawyers Clearinghouse improves the lives of people facing social and economic hardship by engaging the legal community in pro bono service to nonprofit organizations and its homeless and low-resource clients.

Did You Know?

Last year, with the help of more than 600 volunteer attorneys and legal professionals, the Clearinghouse hosted 38 free legal clinics and 26 educational workshops and connected 254 people and 140 nonprofits with pro bono legal assistance worth an estimated $10 million.

With assistance from volunteer legal advocates, Clearinghouse clinic clients successfully fought evictions, acquired crucial benefits, and sealed and expunged their criminal records. Meanwhile, nonprofits were able to contend with pressing legal matters and access workshops and resources, enabling them to focus on their mission work.

Said one clinic client: “Lawyers Clearinghouse provided me a way for my voice to be heard and help that I really required. They provide a top-notch service for people that could otherwise not afford legal help.” 

How To Get Involved

There are a number of ways for lawyers to get involved with the Clearinghouse’s Legal Referral and Clinic Programs benefiting nonprofits and people in need. Additionally, lawyers and non-lawyers alike are welcome to share their subject matter expertise by:

  • Offering educational workshops;
  • Providing language assistance via interpretation and document translation; and
  • Promoting the Clearinghouse to community organizations you think may benefit from services, resources, or a referral partnership.

Check out Clearinghouse’s calendar for upcoming workshops and clinics and reach out if you have an idea for a future presentation. Have questions? Reach out to Communications Manager Hilary Vaught.


DEI Spotlight

Diversity | Equity | Inclusion

The 2021-22 school year saw an increase in book bans across America despite the fact that a majority of Americans – more than 8 in 10 – do not support such bans. PEN America, a nonprofit that works to protect free speech and expression through a framework of literature and human rights, has identified 1,648 unique titles banned this school year. Of the books banned, 41% dealt with LGBTQ+ themes or had prominent LGBTQ+ characters and 40% had leading or prominent secondary characters of color.

The American Library Association released a statement about this wave of book bans which reads in part:

A few organizations have advanced the proposition that the voices of the marginalized have no place on library shelves. To this end they have launched campaigns demanding the censorship of books and resources that mirror the lives of those who are gay, queer, or transgender, or that tell the stories of persons who are Black, Indigenous, or persons of color. Falsely claiming that these works are subversive, immoral, or worse, these groups induce elected and non-elected officials to abandon constitutional principles, ignore the rule of law, and disregard individual rights to promote government censorship of library collections.

While states like Florida and Texas have taken the lead on banning books recently, the history of book banning in America notes that Boston was notorious in the 1920s for its censorship, and that Boston conducted the first known book burning in the US when Puritans burned Quaker pamphlets in the 1650s.

What can you do about book bans? Look for petitions (example) to sign, join a Banned Books event, or sign up for a book club as part of the initiative: Books Unbanned – From Freedom Riders to Freedom Readers.


Want to share feedback, ideas or resources? Please email us directly at:



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.