March 2020 Newsletter

The Link

March 2020

A Note from TPC President Barbara Gaskin

TPC recognizes the significant impact the spread of the coronavirus could have on our grantees and the populations they serve. We have asked each of our current and former grantees to tell us of any specific needs they have that our members might be able to help with, and we will communicate those needs to members as they arise. During this difficult time, please keep our current and former grantees in mind, monitor their social media, and help out if you are able.

There are several TPC activities under way, especially around the work of our grant teams. I will be sending an email to all members later today that will provide an update about how the Board is planning to manage our current and planned activities.

During this time, we urge everyone to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and medical professionals. Stay safe.

Why I’m A Member

“As a nonprofit employee familiar with the grant-seeking process, I love that TPC has helped me understand what goes through the minds of grant-makers. Engaging in deep discussions and making difficult decisions with my grant review teams has been eye-opening and energizing, and so has the opportunity to get to know some of the vast range of incredible nonprofits in our area.” (Laura Dziorny, Member since 2015)

Plans Are Still Being Made…

We are all well aware of COVID-19 and are hoping for a swift end to this global threat. With guarded optimism, we are making plans for the Grant Awards & All-Member Meeting to be an in-person event on the evening of May 28. Should that not be possible, we are also preparing to welcome our new grantees via video conference. We will keep you updated as we approach the date. In the meantime, we ask that you continue to think about Just One friend (or two) you can invite and register soon.

With the caveat that plans are fluid, we still need some help to be sure things run smoothly, so if you would like to volunteer, there are many jobs of varying skills levels to be done. We especially need to hear from you if you have video conferencing expertise. You can review the available opportunities and sign up directly, or you can contact Caroline Boeckman at to let her know how you’d like to help. Thank you!

Update on Upcoming Connect the Dots

Given the uncertainty of COVID-19, we are postponing the following events until a further date, which we will announce once more information is available.

Mar 19, South End Boston, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

Apr 15, Lincoln, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force Update

We are so excited to welcome you to our monthly digest on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion! One thing that was loud and clear from last year’s member survey is that everyone – regardless of age, race, income, etc. – thought that TPC had room to grow when it comes to defining and exemplifying our collective internal and external diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) values. To learn more about these definitions, please click here. The DEI Task Force has some ambitious plans to further this work, and we want you to be informed and involved. Every month we’ll share a short update about what we are working on as well as a few links to resources you can use to further your own personal DEI education. Please do (Read more…)

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Ruth Isaacs

Spotlight on TPC Volunteer Days: Ruth Isaacs and an Idea Made Real
By Elyse Pipitone

This month, I chatted with Ruth Isaacs, who has been TPC’s Volunteer Coordinator for several years. Many of you have participated in Volunteer Days, which provide another important conduit for members to connect with our grantees. Ruth launched the program, which had been an idea waiting for someone to put into action for some time, in November 2017 with the modest goal of one activity per quarter. However, the success was more than modest: TPC had hosted six volunteer events by June 2018. (Read more…)

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HERC Executive Director Samuel Acevedo

Grantee Impact 1: Boston Higher Education Resource Center (HERC)
Liaisons: Diane Suda and Olivia Taylor

Olivia Taylor met with Samuel Acevedo, the Founding Executive Director of Boston HERC.

Boston HERC, and its signature Passport to College program, has a 20-year track record of equipping students of color who are the first in their families to finish high school and matriculate to college. These first-generation students are given the access and tools they need to thrive in higher education, to break the cycle of poverty, and to become agents of change in our communities. (Read more…)

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The Wily Network Executive Director Judi King

Grantee Impact 2: The Wily Network
Liaisons: Ellen Gannett and Charlotte Teplow

Charlotte Teplow talked with Founder and Executive Director, Judi Alperin King, to learn more about the organization, her experiences, and the role TPC can play.

The Wily Network was established to improve graduation outcomes for promising students who have experienced life challenges such as foster care or homelessness, or whose parents may be dealing with addiction, mental health issues or incarceration. It provides a critical safety net for these Scholars as they navigate college on their own. Its program provides weekly coaching, financial assistance, community-building support, and networking opportunities to help them move from surviving to thriving. (Read more…)

Young Philanthropist Initiative

TPC’s Young Philanthropists were invited to Technology Underwriting Greater Good’s (TUGG) 13th Annual Wine and Tequila party, which was held on March 5. It’s a night of democratic philanthropy featuring the opportunity to hear directly from non-profits who are hoping to get funded – almost like condensing the work of TPC’s grant teams into one evening.

Each of the 1,000 attendees received a poker chip upon entering the room. During the first half of the evening, it was the job of the non-profits present to network. Via demonstrations and conversation, they introduced themselves to as many people as they could, “Shark Tanking” their way through the room. Later in the evening, guests were asked to place their poker chips in the basket that corresponded to the non-profit that resonated with them the best. The top four vote-getters received a portion of the $150,000 that TUGG had raised.

Former two-time TPC grantee, Resilient Coders, took home the #1 spot, securing a $50,000 grant as well as a $50,000 consulting package from Engaged Giving Partners. This is the 7th year Resilient Coders has taken home a prize. Pictured right is Nyah Macklin, a TPC 2nd year Fellow, and current Resilient Coder.

It was a truly unforgettable time and special moment for the Boston tech community.

News from Seattle

This February, members Susan Benford and Tatiana Joyce (pictured right) attended Catalist’s Conference, appropriately named “Power UP!” This national event is a convening of women’s collective giving groups from across the US. Tatiana, who represented TPC on a panel, tells us a little bit about her experience.

It was an honor to attend and be a part of such an inspiring forum for sharing best practices. I was happy to represent TPC as a panelist and moderator for a session entitled “Growing Younger: Strategies for Making Membership More Age-Inclusive.” As a TPC Fellow alumna and Young Philanthropist, it was exciting to share with others how TPC dedicates resources aimed at making sure our membership feels like a place for any woman to have a seat at the table. Also, even though I was in Seattle, I caught up on local news by getting the chance to hear Colby Swettberg, CEO of Silver Lining Institute, speak at the session: “Real Talk from a Non-Profit Leader: A New Age for Building Trust, Community and Power-Sharing.” Colby was amazing during this session and strongly advocated for grantmaking practices through a trust-based lens.

Here is a more detailed summary of the sessions that Susan and Tatiana attended for those interested in learning more about the conference.

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.