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We are delighted that you want to be part of The Philanthropy Connection, a group of 250+ dynamic, generous women committed to philanthropy in Boston. There are many member benefits and ways to connect with our vibrant, multi-generational community.

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TPC operates with a Give, Receive, Learn model.

Give. Membership is simple: Each member contributes one of the following amounts as their annual investment

  • Sustainer: $2,500
  • Catalyst: $1,200
  • Partner: $600
  • Friend: $300

Each member chooses their investment level based on their ability to pay, with all members having an equal voice within the organization regardless of membership level chosen. Any member may join a grant team and help to review applications, conduct site visits, and recommend nonprofits for our final grantee ballot. The full membership votes on a slate of candidates, with one vote per member. Finalists receiving the most votes are awarded a grant, giving each member an equal say in which nonprofits TPC funds. The number of grantees and amounts awarded depend on the number of members – the more members, the more funding we can provide.

Receive. TPC facilitates connections between our like-minded member philanthropists and our grantees. After members learn more about the critical work grantees perform in our community, many are motivated to help: in a recent survey, 100 of our members (35%) donated to or volunteered for at least one grantee. This amplifies our philanthropic reach far beyond grant dollars to include members’ involvement as Board members, volunteers, private donors, and pro bono advisors.

Learn. Throughout the year, we provide our members multiple opportunities for learning what it means to be a philanthropist. Through educational programming and grant review teams, we create educated, energized donors who learn how to be effective Board members, read non-profit financial statements, assess an organization’s health, and conduct effective site visits. We offer Philanthropy Dialogues, small-group discussions with representatives from TPC’s current grantees, who delve into hot topics in philanthropy. Members also have the opportunity during Volunteer Days to provide direct service to grantees. Each member decides for themselves how involved she’d like to be.

From the moment you join The Philanthropy Connection, you are welcome to participate in all events and join a committee.

Philanthropy Dialogues

These recurring small group discussions feature current TPC grantees and other content experts, exploring how nonprofits are tackling pressing needs in the Greater Boston area. Past Dialogues have covered:

  • Absent for a Reason. With TPC grantee Fathers’ Uplift, a discussion about how circumstances can often intervene that cause distance between fathers and their children and what this organization is doing to heal those relationships.
  • Power Dynamics that Lead to Oppression. A deep dive into how various social and cultural structures can oppress certain groups of people while benefitting others with TPC grantee RIA, Inc., former grantee PAIR Project, and Boston City Councilor Julia Mejia.
  • Trust-Based Philanthropy. A TPC member-led discussion about the trust-based approach to philanthropic giving.

Special Programs and Events

Throughout the year, members are invited to additional educational and social programs that provide opportunities to connect with one another in small groups. Recent events include:

  • 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge. A self-guided learning journey to examine the history and impacts of racism and other structural inequities.
  • TPC Book Club. A discussion of Brit Bennett’s “The Vanishing Half,” a novel about twin sisters who choose to live in two very different worlds – one black and one white.
  • Winter Gathering. A purely social evening for TPC members featuring separate sessions for wine tasting, music trivia, dance lessons, Family Feud, and margarita making.


Members are welcome to join committees such as Grants; Education; Member Engagement; Marketing & Communications; Development; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and the Young Philanthropist Initiative. Contact us at connect@thephilanthropyconnection.org for more details.

Grant Team Participation

As a grant-making organization, our work is, by necessity, cyclical. The number of grants we award each spring is determined by the number of members as of the previous December 31.

For members who join and renew in 2024:

  • These donations comprise the grants that will be awarded in June 2025.
  • Members may sign up for a grant team in Fall 2024.
  • Their membership will last until the end of 2025. Then, they must renew annually.

How long does my membership last?

Your membership extends to Dec. 31 of the year after you join (i.e., when you join in 2024, you’re good to go until 12/31/2025).

Do I need to be a member to attend your educational programming? How much do these events cost?

With few exceptions, TPC’s educational programming is open to those interested in learning more about TPC and Boston’s nonprofit landscape. We do not charge for any of our programs.

What are the opportunities for Young Philanthropists?

In our commitment to foster the next generation of young women philanthropists (YPs), we offer access to all TPC programs for women between the ages of 18 and 35. In addition, YPs are encouraged to join committees where they can learn with and from more experienced members, and to attend events specifically designed for them.

Is my membership investment to The Philanthropy Connection tax deductible?

Yes. The Philanthropy Connection is a non-profit organization exempt from federal taxes under IRS Code Section 501(c)3. Contributions are fully tax deductible.

How does The Philanthropy Connection decide which organizations get a grant?

Our grants eligibility criteria and process are spelled out in the New Member Packet.

What am I obligated to do?

As much as you would like! The only requirement is to make a membership investment of $2,500, $1,200, $600, or $300. We hope that all members will participate in voting for our grantees and attend the Grant Awards & All Member Meeting when new grantees are revealed. The level of a member’s participation is their choice alone: women may serve on committees, volunteer with grantees, or simply vote each year knowing that each carefully vetted ballot finalist is a worthy investment.

When will my membership dollars be applied to the grants pool?

The grant amounts we award each May/June are determined by the number of members and amount of dues we receive as of the previous December 31st.

Do I have to live in Massachusetts to join?

No, though you must live in or frequently visit the Boston area in order to participate on a Grant Review Team. These teams typically meet two to three times in person (fall/winter). Final voting is done by email.

Is there a role for me if I can’t make a membership donation?

Yes, you can support our work by donating any amount you choose to help offset expenses for our administrative support and member programs and events. Non-member donors do not serve on committees, nor do they vote.

If you are interested in becoming a member but are unable to invest $300 or more, please contact connect@thephilanthropyconnection.org to learn about receiving a sponsorship.

I have a male friend or family member who wants to join. Can he participate?

Yes, while this is a women’s collective giving organization, men can support our work by making a donation, encouraging the women in their lives to join, or giving the gift of membership.

If I invest a certain amount or make an additional donation, will I get more than one vote or receive other additional membership benefits?

No. Each member is entitled to one vote and has access to all member benefits, no matter how much they give. We, of course, encourage contributions over the standard membership fee as excess funds help defray the expenses of our education events, programs, and administrative costs.

Can I pay my membership investment over time?

Members joining at the Partner ($600) or Friend ($300) level have the option to pay on a quarterly basis.

Why does TPC offer four membership investment levels?

TPC members represent diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. We recognize that one’s age or current income level does not fully represent one’s ability to invest in a specific membership level. Wealth in Boston is highly stratified, with Black, Latinx, and women-led households the least likely to have accrued savings or real estate. TPC is committed to dismantling systemic inequities while working to cultivate a membership that is bound by its commitment to Greater Boston. This is why, in 2021, we committed to expanding our access to a more diverse membership by moving from two to four membership levels.

Can I contribute publicly traded stock to cover my membership donation?

Yes. If you would like further information on using stock to cover membership fees or a donation for TPC’s programming and operations, please send an email request to connect@thephilanthropyconnection.org.

If I cannot attend the Grant Awards Meeting, can I still vote?

Yes. Voting is done before the meeting via email.

My company matches funds for charitable donations. Can I cover part of my membership fees with funds from my company’s matching program?

Yes, we allow members to use matching funds from their employer’s matching program to help cover their membership contribution.  For more information on how to use this type of payment, please contact connect@thephilanthropyconnection.org. Learn more about corporations that offer matching gifts.

Conflicts of Interest

We are deeply committed to selecting our grant recipients through a transparent, honest, and fair process. To ensure this occurs, we have a clear policy regarding conflict of interest, which every member is required to read, sign, and agree to uphold. This policy requires all members, Grant Review Team members, and our Board of Directors to disclose any and all relationships they may have with a grant applicant or potential applicant. We require anyone that has a potential conflict of interest to recuse themselves from all discussions and votes that involve the organization with which they have a relationship.

To become a member of The Philanthropy Connection, we ask that you make a tax-deductible annual donation of $2,500, $1,200, $600, or $300.

There is also an option to spread your membership fees over 12 months with four quarterly payments at the $300 and $600 levels.

If you are interested in donating stock or using your company’s matching funds program to cover membership, please send a request to connect@thephilanthropyconnection.org and you will be contacted with specific instructions.

To pay by check, please mail payment to: The Philanthropy Connection, 1770 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 222, Cambridge, MA 02140.

If you’d just like to keep in touch, subscribe to our newsletter.

Questions? Email connect@thephilanthropyconnection.org or call 617-544-7812.