Grantmaking: More than Money

LZF seeks out and finds highly effective small programs that work within its mission focus, then, performs thorough due diligence before making and managing small, meaningful grants. Top priority is given to independent, small, grassroots organizations with limited ability to raise other funds. Grants range between $1,000 and $20,000. The Lenny Zakim Fund makes grants for program, capacity building and general operating purposes. In 2014, The Lenny Zakim Fund provided $501,500 in grants to 68 programs throughout Eastern Massachusetts.
New applicants submit a letter of inquiry and those that are approved, together with current grantees submit full proposals. After a preliminary review, The Fund performs extensive due diligence by visiting every program that it considers and then makes final allocation decisions. The Lenny Zakim Fund does not make multi-year grants. If an organization applies for and receives three consecutive years of funding, then they must take one year off before applying again. All grant recipients must submit written and financial evaluations at the completion of a grant cycle.
Education, Training, Networking and Other Opportunities
LZF not only makes grants, but also equips its grantees by providing learning and training opportunities that smaller organizations usually cannot afford. Grant recipients’ staff, board and volunteers are welcome to learn from experts and take advantage of the opportunity to network and learn from each other.

Lenny Zakim Fund Institutes are free day-long conferences for all current and former grant recipients. Topics are selected with input from grant recipients. Past topics have included: Contingency Planning and Strategic Opportunities, Volunteers 101, Fundraising in Hard Times, and Giving and Receiving Feedback and Criticism.

LZF Seminars are free trainings that are designed for small groups to have an interactive, in-depth learning and networking experience. Past topics have included: Corporate Governance for Nonprofits, Learning About Donor Advised Funds, and Navigating Insurance Risks and Rewards.

But Wait, There’s More…
All current and former grant recipients:
  • Are eligible for pro bono legal assistance
  •  May receive formal and informal counseling
  • Gain access to experts in various fields
  • Access resources and materials
  •  Receive publicity and exposure through the newsletter, events, and radio show