COVID-19 Emergency Response & Recovery Fund

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For Donors

The Lenny Zakim Fund recognizes the dire situation grassroots communities in Massachusetts are in due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the current public health emergency, the Fund is now accepting donations for our COVID-19 Emergency Response & Recovery Fund to help provide both immediate and long-term relief in the coming months to the nonprofit organizations we have traditionally supported to advance social, racial, and economic justice.

The community organizations the Lenny Zakim Fund supports tend to be “under the radar” of larger grantmakers and they count on the fact we see them and recognize the important role they play in their own communities. It is also clear that these same communities, and particularly communities of color, are suffering from the coronavirus at much higher rates than others. Therefore, we want to be sure that not only can these community organizations survive the current moment, we want to support added need and recovery from this tragedy.

We recognize the strong desire and demand for individuals who want to give to a meaningful cause. Consider this funding opportunity as our way of providing a vehicle to channel your generosity to those on the frontlines in our own, local communities. While we will continue to count on you to support the work we do each and every day, we hope you’ll provide additional support now — at any level you can—to help these important community institutions survive.

Ways to give:

1. Give online

2. Call us at (617) 406-6036 or email us at for more information.

While The Lenny Zakim Fund deeply appreciates your generosity at this time, the organizations and communities we serve will be the true beneficiaries. On their behalf, we thank you for doing all you can to help alleviate the unexpected challenges they are currently facing.

In the near-term, funding priority will be given to organizations focused on one or more of the following:

    • Food insecurity
    • Housing insecurity
    • Health accessibility
    • Undocumented immigrants and refugees
    • Domestic violence
    • Criminal justice

For Nonprofits: How to Apply

The purpose of our COVID-19 Emergency Response and Recovery Fund is to provide critical emergency funding to our current and former grant recipients that have a need for additional funding in order to maintain staff, services, and programs. This is a time for the Lenny Zakim Fund to be there for our communities to help them respond, rebuild, recover, and restore hope. As we raise money for this fund, we will continually reach out to all our grant recipients to learn about their current needs and the long-term impact the pandemic could have on their organization and mission without additional support.

Unrestricted emergency grants will be provided as flexible general operating support to current grantees and former grantees (maximum budget size of $1M). Examples of unexpected costs due to COVID-19 include, but are not limited to:

    • Increased sick days or other benefits needed for staff impacted by the illness
    • Meeting or fundraising event cancellations
    • Technology upgrades or purchase of virtual communication
    • Supplies related to health and hygiene (e.g., masks, gowns, gloves and other protective equipment) as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control or county public health departments
    • For educational programming, items needed for distance learning (computers, wi-fi hotspots, etc.) or supplies that support food distribution for low-income students

Click here to apply

Applications are due by 11:59PM on the 15th of each month.

Contact us at if you have questions.