LZF Grants

Growing the Grassroots

An LZF grant is often the first step – a chance to turn a vision into a sustainable reality. Awarded to small, non-profit organizations with limited ability to raise other funds, general operating and program grants range between $1,000 and $20,000 per year. Grants may be renewed for up to five years.

How to Apply

View All Grantees

Our Impact Since 1995

23 years providing opportunity, safety, and equity

for thousands throughout Massachusetts

grants awarded since our founding

Health Promotion and Accessibility for All

Organizing and Support for Immigrants & Refugees

current grantees

Child and Youth Developement & Education

Civil and Human Rights Advocacy and Support

dollars given to community-based organizations dedicated to social justice

Access to Food, Housing, and Economic Security

Violence Prevention, Criminal Justice Reform, and Family Outreach

The value of an LZF grant far exceeds the amount of a check.

LZF strengthens its grantees by providing a variety of learning opportunities and services that are usually unaffordable for smaller organizations.


Free day-long conferences help current and former grant recipients to negotiate the challenges of the non-profit world.


LZF frequently offers free, interactive seminars facilitated by experts in the field. Topics have included: Corporate Governance for Nonprofits, Learning About Donor Advised Funds, and Navigating Insurance Risks and Rewards.


The opportunity to meet and learn from other like-minded community leaders is one of the most valuable parts of the LZF grantee experience. The exchange of ideas, resources, and support creates lasting relationships and strong community ties.

Pro bono legal assistance

Legal assistance is often necessary and always expensive. Through our partners, DLA Piper and The Lawyers Clearinghouse, LZF can provide all current and former grantees with free or low-cost legal guidance.

Leadership counseling

Whether seeking advice on management, board development or donor stewardship, LZF staff members are always available to help grant recipients resolve problems and build confidence.

Access to experts

Board members, donors, and other supporters are eager to share their expertise with grant recipients.

How to Apply

The Lenny Zakim Fund makes grants for program, capacity building and general operating purposes. All applicants submit full proposals. After a preliminary review, LZF performs extensive due diligence by visiting every program that it considers and then makes final allocation decisions. All grant recipients must submit written and financial evaluations at the completion of each grant cycle.

The grant cycle will open in spring of 2019. To express interest in this upcoming cycle and get notified when application materials are released, please sign up here.

Please review our grant guidelines here. You do not have to attend a conference call in order to begin your application. If you cannot make a conference call, please contact Evy at etran@thelennyzakimfund.org.


2020 Grant Cycle Information

The Lenny Zakim Fund (LZF) is announcing a new grant timeline and process for the full year cycle. Please read carefully below and note that our grant priorities and guidelines have not changed.

For New/New Cycle

New and New Cycle (N/NC) applicants are any organization that did not receive a grant in February of 2019. Each N/NC applicant must first contact The Lenny Zakim Fund office or attend an informational webinar to review your organization’s eligibility. The process is highly competitive with around 100 organizations submitting materials and typically 8-10 organizations selected for funding. These informational calls and webinars are meant to be a resource for you as you consider investing your time to apply for funding.

Informational Phone Call Dates

New and new cycle grantees must attend a call before they complete the application. Please join us via video and audio at one of the following dates/times:

June 4, 2019 at 10:00 am [register]

June 20, 2019 at 12:00 pm [register]

July 10, 2019 at 8:00 am [register]

July 24, 2019 at 5:30 pm [register]

August 9, 2019 at 9:00 am [register]


The application process consists of two review points. At each review point, the LZF board committee will review and narrow down the pool of organizations.

Review Point 1: Full application consisting of narrative questions, your current FY organizational budget, 2 profit and loss statements (current FY YTD and previous FY), and a board list.

Review Point 2: Site visits to see your organization in action, meet leadership and review outstanding questions from the full application.

For Renewal Applications

Starting this year, the LZF will streamline our renewal grants process. Renewal grantees (organizations who received a grant in February 2019 and have not yet reached their 5 year consecutive limit) will be asked to complete a short application.

A phone call will be arranged between LZF staff and organizational leadership to discuss the plans for a 2020 grant. A combination of the short application, review phone call and mid-cycle report will be used by the committee to make final grant decisions.

Review Call

Each renewal organization will participate in a review call with an LZF staff member that dig into among many things – key activities for the upcoming grant period, expected challenges, fundraising strategies, financials and measures of success/evaluation.

Mid-Cycle Reports

What was traditionally an evaluation will now be a mid-cycle report. This report will ask you to reflect on key activities, successes and challenges of your organization over the grant period, with an emphasis on key learning. The mid-cycle report will be released in mid-October to give you enough time to plan and prep to submit this report on time.