Inside LZF’s Annual Grants Program

August marks the start of LZF’s annual grants program. Over the next six months, LZF expects to receive and consider applications from well over 100 grassroots organizations who are looking for an opportunity to turn a vision into a sustainable reality.

LZF awards general operating support grants in seven funding areas to organizations who are almost exclusively in eastern Massachusetts. Grants typically range between $1K and $20K; organizations are eligible to receive up to five years of funding. Top priority is given to independent, small, grassroots organizations led by people of color with limited ability to raise other funds. In general, LZF will not fund organizations who budgets exceed $350,000.

Throughout the fall and early winter, LZF staff alongside members of our Community Investments Committee and site visitors will review grant applications and then conduct site visits with a select number of second round applicants. LZF will announce its newest cohort of grant recipients in early February 2023. LZF typically carries an annual portfolio of approximately 60 grantee partners, the large majority of whom are renewal grantee partners. Each year, LZF welcomes around 15 new grantee partners into the portfolio.

During the 2021 and 2022 grant cycles, LZF received 74 and 113 applications, respectively, and welcomed 15 and 16 new organizations into the portfolio. Since 1995, LZF has awarded approximately $12 million in grants to more than 400 grassroots nonprofit organizations. In 2022, LZF awarded $640,000 to 59 grantee organizations; the average grant size is $10,850. Two-thirds of our grantee partner organizations are led by people of color. Click here for a listing of LZF’s 2022 portfolio grantee partners and also to access a full listing of all grant recipients since 1995. Being a grantee of The Lenny Zakim Fund has come to be considered a “seal of approval” by other grant-making organizations and foundations such as The Boston Foundation, Cummings Foundation, and the Social Innovation Forum, family foundations, and individual philanthropists in awarding their own grant funding.

As a nonprofit charitable organization, LZF relies 100% on the philanthropic support of individuals, foundations, and corporations to fund our annual operating budget, which this year is nearly $1.6 million. A significant portion of the money LZF raises this year will fund our 2023 grants program.

To learn more about LZF’s grants program or to become involved in the 2023 grant review process as a site visitor or member of LZF’s Community Investments Committee, please contact Dominique Ramos, Program Officer, at