The Lenny Zakim Fund makes grants for general operating purposes. The Fund works to develop deep relationships and build bridges among people and communities to advance social, economic, and racial justice. Their mission is to listen to those most impacted by inequity and provide the funding, essential resources, and support they need to create lasting change.
Donor Name: The Lenny Zakim Fund
Type of Grant: Grant
Size of the Grant: $20,000
Grant Duration: 5 Years
The Lenny Zakim Fund’s primary funding areas are:
- Child and Youth Development and Education
- Access to Food, Housing, and Economic Opportunity
- Health Promotion and Accessibility for All
- Organizing and Support for Immigrants and Refugees
- Violence Prevention, Criminal Justice Reform and Family Outreach
- LGBTQ Community Support and Organizing
- Civil and Human Rights Advocacy and Support
The work of the Lenny Zakim Fund is guided by the following principles:
- Social Justice: All that LZF does is based on deeply held belief that social justice is equity and that the
fundamental rights, well-being, and dignity of all people must be recognized, upheld, and celebrated.
- Grassroots Leadership: LZF is inspired by and respects the power and ability of those most impacted by
injustice to bring about change.
- Diversity and Belonging: They embrace a culture of inclusion and belonging, one that seeks out and
welcomes the voices of those with diverse life experiences and intersectional identities.
- Learning: They firmly believe that continuous, active, and reciprocal learning is critical to promoting
awareness and creating a solid foundation for change.
- Bridge Building: They are committed to bridging real and perceived difference, and to creating strong and
lasting relationships that are fundamental to progress.
- Responsiveness: Emerging challenges that impact those they serve require an acceptance of risk and an
ability to adapt and respond as rapidly as possible.
- Love: Love is at the heart of philanthropy. Love and compassion motivate and sustain the spirit of those
who partner with LZF and remain dedicated to justice for all.
The Lenny Zakim Fund makes unrestricted grants for general operating support. Their maximum grant size is $20,000, yet first year grants typically range between $1,000 and $10,000. Organizations that are new to the Fund are eligible to receive up to five years of funding (subject to a renewal process and approval). After five years, an organization is no longer eligible to receive funding from LZF. It is out of hope that organizations will leverage their LZF support to secure other funding when LZF support has ended. LZF does not support conferences, sponsorships for fundraising events or other one-time events; one-time film, video, or print projects; requests from individuals; scholarships, research and development or planning grants; or capital campaigns.
Top priority is given to small, independent, grassroots organizations with limited ability to raise other funds. LZF seeks to partner with non-profit organizations whose leadership mirrors the communities they serve, while meeting critical needs. The Jewish principle of Tikunn Olam (repairing the world) is key to their values. They prioritize organizations led by people of color or that have people of color in at least 50% of leadership roles. While reviewing applications, the committee considers the following: budget size; availability and number of development staff or consultants; access to other foundation funding, especially large local, regional and national funders; consistent funding from stable sources; access to individual and major donors; affiliation with a major institutional agency or with a national association; the ability to leverage existing funds to generate new funding; and the amount and type of government funding in determining whether or not an organization meets these criteria.
Non-profit organizations based in Massachusetts that have an IRS 501c3 status or a documented fiscal agent that has 501c3 status are welcome to submit a proposal.
For more information, visit LZF.