The Lenny Zakim Fund (LZF), an innovative, values-based Boston nonprofit that funds and supports grassroots organizations and people who are changemakers in their communities, is seeking a new Executive Director to advance its commitment to social, racial, and economic justice. LZF was born out of the example of Lenny Zakim, a civil rights leader who dedicated his life to shaping a better society. Deeply committed to social justice and to the fundamental rights and dignity of all people, LZF helps to change the course of people’s lives.
The Lenny Zakim Fund began in 1995. Lenny launched LZF, not as a family foundation, but as a 501(C)3 public charity that raises funds, makes grants, and provides training on an annual cycle. As exemplified by the iconic bridge that bears his name, he was dedicated to building connections and coalitions between people of different faiths, ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds. Today, LZF works to develop deep relationships with those in the community who are at the forefront of change and to build bridges among people and communities to advance social, economic, and racial justice. Our mission is to listen to those most impacted by inequities at the grassroots and provide the funding, essential resources, and support they need to create lasting change.
Small nonprofits that meet critical needs in local communities often struggle to find funding. By supporting LZF, donors and volunteers empower groups and individuals who are historically underserved or marginalized to build strong partnerships and programs that dismantle inequity and nurture resilience. In 2019, LZF provided funding to 56 grant recipients who are serving 22 Massachusetts communities in program areas including: child and youth development and education; access to food, housing and economic security; organizing and support for immigrants and refugees, violence prevention, criminal justice reform and family outreach; civil and human rights advocacy and support including LGBTQIA community support and organizing; and health promotion and accessibility for all.
To strengthen the grantees’ ability to navigate the challenges of the nonprofit world, LZF provides critical supports including semi-annual Institutes, day-long conferences, and dozens of interactive seminars facilitated by experts in the field; networking opportunities for the exchange of ideas, resources and support; pro bono legal assistance and guidance; leadership counseling to help resolve problems and build confidence; and access to experts in a variety of associated fields.
The work of LZF is guided by the following principles:
- Social Justice – We deeply believe 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 – We are inspired by and respect the power and ability of those most impacted by injustice to bring about change.
- Diversity and belonging – We embrace a culture of including and belonging that seeks out and welcomes the voices of those with diverse life experiences and intersectional identities.
- Learning – We believe that continuous, active and reciprocal learning is critical to promoting awareness and creating a solid foundation for change.
- Bridge Building – We 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 we 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.
LZF has an annual budget of $1.5 million and a 19-member Board of Directors. Generous volunteers give their time as mentors and ambassadors in the community. To learn more, please visit www.thelennyzakimfund.org.
External Relations and Fundraising
- As chief spokesperson, passionately communicate and promote the Fund’s mission and vision;
- Position the Fund as an advocate organization regarding critical issues of social concern;
- Be a thought leader in the larger community conversation about social justice and philanthropy;
- Build upon and implement an ambitious fundraising plan including a major donor strategy;
- Oversee solicitation and cultivation of annual fund donors.
Grantee Relations and Grants Administration
- Sustain the partnership model with grantees;
- Serve as primary interface with grant applicants and recipients, deepening relationships and providing guidance and technical assistance;
- Develop relationships and programming to provide broader networking opportunities for grantees;
- Oversee the grant application, due diligence, and allocations process;
- With a Board subcommittee and staff, design and implement annual fundraising events, two Institutes, and the Award Ceremony annually;
- Produce written materials including electronic newsletters and oversee the organization’s communications;
- Coordinate donor and prospect participation in site visits, Award Ceremony, and Bridge Builder Breakfasts,
Board Support and Organizational Administration
- With Board leadership, effectively engage the Board in fundraising, governance and Board recruitment;
- Coordinate, schedule and attend all meetings of the Board and subcommittees;
- Further build and work closely with a dedicated team of professionals;
- Oversee the Fund’s staff, human resources, and financial operations.
- Dedication to the organizational culture of diversity, inclusion and racial, social, and economic justice;
- Passion for social justice that incorporates the ability to inspire and motivate others;
- Knowledge of community affairs, multicultural issues, and social justice/community-based nonprofits; knowledge of the eastern Massachusetts area nonprofit landscape a plus;
- Demonstrated track record of cultivating and securing $10,000+ individual donor gifts;
- Experience in nonprofit technical assistance work;
- Ability to work effectively with diverse stakeholders;
- Experience with grant management preferred;
- Experience managing high-performing team(s);
- Strong public relations, program management, and events management skills;
- Excellent interpersonal and oral/written communication skills;
- Ability to work independently with minimal administrative support.
Lenny Zakim Fund is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a culturally diverse, equitable, and inclusive team. We strongly encourage applications from a wide range of backgrounds.
To apply in confidence: Please send resume and cover letter to Susan Egmont, Egmont Associates, at email@example.com.