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The Lenny Zakim Fund (LZF)

Grants to Massachusetts Nonprofits to
Promote Social, Economic and Racial Justice

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Lenny Zakim Fund (LZF)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

09/01/20 11:59 PM EDT


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Grants of up to $20,000 to Massachusetts nonprofit organizations in eligible areas for general operating support. Funding is intended to support social, economic, and racial justice projects that have a positive local impact. Top priority is given to independent, small, grassroots organizations with limited ability to raise other funds. The Lenny Zakim Fund supports programs in Eastern Massachusetts.

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 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 155676

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants typically range between $1,000 and $20,000.

Term of Contract:

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.

Additional Eligibility 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. The Lenny Zakim Fund almost exclusively supports programs in Eastern Massachusetts.

In general, LZF will not fund organizations whose budgets exceed $350,000. Please contact LZF before applying if your budget is nearing or exceeds $350,000 to discuss your eligibility.

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.

Pre-proposal Conference:

LZF will be hosting two information sessions for the 2021 Grant Cycle. Please review the available slots below and click on the link to sign up for the time that is most suitable.
- August 10, 2020: Informational session at 11 AM EDT
- August 20, 2020: Informational session at 1 PM EDT

To sign up:


Pre-Application Information:

Deadline: Proposals are due by 11:59pm EDT on September 1st, 2020 in the online system.

Grant Timeline
- August 2020: 2021 Grants Application Released
- August 10, 2020: Informational session at 11 AM EDT
- August 20, 2020: Informational session at 1 PM EDT
- September 1, 2020: Applications are due by 11:59 PM EDT
- November 2020: Notification of advancement to next round
- November/December 2020: Round 2 site visits, phone calls & meetings
- February 2021: Notification of final grant selection

Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend an informational session or watch a recording prior to applying.

Some awards may be designated as challenge grants. Organizations that receive a challenge grant must raise the amount of the challenge in new or increased gifts before LZF will distribute its grant.

Each year The Fund hosts several events; including an Awards Ceremony, professional development seminars, technical assistance workshops, and public forums. Grant recipients are required to participate in at least four workshops and/or events throughout the course of the grant year.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

For assistance, please contact:

Eric Esteves, Executive Director

Dominique Ramos, Program and Office Administrator

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts: Eastern region

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