Lynn Community Fund
To The Editor
The time has come to establish the Lynn Community Fund, which would provide grants to Lynn nonprofit organizations to support new, innovative and collaborative projects aimed at improving the quality of life for the city’s residents now and in the years ahead.
Lynn had such an organization, but the Mass. Attorney General late last year approved a request of the United Fund and Council of Greater Lynn’s (UFCGL) board of directors to dissolve the Council. That action was accompanied by the board’s vote to transfer its assets of $196,000 to one Lynn nonprofit to be paid out over the decade ahead for “emergency needs”. Thus, eliminated was a local funding source to support programs designed by Lynn’s nonprofit organizations.
The Lynn Community Fund would expand on the work of the UFCGL, which had funded local nonprofit projects since its founding in 1926. From 2006 through 2010 along, the Council made 30 grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 and totaling $115,000. These grants were made to such organizations as: Girls Inc. of Lynn, Family and Children’s Services of Lynn, the North Shore Workforce Investment Board, Catholic Charities North, Journeys of Hope, Greater Lynn YMCA, Boys and Girls Club of Lynn, College Application Education Project, Lynn Arts and the Greater Lynn Senior Services. In addition, its largest annual grant was made to a “Special Fund” targeted to help Lynn’s truly needy in order for them to meet emergency needs.
The Lynn Community Fund is appropriate now because of the increased attention the city is receiving. Coinciding with the demise of the UFCGL, Mass. Governor Charles Baker’s Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash noted that “This is Lynn’s time . . . We think there is great opportunity to do something that can be special here.” Mr. Ash was referring to the launch of the Lynn Economic Advancement and Development (LEAD) Team to focus a wide range of local, regional and national resources into the city’s development.
Supporting the foundation of that economic development can be the Lynn Community Fund to focus on the city’s human and social services development, underwriting the vast talents and knowledge of the Lynn’s nonprofit community. The Fund would target its grants to new and innovative programs to address present and future unforeseen challenges within the city, and to promote collaboration among nonprofit organizations to focus their broad strengths, talents, knowledge and resources on addressing critical issues. Among the wide range of potential funders would be former Lynn residents and businesses with fond memories of having been a part of the community and wanting to contribute to the city’s present and future success.
It would be wonderful if there is a nucleus of Greater Lynn residents interested in establishing the yet-to-be-set-up Lynn Community Fund that would continue to support the much needed and valuable work of the city’s great nonprofit community. I would like to be a volunteer supporting that nucleus of residents interested in establishing the Lynn Community Fund.
Lynn was very fortunate to have had the United Fund and Council of Greater Lynn for 89 years. Now, the time has come to establish the Lynn Community Fund, which would provide grants to Lynn nonprofit organizations, supporting new, innovative and collaborative projects aimed at continuing to improve the quality of life for the city’s residents now and into the future.
Former Executive Director (2007-2012)
United Fund and Council of Greater Lynn
Tom Curran can be reached at [email protected]