Showing posts with label non-profit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label non-profit. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The Franklin Farmers Market is a place to grow your nonprofit awareness. Apply now for a table this summer!

 Via the Franklin Farmers Market:

"Did you know we have a table available for FREE to any non-profits in the area?

That’s right, our Community Table is the perfect place to spread your mission to the local community and make connections!

Head to the link in our bio to apply for your spot today!"

Link => 

Follow the Farmers Market on Instagram

Did you that the Franklin Farmers Market is a place to grow your nonprofit awareness?
Did you that the Franklin Farmers Market is a place to grow your nonprofit awareness?

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Space 2 Thrive, a conversation with Helena Liedtke - 03/29/22 (audio)

FM #763 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 763 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares my conversation with Helena Liedtke, founder of Space 2 Thrive. We had our conversation in person in the radio studio at

We talk about how Space 2 Thrive came about, how her daughters created a video series during the pandemic, and her fund raising event scheduled for May 28, 2022

The recording runs about 35 minutes, so let’s listen to my conversation with Helena. Audio file ->


Donation of inclusive team building & play equipment to BFCCPS -> 

Sisters reach out - video series with Helena’s daughters Vivienne & Lara -> 

Fund raising 5K in May _> 

PDF flyer for May 28 5K ->

Space 2 Thrive website -> 


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial.  

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.

How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors

  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit or

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"


Fund raising 5K in May
Fund raising 5K in May

Monday, March 28, 2022

Empower your gardening with a new garden bed

VFJ Renovations' 3rd Annual #empowerwithgardening initiative is donating its 2022 profits to a non-profit dedicated to supporting those with mental health needs and helping to remove the stigma of mental illness.
Some mental health benefits of gardening include reducing stress, being present, developing a growth mindset, and practicing acceptance. Read about these benefits and more by visiting our website
We are offering Western Red Cedar planters and raised garden beds for purchase ($210 and $320 respectively). Both are made with 5/4” x 6” cedar decking material which has rot resistant properties! You can find more specifications about each and a link to the order form on our website.
Lastly, in order to donate more profit, we are looking for a few volunteers to help us build these planters and raised garden beds on Saturday, April 30. If interested, please contact Jessi at

Order Form: 

my garden bed from the Fanuele's early in the growing season 2020
my garden bed from the Fanuele's early in the growing season 2020

Monday, March 21, 2022

MA topics recap - pilot payments, infrastructure funding, land preservation, and remote meeting access

“It’s about fairness. It’s about how do you want to participate in this city that you get city services from: police, fire, public works. I think you should share in those costs.”

So spoke Boston’s late former mayor, Thomas Menino, back in 2010, when talking about nonprofit universities and hospitals—”eds and meds” in popular parlance—and their community responsibilities.

House Bill 3080 (Senate Bill 1874) authored by Erika Uyterhoeven of Somerville and cosponsored by 19 fellow state legislators, would finally realize Menino’s vision and empower cities to set common rates. Under the legislation, cities could require  payments of up to 25 percent of commercial property tax rates for nonprofits with over $15 million in property and could include provisions for in-kind community benefit contributions in lieu of cash."

Continue reading the article online ->

"EFFORTS TO REPLACE  the MBTA’s entire Green Line trolley fleet, a statewide move toward electric vehicle adoption, and projects to make infrastructure more resilient in the face of climate change impacts would all get a boost under a $9.7 billion bond bill Gov. Charlie Baker outlined on Thursday.

Nearly two months after he first hinted at plans to file a new transportation bond bill, Baker offered an initial glimpse at a proposal the head of the MBTA expects will play a “catalytic role” to maximize money headed to Massachusetts under a new federal infrastructure law.

Once filed, the legislation will kick off debate over years of investments in the state’s pothole-dotted roads and bridges, aging public transit, and infrastructure ill-equipped to withstand the brunt of climate change."
Continue reading the article online ->

"WE OFTEN THINK  of floods, hurricanes, snowstorms and the like as threats to our normal way of life, but the COVID pandemic has shown us a unique threat that affects everyone in a very different way — isolation and inability to gather together.  What brought many of us through the last few years was the availability of nearby open spaces for outdoor passive recreation.  As much as we need to plan for 100-year floods, we also need to plan for 100-year pandemics.  Enter the Public Lands Preservation Act.

Massachusetts has a wonderful collection of State Parks with a huge variety of sites and activities along with Mass Audubon, The Trustees, The Trust for Public Land, and many local and regional private land trusts.  Most of the publicly owned open spaces are nominally protected in perpetuity under Article 97 of the Commonwealth Constitution.  However, the protection can be removed by a two-thirds vote of each branch of the Legislature.  Forty to fifty laws are enacted every legislative session removing protection from parcels protected “in perpetuity.”  How can we prevent this erosion of public land?  Enter the Public Lands Preservation Act."
Continue reading the article online ->

"THE DARKNESS OF the pandemic brought a surprise element of transparency to government, and a range of groups, including those representing individuals with disabilities, this week are calling on the Governor’s Council to resume online streaming of meetings where elected officials vet judicial candidates.

“In the case of government entities based in Boston, like the Governor’s Council, live streaming enables people to tune in from every corner of the state; discontinuing remote access is devastating for regional equity,” eight groups wrote in a letter Thursday that was sent to the eight-member council and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, who chairs council meetings where Gov. Charlie Baker’s judicial nominees are considered. “Remote access is the latest instance of universal design — alongside curb cuts, elevators, closed captioning, audiobooks, and other features — that began as accommodations and expanded to universal popularity. Like these innovations and others emerging during the pandemic, remote access to public meetings should become a permanent feature.”
Continue reading the article online ->


MA issues recap - pilot payments, infrastructure funding, land preservation, and remote meeting access
MA issues recap - pilot payments, infrastructure funding, land preservation, and remote meeting access

Thursday, March 3, 2022

How to use #FranklinCAN(fill in the blank)

Franklin is a caring community. It has been known to come out, to show up, to support when needed. Time, and time again.

Members of the Franklin Area Nonprofit Network (FANN) need to take advantage of this to accomplish what each organization is focused on. The FANN will help in that effort.


#Franklin community action now (CAN) is a simple way for all nonprofits to help each other spread the work on each other's fund raising efforts, events, etc.

  1. When community action is needed, your organization can plan accordingly. Devise whatever is required for fund raising, collection, pick up, etc.
  2. As you communicate to your followers, send the event, or action to the FANN. We'll put it on the calendar
  3. As you create your social media campaign, figure out how to add #FranklinCAN (fillin the blanks) to your social posts. What (fill in the blank) makes sense for this event, action, etc for you/your organization
  4. Mark your social media communications with the hashtag #FranklinCAN(fill in the blank)
  5. FANN members can set up a Google alert for #FranklinCAN to find out what is happening
  6. The FANN and other members can share that hashtag to help spread the word on your effort

So easy!


You do what you need to do and with the #FranklinCAN(fill in the blank) hashtag, the FANN can help spread the word to make your event or effort more successful.


Some examples might be




#FranklinCAN(fill in the blank)


How can the community help you? #FranklinCAN

Download a PDF of this to share with others -> 


Want to know how to set up a Google Alert for #FranklinCAN? Check out the steps to do so here ->



How to use #FranklinCAN(fill in the blank)
How to use #FranklinCAN(fill in the blank)

Friday, February 11, 2022

Hey #MANonprofits - Struggling to find and keep workers? webinar just for you!

"Hey #MANonprofits - Struggling to find and keep workers? Join @MA_NonprofitNet and the MA Community Foundation Partnership for a webinar on March 9.  
Learn more and register:"  or here -> 


Shared from Twitter:

MA Nonprofit Network ->

Boston Foundation ->

Hey #MANonprofits - Struggling to find and keep workers? webinar just for you!
Hey #MANonprofits - Struggling to find and keep workers? webinar just for you!

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Philanthropy, MA: Building a Planned and Deferred Giving Program at No Cost (webinar)

Philanthropy_MA (@Philanthropy_MA) tweeted on Mon, Feb 07, 2022:
Nonprofits! It's not too late to register for Wednesday's workshop on Building a Planned and Deferred Giving Program at No Cost. Learn from field expert Chuck Gordon and make this sustainable funding source a reality for your organization.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

How the Media Covered Voting Rights in 2020

M+R's Media Relations team is rounding out its 2021 Mediamarks Labs series focused on better understanding communication trends from 2020 and planning for the future. Today: media coverage on voting rights, what stories rose to the top, and how people engaged with that coverage.  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 
M+RFree advice for nonprofits
How the Media Covered Voting Rights in 2020
By Michelle Blundell and Aki Camargo  |  Dec 23, 2021  |  Tags: elections media mediamarks

Read time: 8 minutes

Elections are big news in any year. In 2020, the election—and just as important, the stories told about the election—took on exceptional significance.

First there were stories of the historic voter turnout, and people forced to line up for hours across the country to cast their vote. Then came the false cries of fraud and a refusal to accept the election results as legitimate.

Now we're seeing many Republican-dominated state legislatures advance restrictive and often racist measures that take power away from people to cast their vote. Protecting our fundamental right to vote will only grow more urgent in the months ahead, particularly in advance of the 2022 midterms and 2024 presidential election. 

That's why our team is rounding out our 2021 Mediamarks Labs series by taking a close look at the trends in last year's coverage of voting rights—specifically the battle to protect, expand and realize every American's right to vote. 

As always with this series, the hope is that communications professionals will keep the lessons of how coverage of the issue of voting rights shifted in 2020 in mind when charting a course for the future, especially as 2022 midterms fast approach.

Community stories trickled up to national attention

From absurdly long voting lines, to the USPS removing mail collection boxes for mail-in ballots, voter suppression was rampant in 2020. Stories that honed in on a state's efforts to block our freedom to vote had people paying attention, driving up engagement on social channels.

For example, Mother Jones' investigative story on Kentucky's drastic reduction of polling places in predominantly Black neighborhoods was shared widely on Facebook (320,000+ shares). Similarly, CNN's story on USPS' efforts to remove mail collection boxes in communities across the country was among the top 5 voting rights stories, when looking at the number of Facebook shares.

What's more, of the top 20 national stories on voting rights shared on Facebook, more than a quarter were dedicated to looking at voter-related issues in our communities. 

Voting rights issues affect the whole nation, but first and foremost, they start in our communities. These issues are as much a state issue as they are a federal issue. And it's critically important to tell these stories. It helps us better understand complex words like "voter suppression" and see the real, harmful impacts of politicians and billionaires who work to actively block the freedom to vote for Black, Brown, Indigenous people and many other important communities who deserve equal access to the ballot box. 

And together, amplifying the stories of voters and activists on the ground is crucial to understanding the bigger picture of voter suppression and the fight for voting rights nationwide. 

Big names drove big coverage 

Some of the most shared articles related to voting rights on social media platforms (such as Twitter and Facebook) featured public figures like Stacey Abrams, Mark Zuckerburg, and late U.S. Representative John Lewis, and celebrities like LeBron James. 

While all of these figures played a different role in the realm of elections and voting, the historic actions they took earned them meaningful feature stories in media outlets in the lead up to and after the election.

A majority of the outlets we looked at, including ones like Rolling Stone and The Guardian, dedicated in-depth coverage to looking at the historic efforts of people like Lewis and Abrams, and what those efforts meant for today's elections. These stories also made clear the long way we still have to go in ensuring all Americans have an equal say in who's elected to make decisions about issues that impact our lives.

Celebrity activism in voting rights was at a high, and the media followed. More than a quarter of the top 20 stories shared on social media were a result of a high profile or celebrity voice speaking out on voting rights. Specifically, two of the top 20 articles with the most Facebook shares focused on LeBron James' important efforts to advance the right to vote for people who are formerly incarcerated.

It's no surprise audiences gravitate towards stories that feature a well-known figure. And whether it's a celebrity or politician, readers tend to contextualize their understanding of a given issue through key influencers or voices that dominate such a field. 

"Unexpected" big-name voices like LeBron James can help stoke that curiosity even more. In our minds, that's a good thing. The more people following (and hopefully engaging with) an issue that impacts every aspect of our lives—from the quality of our schools and roads in our communities, to our access to healthcare and good jobs—only makes our democracy stronger.

Lifestyle outlets continue to engage in politics

Outlets like Vogue, Teen Vogue, and Vanity Fair were once considered lifestyle-only publications, catering to an audience that enjoyed light-hearted content. But in the last several years, we've continued to see a real shift and investment at lifestyle publications in looking at hard news that impacts our lives—from voting rights and immigrant rights to reproductive health. In 2020 alone, the lifestyle outlets we looked at in Mediamarks, which included just a small sampling of these outlets, dedicated a total of 114 articles to issues on voting rights.  

Vogue's feature story on Stacey Abrams' leadership and advocacy to fight for equal access to the ballot box, which was among the top 20 articles shared on social media, was a perfect example of putting voting rights and political news front and center:

Audiences of lifestyle outlets are increasingly engaged in both the political and social worlds. The personal is political, and one does not have to be a policy wonk to engage with what's happening in the world. 

Looking ahead as nonprofits pitch these outlets in the future, honing in on how lifestyle, gender, and reproductive health impact voting rights will be crucial. Connecting the dots between the personal and political for readers will ensure they understand how voting rights are woven into all aspects of their lives—and will hopefully spur even more activism and engagement.

The media shined a light on under-reported communities

While it was disappointing to see unfounded claims of election fraud become a big part of the narrative around the 2020 election, a bright spot was the coverage dedicated to elevating often under-reported communities—from individuals who are formerly incarcerated, to tribal communities—and their intersection with key issues like voting rights. These stories often drew attention to the barriers that marginalized communities still face when it comes to accessing the ballot box. 

In our work with the Declaration for American Democracy—a coalition of 240+ organizations who have all come together to fight for the freedom to vote—we saw firsthand the attention reporters were paying to lifting up the voices of under-reported communities. It helped contribute to the urgency around needed state-level reforms to ensure all people could easily and safely vote during a pandemic, and around legislation like the now-called Freedom to Vote Act, which would transform our democracy into one that is truly of, by, and for the people.

National outlets such as Teen Vogue, The New Republic and TIME not only dedicated meaningful coverage to Native communities and the unique challenges they face when it comes to voting rights, but also highlighted the important role they play in critical elections across the country.

We saw similar trends of robust national and local coverage of individuals who are formerly incarcerated, particularly in the Florida fight to restore critical voting rights to people with felonies. 

While in the past these have been treated like niche issues, they have far-reaching implications for many important communities and elections. Broadening their coverage is incredibly important in order to make meaningful change. 

Unfortunately, there's still a long way to go in elevating these communities even further as well as the language the media uses when talking about marginalized communities. With continued education with reporters, the hope is that there can be a stronger shift towards person-first language, moving away from words like "felons," which can be dehumanizing, and instead towards language like "people who are formerly incarcerated" that center and respect people and protect their dignity. (Here's a resource we find particularly helpful, from our friends at the Vera Institute of Justice.)

As the midterms fast approach, we have the opportunity to build on the 2020 coverage that honed in on the challenges many Americans still face to exercising our voting rights, but also celebrated great wins like historic voter turnout and lifted up more voices of Black, Brown, and Native voters, among other marginalized communities. The hope is that we only go up from here, and the voices and stories we put in front of the media to lift up will continue to contribute as we work towards a democracy that gives an equal voice to all of us. Onward!

*A quick word about methodology: We use Muck Rack for a lot of our work at M+R, and that includes Mediamarks. The data in this post is based on a comprehensive Muck Rack search to pull media hit data aligned with our search terms from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.

We pulled articles from a universe of 100 outlets. To choose the outlet pool, we gathered the outlets that have higher Unique Visitors per Month (UVM) and Mozrank scores. They are a mix of regional, national, and international newspapers, magazines, broadcast channels, digital news sites, and wires.

When Michelle isn't driving communications strategies to secure press for nonprofits, you can find her touring the wineries and breweries of Virginia. Michelle can be reached at

Related Links:


We are M+R.
We are communicators, marketers, fundraisers, and campaigners who unleash the power of people to do good.
We work exclusively with nonprofits fighting for a just and sustainable world.
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Washington, DC 20036

Monday, December 13, 2021

#ThinkFranklinFirst: VFJ Renovations is now taking orders for planters, raised garden beds

"Give the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season!

VFJ Renovations is now taking orders for planters, raised garden beds, and Empower with Gardening signs! Read all about what we do and why we do it at A limited quantity of signs are available now, and all planters and garden beds will be built in the spring.

As in the past, all profits will be donated to a non-profit organization."

Listen to the audio recording from Apr 2021 as they prepared for the seasonal build

my garden bed from the Fanuele's early in the growing season 2020
my garden bed from the Fanuele's early in the growing season 2020

Monday, December 6, 2021

MetroWest Nonprofit Network: December Lunch and Learns

December 2021
Lunch and Learn Wednesdays
Dear Friends,
And just like that, we find ourselves at the end of 2021. We thank you for your participation throughout this entire year as we learned and shared ideas, challenges and solutions. We are looking forward to another full year of Lunch and Learns, affinity groups, and community collaborations in 2022! (Check out the new affinity group we are launching in on January 5th)
December 8 - 12:30-1:30
Ask a CPA: Considerations to manage and grow your nonprofit organization
Susan McCarthy, CPA, MST, CSEP
As 2021 comes to a close many nonprofits are focusing on getting their financial houses in order. This Lunch and Learn led by Susan McCarthy CPA will be an opportunity to learn and ask questions. Susan will address specific areas in Finances and Accounting as well as Fundraising and Operations. For example, in the area of Finances and Accounting Susan will discuss:
  • Accounting Systems and Processes
  • Accounting Policies
  • Internal Controls
  • Accounting Software
  • Financial Reporting
  • Annual Nonprofit returns
  • Annual Budget/Cashflow projections
  • Insurance
She will also share a resource list as well as a roadmap for identifying the 10 Key Steps to Close the Gap Between Setting Goals and Achieving Them.

Do you have a question you would like to Ask the CPA? Send it here!

December 22 - 12:30-1:30 pm
Let's talk about Standing up, Speaking Up, and Bearing Witness
Rev. Dr. Debbie Clark, Open Spirit
We've all been there. You find yourself in a situation where you know you are witnessing harm being done to another person and you want to intervene. But how? What do you say? How do you go from being a passive onlooker to an active bystander?

This Lunch and Learn will introduce Training Active Bystanders which has been brought to MetroWest through a collaboration between Open Spirit and Jewish Family Services.

Rev. Dr. Debbie Clark and a TAB trainer will give an overview of the training developed by Quabbin Mediation which draws upon research and the wisdom of the gathered participants to identify barriers to active bystandership and develop ways to overcome them. You will leave this Lunch and Learn with a better understanding and tools to move from silence to action in 2022. 

Metrowest Nonprofit Network | P.O. Box 1661, Framingham, MA 01701

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