Skip to main content

The Collaboration Conference 2015

November 16–17, 2015

Houston, Texas

C1 Case Study Conversation: Boston Grantmakers Align Diverse Funding Streams to Reduce Youth Violence

Monday, November 16, 2015 at 2:45 PM–4:30 PM Central Time (US & Canada)
Magnolia (Third Level)

Join this conversation if you want to know more about how key stakeholders can collectively start to address a communitywide challenge. Hear from peers who are tackling youth violence in Boston by aligning highly fragmented funding streams, agreeing to common outcomes and creating multiple paths to grantmaker engagement.

In Boston in 2008, a spike in youth violence, and a desire to keep young people safe and on track to a positive future, prompted the State Street Foundation to fund research on what was happening in the city. Findings revealed that public and private grantmakers were spending approximately $250 million annually to curb youth violence, yet some admitted that they had little knowledge about peers’ activities or effective prevention strategies. To create a space for knowledge sharing and dialogue, and to help the region align its efforts more strategically, State Street launched the Youth Violence Prevention Funder Learning Collaborative. Since 2009, the collaborative has grown to include more than 75 private, public and nonprofit organizations that represent over $400 million in annual grantmaking and public resources. Consultants at Root Cause manage the collaborative, and a small group of participating grantmakers funds its core operations and appoints staff to serve on a steering committee. To align diverse funding streams and organizations around shared outcomes, members of the collaborative agreed to a primary strategy of supporting career pathways for youth in middle school through post-secondary education. The collaborative also developed a framework that defines key program elements and common measures, which participating funders use to guide their grantmaking decisions. The framework is flexible, allowing grantmakers to contribute to a sustained reduction in youth violence in the way that makes the most sense for them, whether they’re focused on workforce development, mental health or other issues.


Collaboration Fast Facts:

Primary Points Of Contact

Elizabeth Leberman, Root Cause
Margaret Leipsitz, Root Cause

Session Designers


Margaret Leipsitz, Root Cause

At Root Cause, Margaret Leipsitz is the Director of the Youth Violence Prevention Collaborative, a public/private alliance of over seventy-five funders and content experts. Initiated by State Street Foundation in 2008, the Collaborative connects and intensifies funding to improve young people’s lives in the Boston neighborhoods most affected by violent crime. Margaret is deeply knowledgeable about youth development, having built programs and philanthropic partnerships with community, business, and foundation leaders for twenty-five years. Before Root Cause, Margaret worked at Putnam Investments, The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, The Boston Foundation, Boston Children’s Museum, and Building Educated Leaders for Life.

Karley Ausiello, United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley

Karley Ausiello is Senior Vice President of Community Impact for United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. She sets strategic direction for UW’s investments and initiatives in the community in three impact areas - Healthy Child Development, Increasing Youth Opportunities and Family Financial Stability. Previously, Karley served as UW’s Vice President of Volunteer Engagement and Associate Director at Massachusetts Campus Compact. She has a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, a M.P.A. from Harvard University, and a M.S. in Higher Education Administration from Syracuse University. Karley is a sustaining leader of the YVP Funder Learning Collaborative.

Meghan Duffy, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (moderator)

Meghan Duffy is Director of Programs at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, overseeing content development for GEO conferences, publications and other programming. From 2011-2013, Meghan led implementation of the Scaling What Works initiative at GEO as Manager of Special Initiatives. Prior to joining GEO, Meghan served as Director of Special Projects for San Diego Grantmakers, a regional association of funders. In six years with SDG, she managed a variety of projects, including conferences, communications, and organizational technology. Meghan has over fifteen years of experience in the philanthropic/nonprofit sector. She has served on the San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative Allocations Committee and the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation Grants Committee. Before moving to California, Meghan was Development Director at a national nonprofit LGBT health organization. She has also worked in fundraising and outreach for the Victory Fund and the Feminist Majority Foundation, and as a consultant specializing in writing and research for several other community organizations. Additionally, Meghan has taught sociology and LGBT studies as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland. Meghan earned her master’s in sociology at the University of California San Diego. Her graduate research focused in part on institutional philanthropy, and she has published an article on elite groups and social change. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Maryland.

Session Materials