The Effort is a coordinated effort by foundations to address urgent needs throughout Massachusetts during the winter season.

Since 2009, a group of Massachusetts-based foundations and corporations, seeing the great pressure on low- and moderate-income families to afford basic winter needs such food, fuel and housing, have come together to raise awareness around the needs people are facing in the Commonwealth. The 2013-14 MassNeeds coordinated effort, which includes 51 corporate, public and private foundations, has announced a more than $13 million commitment this winter to support nonprofits  in Massachusetts.

MassNeeds is dedicated to:

  • Raising awareness of basic needs – MassNeeds brings attention to the current and emerging hunger, housing, health and heating needs of residents across Massachusetts.
  • Highlighting important organizations that help families in need – Across Massachusetts, nonprofit organizations – both large and small – are providing a critical safety net for individuals and families in need. MassNeeds is dedicated to spotlighting these organizations and the work they are doing in their local communities.
  • Catalyzing others to take action – MassNeeds provides a central location for both funders and citizens to learn about basic needs in Massachusetts, as well as opportunities to help address these issues through donations of time, talent or financial resources.

This year, a consortium of more than 51 foundations will be directing more than $13 million to hundreds of programs statewide  – and we invite you to join this effort.

Resources on

For those looking for aid please visit our Resources page to learn more about sources of assistance around the Commonwealth.

What can I do?

As individuals there are many ways to join the effort. By coming here you have already found a great place to get started. The next step is to explore the Nonprofits page of this site to Learn More, Donate, Volunteer, and Tell Us About It.


Recent Updates

MassNeeds 2013 Press Release


December 2, 2013

CONTACT: Dianna Curry                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             617.391.9637


Boston, MA – As costs rise and wages decline, many low- and moderate-income families in Massachusetts face desperate times this winter.  Today, MassNeeds – a statewide coalition of  corporate, public and private foundations supporting more than 200 nonprofit organizations – announced that 51 funders have committed in excess of $13 million to help provide hunger, heat, housing and health care support for Massachusetts residents – a more than fifty percent increase over last year’s efforts.

The increased commitment comes at a critical time for Massachusetts nonprofits, which are facing drastic cuts in federal aid and the looming possibility of a government shutdown in early 2014.  The MassNeeds campaign has set records in each of its five years, with contributions of more than $30 million to Massachusetts nonprofits.  It has also served to highlight urgent basic needs faced by children, families, the elderly and the hundreds of organizations stepping up to meet those needs.

Blake Jordan, Executive Director of the Highland Street Foundation, believes that economic uncertainty only adds to the pressure nonprofits, and those who rely on them, face this winter. “Although Massachusetts has fared better than most other states, many residents are still struggling in the aftermath of the economic downturn.  We hope others will join us in supporting those organizations working on the frontlines to serve those in need,” said Jordan.

Founded in 2009 by The Boston Foundation, Eos Foundation and Highland Street Foundation, MassNeeds partners with Associated Grant Makers – the regional association of philanthropic organizations – to build awareness around the escalated need for housing, heating, health care and hunger assistance during the winter months and to support those nonprofits that are providing these services in the Commonwealth.  MassNeeds encourages individuals interested in donating funds, goods, skills and time to visit, where visitors can view a list of trusted nonprofit organizations providing access to food, shelter, health care and home heating fuel throughout the state.

Catherine D’Amato, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), says solving the problem is simple, but not easy.  “Climbing food costs and lower wages, coupled with a decrease in the amount of food provided to GBFB by the USDA, make the need for public, foundation and corporate support even greater this year,” said D’Amato.

Food insecurity is just one of many problems facing working adults, families, the elderly and veterans throughout Massachusetts.  With the cost of home heating oil at $4.00 per gallon and natural gas prices expected to rise, many Bay State residents are concerned about keeping warm this winter.  ”With a six percent decrease in federal fuel assistance, more residents will turn to MassNeeds’ partner organizations for help as temperatures drop,” says Kathy Tobin, Energy Programs Director at Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD).  “Without additional financial support, many of our clients will not have the resources to refill their oil tanks during the coldest time of the year.”

Although the Massachusetts housing market is on the upswing, 19,000 people are currently homeless in the Commonwealth, and Joe Finn, President and Executive Director of the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance, anticipates that the demand for housing will be greater than ever in the coming months. “Limited affordable housing coupled with strained budgets and increases in the cost of living are sure to impact the number of individuals and families seeking shelter in Massachusetts this winter,” said Finn.

While most Massachusetts residents have access to health insurance, hundreds of thousands of our citizens still rely on safety net hospitals and health care centers for treatment, especially during the winter months.  “Each of the four basic needs – food, heat, housing and health care – is interrelated.  Every winter we see more and more patients with preventable medical conditions as a result of inadequate food, heat and housing,” said Mark Marino, National Account Executive at Health Leads, a not-for-profit health care organization that enables hospitals and health centers to connect low income patients to the basic resources they need to be healthy.

To learn more about the MassNeeds campaign and the local, regional and state-wide agencies serving those in need visit

About MassNeeds:

Founded in 2009, MassNeeds is a coordinated effort, driven by corporate, private and public foundations, to address urgent hunger, housing, heating and health needs across Massachusetts during the winter. MassNeeds is dedicated to raising awareness about basic needs and highlighting organizations that help Massachusetts residents and catalyzing others to take action.