What's New at The Lenny Zakim Fund
“Lenny lived by the belief that each of us has a moral responsibility to make the world a better, more inclusive and respectful place for all people. He worked tirelessly to build personal bridges between our city’s diverse people and neighborhoods. He would be so proud to know that this magnificent structure will stand as a symbol of unity, hope and respect for all Bostonians.”

Joyce Zakim, wife of Lenny Zakim, at the 2002 Bridge Dedication
Dear friends,

It seems hard to believe that 20 years have passed since the Boston skyline was forever changed with the opening of the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge, named in honor of Lenny Zakim in recognition of his incredible work as a civil rights activist and bridge builder between people. The Zakim Bridge has also long served as the symbol of The Lenny Zakim Fund (LZF), which Lenny founded in 1995.

I am inspired by Lenny and honored to be a steward of his amazing legacy as the new Executive Director of the LZF. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, the many members of our incredible community, for the various ways in which each of you have supported The Fund over these past many years to develop deep relationships and build bridges among people and communities to advance social, economic, and racial justice. It is because of each current and former grantee partner, grassroots leader, current and emeriti board member, donor, volunteer, friend, and staff person that LZF has been able to deliver on its mission to listen to those most impacted by inequity and provide the funding, essential resources, and support they need to create lasting change.

As LZF begins its 28th year, I humbly ask for your continued support of The Fund whether it be through the generous donation of your time, talent, treasure of a combination thereof. Help us continue to spread the word about the amazing grassroots organizations with whom we are proud to partner and the critically important and impactful work they are doing each and every day. I am confident and hopeful that together, we will one day realize The Fund’s vision for a more just and equitable world where communities thrive thanks to the contributions and leadership of grassroots organizations.


Allison Picott, Executive Director
The Lenny Zakim Fund
LZF Announces New Five-Year Strategic Plan
Last September, the LZF board approved a new five-year strategic plan, following a six month strategic planning process led by Strategy Matters of Dorchester. The Plan, which reaffirms LZF’s existing mission statement and values and also adopts a new vision statement for The Fund of "a more just and equitable world where communities thrive because of the contributions and leadership of grassroots organizations.” Over the next five years (2023-2027), LZF is committed to “doubling down” on our work with grassroots organizations and leaders by:

  1. Increasing LZF’s public profile as a charitable, public nonprofit organization and leveraging our role as a leader in philanthropy;
  2. Expanding The Fund's programming and enhancing our annual grantmaking to increase and deepen our impact;
  3. Leveraging LZF’s revenue-generating potential; and,
  4. Investing in our staffing capacity and organizational operations. 

The LZF board and staff look forward to engaging the members of our community in the implementation of our new strategic plan in the months and years ahead.
Meet Team LZF 2023: Ben and Katie Stepansky!
The Lenny Zakim Fund is excited to have Ben and Katie Stepansky running as members of Team LZF in this year’s 127th Boston Marathon!

Ben and Katie, who are married and live in Boston, met while working at DraftKings. Ben currently works as a Growth Marketing Senior Manager at DraftKings and Katie is an Events Coordinator for Haymakers for Hope. Both will be running the Boston Marathon for the first time.

Katie believes in the mission and values of The Lenny Zakim Fund, which she considers to be a vital member of the community and is eager to help raise funds for the various organizations The Fund supports. She is an amateur boxer who previously participated in Haymakers for Hope’s 2019 Belles of the Brawl VII where she was coached by Josh Zakim and trained with fellow boxer and LZF Executive Director, Allison Picott, and raised money to knock out cancer.

Ben is delighted to represent The Fund and to raise money to help support the many grassroots organizations who are working towards social justice and creating a positive change in communities throughout eastern Massachusetts. A multi-talented sports fan who has completed two half marathons, including the 2022 Cambridge Half Marathon, Ben is inspired by his wife to pursue his first Boston Marathon and excited to raise money for The Lenny Zakim Fund. 

We are honored that Ben and Katie have chosen The Lenny Zakim Fund as the beneficiary of their fundraising efforts this year and thank them for their dedication in their fundraising and training. Please consider helping Ben and Katie meet their individual $10,000 fundraising goals by making a gift in support of one or both of them by clicking on their names. Go, Ben and Katie!
LZF Welcomes Staff Members Gail Bork and Sophia Cassim
Last month, LZF welcomed Gail Bork and Sophia Cassim to the LZF team joining Allison Picott and Dominique Ramos.

Gail joins the LZF team as a six-month Development Consultant through Empower Success Corp. She has over 20 years of business experience that encompasses increasing nonprofit organizations’ profitability and mission awareness by developing fundraising programs, managing capital campaigns, volunteer management and driving philanthropic efforts through strategic planning and tactical marketing. Gail appreciates the opportunity to support The Lenny Zakim Fund and its mission in providing essential resources and building deep relationships among people and communities.
Sophia, a current second year Public Health student with a minor in Law and Public Policy, is LZF's first Northeastern co-op Program and Development Intern. Born in Georgia and raised in Brookline where she attended Brookline High School, Sophia has long called Boston her home. Sophia has had various experiences working within the social justice and advocacy setting as she brings her unique perspective to the table. As an individual passionate about achieving healthcare equity and providing a voice for those who have been mistreated by the system through the power of education and policy, LZF is the perfect opportunity for Sophia to embrace her passion. Sophia enjoys reading, going to the gym, and hanging out with friends and family.
About The Lenny Zakim Fund
Established in 1995 by the late civil rights leader Lenny Zakim, The Lenny Zakim Fund continues to reflect his work and ideals by providing financial support, education, technical assistance and networking opportunities to small, community-based organizations and individuals who are passionate about social, racial, and economic justice and determined to become vehicles of critical change.

The Lenny Zakim Fund knows grassroots leadership is integral to ensuring that programs are successful, culturally relevant, effective, and meet the needs of affected people. Social justice at The Lenny Zakim Fund is about more than just grantmaking – it is about coming together in partnership to support leaders and the grassroots in their work against systemic oppression and their fight for equity.

LZF is a 501(c)(3) public, nonprofit organization that relies 100% on the generosity of our donors to support our annual operating budget, which includes our annual grants program. Over the past 28 years, The Fund has awarded over $12 million in grants to nearly 400 grassroots organizations throughout eastern Massachusetts.

To learn more, please visit www.thelennyzakimfund.org.