Learn what’s happening at the Foundation and in the communities where we work. Hear from staff and partners about their accomplishments and lessons learned along the way.

Click Here for our most recent e-Newsletter, as well as archived copies of previous editions.

Announcing our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Goals

Author: Tracy Sawicki

For the last year and a half, the Tower Foundation has focused on bringing an equity perspective to our work. Today I am excited to share new goals we have adopted. At the Tower Foundation, we believe that young people with intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, mental illness, and substance use disorders should have the chance … Continued

Sunsetting our COVID-19 Funding

Author: Megan MacDavey

After three cycles and over $1.6 million dollars awarded to 120 agencies, we are sunsetting our COVID-19 grants. Even though the pandemic is not yet over, a new day is dawning for nonprofits that requires our funding to change too. We are moving on from our COVID-19 funding category and embedding the lessons learned throughout our … Continued

Tower Foundation Advisory Team Hits Its Stride

Author: Nicholas Randell

Blog posts in this space have traced the evolution of the Tower Foundation Advisory Team in some detail.  In the fall of 2019, we told you about the initial formation of a seven-member advisory team, made up of young Western New Yorkers with intellectual disabilities. This fun and dynamic group helped us review applications in … Continued

2022 Grantmaking Planning in Process

Author: Don Matteson

Our 2021 funding cycles are now closed* and we know many of you are wondering what our 2022 grantmaking will look like. We’re still working on our 2022 grant guidelines and a finalized grantmaking calendar. Here’s what we can share now: We’ll be increasing the number of opportunities to apply for Strengthening Partner Capacity grants … Continued

Mental Health Stigma and Community Data: A Conversation Starter

Author: Nicholas Randell

One of the aspirational goals for our mental health grantmaking at the Peter & Elizabeth Tower Foundation is pretty simple: Stigma related to mental illness is eliminated. The recently launched TowerDATA Dashboard looks at community data that may be able to tell us if the counties where we fund are seeing movement towards a reduction … Continued

On Island: No One is Alone

Author: Guest

A community coming together to face the growing challenges of substance use by Mary Korba, Martha’s Vineyard Substance Use Disorder Coalition — On Island Subcommittee This is the next in our series of blogs by guest authors.  This blog tells the story of a drug and alcohol prevention campaign on Martha’s Vineyard. Contrary to popular … Continued

Advisory Team Second Edition: Lessons Learned from a Participatory Design Process

Author: Megan MacDavey

For the past couple of years, the Tower Foundation has been exploring ways to bring one of our values to life: diverse voices. The Foundation describes what valuing diverse voices looks like as: We listen to and learn from those with different points of view and perspectives. More than that, we seek to be proximate … Continued

Challenge Accepted

Author: Don Matteson

In a previous blog post, we talked about how we’re beginning to operationalize the Tower Foundation’s emerging focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). One of the early steps we’ve taken is to get a better sense of the organizations we’re working with: how many are led (board and/or executive leadership), staffed, and serving people of … Continued

What the ADA Means to Me – Guest Blog

Author: Guest

For this blog, we invited Samuel Mattle, a grant partner and Executive Director of the Center for Self Advocacy to share the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was signed into law on July 26, 1990. Center for Self Advocacy uses a person-centered approach in providing peer-to-peer support training, leadership workshops, and … Continued

MHAP for Kids: A Tower Foundation Grant Partner Success Story

Author: Don Matteson

All too often, children whom teachers say are ‘acting out’ or who are in conflict with family members at home are actually struggling with mental health. Experts estimate that as many as 41,000 children in Massachusetts have unmet mental health needs, and nearly 17,000 of those youth qualify for an Individualized Education Plan in school owing to … Continued