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Action for Boston Community Development

 178 Tremont Street
 Boston, MA 02111
[P] (617) 348-6000
[F] (617) 695-1813
John Drew
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2304133

LAST UPDATED: 08/23/2018
Organization DBA ABCD
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes


Mission StatementMORE »

The mission of Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD) is to empower low-income people by providing them with the tools to overcome poverty, live with dignity, and achieve their full potential.

Mission Statement

The mission of Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD) is to empower low-income people by providing them with the tools to overcome poverty, live with dignity, and achieve their full potential.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Sept 01, 2017 to Aug 31, 2018
Projected Income $164,229,799.00
Projected Expense $164,229,799.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Career Explorations
  • Elder Services
  • Energy and Fuel Services
  • Financial Literacy Workshops
  • Fuel Assistance (LIHEAP)
  • Head Start & Early Childhood Education
  • Health Services
  • Heating Systems (HEARTWAP)
  • Housing and Homelessness Prevention
  • Nutrition and Food
  • University High School
  • Utility Bill Advocacy
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
  • Weatherization (WAP)
  • William J. Ostiguy High School

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

The mission of Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD) is to empower low-income people by providing them with the tools to overcome poverty, live with dignity, and achieve their full potential.

Background Statement

ABCD is a non-profit human services organization that provides low-income residents in the Greater Boston region with the tools and resources needed to transition from poverty to stability and from stability to success. The organization is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of public officials, representatives from the private sector and low-income community members who are democratically selected by a local ABCD Advisory Board of their peers to represent ABCD community sites.

A predecessor to the economic opportunity act of 1964 – the War on Poverty – ABCD was established in 1962 as part of a Ford Foundation demonstration project. Subsequently, ABCD was federally designated the anti-poverty community action agency for Boston under the Economic Opportunity Act. Such community action agencies provide services, assistance and other activities “of sufficient scope and size to help improve human performance, motivation and productivity or better the conditions under which people live, learn and work.” In 2015, ABCD’s designated service area was extended to include Everett, Malden and Medford, as well as Boston.

Operating through neighborhood community service centers throughout Greater Boston, ABCD can rapidly respond to changing community needs. Each year, more than 100,000 adults, elders, children, and families participate in these customized and innovative local projects, as well as in some of the organization’s long‐standing support programs — housing and homeless prevention services, fuel assistance, adult basic education and job training, early education and care, and more.

Impact Statement

ABCD assists low-income residents of Greater Boston to stabilize and improve their lives and move out of poverty by providing programs and services at its central offices and through a network of service centers. In 2017, these services reached 107,443 low-income individuals representing 85,952 households and included:

ASSET DEVELOPMENT: Helped 5,677 households with free tax assistance.

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION & CARE: Reached 3,472 preschoolers, infants, and toddlers with Head Start. Helped 8,959 families access child care through referral and voucher programs.

EDUCATION & CAREER DEVELOPMENT FOR ADULTS: Provided 680 individuals with ESOL classes. Enabled 150 students to graduate with an Associate’s Degree or certificate. Provided 722 individuals with job assistance and helped 646 adults obtain jobs.

ELDER SERVICES: Helped 379 seniors maintain independent lives through case management and other services. Provided 480 seniors with hot meals and snacks. Distributed food to 468 elders through the Senior Brown Bag Program.

ENERGY ASSISTANCE: Assisted 18,064 households obtain LIHEAP benefits, helped 1,507 lower their energy bills with weatherization services and heating system upgrades, and provided 2,155 single family households with appliance audits and product upgrades.

FOOD SECURITY: Prepared 718,268 meals for children in Head Start, reached 4,021 families through emergency food pantries, distributed 684,366 pounds of food, and helped 150 households obtain SNAP benefits.

HEALTH SERVICES: Reached 30,067 individuals with disease prevention and reproductive health care.

Needs Statement

Adult Education & Training. ABCD continues to devote significant resources to a wide array of education and workforce development services for youth and adults. Educational classes and workshops across ABCD’s neighborhood network, development of productive employer and sector-based relationships that offer education and employment resources, and referrals to partner organizations, each contribute towards achievement of the type of educational advancement that positions low-income individuals and families on a path out of poverty.

Youth Services. ABCD’s centrally-managed and neighborhood-based youth and family development programs work together to facilitate effective whole family interventions. To achieve this, the organization builds on a substantial institutional base and history that includes early education and care services which combine to reach the majority of Boston’s children in low-income households.

Housing and Homelessness. ABCD’s Housing and Homelessness Prevention Department helps low-income families find and maintain safe and affordable housing options. Through core programs and services such as foreclosure prevention assistance, housing stabilization, case management support and emergency services, the department works with low-income customers to facilitate achievement of personal, family, career, and/or educational goals.

Elder Services. ABCD’s 2015-2017 Community Action Plan process provided first-hand insight into the precarious status of elder Bostonians. In response, ABCD provides an expanding array of resources to support low-income seniors. Drop-in senior centers at four neighborhood service centers combined with intergenerational programs and peer-support and community education initiatives focused on healthy aging managed and administered by the ABCD Elder Services Department, are key building blocks for addressing the daily needs of our low-income elderly customers and will continue to be a priority for the agency in FY17.

CEO Statement


Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served


Greater Boston: Allston/Brighton, Dorchester, East Boston, Jamaica Plain, Charlestown, Mattapan, North End, Roxbury, North Dorchester, South Boston, South End, and Roslindale. 
Malden, Medford, Everett

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Neighborhood Centers
  2. Community Improvement, Capacity Building -
  3. Community Improvement, Capacity Building -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Under Development


Career Explorations

Earning Wages and Igniting Passions:
ABCD Career Explorations provides year round programming to Boston residents, ages 16-21, through job placement, career development, and comprehensive job readiness services through one on one case management.

Career Explorations offers in school and out of school youth the opportunity to receive basic skills and advanced training in high-demand career fields including building trades, culinary arts, early child care, and health and biotechnology.
Through the program youth meet professionals from an array of occupations within each pathway, participate in workshops and field trips throughout Boston to enhance their career development. The Career Exploration staff also provide individual job counseling and assistance with the job search and application process in order to help link youth to jobs that match their interests.
Budget  --
Category  Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  TBD
Program Long-Term Success 


Program Success Monitored By  TBD
Examples of Program Success  TBD

Elder Services

Providing a Continuum of Care:
ABCD’s Elder Service programs assist senior citizens in maintaining healthy, financially secure, and independent lifestyles. A wide array of programming is accessible to elders across Boston and several programs are offered in-home. Each of ABCD’s Neighborhood Service Centers and Area Planning and Action Councils (APACs) also offers senior services targeted to meet the specific needs of local residents.
Budget  --
Category  Human Services, General/Other
Population Served Elderly and/or Disabled
Program Short-Term Success  TBD
Program Long-Term Success  TBD
Program Success Monitored By  TBD
Examples of Program Success  TBD

Energy and Fuel Services

Bringing Heat and Light to Boston Families:
ABCD’s Energy Department offers a variety of programs to help households pay heating bills, and access weatherization measures and effective and cost- efficient heating systems. Additionally, ABCD works with utility companies, local businesses, and residents to offer green energy services and education. These partnerships ensure that low-income residents have access to the information and services they need to keep energy costs low and help the environment.
The network of ABCD Neighborhood Sites also offer a variety of energy, heating, and utility assistance programs to meet the needs of their communities throughout Boston.
Budget  --
Category  Human Services, General/Other
Population Served Families
Program Short-Term Success  TBD
Program Long-Term Success  TBD
Program Success Monitored By  TBD
Examples of Program Success  TBD

Financial Literacy Workshops

Teaching Families How to Manage Their Assets:
The goal of the Financial Literacy Workshops is to provide a better understanding of asset management to ensure a more secure financial future. Financial Literacy education covers the span of six weeks and provides an overview of the following topics:

· Spending Plans

· Savings

· Basic Banking

· Credit

· Investing

· Identity Theft

· “Needs vs. Wants" – with a focus on long term goal setting

 Financial Mentoring: One-on-One Guidance to Managing Assets
After completion of the Financial Literacy Workshops, program participants have the opportunity to obtain the one-on-one guidance and support necessary to help you meet your financial goals. Mentors provide a wide-array of knowledge and assistance, including help following and meeting goals set forth in your spending plan.
Credit Advising and Financial Coaching: Improving How Families Save and Spend
Financial Coaching and Credit Advising services provide clients with one-on-one counseling with trained volunteer coaches who teach financial management skills related to budgeting, credit management, saving, and debt reduction. 
Budget  --
Category  Education, General/Other
Population Served Families College Aged (18-26 years) Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  TBD
Program Long-Term Success  TBD
Program Success Monitored By  TBD
Examples of Program Success  TBD

Fuel Assistance (LIHEAP)

Bringing Heat and Light to Boston Families:

ABCD’s Fuel Assistance Program administers federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) benefits and provides supplemental Emergency Fuel Assistance for the most vulnerable families for whom LIHEAP benefits do not fully cover their need. Each year, the Fuel Assistance Program helps approximately 18,000 low-income homeowners and renter households in Greater Boston and Mystic Valley pay fuel bills during the heating season.

The fuel assistance application is also used as a tool to verify income eligibility for several home energy related programs:

· Discounted utility rates

· Energy audit

· Heating systems repair/upgrade

· Weatherization

· Arrearage forgiveness

With permission, the fuel assistance staff communicates with the utility companies so that fuel assistance clients receive discounted utility rates. The Fuel Assistance staff also informs the households about their eligibility for the additional services and encourages them to apply. Additionally, ABCD works with utility companies, local businesses, and residents to offer green energy services and education. These partnerships ensure that low-income residents have access to the information and services they need to keep energy costs low and help the environment.

Budget  $14,753,268.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other
Population Served Families
Program Short-Term Success 

In winter 2015–2016, ABCD provided fuel assistance to 18,936 households in Boston, Brookline, Newton, and the Mystic Valley area through the federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and supplemental Emergency Fuel Assistance to 483 of the most vulnerable households.

Program Long-Term Success 

Fuel assistance means much more than just critically needed heat. It can support an elder’s capacity to live independently, help a single mother maintain her family intact, save on unnecessary medical costs, provide a better environment for children to study, help tenants avoid eviction and homelessness, and prevent the need for avoidable repairs.

Program Success Monitored By 

Since the Fuel Assistance Program administers LIHEAP payments on behalf of clients, the Massachusetts

Department of Housing and Community Development conducts an annual audit to evaluate ABCD’s project management, including procedures for intake, income eligibility verification, and vendor payments and contracts.

ABCD also tracks the following tracks data on the following impacts:

  • Preventing termination of utilities for the most vulnerable households
  • Re-establishing heating services for households whose services were terminated before requesting

Fuel Assistance

  • The number of households that apply for weatherization and/or heating system repairs/upgrades
Examples of Program Success 

Client stories illustrate the critical impact of LIHEAP and Emergency Fuel Assistance:

Evelyn and Bill, 79 and 96 years of age and living on a fixed income, could not afford another delivery of oil after their LIHEAP fuel benefits ran out. As homeowners, they also worried their pipes would freeze. ABCD’s Emergency Fuel Assistance provided safe conditions for them at home and saved them from expensive repair bills for frozen pipes.

Niki, a single mother with two small children living in Dorchester, is unable to work because of a disability. To save money, she turns off her heat at night. One winter morning, she found the oil tank empty. She had no hot water and no heat, but she had used up her LIHEAP benefits. She called ABCD in desperation. Emergency Fuel Assistance funds helped the family maintain its heat. Without this assistance, Nikki could have been in jeopardy of losing her children to foster care.

A hospital social worker called ABCD to refer a patient. Yvette was medically ready to go home, but could not be discharged into an unheated home. She had already used all her LIHEAP fuel benefits. Emergency Fuel Assistance funds supported a delivery of oil, allowing Yvette to go home and saving unnecessary hospital costs.

Lorna, living alone in Dorchester on a fixed income, finds it extremely difficult to make ends meet and skipped some of her electric bills in winter 2016. When the utility shut-off oratorium (which prevents shut-offs during the winter) ended on April 1st , Lorna’s electricity was shut-off because she could not pay the full balance owed. With no electricity, she could be subject to eviction. ABCD used Emergency Fuel Assistance funds to restore her electricity and enable her to stay in her home, avoiding the threat of homelessness.

Head Start & Early Childhood Education

Education from Day One: Building a foundation for educational success. ABCD's Head Start and Early Head Start programs helps over 2,300 young children and their families each year, prepare for success in school and life by providing high-quality early education.


ABCD Head Start serves children ages 3 to 5-years-old at 24 Head Start centers across the City of Boston and in Malden and Everett. Early Head Start serves infants, toddlers, and pregnant mothers at many of the same sites. Year-round, extended-day programs enable parents to go to school or work.


These programs help children learn during the most important years for brain development. They offer comprehensive support for parents and children—including educational, health, nutritional, social, and other supportive services to keep families strong.


Because Head Start knows that parents are the most important teachers, parents are deeply involved in the program. Parents are leaders in making policy and guiding programs, volunteering in the classroom and advocating for the needs of young children.


ABCD’s Head Start program is at the forefront of cutting-edge work in early education—from fighting childhood obesity, to involving fathers, to building school readiness, to training teachers to meet high standards. Partners include Boston’s leading hospitals and universities.


Head Start offers free services to families who live in Boston, Malden, and Everett and meet federal low-income guidelines. Families who receive public assistance or other benefits may also be eligible.

Budget  $28,267,896.00
Category  Education, General/Other Early Childhood Education
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Infants to Preschool (under age 5) Families
Program Short-Term Success 

Children make measurable progress in the following domains:

· Social and emotional development 

· Physical health and development

· Cognition and general knowledge

· Language and literacy

· Approaches to learning

Parents feel more confident in their capacity as parents and community members and show improvements in the following domains:

· Family well-being

· Positive parent-child relationships

· Capacity to support their child’s learning and development

· Capacity as advocates and leaders

· Capacity to support their child’s transition to the next educational setting

Program Long-Term Success 

·  Children enter kindergarten prepared to learn

· The achievement gap between low-income children and children from moderate- and high-income families is reduced

· Parents are active advocates for their children in school and in other areas that impact their learning and development
Program Success Monitored By 

ABCD Head Start utilizes a number of mechanisms to assess children’s and parents’ outcomes. The primary tools used to track child and family demographics and outcomes are the PROMIS and Teaching Strategies Gold databases. Metrics are reviewed at six and twelve months. The overall assessment of parent outcomes is conducted using an in-house Family Engagement Outcomes Assessment, a tool developed based on the national Head Start Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework. In addition, Head Start & Children’s Services conducts an annual self-assessment through which it analyzes data and feedback gathered through a variety of mechanisms, including a review of children’s files, a health and safety inspection of all sites, and in-depth discussions through focus groups with program leadership and advisory groups.

Examples of Program Success 

In 2014–2015, children’s progress in various areas of development was as follows:

Area of development

Percentage meeting or exceeding developmental goals

Infants & Toddlers


Social & emotional development



Physical Health & development



Cognition & general knowledge



Language & literacy



Approaches to learning



Health Services

High Quality Health Services for Clients in Need:
The ABCD Health Services Department is committed to keeping low-income residents and communities in the greater Boston area healthy through local public health disease prevention and health promotion programs. ABCD’s programming provides free, high quality care for tens of thousands of clients each year.

The network of ABCD neighborhood sites throughout Boston also offer targeted programs to meet the health needs of their communities.
Budget  --
Category  Health Care, General/Other
Population Served Adults
Program Short-Term Success  TBD
Program Long-Term Success  TBD
Program Success Monitored By  TBD
Examples of Program Success  TBD

Heating Systems (HEARTWAP)

Efficient and Environmentally Sound Services for All:
ABCD’s Heating System Repairs and Replacement program (HEARTWAP) provides heating systems tune-ups, repairs, and burner and system replacements, and responds to emergency no-heat situations for low-income Boston households in need. Repairs of heating systems in emergency no-heat situations are possible for homeowners and, in some cases, renters. Replacement of heating systems are also considered for broken or inefficient furnaces and boilers. During the Spring and Summer tune ups are performed for both owners and renters.

All services are available at no cost to clients. The goal of this program is ensure that families have energy and cost efficient heating systems that function well.
Budget  --
Category  Human Services, General/Other
Population Served Families
Program Short-Term Success  TBD
Program Long-Term Success  TBD
Program Success Monitored By  TBD
Examples of Program Success  TBD

Housing and Homelessness Prevention

Because Everybody Deserves a Home:
Lack of affordable housing, a difficult economy, and Boston’s high cost of living have left many people without a roof over their heads. Many of Boston's homeless work full-time yet cannot afford housing, and thousands of families struggle to pay rent.
ABCD works with clients to give them the assistance and skills they need to maintain their households or find new housing that is safe and affordable. The department provides prevention, stabilization, and case management services to ensure that housing is sustained and families can work towards other family career and educational goals.
Budget  --
Category  Housing, General/Other
Population Served Families
Program Short-Term Success  TBD
Program Long-Term Success  TBD
Program Success Monitored By  TBD
Examples of Program Success  TBD

Nutrition and Food

Healthy Food for Healthy Families:
ABCD provides a variety of food services to ensure that low-income families have enough to eat and can concentrate on work, school, and moving towards self-sufficiency.
A variety of food pantry, food stamp, and meal assistance programs offered throughout ABCD’s network of neighborhood sites makes accessing food easy for families in every Boston neighborhood.
Food Pantries: Keeping Hunger at Bay
Locations throughout ABCD’s network of neighborhood sites offer emergency food pantry services for low-income families. Please note that many food pantry sites require a referral through the Project Bread Food Source Referral Hotline.
Food Stamp Services: Making Nutrition Affordable
Every ABCD neighborhood site offers Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) or “food stamp” application services. Low-income clients can receive assistance completing and submitting their food stamp application and knowledgeable staff will assist with application documentation, follow-up, and advocacy to resolve any enrollment problems and ensure that eligible clients receive this critical benefit. Clients in need of additional food resources will also be referred to other appropriate services including food pantries.
Budget  --
Category  Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other
Population Served Families
Program Short-Term Success  TBD
Program Long-Term Success  TBD
Program Success Monitored By  TBD
Examples of Program Success  TBD

University High School

An Alternative Path to Graduation:
University High School (UHS) is an alternative high school serving Boston students age 16 to 21 years old who are struggling academically or are otherwise at-risk in the traditional school system. UHS allows kids to earn a Boston Public School (BPS) diploma from their original high school.

UHS provides an intensive learning experience, small classes, case management, career development, mentorship, and extracurricular and after school activities to encourage career exploration and help students bridge the gap between high school and college. At UHS, the curriculum is portfolio-based and life skills focused. Each student at UHS is responsible for creating a portfolio of their best work.
Budget  --
Category  Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  TBD
Program Long-Term Success  TBD
Program Success Monitored By  TBD
Examples of Program Success  TBD

Utility Bill Advocacy

Keeping the Lights On:
Utility Bill Advocacy services are for low-income clients with overdue utility bills, or who cannot afford their monthly bills and need assistance communicating with utility companies. Staff at participating neighborhood site's facilitate communications between the client and the company to negotiate debt forgiveness, ensure that a fair payment plan is designed, and that clients are able to make the arranged payments.

Additionally, ABCD's central Energy Department offers information on the NSTAR Arrearage Forgiveness Program for qualified customers. This program is designed to assist customers with past due electric and/or gas NSTAR bills. NSTAR will forgive past due balances over a period of time if the customer pays the agreed monthly budgeted bill on time.
Budget  --
Category  Human Services, General/Other
Population Served Families
Program Short-Term Success  TBD
Program Long-Term Success  TBD
Program Success Monitored By  TBD
Examples of Program Success  TBD

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

Credits that Low-Income Families Deserve:
Getting the tax credits that families deserve is what the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is all about. As a leading partner of the program since 2001, ABCD provides free electronic Federal and Massachusetts State tax preparation for approximately 5,000 low-moderate income taxpayers. On average, ABCD returns approximately $8 million in Federal tax refunds that include key credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credits and Educational Credits.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is coordinated through ABCD’s Financial Futures Initiative (FFI) that represents the agency as a leading partner of the City of Boston’s Tax Help Coalition. With the essential help of countless volunteers, FFI supports the overarching mission of ABCD by helping low-income individuals and families by receiving the full benefit of their tax return and potential refunds. Our volunteers are IRS-certified annually and are trained to assist clients in finding hundreds of dollars worth of tax credits that many may not have known they are even eligible for. Last year alone, we saved taxpayers $1.1 million in paid preparers fees through Volunteer Power!
VITA services increase low-income clients' tax returns, helping them to build savings, pay off debts, or invest in their personal savings goals to obtain and maintain financial wellness.
Budget  --
Category  Human Services, General/Other
Population Served Families Adolescents Only (13-19 years) College Aged (18-26 years)
Program Short-Term Success  TBD
Program Long-Term Success  TBD
Program Success Monitored By  TBD
Examples of Program Success  TBD

Weatherization (WAP)

Preparing Homes for the Future:
ABCD’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) helps make low-income households more energy efficient in order to lower energy costs for consumers and protect the environment. Weatherizing your home can reduce your heating costs by as much as 25% per year.

All services are available at no cost to clients. Those with oil or electric heat may receive improvements, at no cost, totaling $4,500 or more. Through an NGRID sponsored weatherization program, those with gas heat may receive conservation measures totaling $4,500.
Budget  --
Category  Human Services, General/Other
Population Served Families
Program Short-Term Success  TBD
Program Long-Term Success  TBD
Program Success Monitored By  TBD
Examples of Program Success  TBD

William J. Ostiguy High School

A Second Chance for Youth in Recovery:
The ABCD William J. Ostiguy High School is an alternative high school for young people who struggle to succeed in conventional public high school environments due to a history of substance abuse.

Since 2006, the school has offered a safe, sober environment in which youth in recovery develop the skills and strengths needed for their success. All students develop an Individual Service Strategy (ISS) plan containing skills assessment and self-determined goals and action steps for educational, career, and personal development. Students attend daily recovery sessions and are involved in after school, extracurricular, and summer activities. The goal of the program is for the students to remain substance free, achieve their goals, and receive a high school diploma.
Ostiguy High primarily serves students from Greater Boston, but accepts referrals from across Eastern Massachusetts.
Budget  --
Category  Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  TBD
Program Long-Term Success  TBD
Program Success Monitored By  TBD
Examples of Program Success  TBD

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Mr. John J. Drew President/CEO
CEO Term Start Nov 2009
CEO Email
CEO Experience

ABCD's President/CEO has been a national figure in the Community Action movement for over 30 years. His leadership in the field has been informed both by his personal experience and his professional training.

Drew was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, and his early years were marked by the challenges of growing up in a hard-working community in which opportunities for education and career advancement were few. As a resident of public housing and the son of a Head Start parent, he saw the beginnings of the anti-poverty movement of the nineteen sixties. An academic late bloomer, he studied at Bentley College in his mid-30s, and went on to complete his MBA at Suffolk University. After being licensed as a Certified Public Accountant, Drew first worked with ABCD as an auditor.

Drew joined ABCD as Budget Director, subsequently served as Deputy Director, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, and is now the agency's President/CEO. During his tenure, ABCD's budget has grown to over 100 million dollars, with services reaching out to more than 100,000 disadvantaged individuals each year.

In addition to helping guide the growth of ABCD, Drew rapidly emerged as a leader in the wider nonprofit arena. He is the founder and former President of the National Association for Administrative Excellence, an association that helped make significant advances in the business management of nonprofit agencies. He is a sought-after trainer and consultant, who lectures frequently to national audiences in the Community Action Network.

As an adjunct professor at local colleges and universities including the Urban College program, Drew shares his combination of practical expertise and academic learning with students in public management programs. Drew has continued to support the principle of wider access to higher education, helping to nurture the Urban College Program at ABCD and serving as a Trustee of the Urban College of Boston since 1998.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Mark P Isenburg Vice President, Workforce Development and Technology Services

Mark P. Isenburg serves multiple roles at ABCD. He is charged with analyzing, designing, and implementing computerized information systems for New England's largest human service agency which manages over 80 million in government contracts and employs more than 900. He also oversees the information systems for the agency's central and delegate agency operating units - 43 in all and functions associated with hardware, software and maintenance specifications, procurement, and implementation including all end user training. In addition, he manages a large, diverse department including the LearningWorks Center (a state of the art adult workforce development center), Summerworks (summer jobs and educational opportunities for youths ages 14-21), and two alternative education high schools for at-risk youth (in cooperation with Boston Public Schools.

Mr. Isenburg received a Masters in Education with a concentration in administration and management from Cambridge College in 1984. He was also a non-classified special student at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, with a course concentration of Psychology and Sociology.

Marjorie Lombard Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Marjorie Lombard has served as the Chief Financial Officer for Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD), Boston’s community action agency since July 2005. Prior to joining ABCD, Ms. Lombard was the chief financial officer for Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Boston. Ms. Lombard has significant experience in the not-for-profit sector including finance, audit, banking, property management, governmental regulations and compliance, and in the implementation and management of accounting systems. She holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Northeastern University and earned her Executive MBA from Suffolk University Sawyer School of Management.

Harold Mezoff Vice President, Administration & Human Resources


As Vice President of Administration and Human Resources, Harold Mezoff oversees four departments (Human Resources, Office Services, Purchasing and Telecommunications) which provide administrative support to ABCD’s operating departments.

Harold is a native of Dorchester and a graduate of Boston Latin School. He received a B.A. degree in political science from Boston University and a Masters in Public Administration from the Graduate School of Public Affairs (now Rockefeller College) at the State University of New York at Albany. He has been involved in the creation and development of the Urban College of Boston for many years, most recently as a member of the Board of Trustees. He has been an adjunct faculty member at local higher education institutions including Bridgewater State, Lesley, and Northeastern.


Yvette Rodriguez Vice President, Head Start & Children Services

Yvette Rodriguez has been ABCD’s Vice President for Head Start and Children’s Services since 2010, and previously was the Head Start Deputy Director for Program Operations. She has also served as Director of Escuelita Boriken, and as COO of Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion. Ms. Rodriguez is a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico, and a former Svhott Fellow in Early Care & Education.

Sharon Scott-Chandler Executive Vice President

Sharon Scott-Chandler fills the number two position at ABCD, playing a key role in overseeing ABCD’s wide array of human services programs.

Scott-Chandler brings a wealth of experience to this position. A vital member of the ABCD leadership staff since 1999, she served as Vice President, ABCD Head Start and Children’s Services, since 2003. In that position she provided leadership to the $30 million citywide ABCD Head Start program serving 2,400 low-income, pre-school children and their families in 24 centers throughout Boston’s neighborhoods.

From 2007-2010, Governor Deval Patrick appointed Scott-Chandler Chair of the Board of the Massachusetts Early Education & Care Department, the primary vehicle for top-level policy and funding decision making affecting the state’s 240,000-plus pre-school children and their families. She remains on the Board as a member.

From 1999 to 2003, Scott-Chandler headed ABCD Child Care Choices of Boston (CCCB), the Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (CCRA) for Boston, Brookline, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop, providing expert leadership to a program which serves more than 11,000 children, their families and licensed early childhood education providers.

Prior to joining ABCD, Scott-Chandler served as an Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Before that she was an associate at Morrison, Mahoney & Miller law firm in Boston, and a legislative aide to U.S. Congressman Sidney R. Yates in Washington, D.C..

Scott-Chandler received her law degree from Northeastern University Law School and her bachelor’s degree in political science from Tufts University. She is a Trustee of the Urban College of Boston and a member of the Board of Directors for Cradles to Crayons, MADCA and MASSCAP. She also serves on numerous statewide and city task forces.

Christina Sieber Vice President, Strategic Planning and Institutional Advancement --
Michael A Vance Vice President, Field Operations

Mr. Vance is responsible for oversight of 14 neighborhood centers providing social services to the city’s diverse communities, including housing, food pantry, Head Start programs, fuel assistance, job readiness and other programs designed for stabilization of individuals and families. In addition, Mr. Vance supervised and supported the Housing and Homelessness Department and currently supervises The Financial Futures Initiatives department and the Legislative Liaison.

A recognized community leader, Mr. Vance has spent over 20 years in non-profit management with ABCD beginning as the Deputy Director of Mattapan’s Family Services Center. He moved on to direct the Career Ladder project, a federally funded demonstration program for at-risk black and Latino males. After completion of the Career Ladder Project, Mr. Vance was promoted to Director of Community Coordination, directly responsible for the operation of 15 sites throughout the City of Boston, which has direct contact with close to 100 thousand residents each year.

Mr. Vance holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Tufts University, with a certificate in Community Health and a Masters in Management from Lesley University.

John Wells Vice President, Real Estate & Energy Services

John Wells has worked for Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD) for over 20 years in senior management positions.

As Vice President for Real Estate and Energy Services, he oversees the operation of the ABCD Energy Division, including the federal Fuel Assistance Program the DOE Weatherization Program and the Heating System Replacement Program, and Multiple Utility Funded Conservation Programs.

Most recently he has played a key role in the development of new energy initiatives, including the development of the utility funded Low Income Multifamily Efficiency Program which implements energy retrofit improvements in properties throughout Massachusetts. This program recently won a nation award from the ACEEE as an exemplary example of this type of energy efficiency work.

Additionally, Mr. Wells is responsible for the ABCD Property Services Division which acquires, develops and manages real estate for ABCD programs and clients.

A registered architect in Massachusetts, John has planned and carried out major improvements at many Head Start and other ABCD facilities throughout the city. He was instrumental in ABCD’s successful acquisition of properties used to serve low-income Boston residents.


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 731
Number of Part Time Staff 40
Number of Volunteers 2,000
Number of Contract Staff 21
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 255
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 77
Caucasian: 207
Hispanic/Latino: 212
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 20
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 664
Male: 107
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Ms. Yvonne Jones
Board Chair Company Affiliation Dorchester
Board Chair Term June 2017 - June 2018
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Daniel Anderson Boston Public Schools Voting
Jean M. Babcock Treasurer, Councilor Salvatore LaMatina Voting
Caryl Beison Hallmark Health System Voting
Nathaniel Buckholz South Boston Voting
Thelma Burns Dorchester Voting
Candice Cains-Francis Representative Byron Rushing Voting
Mary Chin Councilor at Large Annissa Essaibi George Voting
Bethania Ciprian East Boston Voting
Joan Cirillo MA Association of Older Americans Voting
Sean Daughtry Vice Chair, Representative Elizabeth Malia Voting
Pamala Delaney Home for Families Voting
Nancy Dickerson Councilor Tim McCarthy Voting
Nancy Dickerson Councilor Tim McCarthy Voting
John J Drew President/CEO, ABCD NonVoting
Linda G Dumas Urban College of Boston Voting
Eleanor Evans Esq. Assistant Clerk NonVoting
Kathleen Flynn Councilor Stephen Murphy Voting
Celia M Grant Associated Industries of MA Voting
Marie Greig Vice Chair, South Boston Voting
Vanessa Hackett Head Start Policy Council Voting
Reverand Sharyn Halliday Black Ministerial Alliance Voting
Julia Hardy Cofield Esq. Clerk, Councilor Matthew O'Malley Voting
Syvalia Hyman III Roxbury-North Dorchester Voting
Dareline Jackson South End Voting
Joan Jackson-Shivers Parker Hill/Fenway Voting
Edward Katz Vice Chair, Charlestown Voting
Mary Keith Roxbury-North Dorchester Voting
Rev. Dr. Florence King Representative Paul Donato Voting
Lincoln Larmond Mattapan Voting
Oscar Lopez Representative Kevin Honan Voting
Mary Manuel South End Voting
John P. McGahan Senator Linda Dorcena Forry Voting
Andres Molina Vice Chair, North End/West End Voting
Linda Monterio Representative Evandro Carvalho Voting
Dawn Murphy Councilor Frank Baker Voting
Beatriz Negrón Parker Hill/Fenway Voting
James Owens Jr. Roxbury-North Dorchester Voting
Michelle Sanchez Dorchester Voting
Vanessa A. Snow Greater Boston Labor Council - AFL-CIO Voting
Paul Sullivan Esq. Councilor Michael Flaherty Voting
Maren Tober Councilor Ayanna Pressley Voting
Madeline Tovar Head Start Policy Council Voting
Marvin L. Venay NAACP Voting
Kathy Voutour Mystic Valley Voting
Sophia Wang Councilor-at-Large Michelle Wu Voting
Judy Ward Jamaica Plain Voting
Patricia Washington Assistant Treasurer, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Voting
Thomas Webb Jamaica Plain Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 22
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: 18
Hispanic/Latino: 5
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 34
Male: 13
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 50%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $179,030,639 $173,806,747 $180,439,172
Total Expenses $178,401,572 $172,967,729 $180,392,046

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $172,059,673 $164,918,151 $171,340,401
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $172,059,673 $164,918,151 $171,340,401
Individual Contributions $270,393 $378,165 $827,618
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $2,560,131 $4,068,161 $4,835,106
Investment Income, Net of Losses $326,789 $318,179 $-14,682
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind $2,925,338 $3,550,158 $2,909,355
Other $888,315 $573,933 $541,374

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $173,889,383 $168,575,443 $175,540,440
Administration Expense $4,512,189 $4,392,286 $4,851,606
Fundraising Expense -- $0 --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.00 1.00 1.00
Program Expense/Total Expenses 97% 97% 97%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $62,872,586 $65,071,906 $58,075,581
Current Assets $25,196,826 $32,216,542 $41,380,035
Long-Term Liabilities $0 -- $0
Current Liabilities $21,449,869 $25,132,624 $18,975,317
Total Net Assets $41,422,717 $39,939,282 $39,100,264

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 1.17 1.28 2.18

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's audited financials. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.



The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

ABCD’s mission is to empower low-income people by providing them with the tools to overcome poverty, live with dignity and achieve their full potential.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

ABCD uses a comprehensive approach that systematically addresses the range of barriers faced by households in poverty-from day-to-day crises to long-term needs for jobs and education. By bundling direct services, ABCD addresses the needs of low-income households to move out of poverty by offering programs across the life span through placed-based services at every neighborhood site and Head Start center in Boston, Malden, Medford and Everett. Operationally, the structure of the ABCD service delivery system provides capacity for:

• Flexible response to local needs through development of specialized and innovative neighborhood service programs;

• Direct resident involvement in shaping and delivering services in their communities;

• Customer connection to large, citywide programs and easy access through geographically convenient and culturally competent local sites;

• Ongoing flow of information on community needs to program planners and evaluators across the agency;

• Provision of resources and expertise from the citywide infrastructure to local programs.

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

For 50 years, ABCD has been deeply rooted in neighborhoods across the Greater Boston, empowering over 100,000 individuals and families annually. With the President/CEO and Executive Vice President serving on the board of the National Community Action Foundation, a dedicated staff of over 800 and more than 2,000 in volunteers, ABCD’s capacity to help low-income people become self-sufficient and move out of poverty is substantial.

ABCD uses standard protocols and procedures to streamline and increase efficiency for programming. ABCD’s strong administrative capacity enables the organization to manage over 130 contracts with state, local and Federal governments as well as private foundations.

As the second largest community action agency in the country, ABCD has a seasoned leadership team and prudent organizational and financial practices. This strong capacity has enabled it to expand services to the Mystic Valley area, providing tools, support and resources to help people transition from poverty to self-sufficiency and success.

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

ABCD uses Results-Oriented Management and Accountability (ROMA), a system of ongoing self-evaluation for programming. Through ROMA, ABCD is able to assess community needs, develop plans, implement the plans, evaluate performance using outcomes and indicators, and manage performance using logic models. ROMA allows ABCD to self-evaluate and determine if programs and services are effective, addressing the emergent needs, and in line with its mission.

ABCD also uses a Community Needs Assessment to ensure efficiency and consistency of the services provided to clients on a daily basis. Needs assessment activities include a survey of more than 1,200 ABCD service participants and other low-income residents; a sequence of focus groups involving nearly 80 low-income residents and community professionals; key informant interviews; and a review of publically-available statistical data and related literature. The goal of the assessment is to collect and analyze data that describes the service area, population demographics, and relevant economic and social conditions.

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

Over the years, ABCD has pioneered many important innovations in service, launching one of the nation’s first Community Health Centers, shaping the precursor of the WIC program, and piloting independent alternative schools. As ABCD has grown, it has continued to innovate through a broad range of long-established proven programs in the areas of youth employment, fuel assistance, and now recently the Front Door initiative. Front Door is a cutting-edge initiative through which a community membership card is harnessed to a fully integrated computer network to provide better access and services for low-income individuals and families served at every ABCD site. The overall goal is to streamline the pathway to self-sufficiency and enhance quality of life for clients.

ABCD was also recently designated by the federal government as the official community action organization for the Mystic Valley areas. More than 6,000 residents in Malden, Medford, Everett, Melrose, Woburn, Woburn, Winchester and Stoneham receive help with heating needs, and housing services. ABCD Head Start has also established sites in Malden and Everett to provide comprehensive services for the area’s low-income pre-school children and families.