Share |

Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly

 3305 Washington Street
 Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
[P] (617) 524-8882
[F] --
Nikki Therrien
Facebook Twitter
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2681294

LAST UPDATED: 08/24/2018
Organization DBA Little Brothers
Former Names Little Brothers of the Poor (1979)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly is a nonsectarian, nonprofit volunteer-based organization committed to relieving isolation and loneliness among the elderly.  We offer, to people of good will, the opportunity to join the elderly in friendship and celebration of life.

Mission Statement

Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly is a nonsectarian, nonprofit volunteer-based organization committed to relieving isolation and loneliness among the elderly.  We offer, to people of good will, the opportunity to join the elderly in friendship and celebration of life.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Oct 01, 2017 to Sept 30, 2018
Projected Income $448,600.00
Projected Expense $404,400.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • CitySites
  • LBFE Elder Services

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

Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly is a nonsectarian, nonprofit volunteer-based organization committed to relieving isolation and loneliness among the elderly.  We offer, to people of good will, the opportunity to join the elderly in friendship and celebration of life.

Background Statement

Opening our Boston doors in 1979, Little Brothers strives on a daily basis to improve the lives of our low-income isolated elderly women and men.  Based on our founders philosophy of 'flowers before bread' - of the importance of meeting the emotional as well as the physical needs of our old friends - our programs aim to relieve loneliness while providing the support these people need to continue to live independently. 
In post World War II Paris,  Armand Marquiset, our founder, set out to help in the process of rebuilding his city by reaching out to the population that he felt was most vulnerable: the elderly poor.   Stripped of family and resources during the occupation and without the safety net of non-existent local or national social service programs, these elders were struggling to live day to day.  Marquiset set out to provide meals, and as importantly he provided companionship: he reminded the elders that they were not alone and forgotten, but had people who cared for and about them. 
In 1946 Armand Marquiset set out to provide a sense of family to elders who had no one left.  Today we work toward the same goal - to be family and friends for elders who thought that they had no one left to turn to in time of loneliness and need.
Little Brothers-Boston is a small office of 4 staff members, but with young volunteers from local universities and youth organizations we provide weekly intergenerational programming at 15 senior housing buildings across Boston. We bring younger and older residents together to build inclusive communities that span generations and cultures to prevent and relieve loneliness and isolation. 

Impact Statement

With our focus on alleviating loneliness, our staff of 4 people was able to bring together over 900 volunteers and positively touch the lives of 1146 poor and isolated elderly women and men.  In addition to almost 16,000 in-person and phone visits, we provided 5633 meals and 124 medical escorts, hosted over 200 events in various subsidized elder housing buildings, and our volunteers gave 15,686 hours of companionship and services to the elders who turned to us.

Needs Statement

> Perhaps the greatest need is for name recognition.  Though LBFE has been in Boston for 38 years, we find ourselves relatively unknown to service providers, to elders, to potential volunteers and potential donors.  This negatively affects all of our programs.
> Sophisticated donor management software with grant management capabilities 
> Volunteers who speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Russian, Haitian Creole 
> A dedicated Fundraiser and Outreach Worker: 

CEO Statement

The challenge Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly is addressing head-on is isolation and loneliness among the elderly. LBFE is best suited to address this challenge because of our unique community-based approach based on data from Boston's Age Friendly Initiative and our own evaluation collected from older adults. Participants themselves have identified needs and how they can be addressed. The result is inclusive micro-communities that span cultures and generations to PREVENT and relieve isolation and loneliness.

However, there is an urgent need for us to do more, to grow, because by 2030 there will be more people over 60 than under 18. This generation of older adults needs to be engaged and given the opportunity to contribute and share their gifts with younger generations.

Yet we are hindered in our ability to do more/grow because of over 1 million charities in the US only 2.8% are aging services organizations. This is a hidden issue with little attention and few resources allocated to it. We are very excited to submit this request for funding through the Open Doors grants, as we have previously not been able to partner with The Boston Foundation on a programmatic level.

So, we are delighted to offer the opportunity to invest in our work. The impact of your investment will be robust communities that engage people of all ages so that when it is our turn to grow old, the structure will be in place to remain active, relevant, and valued.

Board Chair Statement


I joined Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly (LBFE) as a volunteer in 2009, being drawn to the organization as a result of my work experience at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center (RADC) in Chicago. In my role at the RADC I spent valued time with elders, caregivers and families as he supported a number of research studies looking at the effects of aging among the elderly. I have been on the LBFE Board since 2011 and have served on the Nominating and Program Committees and previously held the role of Board Vice President.

At its core, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly is dedicated to relieving isolation and loneliness among the elderly. With Boston’s senior population increasing at a rapid rate, coupled with the growing diversity of this population, we at LBFE want to be bold in transforming the way we provide companionship, support and care for our elders in need. We want to inspire people of goodwill to join us in this journey.

Nyemba Mbekeani, President of the Board, LBFE

Geographic Area Served

City of Boston- Citywide (Indiv. neighborhoods also listed)

Back Bay
Beacon Hill
East Boston
Hyde Park
Jamaica Plain
Mission Hill
North End
South Boston
South End
West Roxbury

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Senior Centers/Services
  2. Food, Agriculture & Nutrition - Food Programs
  3. Youth Development - Youth Community Service Clubs

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




In 2015 LBFE Boston conducted a thorough program evaluation and transformed its program model from the one-on-one Friendly Visiting model to community-based programming. Our vision for this new and innovative model is to build inclusive communities that span generations and cultures to prevent and relieve isolation and loneliness. This shift introduced our new core program, CitySites, where university students host weekly intergenerational social activities at senior housing buildings across the city. Our model focuses on building relationships across generations, and recognizing that each program participant, regardless of age, has something to teach, contribute, and give.

By utilizing student volunteers, we are able to provide these activities in many different languages including English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese and Russian, greatly improving our organization's capacity to work with linguistically isolated seniors. Presently we are in 13 buildings reaching over 125 seniors every week. This program addresses the three major recommendations from participants in the city's Age Friendly Initiative data collection - creating a space for seniors to get together, offering programs that promote cultural awareness, and developing intergenerational programs that allows seniors to engage in their community and with peers.

Budget  --
Category  Human Services, General/Other
Population Served Elderly and/or Disabled College Aged (18-26 years) Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-Term Success 

At one site a short-term evaluation conducted by a Albert Schweitzer Fellow found that within six months:

  • 50% increase in older participants reporting they would be comfortable asking a neighbor for help
  • 100% reported they felt they were part of a community.
  • 60% reported they have noticed an improvement in their physical health
  • 88% reported they incorporate mindfulness activities they learned into their daily routine
Program Long-Term Success 

A recent study, Intergenerational Programming in Senior Housing, published by LeadingAge has validated our program outcome goals by noting that the top 5 perceived benefits for both youth and older adults participating in intergenerational programs were decreased isolation/increased connectedness, increased self esteem/feelings of worth, greater understanding of issues facing youth/older adults, increased trust across ages, and increased sense of community. We aim to replicate these findings and break down language and cultural barriers to create relationships that span generations. Our hope is that all elders living in the buildings we serve will feel connected to their community and have a strong social network to rely on in both times of need and times of joy.

Specifically, our CitySites program brings youth and older adults together on a weekly basis for programs chosen by the participants. The programs range from tech cafes, arts and crafts, games, language exchange, and conversation circles. This summer we are conducting programs in 10 buildings weekly, and in the fall when the university semester begins we’ll be in 15 buildings weekly. Our goal is to expand this year and be in 20 buildings by next fall. While a weekly presence does not completely fill the void of the Resident Service Coordinator positions that have been dramatically reduced in public supportive housing, we are able to provide a platform for residents to form social connections, and ensure that they have the peace of mind knowing that they have an opportunity to be seen and heard on a weekly basis.
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success 

From a program participant, Richard in Roxbury

LBFE has given me something to look forward to and an opportunity to meet a lot of people from different walks of life. I used to go out and drink a bit, and there have been times when it gets pretty dull where I live and I remember the people I used to hang around with. But then I think, I couldn’t go to Little Brothers smelling like I’ve been drinking. They haven’t stopped me from drinking, but I just don’t feel like I need to. I’ve met new people who I enjoy being around.

One of my favorite LBFE activities is [CitySites] when the students from Milestones Day School come to my building on Wednesdays. On the first day I met a young man named Henry. He was very shy and introverted, when I asked him to play Go Fish he spoke so softly that I couldn’t even hear him. After a few weeks he started to call the Bingo numbers and eventually he would come in with confidence and say “Hi Richard! How are you today?” I haven’t seen him in a few months because he has been going to junior college, but just a couple weeks ago he stopped by and told me he got accepted to a full time college. He told me he’ll be back a couple more times to see me before he leaves. It makes me feel good, remembering where he was, and that maybe I had a little bit to do with it. I’m so proud of him.

It’s been a good experience, I’ve seen how a nice small outfit can reach out and help a wide range of people and try to better their lives. Everyone there has treated me very well, you can’t ask for better. I hope to keep being a part of LBFE as long as I’m still able.

LBFE Elder Services

Little Brothers programs are offered free of any charges to elders without benefit of family or adequate social supports. In order to best attack the problem of isolation and loneliness, we have a comprehensive approach to building supportive relationships within one's community. The following programs are offered: CitySites - weekly intergenerational and cross-cultural social programs for students and elders, Friendship & Flowers - monthly visiting program in assisted living facilities, Community Connections - one time or monthly community led social programs and special events, Holiday Celebrations - at home visits and large parties to celebrate Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, On Cal - emergency food delivery and medical escorts.  Little Brother's staff and volunteers also advocate on behalf of the elderly friends, helping them secure services that our organization does not provide. And through our Volunteer Program we offer people the opportunity to share their lives with older persons and to offer service to their community.
Budget  $403,231.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Senior Services
Population Served Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Elderly and/or Disabled
Program Short-Term Success 
During the program/fiscal year we will:
>10 CitySite locations serving over 300 elders monthly
>16,200 telephone contacts will be made to the 695 elders participating in all of our programs.
>1,400 visits, meals, food packages, and bouquets of flowers will be provided through our Holiday Programs.
>160 requests for On-Call direct services will be met, including 80 medical escorts with transportation, 35 prescription escorts and 45 requests for shopping, banking and miscellaneous escorts, and home delivery of enough staples from our food pantry for 2600 meals.
> 30 community connections will be hosted, providing elders with the opportunity to socialize with other elders and volunteers, while enjoying nutritious meals.
>Between 1500-1600 volunteers will come forward to give 26,300 hours of service and friendship to our elderly friends.
Program Long-Term Success  Ultimately, we would love to be able to close our doors knowing that every elder has people in their lives that care for and about them.  In the interim, while we may not be able to meet every need we will provide compassion, service and friendship to each elder that turns to us.  And we strive to provide every volunteer the opportunity to give meaningful service to the community
Program Success Monitored By  Observation and surveys given 4x per year to elders and volunteers. 
Examples of Program Success 
Robert is a 74 yr old who lost his sight 5 years ago. Still very independent, the loss of his sight and early stages of dementia have left Robert somewhat paranoid, refusing to accept services.  His refusal was threatening his housing status and his ability to remain independent.  We became involved 2 years ago and by consistently being there for him, inviting him to events,  maintaining frequent contact and matching him with a very patient volunteer, Robert began to trust us and through us began to accept services, including some home care and the legal assistance he needed to maintain his apartment.
In Fiscal 2011:
>173 matched elders benefited from 5577 home visits
>2730 meals were provided through the Emergency Food pantry
>176  medical escorts, 142 prescription, banking & shopping escorts were provided
>2324 meals were provided through the Holiday & Special Events programs
 >693 elders benefited from 23726 personal contacts
>1583 volunteers gave 26238 hours of friendship and service.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Ms. Nikki Therrien
CEO Term Start Jan 2015
CEO Email
CEO Experience
Anchored by her strong passion for elders, Nikki brings a proven record of leadership and management in both the non-profit and public sectors. Most recently, Nikki served as Volunteer Coordinator for LBFE, where she managed all aspects of LBFE's volunteer program. Previous to LBFE, Nikki held positions with the US Peace Corps, including that of Health Economic Development Adviser in Ethiopia, and also worked in both policy and case management at the Agency of Aging in Connecticut. Nikki holds a BA in Gerontology and a MBA in Health Care Management from Quinnipiac University.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Mr. Daniel Dailey May 1989 July 1991
Mrs. Martha Guerin Jan 1991 Dec

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Cynthia Wilkerson Program Manager --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
Affiliate/Chapter of National Organization (i.e. Girl Scouts of the USA, American Red Cross, etc.) - Affiliate/chapter 2010
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Mass Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


We currently have an MOU with the Boston Housing Authority, Maloney Properties, and Schochet Management Company for our intergenerational programs in their senior housing buildings. 
Our community collaboration partners include: Northeastern University, Boston College, Bunker Hill Community College, Operation PEACE, Mattapan Teen Center, Milestones Day School, British International School, Grove Hall Senior Center, Rogerson Communities, Walnut House, Seniors Living at Home 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 3
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 950
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 75%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 2
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 3
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan No
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 Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration No

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 Mr. Nyemba Mbekeani
Board Chair Company Affiliation Boston Consulting Group
Board Chair Term Oct 2017 -
Board Co-Chair Mr. Nyemba Mbekeani
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Boston Consulting Group
Board Co-Chair Term Sept 2014 - Sept 2017

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Julia (Rapacki) Wengrovitz Prism HR --
Mr. Ronald Chu Retired Voting
Ms. Reed Ellis PegaSystems Voting
Ms. Alexandra Grasso Pega Systems Voting
Ms. Juliana Haddad Litteiro Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Nyemba Mbekeani Genzyme Corporation Voting
Mr. Jeffrey Neil Keryx Voting
Mr. Josh Obeiter Seniors Helping Seniors Voting
Mr. William Pitman Commonwealth of Mass Voting
Mr. Ryan Ribeiro Quincy College Voting
Ms. Nikki Therrien Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly Exofficio
Ms. Sasha Yablonovsky Excela Enterprise Solutions 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: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: 6
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 6
Male: 6
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Finance
  • Nominating
  • Program / Program Planning

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 $359,205 $650,678 $469,824
Total Expenses $481,572 $473,534 $458,294

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$30,625 $85,716 $54,456
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $225,161 $460,206 $347,921
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $15,400 $13,600 $11,400
Investment Income, Net of Losses $40,942 $39,004 $-553
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $4,267 $14,302 $8,138
Revenue In-Kind $42,810 $37,850 $46,450
Other -- -- $2,012

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $406,343 $387,886 $361,039
Administration Expense $20,507 $20,520 $21,864
Fundraising Expense $54,722 $62,074 $73,439
Payments to Affiliates -- $3,054 $1,952
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.75 1.37 1.03
Program Expense/Total Expenses 84% 82% 79%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 21% 11% 18%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $1,047,868 $1,167,675 $989,546
Current Assets $559,519 $669,359 $470,751
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $4,508 $1,948 $963
Total Net Assets $1,043,360 $1,165,727 $988,583

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 --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 9.00

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 124.12 343.61 488.84

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 reviewed financial statements.


Other Documents

Annual Report (2015)


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?

After an evaluation of our programs, Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly did an overhaul of our services and changed our core service delivery model. Because of the number of Friendly Visiting programs in Boston, we are focusing our efforts on community building and isolation/loneliness prevention.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

Our major goal for the future is to build community partnerships with local organizations, local government officials, schools, and neighbors. By creating opportunities to interact with peers and volunteers of all ages, we are building community and preventing loneliness.

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

Our organization is in a transitional phase, with new staff, administration and board members. We are increasing our footprint though PR/marketing, speaking to more people and corporations about our organization to increase donations and sponsorship.

In regards to programs, we have a new internal structure that allows for higher level, long term planning. Our Program Manager is actively seeking new community partnerships to better serve our changing population of elders.

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

We will know success by the number of corporations involved in our work (through matched gifts, sponsorship, volunteerism). We will closely monitor the success of our fundraising campaigns, and the number of new partners and donors acquired in the coming years.

For programs, we will see progress in the number of community partners engaged with Little Brothers, how many new City Sites we will have following last year's pilot program, the number of elders served with all programs. We will know that we are attracting more elders by updating our programs if our program enrollment increases, number of referrals increase, and the number of repeat new beneficiaries.

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

We have completed a program evaluation and expansion research study. From this field research, we learned that elders are seeking community involvement, and opportunities to engage with peers and volunteers closer to home. We have taken a critical look at our programs and cut back on the resource intensive programs that serve few people, and created new programs that will address the social and emotional needs of even more elders.

We are still looking for creative ways to engage volunteers with elders in their communities. We believe the future of Little Brothers is in building communities in different neighborhoods, enabling elders to feel safe, and that they have people they can rely on.