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Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry (Benevolent Fraternity of Unitarian Church)

 10 Putnam Street
 Roxbury, MA 02119
[P] (617) 3186010 x 202
[F] (617) 3186022
Mary Margaret Earl
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2105897

LAST UPDATED: 09/11/2018
Organization DBA Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No



Mission StatementMORE »

The UU Urban Ministry unites communities and transforms individuals through education, service, and advocacy. We engage communities and congregations in social action and change, with programs that empower youth and adults to realize their full potential.

Mission Statement

The UU Urban Ministry unites communities and transforms individuals through education, service, and advocacy. We engage communities and congregations in social action and change, with programs that empower youth and adults to realize their full potential.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year May 01, 2018 to Apr 30, 2019
Projected Income $2,238,491.00
Projected Expense $2,238,491.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Believe in Success
  • Renewal House
  • Roxbury Youth Programs

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 UU Urban Ministry unites communities and transforms individuals through education, service, and advocacy. We engage communities and congregations in social action and change, with programs that empower youth and adults to realize their full potential.

Background Statement

The Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry unites communities and transforms individuals through education, service, and advocacy. We engage communities and congregations in social action and change with programs that support the empowerment of youth and adults to realize their full potential. Since its founding in 1826, the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry (UUUM) has been working side-by-side with underserved urban residents to help build the skills necessary to better their lives. Over its 190-year history, the UUUM has created many channels to conduct its work in addressing social injustice. Today, UUUM programs focus primarily on serving Roxbury high school youth and Boston-area survivors of domestic violence, as well as on supporting community engagement across difference, especially that defined by race, class, neighborhood, and faith. Located in the center of Roxbury, we provide services to members of communities that are predominantly home to people of color, including the neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, Hyde Park, and Mattapan. Moreover, our programs are tailored to meet participants where they are, and we have expertise in working with LGBTQ people, immigrants, English language learners, and low-income children and adults.

Impact Statement

1. Accomplishments from the Past Year

Bringing the Meetinghouse Back to the Community – We are the steward of the First Church in Roxbury meetinghouse, Boston’s oldest surviving wood-frame church. This historic building has fallen into disrepair over the years. Our Meetinghouse Campaign is transforming the Meetinghouse into a much-needed center of civic life in Roxbury, a home for arts & cultural programming, forums, educational activities, and more.

Program Evaluation – Over the last year we have formed several task forces to take a close look at UU Urban Ministry programs. Our goals were to 1) assess current programming for its relevancy and effectiveness, and 2) evaluate the landscapes of potential new program areas.

Relationship Building and Fundraising – In fall 2014 we hired Rev. Mary Margaret Earl as Executive Director and Senior Minister. Rev. Earl brought a passion for relationship-building that not only strengthened our connections with the Roxbury community, it has also served to dramatically increase our individual giving totals for both programming and our Meetinghouse revitalization effort.

2. Goals for Current Year

Believe in Success – The UU Urban Ministry is leveraging its long history of serving domestic violence survivors by launching a new program, Believe in Success, which will provide job-readiness training to DV survivors and others who have experience trauma.

Bridging Communities – An important part of our mission is uniting people across the differences of race, class and faith. The renovated Meetinghouse will enable us to do much more work in this area, bringing a variety of people and communities together to learn, work and grow together.

Fundraising – Our three fundraising objectives are to 1) obtain grant funding in support of our new Believe in Success program (see above); 2) ramp up fundraising for Phases III and IV of our Meetinghouse renovation – interior work and upgrades; and 3) increase our major donor cultivation efforts.


Needs Statement

Increasing Grant Funding – The grants environment has become very competitive and building solid relationships with funders is more important than ever. We are seeking to increase our organizational grant funding from approximately $150K to $200K this year.

Outcomes Measurement and Program Evaluation – While we have systems in place for measuring our programmatic success, we know that a more robust outcomes measurement process would benefit our program development as well as increase our competitiveness for foundation funding.

Meetinghouse Programming Coordinator – Over the last year we have opened wide the doors to the Meetinghouse for community programming. Going forward, we will be doing even more, requiring a dedicated part-time Event Coordinator on staff.

Marketing and Branding – As we continue to raise our profile in Roxbury and the Boston area, one of our priorities is sharpening our message and further defining our “brand.”

Continued Relationship-Building – One of our greatest strengths is that we sit at the center of a web of connections among different communities. Our success depends on reaching out and deepening our relationships with all who engage with the UUUM, including Roxbury community members, other nonprofits, UU friends, government, representatives, and others.

CEO Statement


Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

City of Boston- Roxbury
City of Boston- Mattapan
City of Boston- North Dorchester
City of Boston- South Dorchester
We primarily serve residents of Roxbury and the nearby neighborhoods of Dorchester, Mattapan, and Hyde Park. Our domestic violence shelter (located in a confidential location in Mission Hill) and job-readiness training program for survivors of domestic violence serve survivors from across the Greater Boston area.

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Children's and Youth Services
  2. Human Services - Family Violence Shelters and Services
  3. Arts,Culture & Humanities -

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



Believe in Success

Believe in Success is a “first step” job-readiness program for those who have experienced domestic violence or other trauma. The program enables participants to develop navigational life skills to prepare them for their next step: vocational job training programs, education, or employment.

Believe in Success meets the basic job readiness needs of participants through curriculum, partnerships, resource allocation, and through a special emphasis on relationship-building. The UU Urban Ministry views relationships as catalysts for change, and community-building as essential to well-being. The sessions cover teamwork, respecting diversity, receiving feedback, self-advocacy, and much more.
We carefully assess survivors, identifying their needs and referring applicants to a network of partner programs that, in conjunction with Believe in Success, can surround the person with a constellation of services such as language support, GED programs, immigration assistance, and more.
Budget  $140,000.00
Category  Employment, General/Other Job Training & Employment
Population Served Females Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated
Program Short-Term Success 

Increased skills: program participants will acquire new skills related to job readiness, including communication, punctuality, conflict resolution, self-advocacy, decision-making, and dress.

Program completion: six to twelve trauma survivors will complete the program in Year One.

Increased education options: program graduates will enroll in next-step skills training or secondary education.

Increased job placement: program graduates not enrolling in education programs will acquire personally meaningful employment.
Program Long-Term Success 

Increased employment retention: program graduates able to retain long-term employment.

Increased earnings: program graduates able to attain economic stability.

Program Success Monitored By 

We will ask our program participants to fill out pre- and post-program surveys to measure their experiences and gauge what is and is not working. As this is a new program, client feedback will be essential to developing a robust and highly effective job-readiness program.

We employ a database to track individual progress, as well as participants’ success in continuing their education or securing employment once leaving program.
Examples of Program Success  Believe in Success launched in the fall of 2017. Since program completion, graduates have gone on to ESOL classes, CNA training programs, medical interpretation training programs, college, jobs, and have completed their HiSET exams. Most remain in contact with Believe in Success staff as they work to achieve their next steps.

Renewal House

Renewal House provides shelter and services for 5 individuals or families at any given time, and serves an additional 250-300 people through a 24-hour help line, community educational events, drop-in services, and structured events for former residents.

We provide emergency shelter and services that address the full range of issues converging in the lives of domestic violence survivors: persistent poverty, trauma, lack of affordable housing, language barriers, unemployment, parenting problems, addictions and/or substance abuse, and chronic health problems, including HIV/AIDS.

We pay particular attention to under-served communities, including people of color, those who identify as LGBTQ, and non-native-English speakers. Our staff is bi-lingual in English and Spanish, and we offer Spanish-language support groups to both our residents and community members. We also offer free ESL and citizenship classes to Renewal House residents as well as community members.
Budget  $360,000.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Emergency Assistance
Population Served Blacks, African Heritage Hispanic, Latino Heritage Lesbian, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgendered
Program Short-Term Success 

Survivors and their children experience immediate safety

Survivors increase their knowledge about domestic violence

Survivors increase their awareness of resources and options

Survivors decrease their isolation
Program Long-Term Success 

Increased survivor safety over time

Reduced incidence of abuse in the community

Reduced homicide in the community

Improved quality of life for survivors

Program Success Monitored By 

Renewal House’s EmpowerDB database enable us to accurately track the data required for state contracts, including intakes, assessments (housing, mental health, substance abuse, education, employment, disability), number of children and their schools/childcare info, medical/healthcare info, progress notes, and hotline calls. We also use EmpowerDB to track former residents once they leave in order to determine their success after moving out of Renewal House.

We have residents fill out exit surveys that ask them to evaluate their experiences at Renewal House, including the shelter environment, the many services we offer, and the helpfulness of staff. These surveys have been very useful to us in our program design process.
Examples of Program Success 

The exit surveys filled out by residents indicate that 75% of our guests have excellent experiences at Renewal House, and that the services we provide are helpful. In addition, Renewal House is one of the few domestic violence shelters to offer post-residency support. Called Beyond Shelter, this Renewal House program seeks to provide the kinds of support often missing from people’s lives once they leave shelter. Residents can receive counseling, advocacy, accompaniment to legal and other appointments, and more. One of the most important benefits offered by Beyond Shelter is personal relationships with caring, supportive staff and volunteers, which can be critical for preventing survivors from slipping into social isolation and depression.

More than 40% of all former residents stay in touch with Renewal House, indicating to us that Renewal House is providing the kinds of services, community and social connectedness that are important both during and after their stays in shelter.

Roxbury Youth Programs

Roxbury Youth Programs (RYP) serves 45-50 youth during the school year with academic and enrichment programming. The majority of our students are high school students from John D. O'Bryan School of Mathematics and Science.

RYP provides students with a safe, nurturing environment that offers an intensive, long-term intervention to help them learn basic academic skills, develop sound study habits and self-motivation, formulate personal goals, and learn crucial life skills to help them succeed.

RYP’s highest priority is promoting academic success, and we make use of more than 150 volunteers to provide students with daily homework help, tutoring, college visits, and more. We serve participants dinner and transport them home each evening. Our refreshed enrichment curriculum focuses on fostering a sense of self and pride of place by empowering youth to be experts in their community. Through archival and interview-based research, our youth participants create tours of Roxbury that highlight the history and culture of our neighborhood and the people who call this home.

During the summer, our Sumer Employment Program, in partnership with Boston Youth Fund, provides 8-10 teens with “earn and learn” summer employment. This summer's project focuses on piloting the youth tour guide program.
Budget  $280,000.00
Category  Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Blacks, African Heritage Latin America & the Caribbean
Program Short-Term Success 

100% of students will graduate to the next grade.

90% of students will show improvement in grades.

90% of students will show improvement in standardized test scores.

100% of students will engage in arts activities.

Program Long-Term Success 

100% of students will graduate from high school.

80% of high school seniors will enroll in college.

75% of RYP alumni who start college will obtain a degree.

Program Success Monitored By 

Roxbury Youth Programs differentiates itself through deep engagement with students. We value the students’ input and we seek their feedback through surveys as well as through check-ins and other conversations. Staff and volunteers also meet regularly to discuss what is working well and what needs attention.

Measurement tools include:

Tracking grades and recording academic performance

Tracking high school graduation

Tracking the number of students who attend college

Tracking students’ behavior

Tracking year-over-year program retention rates

Surveys soliciting feedback on program
Examples of Program Success 

During the 2015-2016 school year we had a record number of students enrolled in RYP – we wrapped up the program in June with nearly 75 youth participating.

100% (12 out of 12) RYP high school seniors in the 2015-2016 school year are attending 2- or 4-year colleges in fall 2016.

Shakeen is a young man who joined us in his sophomore year of high school. Although he had little interest in anything other than sports at first, he ended up participating in every aspect of RYP for three years – academic tutoring, college preparation, SAT practice, civic engagement activities, and much more. Shakeen progressed from a “D” student to a consistent “B” achiever, graduated high school, graduated from Roxbury Community College, and in June graduated from UMass Dartmouth with his undergraduate degree. “RYP changed my perspective on life,” Shakeen told us. “It changed the way I think – I was always at program, even during the summer. RYP became a second home for me.”

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Rev. Mary Margaret Earl
CEO Term Start Nov 2014
CEO Email
CEO Experience
The Rev. Mary Margaret Earl has served as Executive Director and Senior Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry since 2014, where she has focused on community engagement and building bridges across communities as a way of working for change. She serves on the Roxbury Cultural Network. Previously, she spent 10 years at McAuley Ministries, a nonprofit in Providence, RI, that provides food, shelter and clothing to those who were homeless or at risk of becoming so. She is past president of the Board of the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, recipient of the 2014 Heroes of Faith Award from the Rhode Island State Council of Churches for her interfaith work, and served on the Pro Bono Advisory Board, which brings together large Providence law firms and underserved communities in need of free legal assistance.
Rev. Earl has a passion for relationship-building across the divides of race, class and faith, and has helped further establish the UU Urban Ministry as a vital presence in Roxbury. She has also put her fundraising skills to good use, dramatically increasing the UU Urban Ministry's individual giving donations.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Rev. Catherine Senghas June 2009 Aug 2014
Rev. John Hickey Oct 2003 May 2009

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Rachel Shapiro Director of Finance --


Award Awarding Organization Year
Roxbury Rocks Partnership Award Roxbury Community College 2018
Preservation Award for Renovation in Progress Boston Preservation Alliance 2017


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


The UU Urban Ministry and its programs collaborate with many organizations in the Boston area, including Brigham and Women's Hospital's Office of Health and Health Equity, Circle of Hope, Cradles to Crayons, Greater Boston Food Bank, GLBT Domestic Violence Coalition, Boston Healthcare for the Homeless, Simmons School of Social Work, Boston College’s PULSE program, Fenway Health Violence Recovery Program, Network/la Red, and the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition, Associated Grant Makers. We are a member of Jane Doe Inc., the statewide coalition of domestic violence and sexual assault provider agencies.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 12
Number of Part Time Staff 21
Number of Volunteers 150
Number of Contract Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % 78%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 11
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 6
Hispanic/Latino: 11
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 5
Other (if specified): African, Mixed
Gender Female: 25
Male: 7
Not Specified 1

Plans & Policies

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

Risk Management Provisions

Accident and Injury Coverage
Workplace Violence
General Property Coverage

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? No
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. Karla Baehr
Board Chair Company Affiliation Co-leader of the Mass. Superintendent Induction Program; education consultant
Board Chair Term May 2016 - Apr 2019
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Marcia Butman "Founding director of Discover Roxbury, retired; founding member of the Lexington Coalition for Racial Equality" Voting
Mr. Peter Coccoluto (Retired) Investment Research, Adams Harkness & Hill Voting
Mr. Alan Cody Managing Director, Duff & Phelps, retired. Voting
Rev. Marta Flanagan Minister, First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington Voting
Mr. David Harris Managing Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice,Harvard Law School Voting
Rev. John Hickey Assistant General Counsel for IBM, retired; former Executive Director of UU Urban Ministry Voting
Mr. Marshall Hughes Director of Visual, Performing, and Media Arts at Roxbury Community College Voting
Ms. Mimi Jones Retired --
Ms. Jean Krasnow Faculty member and associate dean of the graduate school at Wheelock College, retired Voting
Ms. Carol Troyen Lohe Historian, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, retired Voting
Mr. Derek Lumpkins Director of Neighborhood Partnerships and Programs at Northeastern Crossing at Northeastern Univ. Voting
Rev. George Whitehouse Minister at Large, Arlington Street Church 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: 4
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 9
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 6
Male: 7
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy No
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 73%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 50%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Executive
  • Finance
  • Nominating

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year May 01, 2018 to Apr 30, 2019
Projected Income $2,238,491.00
Projected Expense $2,238,491.00
Form 990s

2017 Form 990

2016 Form 990

2015 Form 990

2014 Form 990

2013 Form 990

Audit Documents

2017 Audited Financials

2016 Audited Financials

2015 Audited Financials

2014 Audited Financials

2013 Audited Financials

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $1,145,289 $1,224,157 $1,342,342
Total Expenses $1,607,079 $1,557,631 $1,686,661

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $287,672 $287,444 $245,345
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $287,672 $287,444 $245,345
Individual Contributions $630,143 $614,203 $714,119
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $192,748 $233,893 $197,796
Investment Income, Net of Losses $34,726 $88,617 $170,208
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- $14,874

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $1,268,700 $1,198,295 $1,278,462
Administration Expense $250,360 $247,463 $323,858
Fundraising Expense $88,019 $111,873 $84,341
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.71 0.79 0.80
Program Expense/Total Expenses 79% 77% 76%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 10% 12% 9%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $7,805,210 $8,864,382 $9,718,621
Current Assets $1,080,558 $1,225,874 $1,486,752
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $167,156 $175,099 $324,122
Total Net Assets $7,638,054 $8,689,283 $9,394,499

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 $5,023,932.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage(If selected) 5.0%
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 12.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Capital Campaign Purpose Rehabilitation of our historic First Church in Roxbury Meetinghouse. Our goal for this renovation project is to “bring the meetinghouse back to the community” by transforming it into an active site of arts, education, and civic programming in Roxbury.
Campaign Goal $2,200,000.00
Capital Campaign Dates June 2013 - June 2018
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $829,000.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 6.46 7.00 4.59

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 charts and graphs are per the organization's IRS Form 990s. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.
For the FY13 audit, the independent auditors issued a qualification to their opinion regarding the recording of property and equipment acquired from the Bethany Union House for Women at its carrying value at the date of acquisition rather than its fair value. Please review the Auditors opinion for further information.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


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