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Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Boston Chapter

 75 Kneeland Street, Suite 1102
 Boston, MA 02111
[P] (617) 338-0411
[F] (617) 357-7323
Bob Van Meter
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 13-3030229

LAST UPDATED: 05/16/2018
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes


Mission StatementMORE »

LISC Boston works to address inequality with a focus on helping low and moderate-income community residents transform neighborhoods into healthy, vibrant communities of choice and opportunity for families. We promote comprehensive community development and sustainable communities by partnering with communities to expand investment in housing and other real estate; increasing family income and wealth; stimulating economic development; improving access to quality education; and supporting healthy environments and lifestyles. As part of a national organization, LISC Boston mobilizes a wide range of corporate, government, and philanthropic support for local community development organizations and coalitions.

Mission Statement

LISC Boston works to address inequality with a focus on helping low and moderate-income community residents transform neighborhoods into healthy, vibrant communities of choice and opportunity for families. We promote comprehensive community development and sustainable communities by partnering with communities to expand investment in housing and other real estate; increasing family income and wealth; stimulating economic development; improving access to quality education; and supporting healthy environments and lifestyles. As part of a national organization, LISC Boston mobilizes a wide range of corporate, government, and philanthropic support for local community development organizations and coalitions.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018
Projected Income $1,826,000.00
Projected Expense $1,820,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Advancing the Field/ Capacity Building
  • Lending & Lending-Related Technical Assistance
  • Massachusetts Green Retrofit Initiative
  • Resilient Communities/Resilient Families: Comprehensive Community Building

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

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


Mission Statement

LISC Boston works to address inequality with a focus on helping low and moderate-income community residents transform neighborhoods into healthy, vibrant communities of choice and opportunity for families. We promote comprehensive community development and sustainable communities by partnering with communities to expand investment in housing and other real estate; increasing family income and wealth; stimulating economic development; improving access to quality education; and supporting healthy environments and lifestyles. As part of a national organization, LISC Boston mobilizes a wide range of corporate, government, and philanthropic support for local community development organizations and coalitions.

Background Statement

LISC Boston is a local office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, known as LISC. LISC was founded in 1979 by the Ford Foundation and operates 28 local programs throughout the country. Boston’s office, one of the organization’s first, was founded in 1981.


Over more than thirty years Boston LISC has worked to strengthen community based organizations in Boston's neighborhoods and those of surrounding communities in their efforts to improve the quality of life, create affordable housing, and improve access to jobs. We have provided critical support to organizations that can give authentic voice for people and neighborhoods that have often been ignored. Boston LISC believes that community based organizations – like community development corporations that can undertake physical development projects expressing community priorities – are vital in building a community's sense of efficacy and creating places where people can live healthy, vibrant and productive lives.


As part of the largest community development funding organization in the United States, Boston LISC mobilizes corporate, government, and philanthropic support to provide local community development organizations and coalitions with community-building support, technical and organization development assistance, grants, loans, equity investments, and policy support. These are resources that local communities cannot access on their own.

Impact Statement

LISC Boston is known for capital support of affordable housing and commercial development by non-profit developers. LISC financing and support has resulted in the development of more than 313,300 affordable homes and apartments and 51 million square feet of retail and community space nationally. We have provided over $20 million in direct support to more than fifty Massachusetts community-based organizations. We have placed more than 120 AmeriCorps members at CDCs and have provided training for more than five hundred CDC staff members. Through this work we have increased affordable housing access, improved energy efficiency within thousands of apartments, encouraged commercial development in high need neighborhoods, increased parks and green space available for recreation, and strengthened the capacity of non-profit developers.


In 2011 Boston LISC launched the Resilient Communities, Resilient Families (RC/RF) initiative which represents a new approach to our community development mission.  Three neighborhoods in Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan were selected for focused investment, capacity building, and partnership through the adoption of the “Sustainable Communities” strategy.  Each neighborhood, led by a convening agency, worked on coalition building to generate broad support for a comprehensive neighborhood planning process and completed a relational organizing process. Over the past four years, we have worked through the RC/RF model in each neighborhood to strengthen communities.


In 2014 Boston LISC was chosen as a Community Support Organization (CSO) for the Massachusetts Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) program. CITC is designed to attract partners and financial backers to support CDCs throughout the Commonwealth and to help increase the scale of their impact on local communities. As a CSO, we are providing training programs, one-on-one technical assistance, access to capital, and other support for Massachusetts CDCs.



Needs Statement

As a CSO for the CITC program, we have an expanded role to play in supporting CDCs throughout the state. To help CDCs implement the community investment plans that are a part of the program, we will deliver more training programs, one-on-one technical assistance, and access to capital, among other resources. To fulfill this role and meet our goals, in 2018 we are seeking $300,000 in Community Investment Tax Credit eligible contributions from investors.



CEO Statement

LISC Boston and our staff are often called upon to provide crucial links between grassroots activists and organizations on the one hand and corporations, government, and regional or national organizations. We see an important part of our role as helping neighborhoods access ideas and capital that can be deployed to support community advancement.

Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

LISC Boston serves the greater Boston area, as well as community development corporations throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Organization Categories

  1. Community Improvement, Capacity Building - Community & Neighbourhood Development
  2. Housing, Shelter - Housing Development, Construction & Management
  3. -

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



Advancing the Field/ Capacity Building

Boston LISC sees community development organizations as the key vehicles for community development and neighborhood stabilization, and the effectiveness of these organizations as essential.


1. We support innovative efforts of CDCs to collaborate or merge for increased impact as a partner in the Catalyst Fund for Nonprofits.


2. We provide grants through HUD Section 4 Capacity Building funds that LISC administers, and specialized training on specific organizational issues like improving financial systems using both local and national expertise.


3. The LISC AmeriCorps directly increases organizational capacity by providing additional staff resources and builds the capacity of the field overall by bringing new people into the Massachusetts community development field.


4. We are an active founding partner with MACDC and others in the Mel King Institute for Community Building which provides organizational development workshops and training.

Budget  --
Category  Housing, General/Other Affordable Housing
Population Served Families
Program Short-Term Success 

* Host three workshops in central and western Massachusetts.

* Integrate our capacity building work with RC/RF, the Green Retrofit Initiative, and the Financial Opportunity Centers more closely with Mel King Institute.

* Continue work of gentrification learning community with goal of moving toward shared solutions.

* Work with the Boston Foundation to help implement Mayor Walsh’ affordable housing plans by focusing on new models for acquisition/conversion of existing housing.

Program Long-Term Success 

CDCs throughout the state are major players in community development and support.

Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success 

Boston LISC engages 2-3 consultants per year to provide direct technical assistance and support to Catalyst Fund grantees. We provide $50,000 - $100,000 in general capacity building funding to CDCs each year to 2-3 organizations. We currently provide 10 full time AmeriCorps members per year. AmeriCorps CDCs are selected each summer through an RFP process and the AmeriCorps service year runs from September to July each year. We are an active founding partner with MACDC and others in the Mel King Institute for Community Building which provides organizational development workshops and training.

Lending & Lending-Related Technical Assistance

Boston LISC ensures that community-based development organizations have access to flexible capital for real estate development projects that meet key community priorities. We provide critical predevelopment and early stage capital loans and periodically operate a recoverable grant program, which has been an effective tool for early, very risky project support. These funds allow CDCs to properly analyze project feasibility early on without diminishing their own limited development capital. In this role, we work with other community development lenders, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, private foundations, CDC and nonprofit developers to create affordable housing and Transit Oriented Development (TOD). In our TOD work we also partner with Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance and Transportation for Massachusetts.


Boston LISC provides:

  • Affordable housing pre-development and acquisition lending.
  • New Market Tax Credits to support commercial development.
  • Advocacy to improve real estate financing systems.
Budget  --
Category  Housing, General/Other Affordable Housing
Population Served Families
Program Short-Term Success 

* Launch of Accelerator TOD Fund deploying $2.5 million in first year of fund.

* Development of tools to support investment in RC/RF neighborhoods such as credit enhancement.

* New loans of at least $5 million to community development efforts.

Program Long-Term Success  Affordable housing in the Greater Boston area is preserved and TOD is advanced in the city and beyond.
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success 

Our financing and support has resulted in the development of more than 313,300 affordable homes and apartments and 51 million square feet of retail and community space.

Massachusetts Green Retrofit Initiative

Boston LISC operates this statewide technical assistance program to help owners of affordable housing stabilize operating costs, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and provide residents with a higher quality of life through energy efficiency and healthy housing improvements. In May 2012, LISC partnered with New Ecology, Inc. to expand the Initiative to all owners of affordable housing statewide. We are currently working with 46 owners through the GRI, 16 of which are certified CDCs.


Energy savings data are tracked in an online benchmarking program, WegoWise, which shows impressive consistency in savings results compared to other multifamily energy impact studies. Other program activities include a peer learning network training sessions and webinars, and technical assistance on building science and financing options.

Budget  --
Category  Housing, General/Other Affordable Housing
Population Served Families
Program Short-Term Success 

* Increase utility ratepayer funds for the affordable housing sector.

* Work with at least ten organizations in the creation of long-range, portfolio-wide energy plans.

* Host six Community of Practice meetings; conduct three trainings to improve energy management skills; host forum to elevate the profile of energy efficiency in affordable multifamily housing.

Program Long-Term Success  Affordable housing throughout the state is energy-efficient.
Program Success Monitored By  For the Green Retrofit Initiative, we utilize WegoWise, an online utility benchmarking tool, to measure the impact of the initiative on the energy and water savings resulting from retrofit activities. Using WegoWise as a screening tool for projects ready for upgrades and then as a tool for follow-up measurement and verification of savings has been imperative to achieving successful results. This practice is also transforming the way CDCs and other owners approach asset management with a focus on improving worst energy users and preserving overall affordable housing portfolios.
Examples of Program Success 
We have assisted nearly fifty affordable housing owners state-wide make their property energy-efficient.

Resilient Communities/Resilient Families: Comprehensive Community Building

RC/RF encourages residents to identify community needs, implement comprehensive solutions, and take ownership over the direction of their neighborhood. RC/RF supports grassroots leadership development, understanding that home-grown leaders grounded in issues identified by the community are critical to ensuring empowerment of these low-income communities of color.


Each of the three RC/RF communities (Mattapan, Roxbury and Dorchester) has a steering committee that represents the fabric of the community with members that are active in the organizing process and decision making. In total there 46 steering committee members, 40 of whom are people of color.


RC/RF is a success within the communities as a comprehensive community development and organizing framework, and as a strategy for investment, capacity building and partnership for LISC. New activists and leaders are emerging from the communities with the skills and tools they need to make lasting improvements in their neighborhoods.

Budget  $600,000.00
Category  Community Development, General/Other Neighborhood Revitalization
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success 
* Increased involvement in current neighborhoods by 20%.

* Select one new community; identify convening organizations and founding funders.

* Raise $250,000 in additional funding.


Program Long-Term Success 
Build stronger communities that successfully advocate for and work toward community-defined goals.
Program Success Monitored By 

In the past twelve months we completed an evaluation of the RC/RF program, paid for by the University of Massachusetts Boston. This data is prompting us to move toward a collective impact framework by which all three neighborhoods set goals together and work in tandem to achieve those goals.

Examples of Program Success  An example of how diversity through RC/RF affects Boston LISC’s effectiveness is the Entrepreneurship Program. This program was developed in direct response to the diverse voices we heard during the community organizing process, which pressed for solutions to local community business options. Based on this response, we supported the adoption and development of an entrepreneurship program to address some of the small business and local ownership issues. We are now in our fifth round of this highly popular program and have graduated 54 entrepreneurs and had 24 business starts. This is a great success for the community and a demonstration of the effectiveness of Boston LISC within the community.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

After more than four years of work with the Resilient Communities/Resilient Families with real results we are facing the challenge of both refreshing community leadership and moving to a deeper level of impact. Simultaneously, we look to expand the initiative to other communities throughout the Commonwealth with the assistance of the Community Investment Tax Credit program.


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Bob Van Meter
CEO Term Start Mar 2008
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Bob has served as Executive Director of Boston LISC since March of 2008. Previously, he was the Executive Director of the Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation from 1993 until 2008, and a project manager and real estate director at the Fenway Community Development Corporation before that. Bob served as a board member of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations for ten years and as board chair for two years. He spent eight years as a community organizer in Chicago and Boston with Illinois Public Action, Massachusetts Fair Share and the Massachusetts Tenants Organization. Bob currently serves on the boards of Transportation for Massachusetts, Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance, Citizens Housing and Planning Association, and the Mel King Institute for Community Building. In 2012 Bob was honored at the LISC national staff meeting with the President’s Award.

Bob is a graduate of the University of Chicago where he studied anthropology. He is also a graduate of the Development Training Institute and the Achieving Excellence in Community Development program sponsored by Neighborworks America in partnership with the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He helped to develop the New View co-housing community outside of Boston where he and his family have lived for the last sixteen years.

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
Ms. Marizabel Benoit Assistant Program Officer
Marizabel Benoit is Assistant Program Officer and manages the Boston LISC AmeriCorps program, grants portfolio and LISC NFL Grassroots Program. Before working at Boston LISC, she served as Administrative Assistant to the Director of the Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (EDIC) of Boston. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration.
Marizabel has served on the board of a number of organizations, including Latinos in Philanthropy, Malden School Council, Malden Cultural Arts Council and the parent council for the Children's Room in Arlington, a center for grieving children and teenagers.
Mr. Mike Davis Senior Program Officer
Mike Davis joined the LISC Boston office in 2012 as a Program Officer for the MA Green Retrofit Initiative. Previously, he worked for five years at New York City's Department of Housing Preservation & Development as a Director of Operations for the Division of Architecture+Engineering and as a Senior Planner for the Bronx Planning Unit. Mike also spent three years as grassroots organizer on drinking water/watershed protection for Clean Water Action in MA and a year in AmeriCorps with MA Community Water Watch.
Mike has a Master of Urban Planning from New York University's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a BA in English and a BS in Earth Science from Pennsylvania State University. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a LEED Accredited Professional with a specialty in Building Design and Construction.
Ms. Emily Jones Program Officer, Green Retrofit Initiative
Emily Jones joined the LISC Boston team in January, 2016 with an extensive background in community work and policy. Before coming to LISC, Emily worked as an Ash Center Fellow for the City of Lawrence, MA; Director of Partnerships for Union Capital Boston; and Service Impact Coordinator for City Year Boston. Emily also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, West Africa, where she focused on supporting gender equity and sustainable development in her community, and served two years as a City Year AmeriCorps Member in Boston.
A proud native of Dedham, Massachusetts, Emily has a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a BA in Geography from Dartmouth College. She enjoys gardening and going on outdoor adventures in her spare time.
Emily is responsible for helping affordable housing owners understand energy use in their buildings, and work toward implementing energy-saving retrofits.
Ms. Karleen Porcena Program Officer, Economic Opportunity
Karleen Porcena is the Economic Opportunity Program Officer. In her role, she manages the expansion of all income, asset building, entrepreneurship, and neighborhood economic development activities. Karleen is the former Director of the Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) Mattapan Family Service Center (MFSC). ABCD is Boston's largest antipoverty agency, serving clients through its city-wide network of neighborhood-based organizations. Karleen has worked in all three Resilient Communities, Resilient Families communities (Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan) assisting families through innovative, comprehensive programs that promote upward mobility and a higher quality of life. The scope of services afford Karleen a unique lens into the challenges that effect low-income communities and families in Boston.
Karleen received her Bachelor’s of Arts in both Government/International Relations and Spanish from Clark University in Worcester, MA. She has lived in Roxbury for the past 13 years and outside of work enjoys traveling and playing volleyball.
Ms. Marilyn Sanchez Office Manager
Marilyn Sanchez is the Office Manager of LISC Boston and provides operational support to Boston LISC Staff. She also supports national LISC staff including Housing and Economic Development (LISC National). Marilyn serves on the board of the Alliance (Advancing Community Development by Confronting Racism), a joint initiative launched by LISC Boston and MACDC. For the last few years she has been part of Mission 180 part of the Resilient Communities/Resilient Families of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. She has been a champion of the Community Safety group from Mission 180. For the last couple of years she has served as a board member of Nuestra Comunidad. Prior to joining LISC Boston, Marilyn worked at the Quincy-Geneva Housing Corporation and Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative.
A long time resident of Boston's Roxbury neighborhood, Marilyn was part of the Academy 1 Tenants' Association that partnered with Urban Edge to renovate Academy 1 property in 1997. She holds an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts.


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


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

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


 Mel King Institute for Community Building/Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations

Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance

Transportation for Massachusetts
Boston Builds Credit 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 6
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 84
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 4
Male: 2
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

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

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 Elizabeth "Liz" Gruber
Board Chair Company Affiliation Senior Vice President, Community Development, Bank of America
Board Chair Term Jan 2006 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Patricia Belden President, Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) Voting
Mr. Timothy Burrill Vice President, Community Development Market Manager, Citizens Bank Voting
Ms. Sheila Dillon Director, Department of Neighborhood Development Voting
Ms. Elizabeth Gruber Senior Vice President, Community Development, Bank of America Voting
Ms. Lisa Joyner TD Bank Voting
Mr. Joseph Kriesberg President & CEO, Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations Voting
Ms. Katherine Lacy Member, Board of Directors, Clippership Foundation Voting
Mr. Richard Manson Vice President, National LISC Voting
Ms. Alana Murphy Director of Policy, Department of Housing and Community Development Voting
Mr. Richard Thal Executive Director, Jamaica Plain NDC Voting
Mr. Antonio Torres Senior Loan Officer, Mass Housing 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: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 9
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 2
Gender Female: 6
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 60%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 5%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 50%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Housing and Community Development
  • Real Estate

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018
Projected Income $1,826,000.00
Projected Expense $1,820,000.00
Form 990s

2016 990

2015 990

2014 990

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

2010 990

2009 990

2008 990

Audit Documents

2016 Audit

2015 Audit

2014 Audit

2013 Audit

2012 Audit

2011 Audit

2010 Audit

2009 Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $199,080,812 $136,957,578 $135,485,688
Total Expenses $181,669,096 $121,483,767 $123,339,773

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $42,158,378 $39,679,355 $47,087,329
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $42,158,378 $39,679,355 $47,087,329
Individual Contributions $113,060,393 $51,540,626 $52,393,839
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $35,405,551 $36,800,249 $29,114,661
Investment Income, Net of Losses $543,796 $1,007,435 $298,624
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $7,912,694 $7,929,913 $6,591,235

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $160,177,261 $101,084,445 $101,879,962
Administration Expense $14,818,614 $14,033,572 $15,309,208
Fundraising Expense $6,673,221 $6,365,750 $6,150,603
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.10 1.13 1.10
Program Expense/Total Expenses 88% 83% 83%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 4% 7% 6%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $702,543,640 $532,851,753 $487,398,511
Current Assets $223,844,647 $137,629,113 $127,672,836
Long-Term Liabilities $309,318,367 $221,908,413 $196,253,402
Current Liabilities $113,985,489 $50,595,200 $45,521,537
Total Net Assets $279,239,784 $260,348,140 $245,623,572

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
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 No
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 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 1.96 2.72 2.80

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 44% 42% 40%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Boston Local Initiatives Support Corporation (Boston LISC) is a chapter of the national nonprofit, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's IRS Form 990s and reflects the nonprofit's national operations and data.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently 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?

Boston LISC’s ultimate goal for intended impact is the transformation of low- and moderate-income communities in greater Boston and throughout the Commonwealth into healthy, vibrant communities of choice and opportunity. In pursuit of this goal, we focus on three important causes that drive inequality:

  • The exclusion of people most affected by inequality in decision-making processes that affect their lives;
  • The unequal access to capital that the neighborhoods in which people most affected by inequality live; and
  • The unequal access of individuals and families to opportunities to lift them out of poverty such as jobs, education, health, public transit and affordable quality housing.


We strive to address inequality by assuming a leadership role as an intermediary in revitalizing low and moderate-income communities. Over the next three years we will:

1. Increase the capacity and participation of residents and of community organizations engaged in revitalization efforts in neighborhoods affected by inequality.


Increase and/or strengthening the capacity of locally governed community organizations.


2. Increase the strategic flow of capital and funding in neighborhoods that are aligned with LISC’s priorities:


Provide financing to catalyze development of affordable housing, economic development, education, and health facilities.


Serve as intermediary between communities and funding resources and aggregate capital.


3. Advance the field of community development


Act as a convener of the field to promote innovation, research-based practices, and promising models.


Facilitate partnerships between sectors and anchor institutions.


Be a thought leader on strategic issues that advance the field.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

Boston LISC’s strategies for meeting its long-term goals are encapsulated in its major programmatic areas:


Resilient Communities/Resilient Families (RC/RF) – The RC/RF program combines investments in affordable housing, commercial real estate, community organizing, and empowerment programming to improve quality of life in Boston’s majority people of color neighborhoods. We begin with the assumption that strategic, comprehensive community planning and development is essential to transform outcomes for people and places. We assume challenges facing families and communities are embedded in whole systems; and we acknowledge that often multiple systems are failing to meet neighborhood needs. As such, we have developed a cross sector team of residents and institutional leaders. Near-term activities include ongoing work with the three current RC/RF neighborhoods in Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan, selecting one new community in which to launch the program, and identifying convening organizations and founding funders; and raising $250,000 in additional funding for RC/RF.


Green Retrofit Initiative – We have operated and expanded the Green Retrofit Initiative for affordable housing owners over the past four years. There is now a critical need and opportunity to use the knowledge gained from project activity to bring about systems reform that could result in greater energy savings. We will elevate the opportunity for energy efficiency and clean energy generation in the Massachusetts affordable housing sector through coordinated demand generation and aggregation. We also will facilitate sharing of best practices in energy management to build asset management capacity, and organize policy efforts based on common issues with existing programs and administrative structures. Finally, We will help the affordable housing sector effectively meet it energy savings needs by advocating for flexibility in existing or new ratepayer-funded programs to achieve improved energy savings at a refinance milestone.


Lending and Equity Investment - Our lending program contributes to revitalization and increased economic activity in neighborhoods affected by inequality, and supports development of affordable housing in a wide range of communities. It fills important needs for the community development sector not addressed by other lenders, including these ongoing activities:


· Providing early stage, flexible pre-development capital for development of affordable housing, neighborhood commercial development and community facilities.


· Providing capital for commercial developments and community facilities, which have fewer financing sources available.


· Identifying and filling critical financing and project gaps, such as by developing a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) fund which will serve a need not addressed by the current lending market.


· Providing technical assistance and capacity building opportunities to LISC borrowers.


Advancing the Community Development Field – Our strategy includes providing leadership in advancing new, innovative, and research-based models, practices and thinking regarding comprehensive community development and other related issues. Near-term activities include:


· Identifying target community or communities for expansion of RC/RF comprehensive community building work in consultation with others including Mass. Inc., the Federal Reserve and the Mass. Department of Housing and Community Development to support comprehensive revitalization work in smaller industrial cities.


· Expanding our ongoing technical assistance and include at least three workshops in central and western Massachusetts.


LISC’s work with the Mel King Institute will also be a priority as we integrate our capacity building work with the Institute via the RC/RF Initiative, the Green Retrofit Initiative, and the Financial Opportunity Centers.

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

LISC is a national nonprofit organization with a local focus. We have eight experienced professional staff on the ground in Boston who are supported by a national organization with significant expertise in a number of critical areas including lending for community development, promoting community safety, educational facilities, and family income and wealth building. Boston LISC's own staff have knowledge and capacity in a number of areas including affordable housing, community organizing and coalition building, and environmental sustainability.


Boston LISC has access to national grant funding and technical assistance to support initiatives in the Boston area. We have loan capital – both lending capital that has been raised locally and national sources of capital that are deployed for local projects. LISC has regularly received allocations of New Markets Tax Credits and other Community Development financial tools from the U.S. Treasury which Boston LISC has deployed to support community development projects in Boston and the region.


We have developed strong partnerships with both community development corporations and with the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations. We also work in partnership with the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley to promote the integrated services model of bundling workforce development, financial coaching, and benefit maximization. We have partner regularly with both city and state government to support community development goals like creating affordable housing near transit or renovating blighted foreclosed properties.


LISC is unique in our approach to rebuilding neighborhoods. We have a local presence backed by national capital and expertise. We mobilize local leaders and engage neighbors to set goals and measure progress. We bring innovative ideas from our national network and test them locally. We drive investment in distressed neighborhoods by preparing the way for private capital investment. We are implementing comprehensive approaches to community development on a larger scale than any other organization in the country, learning what works and applying that knowledge here in Boston. We are committed to supporting communities for the long haul. We have seen remarkable progress in some of Boston's neighborhoods and others around the country but we know that this work takes time.

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

Boston LISC measures progress toward our goals in several ways, using multiple qualitative and quantitative indicators.


We measure the work of leadership development and community building by the health of the community coalitions and other community based organizations that we support and their ability to reach consensus on key community issues and to guide investment in their communities. For the RC/RF Initiative our measures include the number of activists engaged, community projects seeded by activists, number of leaders who emerge, and number of community-based businesses that result from the entrepreneurship training. These measures are tracked in a database and we continually refine our process to increase resident engagement and the development of community leaders.


We measure our work to support the physical improvement of communities in dollars invested, leverage of those dollars, numbers of affordable homes, and square feet of community facilities constructed or renovated. The measures we have used to determine progress include loan volume and the units of affordable housing that we have helped to advance, the units of housing retrofitted, and the energy savings leveraged. Among the key indicators of progress are the completion of key affordable housing development projects by our community partners and the commitment of funds to support these projects by the municipalities and by state government in Massachusetts. We have data tracking systems in place that capture all of these figures and measure the success of our energy efficiency work by the amount of energy saved by affordable housing owners documented with the energy tracking software WEGOWISE which benchmarks energy performance. We refine our process continually to maximize our impact in communities of need and to improve energy efficiency.


The progress in Advancing the Field of Community Development – largely conducted through the Mel King Institute – is measured at the individual level. We track the number of participants and review their evaluation reports on their learning and growth. We also evaluate these programs and the whole of the work of the Mel King Institute yearly through an independent third party evaluation. On an industry-wide level (within the Commonwealth) we also track the progress of the project managers who participate in our Project Management Seminar through their career assess the impact this program has on the affordable housing development field. We refine our process in collaboration with the Institute to maximize our effectiveness in supporting the industry.

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

Our Resilient Communities/Resilient Families initiative has demonstrated real gains in the development of new community leaders and in building the capacity of the community to attract capital. We have not yet been able to accomplish demonstrable population level changes in key metrics like family income or public health. We are currently exploring both how to measure those impacts on a broad scale and how to align organizations around accomplishing one or more population level change goal. We are exploring how to more toward a more formal "collective impact" framework. 


The RC/RF Initiative was recently evaluated by a third party evaluator, The Center for Social Policy at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston. (See attachment in "Other Documents.") This participatory evaluation report highlights early RC/RF successes and community building outcomes. Using an Appreciative Inquiry approach, this report draws extensively on then perspectives of those most closely involved in leading the change efforts regarding their early implementation successes, what it took to realize those successes, the challenges they encountered along the way, their strategies in overcoming these challenges and the lessons they are drawing as they move into the next stage of implementation.


We recently contracted a third party evaluation of our Green Retrofit Initiative (GRI). (See attachments in "Other Documents.") This report found that the GRI pilot and statewide expansion have produced measurable results along a number of dimensions. With New Ecology, Inc. as a partner, LISC has helped to build capacity among nonprofit and other affordable housing owners to better understand state-of-the-art energy conservation measures and to successfully implement green retrofits to thousands of multifamily housing units. As a result, energy has been saved and greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced. The initial Barr Foundation grant was significantly leveraged as evidenced by the pilot’s CDC’s securing $4.1 million to retrofit 2,237 units. In terms of challenges, the interest in using loans to advance green retrofits is still not strongly endorsed as an idea for relatively small projects, by either affordable housing owners or lenders. Lenders remain open to reviewing evidence and data that this can work from a financial perspective. While the LISC initiative has had a positive impact on the awareness and interest level of housing finance officials, there is still more work to be done.


Our financing and support has resulted in the development of more than 313,300 affordable homes and apartments and 51 million square feet of retail and community space. But our Lending and Equity Investment work is not without challenges. The overall constraints on funding for affordable housing at both the federal level and the state level have been an ongoing challenge. Funding levels have meant that some projects are significantly delayed waiting for a commitment of Low Income Housing Tax Credits or other federal or state subsidies. Uncertainty about the timing and availability of funding is costly to individual developers and it costs the system money due to project delays. These challenges are among the reasons we are deepening our commitment to advancing the field of community development.