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Union Capital Boston Inc.

 1542 Columbus Avenue
 Roxbury, MA 02119
[P] (617) 971-6815
[F] --
Eric Leslie
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 47-1136081

LAST UPDATED: 08/24/2018
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes


Mission StatementMORE »

Union Capital Boston's mission is to transform social capital into opportunity by rewarding community engagement. We are an innovative community-based nonprofit that activates volunteerism and participation to build resilient communities. We spark increased resident activity in Boston’s organizations and neighborhoods. Members join our Rewards App to earn financial rewards for their engagement. We train our Network Leaders with transferable skills and they connect members with resources and networks. Of UCB’s 1,200 members (and growing), 95% are non-white, 83% are women, and most qualify for public assistance. Economic tides rise and 87% of members report that “UCB increased my involvement in my community.”

Mission Statement

Union Capital Boston's mission is to transform social capital into opportunity by rewarding community engagement. We are an innovative community-based nonprofit that activates volunteerism and participation to build resilient communities. We spark increased resident activity in Boston’s organizations and neighborhoods. Members join our Rewards App to earn financial rewards for their engagement. We train our Network Leaders with transferable skills and they connect members with resources and networks. Of UCB’s 1,200 members (and growing), 95% are non-white, 83% are women, and most qualify for public assistance. Economic tides rise and 87% of members report that “UCB increased my involvement in my community.”

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2018 to June 30, 2019
Projected Income $509,000.00
Projected Expense $506,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Network Leaders Fellowship Program
  • Network Nights
  • Rewards Program

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

Union Capital Boston's mission is to transform social capital into opportunity by rewarding community engagement. We are an innovative community-based nonprofit that activates volunteerism and participation to build resilient communities. We spark increased resident activity in Boston’s organizations and neighborhoods. Members join our Rewards App to earn financial rewards for their engagement. We train our Network Leaders with transferable skills and they connect members with resources and networks. Of UCB’s 1,200 members (and growing), 95% are non-white, 83% are women, and most qualify for public assistance. Economic tides rise and 87% of members report that “UCB increased my involvement in my community.”

Background Statement

UCB stands on the shoulders of social progress giants like Hollis Watkins, Ella Baker, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They agitated for systemic solutions to underlying causes of inequity and led collective efforts within communities.

20th Century social capital was created by the frequent interactions that occurred in school cafeterias, church basements, and other neighborhood hubs. There, people built strong networks and generated power to make progress in racial, gender, and income equity. Today’s neighborhoods are more fractured and transient, and the resulting decline in social progress and civic cohesion is striking. Yet civic engagement remains a key factor in improving communities’ economic prospects. The National Conference on Citizenship found that measures like attending public meetings, volunteering, and registering to vote correlated with 64% of the nation’s employment change between 2006 and 2010. Many Boston families, though short on financial capital, have vast human potential. UCB is uniquely positioned to use both traditional relational strategies and modern innovations to activate this human capital.

UCB is informed by historic strategies and evidence that small acts lead to larger engagement and opportunity. Our disruptive model combines traditional place-based and in-person trust-building, with the immediacy of 21st Century technology, to create and strengthen socially cohesive communities.

Impact Statement

There are currently over 1,200 members in UCB. Given an average family size of 3-5 members, UCB is impacting between 3,600 and 6,000 individuals in Boston. Since 2014, UCB Members have collectively contributed over 500,000 civic engagement and volunteer hours. They have collectively earned over $425,000, which they have used from everything to buy prescription eyeglasses, pay heating bills, purchase school supplies, to vacations; all small expenses which can otherwise keep people trapped with small bills that pile up.

Members’ overall full-employment when they join UCB is 41%. Consistently, one year later, full-employment jumps to nearly 60%, a 46% increase in member employment. We also consistently find a 32% decline in unemployment. Members with a high school education or less and enrolled in UCB for one year were nearly 20% more likely to be employed in December 2016 than an individual who just enrolled in UCB.

A novelty of UCB is that while technology has an isolating effect generally, our app and model expressly create togetherness. Elderly UCB members remark that they go outside more often than before -- to be among neighbors -- as a result of membership in UCB.

UCB Members and Leaders have led voter registration efforts, successfully demanded safety upgrades to the Mildred C. Hailey (formerly Bromley Heath) public housing development, created the East Boston Community Soup Kitchen, and run for City Council, among many examples. Members say: “UCB has given me a positive approach toward community involvement.” “It has also allowed me to launch a new business.” “I am out of my house more involved with everyday life. Thanks to UCB, I got my life back.”

Needs Statement

Network Nights - approximately $100,000 annually to staff, run, and evaluate.

Since launching our Nights at Jackson Square, we have expanded and collected a myriad of data points, anecdotes, and outputs. We have hosted over 90 Nights so far but do not yet have an effective measurement and evaluation program to determine their individual and collective impact. Do these nights truly lead to greater individual opportunity and community prosperity, as we believe they do? At each Night, we experience powerful exchanges of ideas and resources, but do not yet have a comprehensive documenting and reporting mechanism to evaluate their impact, collect feedback, and make improvements. If we are going to deepen our impact and expand these nights across Boston, we must do our due diligence by fully evaluating and communicating the benefit they bring to residents, organizations, and neighborhoods.

Network Leader Fellowship Program - approximately $50,000 annually to stipend, train, and manage

Our Fellowship Program is in its second year and we are just beginning to solidify the training curriculum and evaluate its benefit for leaders and our network.

UCB Mobile App - approximately $50,000 annually to cover server cost and maintenance, as well as migrate to more stable platform.

The UCB App is currently on its third version ( Guest login:, Password: community) and needs to be moved to a more stable platform. It is currently hosted by Meteor, with a free database system. We aim to make minor improvements and migrate it to a more stable long-term solution, such as Salesforce or Pegasystems.

CEO Statement

I have always wanted my life’s work to be grounded in the struggle against oppression. Figuring out what that work would be has taken me from experiences as a teen in the Mississippi Delta learning the lessons of Freedom Summer, to teaching in a faltering school system in North Philadelphia. In these spaces, I learned that the essential work of organizing - the one-on-one relationship - is the foundation for sustainable change. Back in Boston, I needed to build relationships to better understand the city today and how I might engage in making change, especially as a white male of privilege.

I met with hundreds of Bostonians from across the city for one-on-one conversational meetings. Among those struggling, two themes emerged. First, taking extra shifts at work or second jobs resulted in a trade-off with family time and community participation. Second, Boston had no shortage of programs and resources for low-income residents, but information about organizations was difficult to access and often disconnected from people who would benefit.

Low-income communities face not only an income and wealth gap, and an achievement gap and life expectancy gap, but a profound civic engagement and trust gap as well. The mechanisms for getting to know neighbors and working towards the collective good no longer exist as they once did in tight knit intergenerational communities. Yet our collective desire to reach out across differences and collaborate may be stronger and more important than ever in divided cities like Boston.

I wondered how to spark the actions that build, steward, and sustain productive civic engagement? My observations demonstrated that

  • We are Social: No matter where in the world we live, we strive to interact and share with each other.
  • We are Aspirational: Virtually all of us want what is best for our families and our futures, and these interests drive many of our choices and behaviors.
  • We are Interdependent: Our fortunes are linked to those around us, which means we have a vested interest in the community outside our front door.
  • We Are Wired: For good or bad, we are connected to new technology.

Using these observations I began to build Union Capital Boston in 2014.

Membership in UCB is a simple but powerful value proposition. We spark individual opportunities by rewarding members for volunteering at their children’s schools, participating in adult education classes, attending healthy living programs, and more. These engagement activities connect people with new organizations, relationships, and opportunities.

Board Chair Statement

Geographic Area Served

City of Boston- North Dorchester
City of Boston- South Dorchester
City of Boston- Mattapan
City of Boston- Mission Hill
City of Boston- Roxbury
City of Boston- South End/Bay Village
We work with families and residents in the Greater Boston area, the majority of whom live in the Boston neighborhoods of Dorchester, East Boston, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, South End/Bay Village, Mission Hill and Roxbury.

Organization Categories

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

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



Network Leaders Fellowship Program

UCB’s Network Leaders Fellowship Program (NLFP) is a leadership training and development program for over 20 emerging community leaders in Boston. This leadership model supports authentic community relationship building, increases UCB member engagement in neighborhood programs and opportunities, and strengthens UCB's capacity to reach more people in underserved communities.

Network Leaders are UCB members who display leadership qualities and an interest in leadership and employment advancement. Their key responsibilities include meeting with and signing up new UCB members, helping them navigate the UCB App, and building a network between members to increase engagement and access to opportunities. They are also the backbone of our recently launched “Network Nights,” which are weekly in-person mixer events that feature maximum resident involvement and ownership. These have broadened the skills development opportunities for our Network Leaders to include effective communication strategies, meeting facilitation, and event planning.

Network Leaders are stipended, work 15 hours per month and receive extensive ongoing training, including a half-day onboarding process, bi-weekly check-ins with the Lead Organizer, semi-annual retreats, and quarterly reports. Trainings cover executive leadership and task management, and motivational interviewing.

Budget  $98,000.00
Category  Employment, General/Other Job Training & Employment
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated
Program Short-Term Success 

This year, 22 Leaders are each expected to:

  • Recruit and sign up 40-50 members for UCB via community organizations
  • Check-in with and stay in communication with members at least once per quarter
  • Periodically purposefully invite members to both UCB programming and issue/interest-specific resources
  • Plan, manage, and implement two Network Nights each per month
  • Envision, research, organize, and lead a community benefit project
Program Long-Term Success 

UCB’s Network Leaders are growing bases of engagement across the city.

  1. In East Boston, Network Leader Elsa Flores has organized and led two community-organizing trainings in Spanish. Elsa has led members in collecting information about housing development in her community.
  2. Network Leader Diana Garcia led a training at Bromley-Heath Housing Development in anticipation of redevelopment changes, the goal being to ensure current residents are not displaced, either permanently or for an extended period.
  3. Network Leader Thomas Ruffen gathers men each month who are constructing an action plan focused on state prison reintegration policies.

These Leaders leverage the technology of today through the UCB App, and combine it with effective one-on-one relational community organizing to spark community engagement and build pathways of opportunity. They are enthusiastic movement builders bridging neighborhoods of Boston as well as racial and linguistic lines of difference.

Program Success Monitored By 

Please see “program success monitored by” response to “Rewards Program” above.

Examples of Program Success 

Please see 'Short Term' and 'Long Term' Success responses.

Network Nights

UCB’s Civic Engagement Framework is on display at UCB Network Nights, a program we launched in April 2017. Developed by Bill Traynor of Trusted Space Partners, Network Nights are a weekly forum that serves as a ‘village square’ facilitated by Network Leaders. Residents share ideas and resources, make offers and requests, and organize around issues of concern. Network Nights are open to the public and generate maximum resident involvement and ownership to create community rapport and trust, key ingredients to generating social capital. We host three Network Nights: East Boston in Spanish, Jackson Square, and Mattapan, and nights average 40 attendees.

Network Leaders, the stewards of Network Nights, create a sense of comfort, fairness, equality, and openness. The structure is intentionally rigid but the content flexible to allow participants to share skill sets, resources, and concerns. The night includes sharing new and good information to make connections, small group conversations, and a marketplace of skills and talents. All nights include food and childcare and are open to the public. Each night has different topics, resources, and opportunities provided by the people creating the space. Table topics have included starting a support group for domestic violence survivors and designing a small-business website. Two city council candidates - one a UCB member - have hosted table talks, and a recurring table talk group is designing a petition to the State regarding the impact of the opioid epidemic on communities of color.

UCB Network Nights are unique in Boston; they have created a consistent space for community organizations to share their resources and learn from and talk to residents, while also creating a space that belongs to and is run by residents.

Budget  $13,200.00
Category  Community Development, General/Other Community Renewal
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success  Please see “Program short-term success” response for Rewards Program above.
Program Long-Term Success  Please see “Program long-term success” response for Rewards Program above.
Program Success Monitored By  Please see “Program success monitored by” response for Rewards Program above.
Examples of Program Success  Please see "program success" examples previously.

Rewards Program

UCB sparks and sustains resident engagement by networking individuals and organizations. Residents use our innovative mobile-based loyalty rewards program to connect to hundreds of cross-sector opportunities and resources. They log their engagement in the App and earn financial rewards for the time they commit. One hour of involvement equals 100 UCB points, and events at Partner Institutions are worth double. On average Union Capitalists earn $150 in financial reward each year. Mission-driven Partner Institutions fund the rewards earned by their members, as well as Network Leader stipends. UCB’s cadre of trained Network Leaders activate members to build relationships and work on collective challenges. This resident-led network of over 1,200 members has grown through a word-of-mouth model and through our partnerships with mission-driven community-based organizations in East Boston, Grove Hall, Jackson Square, Mattapan, and Roxbury.

As a Union Capitalist joining through UCB Partner Nurtury Learning Lab, Ayesha first meets one-on-one with a UCB Network Leader to share her goals and interests, create a UCB App account and jointly commit to UCB through a shared commitment. Ayesha earns 100 points for every hour spent participating in educational, health, and civic programs, and volunteerism. (She earns double points for engagement at Nurtury and other UCB Partner Organizations.) Geo-location and photo upload features confirm her participation in these activities. Activities may include reading with her daughter at Nurtury, attending her health and wellness appointment, attending financial savings seminars, or organizing a food drive. Ayesha can track her points and discover new events and programs through the UCB App.

Budget  $506,000.00
Category  Community Development, General/Other Community Renewal
Population Served Families Minorities Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated
Program Short-Term Success  Ayesha can redeem points for UCB Visa gift cards (averaging $150 per year). As a member-driven organization, the programming and its components are built by Ayesha and other Union Capitalists, who determine point values and eligible events. Now that Ayesha has engaged in her community, she will be more interested in doing so, and contributing even more.
Program Long-Term Success 

Our long-term goal is for organized social capital to drive community-sourced pathways of individual improvement, aided by local resources and opportunities. Families will move out of poverty traps;, organizations will broaden their impact, and communities will improve.

As our model grows, we seek to achieve intermediate and long-term goals in our core neighborhoods across Boston:

* Schools increase their achievement

* Health centers increase wellness

* Financial programs increase member access to capital

* Communities increase active citizenship

* Union Capital members create new opportunities for themselves and families.

Program Success Monitored By 

UCB's App collects robust data on events and sector-specific participation for individuals, partner organizations, and communities in Boston. Union Capitalists opt into this data collection and UCB protects all personally identifying data. All data collection follows HIPAA regulations.

UCB's long-term goal is for this data to:

1) Measure membership community engagement that connects to individual education, health, and financial improvement

2) Analyze progress towards achieving partner organization missions based on member engagement

3) Assess community improvement quality measures based on increased activity.

Each month, the App generates a report that measures the following and tracks growth:

* Total number of potential events available for users to choose from

* Location of the event, including ad-hoc entries

* Total hours volunteered per event

* Location of the organization offering the opportunity

* Partner-based User Lifetime hours

* Types of product and services available on the virtual store that Union Capitalists are purchasing using their points

* User Lifetime hours

* Areas where Union Capitalists live

* Total numbers of users in the system

* Average numbers of total opportunities for which users RSVP

* Number of hours across different industries from organizations

* Demographic data from Union Capitalists (i.e. home location, race)

* Device model (example: Nexus S)

Qualitative data remains an essential measurement of UCB's success. UCB staff and Network Leaders maintain individual relationships with each Union Capitalist, building trust and transparency. We seek to improve the model in collaboration with those most impacted by it.

Examples of Program Success 

Individual civic acts lead to increased engagement and are proven to raise collective community prospects. UCB’s cross-sector organizing approach increases engagement in health, education, finance and community opportunities. We strengthen neighborhood networks to build social capital and level the playing field. Our combined tools of efficient technology and place-based relational networking increase civic engagement, employment, and community resiliency.

Over the past four years, members have collectively invested nearly 500,000 hours into their educations, volunteerism, and community building - recorded via the UCB App. They have earned over $400,000 in rewards, directly reinvesting in family and community advancement. Families get ahead by giving back.

As one UCB member shares, "Equity is possible across all core areas of community and systems linked to everyday life when we invest our time in being aware, informed, active and available citizens to make positive change happen in our communities and for the greater good thereof. UCB represents this idea so clearly through its design and function to bring people together to learn and share on a regular basis. I'm here for it!"

In the next three years we aim to grow to 3,000 members, connecting to 10% of Boston’s under-resourced population. 35 Network Leaders will host 150 Network Nights every year, leading members to organize collective improvements in five Boston neighborhoods.

We are scalable and replicable; communities in Chicago, Newark, Baltimore and Philadelphia have expressed interest in adopting our model.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

One of our members recently shared on a Network Night survey, “Thanks so much for a great night last night! I made new friends, renewed connections with old ones and learned new things. On a personal level I think events like these help keep my assumptions and privilege in check.” How do we measure the cumulative impact of this type of experience for hundreds of members, over the course of hundreds of Nights, in neighborhoods across the city? While we have a litany of anecdotes such as the one above, we cannot yet make the claim that these Nights are having a transformative impact. Sparking social capital and measuring the ripple effects is challenging because it touches on so many activities and sectors. Thanks to the Network Night model, we now have a specific program that we can examine, follow the participants, gather their feedback, measure their progress, and report on the efficacy of what we are building.

We have been able to produce multiple short and long reports about the impact and value of our member employment gains (, yet much of that research was prior to launching Network Nights. We aim to follow the link between Network Night participation, member engagement with the UCB App, and individual outcomes such as employment and educational advancement. We expect to see improved individual outcomes that lead to community and systems-wide impact. Without this new evaluation, UCB will be unable to sustain and grow our model.

It is our hope that with a strong report we will be able to fund the continued implementation of Network Nights at our four locations, as well as potentially expand elsewhere. We continue to add members and build partnerships in Codman Square and Dudley Square, with the Codman Square Health Center and Madison Park NDC respectively. We aim to expand Network Nights in these two neighborhoods in 2019, but only if we can effectively evaluate the benefit of these Nights so far, both for our individual members and our organizational partners.


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Eric Leslie
CEO Term Start Jan 2014
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Eric has spent 15 years developing the skills needed to lead social change organizations and manage high-performing, mission-aligned staff.


HARVARD UNIVERSITY, John F. Kennedy School of Government Master in Public Administration, May 2014

NATIONAL-LOUIS UNIVERSITY Master of Education: Administration and Supervision, June 2010

- Pennsylvania State Certification: Administrative I, Principal K-12

SAINT JOSEPH’S UNIVERSITY Master of Science: Elementary Education, September 2006

- Pennsylvania State Certification: Elementary K-6; Mid-level Citizenship Education 7-9

THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY Bachelor of Arts, Major in Political Science, May 2002

- Phi Beta Kappa recipient, 2002; National Rhodes Scholar Semi-finalist; Departmental Honors

- Julius Turner Senior Thesis Award, 2002; Martin Luther King Jr., Service Award, 2001 and 2002


UNION CAPITAL BOSTON Founder/Lead Organizer


Campaign Manager Cambridge, MA (August - Nov 2013)


Consultant New Zealand (August 2012 - June 2013)


Philadelphia, PA (August 2008 - July 2012)

TEACH FOR AMERICA-PHILADELPHIA Educational Leadership Trainer

Philadelphia, PA (Sept 2009 - May 2011)


Philadelphia, PA (August 2006 - July 2008)


Philadelphia, PA (Sept 2004 - June 2006)

TEACH FOR AMERICA National Recruitment Fellow

New York, NY (August 2003 - June 2004)


Baltimore & New York (May 2002 - July 2003)

Volunteer & Public Service

PROJECT HIP-HOP Board Member Boston, MA (Dec 2013 - Present)

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
Laura Ballek Technology Director New York University, BA in Spanish, 2010. Leaders for Educational Equity Fellow. TFA corps member, City Year corps member. Laura is our East Boston organizer and technology coordinator.
Anna Leslie Development Director Colorado School of Public Health, MPH 2012. Program Coordinator of the Allston Brighton Health Collaborative. Anna develops partnerships with foundations and secures funding.
Jalina Suggs Network Coordinator --


Award Awarding Organization Year
Investee Social Venture Partners Boston 2016
Finalist Mass Challenge 2015
Recipient Knight Foundation Prototype Fund 2015
Venture Fund and Fellowship Leaders for Educational Equity 2015
Finalist Points of Light Civic Accelerator 2014
Finalist FinCapDev 2014


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


Brown and Berryhill Food Pantry

Boston Public Schools - Burke High School & Haynes EEC

Determined Divas

East Boston Community Soup Kitchen

East Boston Neighborhood Health Center

The Family Exchange

Grove Hall Trust

KIPP Academy Boston

MATCH Charter School

Nurtury Learning Lab

Phenomenal Moms

Roxbury Prep Charter Schools

Transitional Remedies Solutions

Urban Edge

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 2
Number of Part Time Staff 3
Number of Volunteers 3
Number of Contract Staff 24
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

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

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy --
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
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 Semi-Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Semi-Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Semi-Annually


Board Chair Mr. Jason Harburger
Board Chair Company Affiliation FinEngines
Board Chair Term Oct 2014 - Sept 2020
Board Co-Chair Mr. E. Peter Alvarez
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP
Board Co-Chair Term Oct 2014 - Sept 2016

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
E. Peter Alvarez Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP Voting
R. Nikki Barnes KIPP MA Voting
Josh Garver Alantra Voting
Jason Harburger Financial Engines Voting
Liz Miranda Hawthorne Youth and Community Center Voting
Mike Perez Exaptive, Inc. Voting
Amy Ricigliano Eidolon Communications Voting
Josh Varon Massachusetts Department of Education Voting
Mariama White-Hammond Boston University School of Theology and Bethel AME 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: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 5
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 4
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits --
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 Yes

Standing Committees

  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2018 to June 30, 2019
Projected Income $509,000.00
Projected Expense $506,000.00
Form 990s

2017 990

2016 990

2015 990

Audit Documents

2017 UCB Audited Financials

2016 UCB Audited Financials

2015 UCB 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 $321,461 $250,315 $160,835
Total Expenses $344,607 $241,160 $128,294

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $268,876 $227,717 $160,827
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $52,583 $22,583 --
Investment Income, Net of Losses $2 $15 $8
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $273,684 $183,470 $82,356
Administration Expense $31,405 $26,549 $23,323
Fundraising Expense $39,518 $31,141 $22,615
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.93 1.04 1.25
Program Expense/Total Expenses 79% 76% 64%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 15% 14% 14%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $40,383 $57,280 $42,494
Current Assets $40,383 $57,280 $42,494
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $21,833 $15,584 $9,953
Total Net Assets $18,550 $41,696 $32,541

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? 1.00

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 1.85 3.68 4.27

Long Term Solvency

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

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Importantly, almost 20% of our budget is earned revenue from partnerships with other mission-driven local nonprofit organizations. Schools, early childcare centers, community health centers, and community development corporations all partner with us to sign up their members (parents, patients, residents, and program participants) for the UCB App and network. We hire, train, and manage Network Leaders from these partner institutions and apply part of the partnership payment to stipend the Leaders and award Visa gift card rewards to participating members. Our longstanding and committed paying community partners are KIPP Academy Boston, Urban Edge CDC, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, and Nurtury Learning Lab. We also have hybrid-payment partnerships with Boston School Finder, Blue Cross Blue Shield & Codman Square Health Center, the Grove Hall Trust, and the United Way of Mass Bay.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's IRS Form 990s. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals as the breakout was not available.


Other Documents

UCB one-page (2018)


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?

Three years after its founding, UCB’s growth and sustained success is the result of this community leadership and network building accomplished by trained Network Leaders, who have woven this network between dozens of institutions and hundreds of UCB members across the city of Boston.

Since we began, these members have collectively contributed over 460,000 hours to civic engagement and volunteerism, all tracked through the UCB App. Members collectively earned over $400,000. Our annual survey of members revealed a strong sense of group identity; 87% of members report that “UCB increased my involvement in my community.” Members say: “It has allowed me to launch a new business.” “I am out of my house more involved with everyday life. Thanks to UCB, I got my life back.” "UCB has really opened my eyes to my untapped potential. I have the ability to change my environment, UCB is that how-to guide."

Our data suggest that the civic engagement UCB generates leads to increased employment. In a recent independent analysis of UCB member’ employment status, overall membership experienced an 8% decrease in unemployment and a 5% increase in educational attainment from high school equivalency to associate degree. Members who used the app most frequently saw a 14% decrease in unemployment. Members with a high school education or less and enrolled in UCB for one year were nearly 20% more likely to be employed in December 2016 than an individual who just enrolled in UCB.

UCB believes that organized social capital can drive community-sourced pathways out of poverty, aided by local resources and institutions. Families will move out of poverty, mission-driven organizations will broaden their impact, and communities will improve in Boston and beyond.

By 2022, we aim to have 5,000 Boston members, impacting 10% of the city’s low-income population. In addition we will have piloted programs in Lynn, MA, Philadelphia, PA and Baltimore, MD with our highly replicable system and overwhelming member satisfaction. UCB will continue to organize across institutions, sectors, and communities to create social capital and incalculable pathways of opportunity and access.

Within these quantitative growth goals are desired qualitative outcomes:

Low-income residents will increase community engagement using the UCB App resource aggregator.

Low-income residents will access financial capital by leveraging their human capital.

UCB will maximize the impact and outreach of mission-driven community based organizations. Organizations will more easily connect with residents and residents will have incentives to participate in programming.

Over time, residents' increased involvement, access to resources, and rewards will build personal pathways of opportunity. Schools will increase their achievement, health centers will increase wellness, financial programs will increase access to capital, and communities will increase active citizenship.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

We achieve our objectives through the UCB Civic Engagement Framework: an interwoven approach of connecting members to resources, providing recognition and rewards for engagement, and aiding the development of communities by building in personal relationships among our members.

Resources: The web-based UCB App is a one-of-a-kind calendar of hundreds of education, health, and financial resources across Boston. Members search, sign up for and earn points for involvement in these activities. They also record their own activities, such as attending a PTA meeting or registering a neighbor to vote. To verify, the App tags and geo-locates member community participation. Nothing comparable exists in the nonprofit sector. Try it out! ( // Guest login: // PW: community)

Recognition and Rewards: Members transform human capital into financial capital by exchanging points for financial rewards, up to $550 per year. Members use rewards for prescription eyeglasses, heating bills, parking tickets, and school supplies, expenses which can often otherwise keep people trapped in poverty.Rewards function as a nudge that leads to greater engagement as well as recognition - UCB members “get ahead by giving back.” It’s a conditional incentive model used successfully in anti-poverty programs around the world.

Relationships: The UCB network builds sustainable civic engagement and fosters social capital by prioritizing trust-based public relationships.The best way to build sustainable civic engagement and foster social capital is through building trust-based relationships. We hire and train neighborhood leaders to network with our members at Partner Institutions. These “Network Leaders” are connectors for over 850 members. Through a word-of-mouth relational model, UCB Staff and Network Leaders meet one-on-one and enroll each new UCB member - known as ‘Union Capitalists’. We share goals and challenges, discuss the UCB model of weaving a network by rewarding community engagement, and learn the UCB App. Union Capitalists do not pay to be members; the only requirement is that they make this one-on-one connection. Network Leaders train in organizing and leadership principles in order to grow and weave a network. Network Leaders and members have led voter registration efforts, resource fairs, and meetings with city officials. Network Leaders magnify the positive impact of UCB and other community nonprofits and gain essential workplace skills.

UCB members drive the mission and model: members worked with our coding team to design the features of the UCB App; at our bi-monthly town hall meetings, members build the content of our resource fairs and the eligibility requirements of the rewards program; at Network Leader meetings, we discuss our inactive members and reach out to each for feedback. We seek to improve the model in collaboration with those most impacted by it.

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

UCB is sustained through our multiple-source funding model, and our leadership model.

UCB's sustainability plan incorporates a multiple-source funding model via partnership fees, in-kind donations, individual contributions, charitable grants, and corporate giving. Our members do not pay to participate.

Community-based institutions pay into the model to fund the rewards earned by their members. These fees amount to 18% of our FY2018 revenue. Institutions also contribute substantial in-kind support, including office space, materials, and event space.

Corporate sponsors (6%), individual donors (20%), and foundations (57%) fund our operations and the remaining costs of Network Leaders and rewards. We receive strong multi-year support from the Walton Family Foundation, John Hancock, The Boston Foundation, and Santander Bank.

One of UCB’s unique strengths is the individual attention our Network Leaders give to our members. Funding requests largely go to developing the Network Leaders Fellowship Program so that we can support more Leaders and develop efficiencies that will enable each Leader to support more members. UCB’s growth and sustainability functions much like an accordion; the more funding and support we receive, the more Network Leaders earn stipends and lead their fellow community members. We keep operations costs low so as to channel as much funding as possible towards Network Leadership and the UCB Rewards Program. As we develop our five year plan, we are creating an economic model that informs our inputs and scale opportunities. We seek out funders who are excited by collaborative efforts across sectors and who understand the unique Boston landscape of organizations and challenges. We work closely with advisors and consultants to ensure long-term financial viability. Our Social Venture Partners Boston consultants have assessed that UCB has a reputation that is “disproportionately strong and positive.”

UCB's leadership structure ensures that all levels of the organization participate in its success.

The core team of five staff has spent nearly thirty collective years working in low-income communities. We are educators, community organizers, volunteers, and academics who fundamentally believe that communities can generate the sources of their own success. We bring expertise in community outreach, public health, education, and nonprofit management.

Network Leaders are stipended trained in community organizing and leadership development. They ensure that Union Capitalists are using the App effectively and connecting to resources to reach their goals. This model ensures that as we grow to enroll more members, they are led by fellow Union Capitalists.

Our Founding Board of Directors are UCB members, community residents, and experienced Boston-based leaders from the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. They provide expertise in organization growth and development, legal frameworks, finance, and fundraising.

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

UCB employs a combination of qualitative and quantitative measurement tools in order to evaluate our impact:

  1. Enrollment surveys paired with six-month incremental surveys measure changes in the lives of members. Metrics assessed include:
    1. Education - parent education attainment, parent support and engagement, parent self-efficacy
    2. Financial literacy - employment, budgeting, spending, and retirement
    3. Health - insurance, general health, nutrition, mental health and safety
    4. Community - voting, volunteerism, engagement
  2. UCB's App collects robust data on events and sector-specific participation for individuals, Partner Institutions, and communities. Members opt into this data collection and UCB protects all personally identifying data. UCB publishes monthly Data Dashboards summarizing membership engagement, as well as producing individual impact reports for Partner Institutions about their members. UCB's long-term goal is for this data to:
    1. Measure membership community engagement that connects to individual education, health, and financial improvement
    2. Assess community improvement quality measures based on increased activity.

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  1. UCB works to fulfill the measurable objectives of our paying Partner Institutions, those that are driven by engagement and membership activation.
  2. Network Leaders are assessed quarterly by the Lead Organizer according to a civic engagement rubric. Measurements of success and impact include how frequently Network Leaders are engaging with their members, attending and helping to organize UCB Resource Fairs and Network Nights, and organizing civic events.

Qualitative data remains an essential measurement of UCB's success. Our Core Team and Network Leaders have conducted over 1,500 one-on-one meetings with low-income community residents to grow from a membership of 25 to 850. Member feedback is built into the practices and mechanics of the organization: members work with our coding team to design the features and improved versions of the UCB App; at our bi-weekly Network Nights, members members connect directly with each other and team members about program structure and interests; at Network Leader meetings, we discuss how to weave and steward a network, our roles as facilitators, and building authentic relationships. We seek to improve the model in collaboration with those most impacted by it. This relational organizing, membership-driven model allow us to garner honest feedback and communicate transparently with both members and Partner Institutions. In June surveys, members said that UCB gave a “warm loving feeling that I get from everyone...we are like one big family.” Another member wrote that, “there is a strong sense of community, pride, and resources.” UCB is strengthening communities through these small actions.

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

Membership in UCB is a simple but powerful value proposition. We spark opportunities by rewarding members for volunteering at their children’s schools, taking adult education classes, attending healthy living programs, and more. These activities connect people with new organizations and opportunities.

We planned to improve family health, student outcomes, and homeownership, by rewarding engagement, but had no measures of success. After partnering a school we compared outcomes of students from UCB families with others: marginally better (good in education if compounded over time). But there are diverse causal factors. What we claim, and three independent entities have reinforced through analysis, is increased civic engagement. In our first full year, UCB members reported a 9% decline in unemployment. Our most active members reported an even higher 14% decline ( Is this because of our small cash reward? Clearly not. It is because we offered a new invitation to connect. So we refined our value proposition to measure social capital itself: people building trust and connecting to opportunities. We know that engagement emerges from these exchanges and becomes not the means but the end itself, driving upward mobility and simultaneously improving communities. We are still developing performance measures, but we know that the model improves as we continually pilot and iterate in partnership with our members rather than solely theorizing and speculating what might occur.

James, an early member, earned UCB Points by becoming more involved at his daughter’s middle school. He earned a $200 Visa card which he used to pay off parking tickets and get the boot removed from his car. With his vehicle, he could drive to a higher paying job and support his daughter's education.

Claudia traveled with her family to New Hampshire for their first vacation in over a decade. Julie bought a new pair of prescription glasses. Jalia paid off her credit card bill. Nancy bought school supplies to donate to her daughter’s school.

In Matthew Desmond's Evicted, he quotes Alexis de Tocqueville, “It is difficult to force a man out of himself and get him to take an interest in the affairs of the whole state. But if it is a question of taking a road past his property, he sees at once that this small public matter has a bearing on his greatest private interests.” Desmond continues, “It is only after we begin to see a street as our street, a public park as our park, a school as our school, that we can become engaged citizens, dedicating our time and resources for worthwhile causes: joining the Neighborhood Watch, volunteering to beautify a playground, or running for school board.”

UCB is a 21st Century strategy to address Tocqueville’s understanding about individual interests and the greater affairs of the whole. UCB’s vision brings online operational infrastructure together with community practices for real-time, real-place human connection and exchange.