Share |

Grolier Poetry Foundation and Forums Trust

 6 Plympton Street
 Cambridge, MA 02138
[P] (617) 905-5741
[F] --
http://www.grolierpoetrybookshop.org
[email protected]
Francine LaChance
Facebook Twitter
INCORPORATED: 2014
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 46-1166573

LAST UPDATED: 01/22/2019
Organization DBA --
Former Names Grolier Poetry Book Shop (1927)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

--

Mission StatementMORE »

The Grolier celebrates poetry as a unifying voice, bringing poets and those who love poetry together, from around the world. Especially in divisive times, poetry celebrates our common humanity, and is uniquely positioned to unify people. Further the Grolier is well positioned as a local, national, and international reputation and activity. 
The Grolier celebrates the diversity of different cultures, educational backgrounds, and experiences we bring readers with different backgrounds from around the world to read, and provide educational programming to help break down barriers. We operate a press, publish works from emerging and established poets, and sell poetry books in our Shop, and online. 

Mission Statement

The Grolier celebrates poetry as a unifying voice, bringing poets and those who love poetry together, from around the world. Especially in divisive times, poetry celebrates our common humanity, and is uniquely positioned to unify people. Further the Grolier is well positioned as a local, national, and international reputation and activity. 
The Grolier celebrates the diversity of different cultures, educational backgrounds, and experiences we bring readers with different backgrounds from around the world to read, and provide educational programming to help break down barriers. We operate a press, publish works from emerging and established poets, and sell poetry books in our Shop, and online. 

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018
Projected Income $180,000.00
Projected Expense $118,912.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Grolier 2018 Events 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.


Overview

Mission Statement

The Grolier celebrates poetry as a unifying voice, bringing poets and those who love poetry together, from around the world. Especially in divisive times, poetry celebrates our common humanity, and is uniquely positioned to unify people. Further the Grolier is well positioned as a local, national, and international reputation and activity. 
The Grolier celebrates the diversity of different cultures, educational backgrounds, and experiences we bring readers with different backgrounds from around the world to read, and provide educational programming to help break down barriers. We operate a press, publish works from emerging and established poets, and sell poetry books in our Shop, and online. 

Background Statement

The Grolier Poetry Book Shop Celebrates 90 Years: A local, national, and international cultural legend continuesThe Grolier Poetry Book Shop first opened its doors in September of 1927 to a vastly different world. Local, national and international poets, students, instructors, as well as those who appreciate poetry, have come together for almost a century for book signings, panel discussions, seminars, and special events. While much has changed in the past 90 years, what remains constant is that people need poetry, and poetry needs a home. The Grolier is that home. In the words of an early friend of the Grolier, poet Robert Creeley:

"Poetry is our final human language and resource. The Grolier is where poetry still lives, still talks, still makes the only sense that matters.”

The legend of the Grolier includes poets John Ashbery, Robert Bly, Robert Creeley, and Frank O’Hara, who were regulars while undergraduates at Harvard. Conrad Aiken lived upstairs from the store in its early days. e.e. cummings, T.S. Eliot, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, and Anne Sexton are a short list of poets and writers who have read at the Grolier. Current long-time friends include: Donald Hall, David Ferry, Frank Bidart, Robert Pinsky, Peter Balakian, Louise Glück, Jorie Graham, Lloyd Schwartz, Kathleen Spivack, and Fanny Howe. Travel books list the Grolier as a “place to visit” to learn about the rich history of poetry, while locals visit often to buy books and attend events. The wide collection of photographs of poets reading at the Grolier, many taken by acclaimed photographer Elsa Dorfmann, are of great interest to our guests.

To commemorate this milestone, our 90th year, the Grolier has recommitted to its mission of keeping poetry alive, and emphasizing the unifying voice of poetry. We are expanding programming and providing many more opportunities for poets and performers to gather together. The Festival was one such example. We have many more that are being planned, and some that are scheduled. We are also very interested in offering more facilitated book discussions and book clubs. 


Impact Statement

Top Acomplishments to Date:

  • Musical Notes at 90. Held at the Oberon Theatre, on November 14, 2017, featuring musical settings of poetry by Donald Hall and E.E. Cummings.
  • Grolier Poetry Festival: Held on June 2, 2018, on Plympton Street. We delivered eight hours of programming to our guests.
  • Facilitated book reading on Claudia Rankine’s important book, “Citizen: An American Lyric.” Readings were held throughout the Greater Boston area.

Top three to five goals for the current year:

  • Donald Hall Memorial Service in the Boston area. Wendy Strothman, Don Hall’s literary executor is exploring a Boston/Cambridge memorial service with the Grolier, due to Mr. Hall’s long history with and love for the Grolier, and the Grolier’s significance in the literary world.
  • A collaboration with the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. After the play closes on August 5 we will provide an educational book reading and discussion of the performance of “Richard III,” by the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company on the Boston Common.
  • A Friday Night Stroll in Harvard Square. We are in discussions with the Brattle Theatre about co-hosting a Friday Night Stroll, along with other local cultural organizations in Harvard Square.
  • Additional events will include:
    • Poetry readings and discussions with Frank Bidart, the 2018 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Poetry; Robert Pinsky;
      David Ferry, Peter Balakian; and Lloyd Schwartz.
      • We are exploring a collaboration with the Boston Camerata, as they have performed musical settings of some of the works that David Ferry has translated from Latin.
    • A premiere of Olivia (Weiying) Huang’s documentary on the Grolier Poetry Book Shop, most likely at the Brattle Theatre.
    • An art exhibit for Robert Perkins whose work is in inspired by poetry, including many Grolier poet friends.
    • A series of smaller events, salons, and soirees.

Awards in 2018:The Grolier was recognized for significant contributions to the cultural, literary, and historical contributions to Harvard Square, the City of Cambridge, the Greater Boston area, as well as nationally, and internationally.

  • HBSA Cornerstone Award
  • Proclamation from the City of Cambridge

Needs Statement

Financial: Our first and foremost need is for funds, we hope, through the Open Door Grant, in the form of a Capacity Building Grant so that we can expand our fundraising and programming activities to a full time effort. We are working on a strategy that we believe will be very successful both in a ROI on the investment in a full time fundraiser/program professional, and in raising our exposure to beyond our local region, to bring that to its former level.


Updated Inventory Management System: It is imperative, as we bring in more inventory, to have a tight system to account for inventory, and sales on an ongoing basis.


Programs: We have always had, in our 90 years, very successful relationships with our well-known and established poets, including David Ferry (our relationship with him spans almost 80 years now), Robert Pinsky, Peter Balakian, and other legends.

Updated website with an online store: This will help with our goal of reclaiming our international audience, as well as being more efficient of our poets and guests, and other organizations who hope to collaborate with us.


Website: We need an updated website to better serve our poets and audiences, to better position us with fundraising, to increase our online presence for sales by hosting a store, to capitalize on those who would like to purchase a book from the legendary Grolier Poetry Book Shop, and to have a site that better matches our stature.


CEO Statement

Please note: Ifeanyi Menkiti has been serving in this capacity on a strictly pro bono basis. He has not drawn any salary, and further, he has been the primary support of the Grolier since he assumed ownership of the assets in 2006.
Statement: I assumed ownership of the assets of the Grolier in 2006. I established the Grolier Poetry Foundation and Forums Trust in 2010. We have had some activity from then until this time last year, which is when we started putting more energy into laying the groundwork for successful fundraising. We see encouraging signs that we are on track, and respectfully request funding so we can ensure that the legendary cultural institution, the Grolier, can continue into the next century, helping to cultivate poets, and inspire connections between poets, and deliver important programming to our audiences. We thank you for all of the valuable resources you provide to non-profit organizations. 

Board Chair Statement

Please note: Ifeanyi Menkiti has been serving as the Board Chair since the Foundation was established in 2010. While the Foundation has had some activity from 2010–2017, we became more active in our 90th year, from July 2017 and ongoing. 
 
Statement:  Our biggest current challenge is a lack of financial resources. We have identified several sources, and have a lot of good will and an outstanding reputation, but need working capital to finalize and implement our fundraising strategy. We are very confident that with resources, we will realize our goal of ensuring the financial stability of our organization. 

Geographic Area Served

STATEWIDE

Local community in Cambridge and the Greater Boston area, Massachusetts, nationally, and internationally. Our highest priority is in providing a sacred space for poetry and for those who love poetry. Whether we gather in our Book Shop, oustide the Book Shop on Plympton Street, as we did during our Poetry Festival on June 2, 2018, or other venues. Locally, our primary purpose is to keep poetry alive, emphasizing the unifying voice, especially in these divisive times. Nationally and Internationally we plan to invite poets when they travel to read with us to recapture our international reach which was lessened with the change in demographics of how bookstores operate due to fierce competition from online and chain bookstores. We want poets and those who love poetry to visit us when they travel thus further expanding our opportunity to reinforce poetry as an International voice, a unifying force.

Organization Categories

  1. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Humanities
  2. Community Improvement, Capacity Building - Community & Neighbourhood Development
  3. Public & Societal Benefit - Citizen Participation

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

Yes

Programs

Grolier 2018 Events Program

Fundraising Programs and Events:

90th Year Celebrations to Date:

  • Musical Notes at 90. Held at the Oberon Theatre, on November 14, 2017, featuring musical settings of poetry by Donald Hall and E.E. Cummings.
  • Grolier Poetry Festival: Held on June 2, 2018, on Plympton Street. We delivered eight hours of programming to our guests.
  • Facilitated book reading on Claudia Rankine’s important book, “Citizen: An American Lyric.” Readings were held throughout the Greater Boston area.

90th Year Celebrations Future:

  • Donald Hall Memorial Service in the Boston area. Wendy Strothman, Don Hall’s literary executor is exploring a Boston/Cambridge memorial service with the Grolier, due to Mr. Hall’s long history with and love for the Grolier, and the Grolier’s significance in the literary world.
  • A collaboration with the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. After the play closes on August 5 we will provide an educational book reading and discussion of the performance of “Richard III,” by the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company on the Boston Common.
  • A Friday Night Stroll in Harvard Square. We are in discussions with the Brattle Theatre about co-hosting a Friday Night Stroll, along with other local cultural organizations in Harvard Square.
  • Additional events will include:
    • Poetry readings and discussions with Frank Bidart, the 2018 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Poetry; Robert Pinsky;
      David Ferry, Peter Balakian; and Lloyd Schwartz.
      • We are exploring a collaboration with the Boston Camerata, as they have performed musical settings of some of the works that David Ferry has translated from Latin.
    • A premiere of Olivia (Weiying) Huang’s documentary on the Grolier Poetry Book Shop, most likely at the Brattle Theatre.
    • An art exhibit for Robert Perkins whose work is in inspired by poetry, including many Grolier poet friends.
    • A series of smaller events, salons, and soirees.


Awards in 2018:

The Grolier was recognized for significant contributions to the cultural, literary, and historical contributions to Harvard Square, the City of Cambridge, the Greater Boston area, as well as nationally, and internationally.

  • HBSA Cornerstone Award
  • Proclamation from the City of Cambridge


Budget  --
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Literature
Population Served General/Unspecified General/Unspecified General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success  Attendance. 
Program Long-Term Success  Attention in the press, enhanced repuation. 
Program Success Monitored By  Attendance, revenue, goodwill in the community. 
Examples of Program Success 
Event attendance.
Event revenue.
Feedback from poets, performers, and guests.  

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Please note: Ifeanyi Menkiti has been serving in this capacity on a strictly pro bono basis. He has not drawn any salary, and further, he has been the primary support of the Grolier since he assumed ownership of the assets in 2006. 

Management


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Francine C LaChance
CEO Term Start May 2006
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience
Born in Onitsha, Nigeria, Ifeanyi Menkiti first came to the United States to attend Pomona College from which he received his undergraduate degree. Later he went on to Columbia University and New York University for further studies. He received his Ph.D in Philosophy from Harvard University. He taught Philosophy at Wellesley College for more than 41 years until his retirement. 
Ifeanyi Menkiti is the author of Before a Common Soil (2007) and Of Altair, The Bright Light (2005) and two previous collections of poetry, Affirmations (1971) and The Jubilation of Falling Bodies (1978). Other poems have appeared in journals and periodicals such as the Sewanee Review, Ploughshares, New Directions, New Letters, the Massachusetts Review. In addition, such other publications as the Evergreen Review, Stony Brook, Bitterroot, the Southwest Review, Chelsea and the African journals Okike, Transition, and Nigeria Magazine have also carried his work. In 1975, he was honored with a fellowship in poetry from Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities through the Artists Foundation, followed in 1978 by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. 
Menkiti’s poetry has also been aired on National Public Radio and he has given public readings in the New York City public schools under the auspices of the Academy of American Poets as well as for radio stations WBAI (NYC) and WGBH (Boston).
 
Menkiti was awarded with the Cornerstone Award by the Harvard Business Square Association for significant contributions to the local, national, and interational cultural life, and to the Harvard Square Community. 
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Ms. Loiusa Solano Mar 1976 May 2006
Mr. Adrian Gambet Mar 1927 Feb 1976
Mr. Gorden Cairnie Mar 1927 Feb 1976

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
Cornerstone Award Harvard Business Square Association 2018

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

 Brattle Theatre
Cambridge Forum
Boston Camerata 
The Cambridge Writer's Workshop
Various Dance Troupes
 
 
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
MassLive, Poetry Slam
 
Venues (in process):
Longfellow House
Cambridge Historical Society
Sheraton Commander 
 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

During this past year we have put a foundation together for moving the Grolier from my support, to become self-sustaining, through all channels available to us as a Foundation. We are very encouraged by the large scale Grolier Poetry Festival that turned out 

Foundation Comments

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 3
Number of Volunteers 3
Number of Contract Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

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

Plans & Policies

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

Risk Management Provisions

--

Reporting and Evaluations

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

Governance


Board Chair Mr. Ifeanyni Menkiti
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired, Wellesley Professor
Board Chair Term Nov 2010 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Peter Balakian Colgate University, Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet Voting
Ms. Laura Glennon Navitance Voting
Mr. Lloyd Schwartz UMass, NPR 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: 2
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): Armenian
Gender Female: 1
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Under Development
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 25%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

    --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

We are actively seeking to increase our Board. We are looking at members that will add the same diversity to our Board that we hold with our poets and performers, and our audience. As I mentioned earlier, the Foundation was established in 2010, but we have just become significantly more active and consider our Foundation in start up.
 
We are also looking for skills that would help bring us to the next level, including computer technology, financial advising, and ability to give and introduce us to potential donors. 
 
 

Foundation Comments

--

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018
Projected Income $180,000.00
Projected Expense $118,912.00
Form 990s

2017 990-PF

2016 990-PF

2015 990-PF

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $78,646 $34,890 $24,014
Total Expenses $66,522 $74,040 $68,095

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 $41,568 $57,100 $53,200
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $33,216 $-22,210 $-29,186
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $3,862 -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $66,522 $74,040 $68,095
Administration Expense -- -- --
Fundraising Expense -- -- --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.18 0.47 0.35
Program Expense/Total Expenses 100% 100% 100%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $12,124 $0 $0
Current Assets $12,124 $0 $0
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Total Net Assets $12,124 $0 $0

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

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

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
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 $12,000.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities -- -- --

Long Term Solvency

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

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

While we have been a Foundation since 2010, we are just now embarking on a series of fundraising efforts to ensure that the legacy of the Grolier can continue and thrive. We are hosting high-profile events, applying for grants, sourcing and meeting with donors at every level. We just had a very promising meeting with a high-level donor and have been invited back. Our challenge is our start-up status, and our small staff. However, we have been making great strides this year, and have a lot of support and good will with poets and performers, our friends who love poetry, our communities, local, national and international. Our ability to provide relevant educational programming will increase along with our ability to raise funds. 

Foundation Comments

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

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

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?

--

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

--

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

--

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

--

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

--