Magnani named Executive Director of new statewide nonprofit network


Massachusetts Nonprofit Network completes launch

with an announcement of a first staff hire


Boston—Former State Senator David P. Magnani has been named the first Executive Director of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, a statewide organization established to raise awareness of the size and importance of the Commonwealth’s nonprofit sector, advocate on behalf of its members, and develop services and programs to build capacity for individual member organizations.

 The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network was given a “soft launch” in January of 2007, after a three-year process of convenings and conversations with leaders and stakeholders in the sector. The new entity was designed to balance geographical concerns, as well as challenges related to the sheer number and diversity of potential member organizations. The result was a Board of Directors that includes seasoned leaders within a wide variety of established organizations, a founding membership of more than 200 organizations, and a charge to recruit an Executive Director who could establish MNN’s agenda, build visibility and credibility, and prepare for the work of statewide recruitment of a broad membership base.


The Board offered the position to Magnani, a veteran of the Massachusetts State Legislature, where he served for 20 years, as a State Representative and then a State Senator, representing the 2nd Middlesex-Norfolk District, which includes Framingham and Ashland. He stepped down from his Senate seat in 2005 to found EdAction Associates, a consulting firm focused on education and technology-based economic development. Magnani has a long record of innovation and leadership in the nonprofit sector. Among other accomplishments, he served as Founding Director of the Citizen Involvement Training Project, which provided support to more than 400 nonprofit organizations in the course of eight years beginning ion 1976, earning national honors for innovation in education.


“Massachusetts is blessed with a robust nonprofit sector,” said Magnani. “The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network fills a critical and timely need to help this great community of service become better organized and more visible, and to strengthen its ability to help shape the state’s strategic priorities. Nonprofits are uniquely positioned to act as laboratories for innovation, garnering and incubating ideas as they emerge from the culture, and this new statewide organization will make it possible to tap the extraordinary capacity of the sector. I am deeply honored to be given this opportunity to serve a network of organizations and the people who contribute so much to the culture of the Commonwealth, and to its ability to thrive in an increasingly competitive and global economy.”


The MNN serves a sector that includes more than 25,000 individual organizations, employees more than 420,000 men and women, and pumps close to $50 billion into local Massachusetts economies each year. Until MNN was founded, Massachusetts was one of only seven states with no state-wide, member-driven  organization. This despite the fact that Massachusetts contains more nonprofit organization per capita than any other region of the country. The Founding Board of Directors includes representatives from local and statewide associations in arts and culture; education and youth; the environment; health; housing and community development; human rights; human services; and philanthropy. The Board also includes regional representatives to guarantee that organizations from every corner of the Commonwealth are reflected in  its work.


“The appointment of David Magnani is great news,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “He is a seasoned leader with a deep understanding of the world of nonprofits and also of the political process in Massachusetts. He brings credibility, experience and a formidable personal network to the organization.”


The Boston Foundation provided a $100,000 lead grant in 2007 to catalyze the formation of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, and Grogan serves as an at-large member of the Board of Directors.


Full membership in the MNN is available to organizations with nonprofit status, and individuals and organizations that are not nonprofit may join as non voting members. Annual membership fees for Founding Members range from $50 to $100, and additional support will be sought through gifts and grants. The work of the first year is expected to focus on:


  • Building partnerships with existing advocate organizations;
  • Identifying and developing capacity-building services such as training, group purchasing and benefits programs that can serve a broad membership;
  • Developing online resources;
  • Providing opportunities for convenings and networking to share best practices; and
  • Working with a new and growing membership to craft a public policy agenda.


“Nonprofits across the Commonwealth have shared many common challenges in the past, and now we have a common voice,” said Bill Walczak, CEO of the Codman Square Health Center, President of the Founding Board of Directors, and a leader in the effort to bring the MNN to fruition. “This organization has been launched after three years of outreach and much conversation about goals and means. Now we are ready to deliver on the promise of our mission, to strengthen  Massachusetts through nonprofit advocacy, public awareness, and capacity building. The selection of David Magnani to lead this effort sends a powerful message—this is the beginning of a new era for the nonprofit sector in Massachusetts.”

Board of Directors

Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

2007 Founding Board of Directors

Contact info




Mr. Bill Walczak, CEO

Codman Square Health Center (on sabbatical)

637 Washington Street

Dorcester, MA  02124

July/August phone: 617-851-9630




Ms. Sylvia de Haas Phillips, Project Director

Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation

One Monarch Place

Springfield, MA 01144





Mr. Paul Grogan, President & CEO

The Boston Foundation

75 Arlington Street, 10th floor

Boston, MA 02116



Mr. Michael Weekes, President and CEO

Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers

250 Summer Street, Suite 237

Boston, MA 02210





Mr. Maurice Lewis, Business Representative

Employment & Training Resources

201 Boston Post Road West

Marlborough, MA





Ms. Patsy Lewis

Northeast Institute for Quality Community Action

72 Beaconsfield

Worcester, MA 01602





Mr. David Turcotte

Nonprofit Alliance of Greater Lowell

Center for Family, Work and Community

600 Suffolk Street

Lowell, MA 01852






Mr. Ron Ancrum, Executive Director

Associated Grant Makers


Ms. Susan Egmont

Egmont Associates


Mr. Jim Gomes, President

Environmental League of Massachusetts


Mr. James Hunt, President & CEO

Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers


Mr. Dan Hunter, Executive Director

Massachusetts Advocates for the Arts, Sciences, & Humanities


Ms. Beth Green, former Executive Director

Human Service Forum


Mr. Joe Kriesberg, President

Massachusetts Association of CDCs


Ms. Elena Letona, Executive Director

Centro Presente


Ms. Kristen McCormack, Executive-in-Residence

Boston University School of Management


Mr. Ali Noorani, Executive Director

Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Coalition


Ms. Sayra Pinto, Director

Twin Cities Latino Coalition


Mr. David Shapiro, President & CEO

Massachusetts Mentoring Partnership17-695-1200


Mr. Stephen Pratt, President

Boston After School & Beyond


Mr. Jonathan Spack, Executive Director

Third Sector New England


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