Leo’s Letter: A Gala Is Not Just A Gala

As spectacular as the Gala was, it’s not just about celebrating our achievers and our effective civil rights mission. The Gala allows The Arc of Massachusetts to achieve as well.

Tracy Atkinson’s leadership, our volunteers’ commitment to philanthropy, and the recent investment of the Becker Family Trust have made a difference in what we can accomplish. The core of what we do is supported by affiliate fees, private donations from individuals, human service agencies, corporations, and the annual Gala. The Arc of Massachusetts is strong today because of them, but there is no guarantee that we will be in the future.

Look around the region to see what I mean. In four neighboring states, we have a total of two affiliates of The Arc and no state offices. I remember when three of those states had vibrant state affiliates that got major results in their legislatures. One of them, Rhode Island, led the nation in community innovation. The Arc is strong nationally with 600 affiliates, but states have lost key leadership because it is very difficult to raise funds for advocacy.

According to the National Council of Non-Profits, “Capacity building is an investment in the effectiveness and future sustainability of a nonprofit…” (emphasis mine). The work of volunteers and staff to ensure a successful Gala is an investment in our future and the future of people with I/DD.





Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director

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