About Us

Our Community. Your Foundation.

Since 1995, the SouthCoast Community Foundation has served as a catalyst for philanthropic giving. Our mission is to mobilize philanthropy by matching donors and resources with community needs for the benefit of our region.

As a tax-exempt, public charity, the SouthCoast Community Foundation offers donors the guidance and flexibility to fulfill their philanthropic goals. We serve a range of charitable individuals, families, and corporations whose main concern is improving the quality of life in our community.

The SouthCoast Community Foundation allocates individual, family, and corporate funds to meet community needs. To date, the organization has distributed over $50 million from more than 200 funds to humanitarian, educational, and cultural organizations in the region.

Our History

Since 1995, the SouthCoast Community Foundation has given rise to philanthropic giving across the SouthCoast region.

In its first year of operation, the SouthCoast Community Foundation received its first charitable gift of $100,000. In 1997, we invested $1 million to establish Youth Entitled to Success (Project YES), spearheading drug abuse prevention and education efforts in our community.

For 25 years, we have supported personal and corporate philanthropy by offering a range of innovative giving options. We offer a variety of funds to help every donor meet their philanthropic goals.

The SouthCoast Community Foundation currently manages $50 million in charitable assets in support of more than 200 funds established by nonprofits, families, and businesses across Southeastern Massachusetts.

Our Region

In its 25 years of operation, the SouthCoast Community Foundation has distributed more than $50 million to charitable organizations throughout the south coast.

We are active in 41 cities and towns across four counties of Southeastern Massachusetts. Our service area includes Greater New Bedford, Greater Fall River, Southern Plymouth County and more.

The SouthCoast Community Foundation serves charitable organizations in Bristol, Plymouth, Dukes and Norfolk Counties.

Bristol County
Fall River

New Bedford
North Attleboro
Plymouth County
East Bridgewater
West Bridgewater

Dukes County

Norfolk County

Our Financials

The SouthCoast Community Foundation was established in 1995 with its first charitable gift of $100,000. For 25 years, we have shown significant growth. We now manage $50 million in charitable assets in support of more than 200 funds established by our dedicated nonprofit, individual, and corporate fundholders.

To view our most recent financial statement, click below.

Board of Directors

Gail Fortes

Gail Fortes


Linda Bodenmann

Linda Bodenmann

Past Chairperson

Jayne Rebello Korn

Jayne Rebello Korn

Vice Chairperson

Jonathan Rounds

Jonathan Rounds


Carl J. Cruz

Carl J. Cruz


Maria A. Rosario

Maria A. Rosario

Assistant Clerk

Damōn Chaplin

Damōn Chaplin

Priscilla Ditchfield

Priscilla Ditchfield

Jeff Pagliuca

Jeff Pagliuca

Denise M. Porche´

Denise M. Porche´

Cynthia Rose

Cynthia Rose

Louis E. Sousa

Louis E. Sousa

Our Team

Our staff and associates are champions of our community, with focuses on public service and development, arts and culture, youth services, finance, and more.

Leonard M. Lee
President & CEO

508-996-8253 ext. 201

Leonard joined the organization in April 2022 as President and CEO. Lee comes to the Community Foundation from his post as General Manager and Curator for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and as a consultant to Kelley Chunn & Associates, an award-winning agency providing strategic communications and cause marketing. Previously, Lee held senior leadership roles for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and several nonprofits, including Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) for the Dorchester Neighborhood Service Center; Opening the Doors Wider in Nursing (ODWIN) Learning Center; Mission Works; and the Roxbury YMCA.

A native Bostonian who grew up in the Franklin Field Housing Development in Dorchester, Lee holds a degree in business management from Johnson & Wales University and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Boston University. An avid urban beekeeper and drummer, Leonard is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., a father of three adult children, and a proud new grandfather.

Werlaine Badio
Programs Officer

508-996-8253 ext. 202

Werlaine Badio joined the Foundation in April 2021 as the Programs Officer. Previously, she was a Recruiter for the human resources company, Aston Carter, and Management Assistant/Customer Services Manager for the rental company, Enterprise Holdings. While attending the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth, she was the Events & Marketing Manager for the Haitian Student Association (HASA). Werlaine grew up in Brockton and currently lives in Fall River.

Nhamaa Cortes
Accounting Clerk

508-996-8253 ext. 218

Nhamaa Cortes joined the Foundation in April 2021 as the Accounting Clerk. Nhamaa is a recent graduate from Bridgewater State University where he majored in Accounting with a minor in Management. While he was a student, he worked in the foodservice industry. Nhamaa was born and raised in New Bedford where he currently resides.

Tricia Grime
Development Manager

508-996-8253 ext. 203

Tricia Grime joined the Community Foundation in February 2019 as Development Manager with a focus on Annual Giving & Special Events. Early in her career, she wore many hats as co-owner of her family business, a successful wholesale chemical & knitting company in the city of New Bedford, Dyl-Chem, Inc. aka Whalerknits. Upon retirement from the company in 2003, Tricia joined Southcoast Health. She held various administrative positions throughout these years, most recently as Development Associate & Manager of Special Events. As a recipient of the Southcoast Health President’s Award of Excellence in 2018, Tricia was recognized for her excellence in service, leadership and cultural values.

Adrianna Heard
Donor Services Associate

508-996-8253 ext. 214

Adrianna Heard joined the Foundation in July 2020 as the Development Systems Administrator and in January 2021 was promoted to Donor Services Associate. Adrianna was born and raised in New Bedford and graduated with honors, from Westfield State University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

Kim Heard
Office Administrator

508-996-8253 ext. 215

Kim Heard joined the Community Foundation in March 2017 as Office Administrator. She began working for The Trustees of Reservations, a Massachusetts based conservation organization, as a part time Administrative Assistant in April 2004 and was promoted to Executive Assistant supporting the Southeast/Boston Regional Director in July 2011. She held that position until her departure in February 2017. Kim grew up in Tiverton, RI and has lived in New Bedford since 1994.

Charles Holley
Director of Finance and Administration

508-996-8253 ext. 204

Charles Holley joined the organization in December 2020 as the Director of Finance & Administration. Most recently Charles was the Director of Finance & Administration for Boston Harbor Now and Chief Financial Officer for Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. He is currently the Board Treasurer for Mystic River Watershed Association.

Sandra Ray
Programs Officer

508-996-8253 ext. 217

Sandra Ray joined organization August 15, 2022 as a Program Officer.
Born in Boston, attended Salem State College. Before joining the Foundation she worked for the City of Boston as a Contract Administrator, the last 12 years worked for the Department of Transitional Assistance. Worked in the non-profit community for over 20 years. While working as a mentor for at-risk families under DSS now known as DCF auspices and was awarded mentor of the year in 2003,2004 and 2006. She currently lives with her family in Taunton Ma
Kristen Sarkarati

Kristen Sarkarati
Director of Marketing and Communications

508-996-8253 ext. 219

Joining the Foundation in October 2022, Kristen brings over 20 years of experience in communications and development to the role. Most recently, she served as Director of Major Gifts and Campaign Initiatives at Beth Israel Deaconess Plymouth, and prior to that position, managed philanthropy communications and corporate giving for the hospital. Previously, she had a communications and development consultancy where she served clients that included the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, English for New Bostonians, the Boston Foundation, Joslin Diabetes Center, ArtWorks, and the New Bedford Folk Festival, among many others. Kristen is a lifelong resident of the South Coast — she was born in New Bedford, raised in Fall River and now resides with her husband, two children, and a chocolate lab in Marion. 

AHA! (Art, History and Architecture!)
Candace Lee Heald
AHA! Director

508-996-8253 ext. 205

Candace Lee Heald has been Director of AHA! – New Bedford’s 2nd Thursday FREE Art and Culture Night since 2007. Lee previously worked as Vice-President of Programs, Education and Exhibitions at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, where she oversaw educational and public programs, exhibitions and library functions as well as visitor services and volunteers. She received her Ph.D. from Lesley University, an MA in American History from the University of Delaware, and BA in American History from Brown University. Lee was one of the authors for the original AHA! grant, and served as Program and Steering Committee Chairs from 1999 until joining the staff.