The Lenny Zakim Challenge Grant

Blog Post Events | May 30, 2022

Lenny Zakim has issued Kids in Tech a $5,000 challenge grant! The Challenge grant is from March 2022-December 2022! 

Our progress: $2,963.47 of $5,000.00

Help us meet the challenge with a new or increased donation today. 

If you are unfamiliar with a challenge grant, read the FAQs below to learn what a challenge grant is and how it works.

What is a challenge grant?

Challenge grants are capacity-building grants intended to provide a nonprofit organization with a tool to leverage new and increased donations from current donors, and from potential new donors.

What is the goal of a challenge grant?

A nonprofit organization’s long-term sustainability is dependent upon the ability to engage and cultivate an active and diverse support base. We want you to use the challenge grant to encourage and energize donors beyond us. The challenge grant is a tool to help your organization’s staff and leadership mobilize additional resources to help build long-term sustainability.

How does a challenge grant work?

The Lenny Zakim Fund only matches new and increased donations made in response to this matching challenge. We do not match dollars that have already been pledged, nor do we match contributions already received, prior to the beginning of the grant term.

What makes challenge grants so valuable?

A primary component of an organization’s long-term sustainability is a diverse funding base. A challenge grant helps build a nonprofit’s fundraising capacity. The challenge component is a call-to-action for other donors to support the organization. It encourages a broader and deeper base of donors to become part of the organization for a long time to come. The challenge grant component encourages an organization to go above and beyond the usual fundraising.

What kinds of donations are eligible to be matched by the challenge grant?

  • First-time cash donations from individuals, businesses, foundation grants, or corporations raised in response to an appeal using the LZF challenge.
  • Increased cash contributions from current individual, business, foundation supporters, or corporate donors raised in response to an appeal using the LZF challenge.
  • New or increased donations received in response to a live-ask at a sponsored event, an email, social media, or direct mail campaign, raised in response to an appeal using the LZF challenge.
  • Renewed gifts, raised in response to an appeal using the LZF challenge, from lapsed donors who have not made a gift for over 12 months prior to the date of the grant award 

Note: Increased contributions will be matched only for the portion that is above and beyond a current donor’s previous or annual donation. 

What kinds of donations are NOT eligible to be matched by the challenge grant?

  • Sponsorships may only be counted if they meet the above criteria and, in addition, the only portion that may be counted is that which exceeds the fair market value of the sponsorship
  • Donated products or services (in-kind)
  • Raffle sales
  • Ticket sales
  • Silent or live auction revenue
  • Money already solicited, pledged, or donated
  • Money that the organization would have raised without the match 

Click to donate or mail your donation to Kids in Tech, P.O. Box #9057 Lowell, Massachusetts 01853. 

Thank you!

Event Recap

Beyond the Microscope Events Mass STEM Week |

The 2021/22 school year was filled with incredible events that were meant to educate and inspire STEM programs for students. Stay tuned for upcoming programs over the summer!

Beyond the Microscope Webinar Series

The purpose of our Beyond the Microscope webinar series is to spark conversation between thought leaders and the greater community. At each event, we converse with a special panel of experts, highlighting the important issues we face in the STEM industry. Thank you to our event sponsors: Boston Globe, Eastern Bank, iRobot, and Massachusetts Business Roundtable.

Upcoming webinar: 

Beyond the Microscope: Neuroscience, AI and the Future of Education (September 28, 2022 at 12pm/ET). Imagine a classroom of 25 students with one teacher teaching a set curriculum at a set pace. Chances are not all 25 students will be learning at the same stride; some will be ahead and bored, others might fall behind, while a few might only retain what’s minimally required. The truth is everyone has the ability to be a fantastic learner, it’s a matter of keeping the mind stimulated and inspired through the act of learning. As a society, we need to ask ourselves: how can we change this behavior in the classroom? 

Register here.

Previous recordings can be found on our Youtube page. 


Kids in Tech was recently awarded state funding for 2022 Mass STEM Week. Read the full article here.

For the 2021 Mass STEM Week Challenge, Kids in Tech helped students in the Commonwealth visualize the concepts of AI, understand how these systems affect the way our world works, and appreciate the potential they have to change the future. Students utilized two online platforms, Machine Learning for Kids and Scratch, through which they completed engaging activities that allowed them to see what is possible with AI concepts and technology. The challenge culminated in a project in which students designed their own Smart Cities using AI principles and programming language. Learn more about the challenge here.

If you are interested in sponsoring any upcoming event series, please email us at