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The Leader Dogs for the Blind Foundation

In 2012, Leader Dog took steps to ensure our long-term financial stability by establishing the Leader Dogs for the Blind Foundation. The funds managed by the Foundation includes thousands of philanthropic gifts donated since Leader Dog's early history. These gifts, as managed by the Foundation, are an important part of making sure that we can sustain Leader Dog's mission now and long into the future.

A young, brown-haired man smiles while hugging a reddish yellow lab/golden retriever cross. The dog is wearing a Leader Dog harness and licking the man's face.

What is the Leader Dogs for the Blind Foundation?

The Foundation is a permanent, dedicated source of support for Leader Dogs for the Blind and our largest financial asset. It is a separate 501(c)(3) supporting organization that manages and invests funds in the interests of Leader Dog, and it grants part of its balance to Leader Dog every year. The Foundation provides a consistent, annual source of funds as well as support for significant enterprises by Leader Dog, such as the renovation of the canine development center. It is a critical part of Leader Dog's immediate and future financial sustainability.

What does the Leader Dogs for the Blind Foundation do?

The Foundation exists solely to support Leader Dogs for the Blind. It is a 501(c)3 type 3 supporting organization. It does not make grants to any other charities or causes, and it does no fundraising of its own. Historically, the Foundation has granted 5% of its average monthly balance to Leader Dog in the following year. This is approximately $3 million annually. The Foundation has also made gifts above and beyond the annual grant, including a $5 million pledge for the canine development center's renovation.

People sometimes ask why the Foundation doesn't give more money to or completely pay for certain Leader Dog projects. It can be tempting to see all the Foundation's funds as available right now. The Foundation does provide significant support for Leader Dog every year, but it also has a duty to our clients decades from now. The Foundation and its funds belong to Leader Dog's future just as much as its present.

Thanks to forward-thinking donors, the Foundation enables Leader Dog to operate with a layer of financial security every year and make proactive plans for how we can best fulfill our mission in the years to come.

Client David with COMS Lynn downtown sidewalk thumbs up (1)

The Leader Dogs for the Blind Foundation's vision, mission and values

  • Vision: Provide the majority of annual financial support necessary to advance the mission of Leader Dogs for the Blind
  • Mission: To prudently manage and invest funds in a manner that will ensure the long-term sustainability of Leader Dogs for the Blind in accordance with the policies of the Foundation
  • Values: Integrity, Diligence, Expertise, Transparency, Accountability


Steve Guarini, President & Chair
Scott Berry, Vice President & Vice Chair
Melissa Weisse, Secretary & Treasurer
Raj Kothari, Trustee
Paul Preketes, Trustee
Brian Hock, Trustee
Jacqueline Thomas, Trustee