Imago Dei Fund



Boston, MA

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2015):

Revenue: $7,848,067
Expenses: $4,995,558
Assets: $31,884,993


Grant Foundation

Founding Trustees:

Ross and Emily Jones

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The Imago Dei Fund (named after the Latin for “Image of God”) is a religious-left-oriented grant maker focusing its philanthropy primarily on left-of-center organizations. The fund’s website mentions matters of faith throughout its mission statement, values, and other components. The bottom of the website displays rotating quotes, some of which are cited as “mystical legends” or other non-Christian-related narratives. Former President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Buddhist psychologist Tara Brach, and poet Maya Angelou are also featured in the quote rotation. In one portion of the grantmaking criteria, the website does allude to the group being of a Christian orientation. 1

Grant Selection Criteria

The fund focuses its philanthropic agenda in the following areas: supporting women and girls to thrive and flourish, church as an agent, and being a good neighbor to Boston. Grantee organizations are not expected to meet each of these categories though the fund does have a three-lens approach to its decision-making process: gender balance, faith/inspiration, and community-driven development. The fund does not accept unsolicited proposals or applications. Many of the fund’s grantee recipients are from the Boston area, though it also contributes to national and multiple international organizations focused on humanitarian relief and other purposes. 2 3


Imago Dei Fund’s leadership team consists primarily of trustees and partners, as opposed to a standard chain-of-command leadership structure. In 2018, Imago Dei Fund’s tax returns listed founding trustees Ross M. Jones and his wife Emily Nielsen Jones under the category of officers, directors, trustees, and managers. 4 5

Ross Jones has been a managing director with Berkshire Partners since 2000. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. 6 Ross Jones of is a frequent donor to Republican campaigns; according to Federal Election Commission records, of the last thirteen reported federal campaign contributions donations Jones made, only one of them was made to a Democratic campaign. 7

Emily Nielsen Jones is a frequent speaker at women’s events, an advocate for gender equality, and a contributor to the left-progressive Christian group Sojourners. 8 She also contributes to Philanthropy Women and has been critical of President Donald Trump, his rhetoric, and his political agenda. 9 Emily holds a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a Master’s degree from Boston University School of Education. 10

The form also listed only two members of the leadership team who receive compensation. Managing partner Lisa Richardson Jackson received $203,592 in 2018 and program partner Jennifer Oakley received $92,000 in 2018. 11


Imago Dei Fund supports numerous left-progressive organizations, including Sojourners, Global Fund for Women, and the Boston Foundation. In total, Imago Dei Fund made $7.3 million in grants in 2018. 12



Revenue:          $21,693,380

Expenses:         $9,270,397

Assets:              $56,733,510













  1. “Home.” Imago Dei Fund. Accessed June 2, 2020.
  2. “Grantmaking Priorities and Process.” Imago Dei Fund. Accessed June 2, 2020.
  3. “Grantees.” Imago Dei Fund. Accessed June 2, 2020.
  4. Imago Dei Fund. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2018.
  5. “Emily Nielsen Jones.” The Boston Foundation. Accessed June 2, 2020.
  6. “Ross M. Jones.” Berkshire Partners. Accessed June 2, 2020.
  7. “Browse Individual Contributions.”, 2020.
  8. Jones, Emily. “Emily Jones.” Sojourners. Accessed June 2, 2020.
  9. Jones, Emily Nielsen. “I’m With Her: Reboarding the Feminist Train to Build Local and Global Sisterhood ~ Philanthropy Women.” Philanthropy Women. Accessed June 2, 2020.
  10. “Emily Nielsen Jones – Berkley Center for Religion, Peace …” Accessed June 2, 2020.
  11. Imago Dei Fund. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2018.
  12. Imago Dei Fund, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2018, Part XV Line 3.
  13. Imago Dei Fund. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2018.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 2010

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2015 Dec Form PF $7,848,067 $4,995,558 $31,884,993 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $16,651,478 $3,719,943 $30,897,073 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $6,964,123 $2,302,899 $23,128,368 $24,960 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $11,527,104 $1,482,749 $20,545,244 $39,049 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $2,376,101 $1,098,246 $13,124,577 $39,337 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Imago Dei Fund

    PO BOX 170025
    Boston, MA 02117-0025