As a committed community leader in Lowell, Nancy led the effort to start the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, a professional regional theatre that is now nationally recognized. She has also been involved with the United Way of Merrimack Valley for more than three decades, taking on roles from volunteer to Board President. She now serves on the Board of the United Way of Mass Bay and Merrimack Valley. Nancy has help revitalize Lowell by playing a central role in establishing the New England Quilt Museum, The Revolving Museum, the Canal Cleanwaters, the Adult Retarded Rehabilitative Association (RARA), the Women Working Wonders Fund and also serves on the Boards of the Whistler House Museum of Art, the American Textile History Museum, the Enterprise Bank and Trust as well as Chair of the Merrimack Repertory Theatre. Nancy and her husband Dick established the Nancy L. Donahue Fund at the Greater Lowell Community Foundation, which provides funds to help the non-profit organizations which they have spent a lifetime supporting.
Nancy and Dick say their greatest accomplishment is raising 11 children to become caring and giving adults.