This Wellness Center Got a Big Boost From the Richard & Susan Smith Family Foundation

The Bowdoin Street Health Center, which was founded in 1972 in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, needs $3 million to build a wellness center. Along with a couple of other organizations, the Richard & Susan Smith Family Foundation is helping to chip away at this hefty price tag. The foundation recently awarded a $300,000 grant to Bowdoin's wellness center campaign.

The Smith Family Foundation is in good company with its support of Bowdoin. The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center kicked off the campaign with a $1 million grant, and later the Children's Hospital of Boston committed $75,000 to the cause. And since Bowdoin's board of directors agreed to issue matching grants of $200,000 for each individual donation, the wellness center is well on its way to being up and running.

Health care is one of the Smith Family Foundation's largest giving areas, and it is divided into three categories: biomedical research, community health, and diabetes prevention. Community health grants, such as the one to Bowdoin, are a recent addition to the foundation's repertoire. Good news for local organizations: Smith most commonly awards funds to expand primary care in the state of Massachusetts. Bad news for newbies: Community health grants are evaluated by invitation only. (See Grants for Hospitals and Health Centers.)

Also, the Smith Foundation would be a great place to turn to if your organization promotes health education programs. Education is the foundation's other large giving area,with recent grants going to Roxbury Preparatory Charter School, College Bound Dorchester, and Unlocking Potential. Get your foot in the door with a Small Capital Grant, which could get as much as $50,000 for your organization. (See Grants for Charter Schools.) At this time, the Smith Foundation is accepting applications only for grants starting at $5,000 for organizational equipment and building improvements. Only about five to 10 organizations will received these grants this year, meaning you should check the Grant Guidelines page frequently for updates about submission dates.