Sudbury Foundation Opens Grants for Children, Youth and Families

The Sudbury Foundation is seeking proposals for two tracks in Spring 2013: Youth and the Environment and Youth and the Arts. Funding is available to both public and nonprofit organizations in communities surrounding the Greater Boston area, including Sudbury, Acton, Concord, Framingham, Hudson, Lincoln, and Natick.

The Foundation provides funding for organizations that support positive youth development with hands-on environmental outreach and arts programming. These organizations should not be directly affiliated with local schools.

Grants awarded by Sudbury in December 2012 ranged from $6,000 to $25,000 — all to enrich the lives of low-income children and at-risk youth. Groups winning grants included those focused on after-school enrichment programs, outdoor experience, and workforce development.

In 2011, grantmaking at the Foundation was redirected away from a Regional Grants initiative that had been in operation for ten years.

The goal was to coalesce efforts meant to strengthen youth enrichment in low-income communities.

In 2012, the Foundation introduced two grant cycles for Children, Youth and Families with renewed capacity for supporting youth service agencies. Grants up to $25,000 are available to programs that provide at-risk services for youth.

Activities in the Environmental Track can include farming programs, stream or river clean-up, and outdoor adventure and recreation, such as wilderness training or hiking. Youth and Arts funding will support projects designed to reduce delinquent behavior and encourage self-esteem through the arts.

The Sudbury Foundation awards puts priority on projects that provide ongoing, long-term support and build relationships between youth and mentoring adults with a focus on positive youth development.

Among eligibility criteria, Sudbury Foundation includes a core belief that "the best youth programs nurture young people's strengths rather than focus on negative behaviors. The Foundation encourages its grant partners to enhance their programming through a positive youth development lens."

The Sudbury Foundation manages three grantmaking opportunities cycled throughout the year: The Sudbury Program; The Children, Youth & Families Program; and The Environmental Program, along with several one-time opportunity grant options for students.

Environmental grant awards have provided upwards of $120,000 to individual organizations for efforts in sustainability and projects that protect working waterfronts.

A private charitable organization, the Sudbury Foundation was formed in 1952 by Herbert and Esther Atkinson, who lived in Sudbury. Giving has historically been focused on quality of life issues for both human and natural resources.

Inquiries can be directed to Marilyn Martino serves as the Foundation’s executive director.