Who Cashed in on the Cummings Foundation’s $10 million in Local Grants?

For the third year in a row, the Cummings Foundation has given $100,000 grants to 100 nonprofits in the Greater Boston area (Read Cummings Foundation Inc./One World Boston Inc.: Boston Area Grants). Over 430 organizations applied for these grants, for a diverse range of causes including underserved populations, education, healthcare, hunger, and homelessness. The 2014 recipients were announced in Woburn last month, where over 250 people gathered to attend the event.  

The program awarded 38 grants in Middlesex County, 25 in Essex County, and 37 in Suffolk County this year. This grant program focuses on grassroots organizations, and most of these grants will be paid in installments over the next two to 10 years.

“Cummings Foundation is dedicated to supporting the communities where the staff and clients of the Cummings organization live and work,” said Joel Swets, the foundation’s executive director. “We are proud to support this year’s grant recipients so they can continue—and in many cases, expand or enhance—their incredibly beneficial work.”

While a majority of the foundation’s funding supports 501(c)(3) organizations, Cummings awarded grants to three municipal entities this year too—the Boston Public Schools, Burlington Police Department, and Woburn Police Department.

The Roxbury community received a significant amount of support, with nine nonprofits receiving awards in town. Lawrence, Woburn, and Beverly also emerged as big winners in this round.

Overall, the bulk of Cummings grants went to nonprofits operating in the city of Boston. These are the Boston nonprofits that received $100,000 Cummings grants this year:

  • Adoption & Foster Care Mentoring
  • Alray Taylor Second Chance Mentoring
  • Artists for Humanity
  • Asian American Civic Association
  • Big Sister Association of Greater Boston
  • Boston CASA for Foster Children
  • Boston Debate League
  • Camp Shriver Inclusive Programming
  • Emerald Necklace Conservatory
  • Future Chefs for Urban Youth
  • Health Law Advocates
  • Jewish Vocational Service
  • Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center
  • Massachusetts Citizens for Children
  • Nutury
  • Rosie’s Place Women’s Shelter
  • St. Francis House Shelter
  • The Steppingstone Academy
  • Women of Means Health Care for Homeless

But there’s still plenty of 2014 left on the calendar, so what’s next for Cummings Foundation grantmaking?

According to Swets, Cummings Foundation recently created a second grants initiative with the goal of supporting nonprofits that are larger than the ones on this list. Through the new invitation-only Major Grants Program, the plan is to provide $10 million in funding to between eight and 10 charities by the end of the year. A little quick division suggests that we'll be seeing some nice sized grants. We expect that many of these awards will build upon previous funding provided through the $100K for 100 program.

New applicants should know that at least 80 percent of a nonprofit’s services must be provided in eastern Middlesex, southern Essex, and Suffolk counties. And you can reapply for a grant once every three years. General inquiries can be directed to Joel Swets at jbs@cummings.com