Tips for Boston Nonprofits Applying for a Liberty Mutual Foundation Basic Needs Grant

Some small Boston nonprofits might be intimidated by approaching a big-name insurance company like Liberty Mutual Group. But the good news, here, is that this corporate funder is headquartered in Boston and keeps the bulk of its grantmaking right here in the city.

The biggest thing that Boston groups should know right now is that the next grant application deadline is coming up fast—April 1, 2016. The foundation is accepting Basic Service Initiative requests for applicants in Boston and Dallas for this deadline. This initiative has been around since 2007, and LMF has awarded over $3.5 million through this effort.

In general, Liberty Mutual funds education, health, and human services programs for youth, low-income people, and people with disabilities. But there are a few specifics about LMF's decision-making that Boston nonprofits should know before sending in a basic needs application.

How Liberty Mutual Defines “Basic Needs”

Every funder supports basic needs in different ways, but these are the types of groups that LMF is looking for from this initiative.

  • Shelter for youth, families and adults
  • Emergency shelter
  • Transitional housing
  • Shelters that also provide social services
  • Healthcare for the homeless
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Personal hygiene

Exclusivity to Boston

Unlike some of Liberty Mutual’s other forms of support, this is an initiative solely dedicated to basic needs in Boston. Therefore, only organizations that serve residents of the city of Boston are eligible for these grants. There’s a big push to support established organizations that aid the homeless population in the city and people who are at a high risk of homelessness.

Grant Amounts Are Unknown

Many funders have an exact number in mind that they are willing to spend on an initiative for a particular grant cycle, but not so much with this initiative. The size of these grants has not yet been determined. According to the foundation’s guidelines, the type, number, and size of grants will depend on the number and quality of proposals it receives.

Just remember that this foundation is willing to award general operating, program, and capital grants. These grants will operate on a two-year cycle. Therefore, the next Basic Services Initiative opportunity probably won’t come around until 2018.

To learn more about this funder, check out IP’s full profile, Liberty Mutual Foundation: Boston Grants. Full details about the 2016 Basic Needs Initiative Request for Proposals can be downloaded from the foundation’s website. Applications are only accepted through the foundation’s online platform, and the new round of grantees are expected to be announced in May 2016. Direct any application questions to the staff at