Bennett Family Foundation: Grants for Boston

OVERVIEW:  The Bennett Family Foundation supports programs that help teens get and stay connected to the community and boost the skills they need to be successful adults in Boston.

FUNDING AREAS: Youth, teens

IP TAKE: Mental health for teens is a big cause for this funder in Boston.

PROFILE: Established in 2004, the Bennett Family Foundation is also known as the Eleanore Bennett Charitable Trust I. It is one of two charitable trusts established by the bequest of Mabel Eleanore Newbold Bennett. The foundation’s fortune came from the business Continental Felt, which Eleanore and brother William Newbold were partners in. The siblings owned and operated the New York-based company, which has since been dissolved. Bennett passed away in 2004 at the age of 92. The funder’s Boston grantmaking revolves around youth and teens.

Today, the Bennett Family Foundation supports small, local organizations that address specific needs of underserved populations. In Boston, the sole grantmaking focus is youth. Bennett funds programs that help teens get and stay connected to the community and boost the skills they need to be successful adults. Bennett youth grants in Boston have touched on topics like the juvenile justice system, behavioral health, homeless and runaway youth, suicide prevention, and arts for self-expression. In general, topics of interest to this funder have included education, health, mental health, nutrition, youth development, and economically disadvantaged people. Past grantees in Boston include Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Fenway Health, RAW Art Works, and Roca.

Most of this funder’s grants in Boston range between $2,500 to $25,000. However, it occasionally makes larger and multi-year commitments up to three years as well. View past grant information in the funder’s 990 tax forms. The geographic focuses of this funder are Boston and Philadelphia. These are the places where members of the family and foundation live and work.

The first step to get involved with this funder is to complete the online letter of inquiry form. If the foundation is interested, it will get in touch. Nonprofits receive an automated confirmation of receipt either way, but prospective grantseekers should know that not every inquiry gets a response from an actual person at the foundation. There are no deadlines to submit this letter of inquiry, so send it in at any time. May and November are typically the months when this foundation distributes grant money. So, to be considered in the spring, send in a letter by April 1, or by October 1 for the fall round. Direct general question to the foundation at trustees@bennettfoundation.org or 610-941-7700.

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