OVERVIEW: The Hyams Foundation focuses its grantmaking on affordable housing, teen development, civic engagement in Boston and Chelsea communities.
FUNDING AREAS: Racial equality, diversity, affordable housing, teen development, civic engagement
IP TAKE: Make contact with the foundation before even starting to type up a letter of inquiry. The Hyams Foundation is accessible to grantseekers and welcomes open communication throughout the application process.
PROFILE: Established in 1921, The Hyams Foundation is a private foundation based in Boston. Godfrey Hyams, a Boston metallurgist, engineer, and financier, set up a trust to make sure his money would keep going to charity after he passed. The foundation is a family affair, as the wealth of Godfrey's parents and sisters was merged into the overall assets as well. During his lifetime, Godfrey lived a simple life and anonymously gave to charitable causes in Boston. His legacy in the mining and railroad industries lives on today in the underprivileged neighborhoods of the city. The foundation’s grantmaking areas of interest include racial equality, diversity, affordable housing, teen development, and civic engagement.
In the past, there have been three types of organizations that receive Hyams’ support: ones that provide affordable housing, ones that help at-risk teenagers, and ones that get low-income minorities involved in their communities. But today, this funder is all about racial equality in Boston and Chelsea. The overarching theme of all of Hyams grantmaking is reducing racial and ethnic disparities in all areas of life. Nonprofits looking to pitch a civil engagement program to Hyams should aim to build grassroots leadership development, increase voter engagement, or further racial equality public policy. Nonprofits running a housing programs should focus proposals on sustainable homes for families of color and with low income in Boston or Chelsea neighborhoods. Teen development grant proposals should demonstrate how a nonprofit will help teenagers graduate high school and be successful in the workplace. This funder is also interested in funder collaboratives.
The foundation awards usually over 100 grants each year, most of which are under $150,000 in size. Grantseekers can find a list of paid grants by year on the foundation website. Foundation giving is centered on Massachusetts and more specifically, the Boston and Chelsea communities.
The Hyams Foundation actually encourages grantseekers to make contact with the staff before submitting a letter of inquiry. Revised grantmaking procedures went into effect in 2016, following the announcement of its new strategic direction in May 2015. To apply online, register an organization on the foundation website. There often multiple grantmaking deadlines per year; however, nonprofits can submit letters of interest at any time. Direct general questions to the foundation staff at email@example.com or 617-426-5600.
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