Orville W. Forté Charitable Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Orville W. Forté Charitable Foundation exclusively supports organizations that work with disadvantaged youth in the Greater Boston area.

FUNDING AREAS: Disadvantaged youth in Greater Boston 

IP TAKE: Pitch this funder a program or a request for general operating support of up to $10,000. Program support is more common, but almost all grants go toward local causes that benefit underserved youth.

PROFILE: Established in 1952 originally as the Forté, Dupee, Sawyer Charitable Foundation, the Orville W. Forté Charitable Foundation is based in West Newton, Massachusetts. According to the foundation, “An important reason for its founding was Orville W. Forté's belief that annual support of public charities should not depend on the vicissitudes of the wool trade, the business of the foundation's corporate parent.” With regard to grantmaking, this foundation supports organizations that work with disadvantaged youth in Greater Boston.  

Forté has a single focus, which is disadvantaged youth in and around the city of Boston. In addition to youth programs, the foundation has in recent years supported causes like the American Textile History Museum and Artists for Humanity. Since 2015, this foundation has operated through a donor-advised fund at Fidelity Charitable. The bulk of OWFCF grants are made for program support and general operating support, however, the funder occasionally provides equipment and capital support, as well. Past grants have gone to the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Generation Citizen Boston, Waltham Fields Community Farm, and Coaching4Change.

Most OWFCF grants are between $2,000 and $10,00, with average grants being around $5,000. View a list of grants awarded on the funder’s website. The Greater Boston area is the geographic focus of this funder. It supports organizations located within Route 495, as well as New Bedford and Fall River.

This foundation accepts unsolicited grant requests from nonprofits. To apply for a grant with OWFCF, the foundation suggests using the Associated Grant Makers Common Proposal Form. Applicants will also need to provide financial statements (audited if available), a list of directors and trustees, and proof of 501(c)(3) status. Email applications to the foundation at apply@owfortefdn.org. The funder typically accepts applications in advance of an annual February 15 deadline. OWFCF announces new grantees in the fall of each year and pays grantees by early December. Direct general inquiries to the staff at info@owfortefdn.org.


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