Orville W. Forté Charitable Foundation: Boston Grants

OVERVIEW: This funder exclusively supports organizations that work with disadvantaged youth in the Greater Boston area. Grants average $5,000 and go toward program and operating support.

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: Based in West Newton, Massachusetts, the Orville W. Forté Charitable Foundation supports organizations that work with disadvantaged youth in Greater Boston. This private funder was established in 1952 as the Forté, Dupee, Sawyer Charitable Foundation, Inc. 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.”

Forté has a single focus: disadvantaged youth in and around the city of Boston. It supports organizations located within Route 495, as well as New Bedford and Fall River. 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.

Since 2015, this foundation has operated through a donor-advised fund at Fidelity Charitable. 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.

Applications should emailed to the foundation at apply@owfortefdn.org. The funder typically accepts applications in advance of an annual February 15 deadline.

The foundation has a nine-member grants committee that reviews the grant applications and makes spring visits in the spring and summer seasons. There are six members on the foundation’s board of directors, all Forté family members. OWFCF announces new grantees in the fall of each year and pays grantees by early December.

Past grants have gone to the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Generation Citizen Boston, Waltham Fields Community Farm, and Coaching4Change. Most OWFCF grants are between $2,500 and $10,00, with average grants being around $5,000. In addition to youth programs, the foundation has in recent years supported causes like the American Textile History Museum and Artists for Humanity. These grants tend to be around $1,000 to $2,000 in size.

General inquiries should be emailed to the staff at info@owfortefdn.org or mailed to 888 Watertown Street, West Newton, Massachusetts 02465.


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