The Lynch Foundation: Boston Grants

OVERVIEW: This funder is a big champion for the Greater Boston area, with a particular interest in education, and a preference for projects designed to bring long-term benefit, as opposed to meeting immediate needs. 

FUNDING AREAS: Education, cultural and historic preservation, healthcare, medical research, and the religious and education efforts of the Catholic Church

IP TAKE: Public education in Boston is a huge cause for this funder. But regardless of what program area you’re working in, make sure to craft your pitch around creating sustainable social change for the long-term.

PROFILE: The Lynch Foundation was established in 1988 by Carolyn and Peter Lynch, whose had educators as parents, attended public schools, and went to college on scholarships. They have always had a passion for education, which is where a significant portion of the foundation’s grantmaking strategy lies as well. Carolyn Lynch passed away October 1, 2015 of complications of leukemia at the age of 69. Other grantmaking areas of focus are cultural and historic preservation, healthcare, medical research, and the religious and education efforts of the Catholic Church.

You can view a list of recent grant recipients on the funder’s Who We Support page. A vast majority of the recipients are based in Boston, as the foundation likes to keep its funding local. It has also awarded grants in the Massachusetts communities of Beverly, Peabody, Salem, Dorchester and Westwood. This is a foundation that views its grantees as partners and also values networking with these organizations impact the most people.

You can apply for a Lynch Foundation grant at any time, as it has a rolling application process that welcomes concept papers from nonprofits through its website throughout the year. Grants are usually awarded for less than 5 percent of a nonprofit’s total budget. Common types of awards here are: challenge grants, multi-year grants, capacity-building grants, program grants and operating grants, and endowment grants.

Overall, the Lynch Foundation is looking to support organizations that promise long-term benefits, rather than addressing shorter-term needs. Multi-year grants are common because Lynch believes in strengthening nonprofits for the long-term. Your first step as a grantseeker is to submit an electronic concept paper through Lynch’s website, and the foundation will respond with an invitation to submit a full application, or with a rejection. This response typically takes one to three months. Site visits are common at this point as well. If your organization’s full application is rejected or if you are awarded a Lynch grant, you must wait at least five years to try again for another grant.

The foundation is led by a board of directors and three staff members, and typically meets three times per year. The next generation of Lynch family members has begun to take over the family philanthropy. General questions can be directed to the foundation’s operations manager, Victoria Forman Prudden, at or 617-639-1280.


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