The Cummings Foundation in Woburn, Massachusetts, has combined its $100K for 100 and Sustaining Grants initiatives into a new program, the Cummings $20 Million Grant Program, through which it will award a total of $20 million to nonprofits in 2020.
The program seeks to fund a variety of local causes, especially those related to human services, education, health care, and social justice. To that end, the foundation and seventy of its volunteers will identify a hundred and twenty-five organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each (payable over two to five years). Among the winners will be first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that have previously received grants of $100,000 from the foundation. A limited number of organizations in this latter group will then be invited to make an in-person presentation proposing that their grant be elevated to a long-term award, with twenty-five such requests being granted in the form of ten-year awards ranging (mostly) from $200,000 to $500,000 each. This long-term funding is available only to nonprofits that have previously received a $100,000 grant from the foundation.
At least half of the grants will be determined by volunteers. The other awards will be Early Decision grants determined by foundation staff through an internal process.
The program is a place-based initiative that for the most part looks to suppors nonprofits in the Massachusetts counties where the Cummings Foundation operates commercial properties and where most staff and clients of Cummings Foundation and Cummings Properties live — Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk County. Applicants should not only be headquartered in but also provide at least 50 percent of their services in this tri-county area. In addition, all funding requests should focus exclusively on operations within the tri-county area.
Special consideration will be given to nonprofits based in the eleven cities and towns where the Cummings organization operates commercial real estate. The foundation may also give consideration to organizations that are based elsewhere in the tri-county area and propose introducing programming or services in one or more of those eleven communities, especially Woburn.
Letters of Inquiry are due September 6 at 5:00 p.m. and must be submitted via the foundation’s online portal. Organizations should submit no more than one LOI per grant cycle. Larger institutions, such as colleges and hospitals, are urged to coordinate among departments before submitting any requests. Foundation staff will be available to prospective applicants to answer questions up until the LOI deadline.
Full applications will be due from those invited to apply In January 2020, and applicants selected for consideration for ten-year awards will be contacted during the week of April 13 and invited to make a presentation to foundation volunteers.