WOBURN, August 15, 2017 – Woburn-based Cummings Foundation has created a new annual grants program that will effectively double the Foundation’s local grant giving from $100 million to $200 million over the next 10 years. The program – called Sustaining Grants – will award an additional $10 million in funding annually among about 30 local nonprofit organizations. Funds will be disbursed over 10 years in installments of between $20,000 and $50,000 per year.
This program builds upon Cummings Foundation’s existing $100K for 100 program. First offered in 2012, $100K for 100 annually awards multi-year grants of $100,000 each to 100 nonprofits that are based in and serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. Together, the two grant programs will now enable Cummings Foundation to award $20 million each year in support of local nonprofits.
Sustaining Grants grew from the Foundation’s interest in helping nonprofits with long-term financial support according to Joyce Vyriotes, deputy director of Cummings Foundation. In May of 2017, the Foundation announced the winners of a pilot version of the program, awarding a total of $2.5 million to five local nonprofits.
“This is such an enormous validation of the work we do,” said Jen Faigel, executive director of CommonWealth Kitchen and one of the recipients of a pilot Sustaining Grant. “For someone to have enough confidence, trust, and faith in us to invest in us long-term – that’s really unusual in the nonprofit sector.”
Recipients of 2018 Sustaining Grants will be chosen from a pool of former $100K for 100 winners whose grants are now in their final year. The selections will be based primarily on the input of a 23-member volunteer Site Visits Committee, which includes former state legislators, CEOs of companies and organizations in Greater Boston, a retired justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and a well-known Boston Globe reporter, among many others.
The Sustaining Grants selection process will be carried out over the next eight months, with the winners expected to be notified in April. Committee members will conduct site visits with each nonprofit being considered for a grant to learn how the $100K for 100 funds helped to advance its mission, and how it might put a 10-year grant to use.
“The Sustaining Grants program allows the Foundation to recognize and support organizations that have been deemed to be providing exemplary services to local communities,” said Vyriotes. “It will also serve to increase other nonprofits’ chances of winning $100K for 100 grants, as the Sustaining Grants recipients will be removed from consideration for future $100K for 100 programs for the duration of their new awards.”
Cummings Foundation has already awarded nearly $200 million in Greater Boston alone. It aims to give back in the areas where it owns commercial buildings, as the portfolio is owned and operated for the sole benefit of the Foundation, and managed on a pro bono basis by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. Founded in 1970 by Bill Cummings of Winchester, the Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages more than 10 million square feet of space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.
About Cummings Foundation
Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings. With nearly $2 billion in assets, it is one of the three largest private foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities in Marlborough and Woburn. It has distributed more than $70 million to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University – its largest commitment to date. Additional information is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.