The SIF team is excited to deliver the exciting news about receiving the $500K Cummings Foundation grant!
The Social Innovation Forum (SIF) is one of 150 local nonprofits that will share in $30 million through Cummings Foundation’s major annual grants program. The Boston-based organization was selected from a total of 630 applicants during a competitive review process. It will receive $500,000 over 10 years.
The Social Innovation Forum catalyzes the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors by convening conversations, building collective capacity, and connecting the region’s most innovative nonprofits with supporters who help drive impact.
We are so excited to be one of many recipients of the Cummings Foundation funding, and especially to receive notice of 10 years of support, said Susan Musinsky, SIF’s Executive Director.
This support will help ensure that our program offerings continue to evolve and stay relevant to the needs of our community. We hope to build program participants’ connections to one another, expand their access to our funder community, as well as offer new opportunities for further collaboration.
SIF plans to use this funding to increase its program offerings for more than 220 small nonprofits through workshops, learning cohorts, executive coaching, and individual supports.
The Cummings $30 Million Grant Program primarily supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the areas where it owns commercial property. Its buildings are all managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. This Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 11 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.
“The way the local nonprofit sector perseveres, steps up, and pivots to meet the shifting needs of the community is most impressive,” said Cummings Foundation executive director Joyce Vyriotes. “We are incredibly grateful for these tireless efforts to support people in the community and to increase equity and access to opportunities.”
About 90 volunteers made the majority of the grant decisions. They worked across a variety of committees to review and discuss the proposals and then, together, determine which requests would be funded. Among these community volunteers were business and nonprofit leaders, mayors, college presidents, and experts in areas such as finance and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion).
“It would not be possible for the Foundation to hire the diversity and depth of expertise and insights that our volunteers bring to the process,” said Vyriotes. “We so appreciate the substantial time and thought they dedicated toward ensuring that our democratized version of philanthropy results in equitable outcomes that will really move the needle on important issues in local communities.”
The Foundation and volunteers first identified 150 organizations to receive three-year grants of up to $225,000 each. The winners included first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that had previously received Cummings grants. Twenty-five of this latter group of repeat recipients were then selected by a volunteer panel to have their grants elevated to 10-year awards ranging from $300,000 to $1 million each.
This year’s grant recipients represent a wide variety of causes, including housing and food insecurity, workforce development, immigrant services, social justice, education, and mental health services. The nonprofits are spread across 46 different cities and towns.
Cummings Foundation has now awarded $480 million to Greater Boston nonprofits. The complete list of this year’s 150 grant winners, plus nearly 1,500 previous recipients, is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.
About Social Innovation Forum
The Social Innovation Forum's mission is to create positive social change in Eastern Massachusetts. We do this by engaging leaders, strengthening organizations, and building networks. We describe our work as “a marketplace approach” to social change – one in which SIF engages diverse stakeholders in collaborating to accelerate purposeful, positive social change. Since 2003, the Social Innovation Forum has directed more than $59 million in cash and in-kind services to more than 120 portfolio organizations.
About Cummings Foundation
Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings of Winchester, MA and has grown to be one of the largest private foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities, in Marlborough and Woburn, and Cummings Health Sciences, LLC. Additional information is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.