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Funding Organizations with Programs in Middlesex, Essex, & Suffolk Counties

Cummings Foundation awards $10 million each year through its $100K for 100 grant program. This place-based philanthropic initiative primarily supports nonprofits in the Massachusetts counties where the Foundation and its founders originally derived their funds and where staff and clients of the Cummings organization live – Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk County.

Begun in 2012 as a pilot program with 60 grants, $100K for 100 has since announced 100 grants of $100,000 each, annually. Most grants are disbursed over two to five years, depending on the size and needs of the organization. Through $100K for 100 and its other grant programs, the Foundation has awarded more than $140 million in recent years.

Cummings Foundation accepts Letters of Inquiry via its website from July 1 through October 1 each year. Following a review period, the Foundation will invite full applications from the applicants deemed to have the most potential to achieve $100K for 100 grant awards. Following the submission of these more comprehensive proposals, and then an extensive review process involving 10 four-person Grant Selection Committees, 100 grant winners will be chosen.

Organizations should submit no more than one Letter of Inquiry per grant cycle. Accordingly, larger institutions, such as colleges and hospitals, are urged to coordinate among departments before submitting any requests. 

Application Timeline:

July 1 - Oct. 1

Letters of Inquiry accepted via website

Dec. 15

Application invitations and decline notices sent via email

March 1

Full applications due from those invited to apply


Grant approval and decline letters sent via postal mail

Early June

Grantee Celebration


The $100K for 100 program primarily seeks to support nonprofits in Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties in Massachusetts. Applicants should not only be based in but also provide at least 80 percent of their services in this tri-county area. A charity that is based in this region, but has programs in other states or countries will not generally be considered for funding.

Priority is given to cities and towns where the Cummings organization operates commercial real estate, and where many of its staff members and clients live. The Foundation may sometimes give special consideration to organizations based elsewhere in the tri-county area that propose introducing programming or services in these communities.

The $100K for 100 program will fund a wide variety of local causes, especially including human services, education, healthcare, and social justice. While not in any way minimizing the value or importance of arts (including dance, music, and theater), cultural, and athletic organizations, these areas are not among this program's priorities. Additionally, animal welfare organizations are not typically considered for these grants, as the Foundation already supports animals in a significant way through the ongoing fulfillment of a $50 million commitment to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

To ensure that funds benefit a wide variety of causes, the Foundation limits the number of grants awarded each year to independent organizations affiliated with the same national organization (e.g., Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA).

A grant recipient will be eligible to apply for an additional grant after all the requirements below have been satisfied.

  • All previous Cummings Foundation grants to that organization have been fully disbursed, and at least one "gap year" has passed during which the organization did not receive $100K for 100 funding.
  • A minimum of three years has passed since the previous grant was awarded (e.g., a winner of a grant awarded in 2016 will be eligible to apply again no sooner than the 2019 grant cycle, for which LOIs will open in summer 2018).
  • All requirements stipulated in the prior Grant Agreement have been fulfilled by the recipient organization.


$100K for 100 will not generally consider requests for:

  • Endowments
  • Medical research
  • Scholarship funds
  • Relatively new entities or initiatives
  • Political, legislative, or lobbying organizations
  • Primary and secondary schools that charge tuition
  • Individuals or debt reduction, no matter how worthy
  • Religious endeavors, including faith-based schooling
  • Organizations that do not regularly file IRS Form 990
  • Major capital campaigns, unless very near completion
  • Very large organizations already supported by robust endowments
  • Organizations with the primary purpose of raising funds to distribute to individuals or other organizations
  • Organizations that do not have tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service Code
  • National or regional organizations, or local branches thereof that do not have an EIN separate from that of the larger entity
  • Organizations that discriminate based on race, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, etc.
  • Municipalities (including requests for public schools, police departments, etc.), except for the 10 communities in which the Cummings organization operates

In any grant cycle, the list of award recipients may include one or more organizations that do not strictly adhere to all of these priorities and eligibility guidelines. Such exceptions may be made in recognition of a particular relationship to or with the Foundation.

For more information and to see the complete RFP, please visit: http://www.cummingsfoundation.org/oneworldboston/index.htm

Post date: Jun 7 2017 - 10:55am
Deadline: July 1 - October 1
Program Interest: Nonprofits

133 Federal Street, Suite 802 | Boston, MA 02110
Phone: 617.426.2606
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