Open Door Grants

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The Boston Foundation allocates a portion of its discretionary grant-making dollars to Open Door Grants, an open process designed to respond to the expressed ideas and needs of the community. Open Door Grants are made to nonprofits that are not directly aligned with the strategies, goals and approaches pursued in the five impact areas the Foundation has focused on since 2009 and will continue to focus on until at least 2020. New and existing nonprofit organizations in Greater Boston are encouraged to look to Open Door Grants to support their efforts to meet existing needs as well as test new ideas and innovations that address the most critical challenges facing our community.

 Eligibility Frequently Asked Questions Ready to Apply? 

What types of support will be available to both Open Door Grant infographicnew and existing organizations:

  • General operating support
  • Project support (including capacity-building projects)


Note: If your organization does work on behalf of seniors or individuals with physical disabilities, you are especially encouraged to apply for an Open Door Grant as the Foundation has funds specifically designated for these purposes.

Open Door Grants will be made for one year at a time and for up to two years in a row, with a renewal application required for those seeking a second year of funding. Grantees receiving two consecutive years of funding will be asked to wait 12 months following the completion of their two-year grant period before applying for an additional Open Door Grant. Grants will generally range from $10,000 to $50,000.

What will be required:

  • Online application (there is no Letter of Interest).
  • Completion of select fields within an abbreviated Giving Common profile. To request a profile or confirm that select fields in your existing profile are up-to-date, please e-mail Giving Common staff. Applications will not be considered without having completed the select fields by the ODG application deadline. 
  • Completion of pre- and post-award surveys (if selected for a grant).


Please read through the Frequently Asked Questions for additional important information about Open Door Grants.  If you still have questions, email opendoor@tbf.org and a member of our grants management team can assist you.

Helpful Hints

Please note that the Boston Foundation’s online application forms work best with Internet Explorer.  We are working on a system that will enable the forms to work with additional Internet browsers, such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.  In the meantime, we encourage you to use Internet Explorer when filling out online applications or reports.  Also, be sure to close your internet browser between sessions or it will open a new, blank form rather than your saved form.

Eligibility

Who is eligible:

  • Existing or new start-up organizations that fall within our five impact areas but are not highly aligned with the strategies, goals and approaches in those impact areas.
  • Existing or new start-up organizations that do not serve our five impact areas (examples include, but are not limited to environmental, civic engagement and human services organizations).

All applicants must:

  • Be a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit or operate under the fiscal sponsorship of a tax-exempt nonprofit
  • Primarily serve the people of the cities and towns in the Foundation’s catchment area, with the exception of regional, statewide or national public policy efforts that may benefit a substantial portion of the people in the Foundation’s catchment area.
  • Align with the Foundation’s Values Statement, which seeks to broaden participation, foster collaboration, and heal racial, ethnic and community divisions.
  • Not discriminate in the hiring of staff or the provision of services on the basis of race, religion, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability.
  • Not be in direct conflict with the strategies, goals and approaches pursued by the Foundation’s five impact areas (for example, given the focus of the Structural Reform strategy of the Foundation’s Education impact area, proposals that aim to limit or block charter schools will not be considered for a grant).

Exclusions:

The Boston Foundation does not make grants for capital construction costs, endowments, medical or academic research, scholarships, sectarian or religious purposes, or to support candidates for political office.  Private non-operating foundations, 509(c)(4) organizations, and Section 509(a)(3) Type III Non-functionally Integrated organizations are not eligible to apply.  In addition, grants are not made to individual persons.  Individual schools must apply through their school districts and districts may submit one application every 12 months.

Please read through the Frequently Asked Questions for additional important information about Open Door Grants.  If you still have questions, email opendoor@tbf.org and a member of our grants management team can assist you. 


Ready to Apply?

The Foundation accepts applications within quarterly deadlines for Open Door Grants. 

Application Deadline

 

 Board Meeting for Grants Approval

 

Applicants

Notified

June 1, 2017     October 2017   October 2017
September 1, 2017   December 2017   December 2017 
December 1, 2017   March 2018   March 2018
March 1, 2018   July 2018   July 2018

 

Please complete the following application checklist:

  • Confirm your organization’s work is within the Foundation’s geographic area served.
  • Review information on Open Door Grants to ensure your organization’s work is eligible for funding and to access the application form.
  • Confirm that you either already have an up to date Giving Common profile or have reached out for an abbreviated profile that is required for submission of an Open Door Grant application.  Giving Common staff are available to support you throughout the process via e-mail and by phone (617-338-1624). Applications will not be considered without having completed an abbreviated profile by the application deadline.
  • Complete an online application (see below)

Application Forms:

  • New application – Please use this application if you are a first time applicant to Open Door Grants or applied previously but were denied funding.
  • Renewal application – Please use this application if you received a grant from Open Door Grants within the last 18 months and are applying for the same project/work as your previously funded project.

Please read through the Frequently Asked Questions for additional important information about Open Door Grants.  If you still have questions, email opendoor@tbf.org and a member of our grants management team can assist you.