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Boston Foundation announces $530,000 in second round of Open Door Grants funding

Funds include five grants aimed at affordable housing development, housing stabilization, or aid to the formerly homeless.

December 14, 2016

Boston – The Boston Foundation announced Tuesday that 20 nonprofit organizations – the second recipients of the Foundation’s newest grantmaking program – would receive one-year grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 in size. Nine of the recipients are established nonprofits; five are building organizational capacity, and another six are in an innovative stage of development.

The Open Door Grants program was unveiled last spring by the Boston Foundation, with a series of public information sessions around Greater Boston.  The grants are designed to respond to the expressed ideas and needs of the community, and this fiscal year, the Foundation allocated approximately $2 million to the program.  Response has been quite strong, with more than 300 applicants received in the first two quarters.  The first group of grantees was announced in October; this quarter’s grantees bring the total number of Open Door Grants recipients to 44.

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.  Open Door Grants is an annual program with quarterly application deadlines; the next deadline is March 1, 2017.


“When the Open Door Grants program was initiated, I described it as something of a throwback,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of The Boston Foundation. “It really does represent the way community foundations functioned in generations past, by issuing grants as a direct response to the expressed needs of the community. I am encouraged by the response of the community – the hundreds of applications that have been submitted and the dozens of recipients to date. I look forward to the continued growth of the Open Door Grants program, as we strengthen our relationships with organizations on the front lines of social change.”

The December 2016 recipients of Open Door Grants:

  • Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) - $25,000 to ABCD, whose mission is to empower disadvantaged people by providing them with the tools to overcome poverty, live with dignity, and achieve their full potential, for emergency fuel assistance for low-income households that have exhausted their government-funded fuel subsidy.
  • Boston NAACP - $20,000 for one-year of capacity building support to Boston NAACP, which works to eliminate the impact of racial discrimination in housing, employment, voting, health care, education, and the courts, to create a committee chair development program that will allow the organization to provide individual support for organizational leaders, build effective teams and committees to drive the mission forward..
  • Caribbean Integration Community Development (CICD) - $20,000 to support costs associated with enhancing staffing, programming, budgeting, and fundraising. CICD creates affordable housing in Boston neighborhoods with large numbers of people of Caribbean descent.
  • Catie’s Closet, Inc. - $25,000 to open a new distribution center in West Roxbury, serving Boston students. Catie’s Closet provides clothing and basic necessities for at-risk youths, ages pre-K-12th grade, through in-school “closets.”
  • Clean Water Fund (CWF) - $35,000 to CWF, which works to develop strong grassroots environmental leadership and to bring together diverse constituencies, for support of its work with the Boston Recycling Coalition on By Boston, for Boston: Planning our Zero Waste Economy.
  • FamilyAid Boston - $25,000 to this organization that aims to prevent and end family homelessness, to maintain and expand its Family Stability Program, which seeks to prevent family homelessness or rehouse homeless families as quickly as possible.
  • Hawthorne Youth and Community Center (HYCC) - $30,000 to HYCC, based in Roxbury’s Highland Park neighborhood, which provides educational, cultural, and recreational programs for local youth and adults and recognizes and celebrates the rich diversity of the community, to hire an executive director, expand the Grow It! Cook It! Share It! Program, and offer art and cooking classes.
  • History UnErased - $20,000 to this organization that prepares K-12 educators to teach every child about the role LGBTQ history has played in our nation and world, for the “Give Voice to History” project to develop an LGBTQ-focused academic curriculum for K-12 classrooms.
  • Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly (JCHE) - $25,000 in general operating support to JCHE, which manages and develops affordable elder housing, to maintain its current work and expand innovative new advocacy and research efforts.
  • Jumpstart for Young Children, Inc. (JYC) - $25,000 to JYC, a nonprofit that trains volunteers to provide language, literacy, and social-emotional programming for preschool children, for its Early Education in Public Housing Communities pilot, which will prepare children in Boston Public Housing for success in school.
  • MAB Community Services, Inc. - $25,000 to support the Greater Boston Assistive Technology Initiative for Seniors with Sight Loss. MAB Community Services works with individuals with disabilities to eliminate barriers and create opportunities.
  • Massachusetts Senior Action Council (MSAC) - $30,000 in general operating support to MSAC, which advocates with its members for key public policy and community issues that affect the health and well-being of low-income seniors and people living with disabilities, to support the Campaign for Affordable and Accessible Transit in Greater Boston.
  • Neighbor to Neighbor – Massachusetts - $30,000 to NNM, a statewide membership organization that works to develop leaders from low-income areas and increase voter participation, for “A Bright Future for All: Lifting Voices of the New Majority in Lynn” to develop members’ capacity to participate in civic life beyond voting and to ultimately establish a Citizens’ Task Force to engage in the City of Lynn’s planning and development process.
  • New England International Donors (NEID) - $10,000 to NEID, a community of engaged Boston-based global philanthropists learning, giving, investing and partnering together to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure peace and human rights for all, to build internal capacity.
  • Noonan Scholars - $25,000 for general operating support to help high-achieving low-income students of color gain admission to selective colleges and graduate with a degree, experience, and the skills necessary for a successful career and life.
  • Pine Street Inn - $50,000 for the “Moving On” Pilot Program to help formerly homeless tenants move to independent living. Pine Street Inn is New England’s leading and largest resource for homeless and formerly homeless adults.
  • Project Citizenship - $25,000 for general operating support to focus on increasing the rate at which immigrants in Greater Boston and beyond become citizens.
  • Rise Above Foundation - $10,000 for general operating support, to fulfill the requests of 300 Greater Boston youth in foster care who wish to participate in summer camp, sporting, music and other activities. Rise Above Foundation provides Massachusetts foster youth access to healthy extracurricular activities.
  • Save the Harbor/Save the Bay (SHSB) - $50,000 for general operating support to SHSB, which seeks to restore and protect Boston Harbor, regional beaches and the Boston Harbor Islands so that everyone in the region can enjoy these natural assets.
  • Union Capital Boston - $25,000 for the “Building Civic Engagement to Improve Employment Outcomes” project to hire a paid part-time organizer and to formalize its Diamond Leaders Fellowship Program. Union Capital Boston uses a mobile app to reward low-income parents for their volunteerism and participation.