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Boston Foundation announces nearly $650,000 in first round of Open Door Grants funding

October 12, 2016

Boston – The Boston Foundation announced Tuesday that 24 nonprofit organizations – the first recipients of the Foundation’s newest grantmaking program – would receive one-year grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 in size. Ten of the recipients are established nonprofits; seven are building organizational capacity, and another seven are in an innovative stage of development.

While the Open Door Grants program is relatively new the concept bucks a national trend among charitable foundations, which are increasingly staying away from grantmaking ideas generated by grassroots organizations whose work is “outside the box.”

“The Open Door Grants program is unique and in many ways a throwback,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “As its name suggests, it is an open process and responds to the expressed needs of the community. We continue to maintain and grow a robust grantmaking program in our major impact areas. But the Open Door Grants program is an excellent way for us to also help those whose work is focused on other areas.”

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.

The Fall 2016 recipients of Open Door Grants:

  • 1647 - $25,000 to 1647, an organization working to redefine family engagement as a partnership between families and schools that is essential to school success, to support its training and coaching program which is implementing a three-step family engagement strategy in schools with high-risk, underserved students.
  •  Aspire Developmental Services, Inc.  - $30,000 to support Aspire Early Support, a home visiting program for pregnant and postpartum women with social/environmental risk factors.
  • Baraka Community Wellness - $25,000 to support the Healthy Moms Healthy Kids program, an evidence-based program designed to engage mothers and children in fitness, nutrition, health coaching, and social support programming.
  • Boston Harbor Now - $15,000 for the BHN communications strategy and web consulting project.
  • Chelsea Collaborative, Inc. - $20,000 for general operating support for this organization whose mission is to empower Chelsea residents to enhance the social, environmental and economic health of the community and its people.
  • Compass Working Capital - $35,000 for the Compass Rent-to-Save Pilot in Cambridge Public Housing, which will provide participants with financial education and coaching.
  • Elizabeth Stone House - $35,000 to train all staff in a unified approach to addressing trauma across the organization using an evidence-based trauma treatment model.
  • Gedakina - $15,000 to expand the youth outreach program coordinator from part-time to full-time to enable expanded outreach to Boston Native American youth.
  • Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center, Inc. - $10,000 to continue drop-in services at the center for Chinese-speaking elders.
  • Greater Lynn Senior Services, Inc. - $50,000 to expand the “Kiosks for Living Well” project.
  • Health Care Without Walls - $50,000 for the expansion of its Bridges to Elders program to homeless women not currently eligible for those services.
  • Housing Families - $49,733 to support the G.R.E.A.T. program that provides trauma-informed services to homeless children and their families.
  • InnerCity Weightlifting - $35,000 for general operating support in this program whose mission is to reduce youth violence.
  • Jewish Family Services of Metrowest, Inc. - $30,000 for its JFS Patient Navigator Program to provide an Enhanced Transportation and Medical Escort Program for Elders.
  • Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights - $30,000 to support a study commissioned by the Greater Boston Latino Network on the state of Latino-led nonprofits in Greater Boston with the hope of strengthening Latino leadership and capacity.
  • Madonna Hall - $30,000 to mental health agency Maria Droste Services for support of its expansion efforts to serve more clients.
  • MassINC - $15,000 to Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth to support the development of a web tool and to engage stakeholders to help develop the public relations and marketing plan, as well as the content and site design.
  • Reimagine Play - $25,000 for a pilot project to provide equitable access to innovative youth physical activities in Boston.
  • Somerville Community Corporation - $30,000 for general operating support for this nonprofit that develops and preserves affordable housing.
  • South Boston en Acción - $10,000 for general operating support to sustain its work with Latino families in South Boston to achieve individual and family goals and to develop leadership that builds the collective power of the community to make improvements in housing, education, and civic engagement.
  • United South End Settlements - $20,000 for a strategic planning project, A Vision Forward: Uses 2.0, for South End and Lower Roxbury residents and low-income residents of Boston, in general.
  • VSA Massachusetts - $20,000 to support the rebuilding of its Cultural Inclusion Department to enable the organization to effectively respond to the needs and opportunities identified by the Boston Creates planning process.
  • William Monroe Trotter Institute for the Study of Black History and Culture - $25,000 for its Rising Tide Leadership Initiative to bring together elder social justice activists and young leaders.
  • Youth Harbors - $20,000 for general operating support to continue creating educational opportunities and pathways to self-sufficient adulthood for high school students facing homelessness and without consistent family support.