Boston Foundation announces 18 new grants as COVID-19 Response Fund tops $4 million raised

$825,000 distributed in past 7 days to nonprofits; weekly grant rounds continue

April 6, 2020

Boston – The Boston Foundation today announced 18 more grants to Greater Boston nonprofits as from the COVID-19 Response Fund, the community foundation’s ongoing effort to raise and distribute millions of dollars to support organizations serving groups being directly affected by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Each grantee receives a $25,000 general operating support grant, designed to give the nonprofits the greatest possible flexibility for meeting ongoing community needs. Overall, 33 grants totaling $825,000 have been distributed. More grants are planned on a rolling weekly basis, even as The Foundation continues to fundraise from large and small donors throughout the region.

“Two things remain eminently clear as we announce this second round of grants,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “First, there is tremendous ongoing need across Greater Boston as millions of us feel the impact of the pandemic on our daily lives. Second, we continue to be humbled by the generosity of donors to our fund and others, as we collectively seek to find and support individuals and groups in need. We are proud to do our part alongside other funders in this critical work.” 

This round of grantees from the COVID-19 Response Fund include: Advocates, Inc. (Framingham), Bowdoin Geneva Main Streets (Dorchester), The Centre for Faith, Art and Justice (Jamaica Plain), The Chelsea Collaborative (Chelsea), Codman Square Health Center (Dorchester), The Dimock Center (Roxbury), Doc Wayne Youth Services (Boston), FamilyAid Boston (Jamaica Plain), Healthy Waltham (Waltham), Hebrew SeniorLife (Roslindale), Interfaith Social Services (Quincy), JFS of Metrowest (Framingham), MAB Community Services/Mass. Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (Brookline), MissionSAFE: A New Beginning, Inc. (Roxbury), Mystic Valley Elder Services (Malden), New England Center for Arts and Technology (Boston), Voice of Tabernacle Multiservice Center (Mattapan), and Women Encouraging Empowerment, Inc. (Revere). Short descriptions of each organization’s work are listed at the end of the release.

“With such great need across Greater Boston, we are striving to target our funding towards organizations whose impactful, community-based work demonstrates equity in leadership and advances equity in results.” said Orlando Watkins, Vice President for Programs at the Boston Foundation. “These grantees are diverse in their geography, their size and their staffing, but they are united in their service to immigrants, seniors, and those in poverty whose needs are often invisible to the wider community and may fall through the cracks in attracting support.” 

The Boston Foundation will continue to evaluate its grantmaking in conjunction with other funds to ensure that our grants support organizations and populations that are less likely to receive funds from other sources, such as the elderly, immigrants (including the undocumented), those in extreme poverty, incarcerated and returning citizens and those struggling with domestic violence. To date, 18 of the 33 grantees have been led by people of color, as the Foundation continues to seek to improve racial equity in the relief and recovery efforts.

Overall, the Fund has received about 500 requests for funding to date; as the fund is considering applications on a rolling basis, eligible nonprofits need only apply once.

Fundraising update

Contributions to the COVID-19 Response Fund have exceeded $4 million. Boston Foundation program staff and a review team led by senior managers and Boston Foundation Directors have established the grant application and review process and are conducting the ongoing review of applications and selections. 

Major donors to the COVID-19 Response Fund include the Nike Foundation, Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, BJ’s Charitable Foundation, Wells Fargo, Comcast, Plymouth Rock Foundation, Tufts Health Plan Foundation, Cove Hill Partners, Intercontinental Exchange, IR+M Charitable Fund, Target, Citizens Charitable Foundation and TripAdvisor Foundation. 

Round 2 Grantees List:

Each grantee receives a $25,000, one-time general operating support grant from the COVID-19 Response FundNote: A link to a running list of all grantees from the COVID-19 Response Fund can be found at

Advocates, Inc. (Framingham): to provide support to continue and expand food, hygiene, and medical services to children, adults, and seniors with autism, complex mental health challenges, opioid addiction, and brain injuries.

Bowdoin Geneva Main Streets (Dorchester): to provide support to the 100% immigrant-owned business district in Bowdoin Geneva, with focuses on providing: translation services to businesses; locating funding and technical assistance; and developing a mutual assistance network.

The Centre for Faith, Art and Justice (Jamaica Plain): to provide support to increase the distribution of hot meals and grocery store gift cards to the food insecure in the Jamaica Plain community.

The Chelsea Collaborative (Chelsea): to provide support for weekly bilingual wellness calls to community members, resources to keep families stably housed, for food and cleaning kit distribution, to support applications for unemployment and other benefits, to improve access to medical care and bilingual medical information, and to advocate for an end to ICE raids and immigration enforcement.

Codman Square Health Center (Dorchester): to provide support to implement additional COVID-19 screening and medical care, expand phone triage capacity to ensure multilingual assistance, and increase personal protective equipment available for staff.

The Dimock Center (Roxbury): to provide support to sustain vital services for the city’s most vulnerable families, including: testing and treatment for COVID-19; continued primary care and behavioral health support; resource support for access to food, eviction prevention, and utility assistance; urgent treatment for substance use disorder during the ongoing opioid epidemic and homelessness prevention.

Doc Wayne Youth Services (Boston): to provide support to ensure those facing mental health challenges have access to resources during these difficult times by providing Telehealth opportunities (virtual sessions) to all ages who are seeking support.

FamilyAid Boston (Jamaica Plain): to provide support to deliver emergency supplies of food, diapers, hygiene products, and gift cards to their clients housed in shelters and apartments.

Healthy Waltham (Waltham): to provide support for the distribution of fresh food and toiletries to families and elders in the Waltham community.

Hebrew SeniorLife (Roslindale): to provide support for the continuum of care for senior clients, including temperature screening of visitors, food delivery, and virtual activities and companionship.

Interfaith Social Services (Quincy): to provide support for food pantry services that offer food and basic necessities to thousands of households on the South Shore who are suffering during this crisis.

JFS of Metrowest (Framingham): to provide support to distribute grocery store gift cards to individuals and families in the Framingham community, many of whom are immigrants.

MAB Community Services/Mass. Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (Brookline): to provide support to triage 700+ Greater Boston seniors who are blind/low vision to access their needs, deliver food, medication and essentials, and provide tele-mental health services.

MissionSAFE: A New Beginning, Inc. (Roxbury): to provide support to deliver food and supplies to 150 young people and their families.

Mystic Valley Elder Services (Malden): to provide support to meet increased requests for home-delivered meals and grocery delivery services to elders in Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Revere, Stoneham, Wakefield, and Winthrop.

New England Center for Arts and Technology (Boston): to provide support to program participants who have recently become unemployed, including counseling and connections to community resources that provide food, shelter and medical care during this difficult time.

Voice of Tabernacle Multiservice Center (Mattapan): to provide support to increase food pantry hours for the community and provide home food delivery services for elderly Haitians.

Women Encouraging Empowerment, Inc. (Revere): to provide support for the distribution of items, such as baby wipes, food and toiletries to low-income immigrant women and their families in Revere.