To complement our program area-targeted approach, the Boston Foundation distributes a portion of its resources via its Open Door Grants program, which responds to expressed opportunities and needs in the communities we serve.
We encourage new and existing nonprofit organizations in Greater Boston that are not currently aligned with the strategies, goals and approaches pursued in the Foundation's five impact areas to pursue open Door Grants for support of their efforts to meet existing needs or test new Ideas and innovations that address the most critical challenges and biggest opportunities facing our community.
For more general information about the program, review the guidelines below. You can also explore our Open Door Grants FAQs.
An eligible applicant would be an existing or new organization that:
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, 501(c)(4) organizations, and Section 501(a)(3) Type III Non-functionally Integrated organizations are not eligible to apply. In addition, grants are not made to individual persons or individual schools. Schools must apply through their school districts and districts may submit one application every 12 months.
Complete an online narrative application. If your organization received an Open Door Grant and you wish to apply for a second year of support for the same program or work, please see the Renewals section below.
DeadlinesThe Foundation considers applications biannually for Open Door Grants. The upcoming application dates are listed below.
Applicants Notified (via email)
|February 1, 2019||Mid-June 2019|
August 1, 2019
We do not accept more than one application per 12 month period. If you have any questions regarding when your organization is eligible to resubmit an application for funding, please email us and a member of our team will be happy to assist you.
All applications are reviewed holistically. Generally, we take into account many funding considerations when reviewing applications. In addition to those criteria, the Foundation aims to maintain a diverse funding portfolio and considers a variety of other factors such as commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, budget size, geographic area served, service population and mission when determining which applicants are selected for investment.
A site visit or meeting is not required for consideration; however, a member of our grant review team may reach out to your organization to request a phone call in the event she/he/they have additional questions about your application.
Due to the open and responsive nature of Open Door Grants. the program is very competitive. Demand far outpaces available resources. In the first two years of the program, 20% of applicants received a grant. You can learn more about our staff's reflections on the program's previous year of grant making by reading our blog post.
Open Door Grants are provided for one year of support at a time. We will, however, consider a second-year application if an organization is awarded a grant. The limit for consecutive annual support is two years, after which an organization must wait 12 months following the completion of their second-year grant period before applying again for support. Approximately 25% of grantees who apply for renewal funding receive a second year of support. Please note that you may only apply for renewal funding if your organization is applying for the same project/work as your original funded application. There is no limit to the total number of open Door Grants an organization can receive.
Current grantees who have been supported for only one year may reapply for support 12 months after their initial application. To apply for a second year of funding, please complete the online renewal application form.