Considerations for Funding

Open Door Grants advice

Greater Boston nonprofits often ask us about how to write a competitive, compelling grant proposal that best positions them for a Boston Foundation grant. In the spirit of openness and transparency, the Foundation wishes to share a brief overview of general criteria that we reference when we assess the strength of a nonprofit’s Open Door Grants application.

The Foundation strives to maintain a diverse Open Door Grants portfolio that is responsive to the community’s stated needs. In addition to the criteria listed below, we also consider an applicant’s geography served, budget size, service population and mission, among other factors, when determining which applicants the Foundation ultimately selects for investment.

Organizational Strength

  • Clear organizational mission and vision
  • Strong emphasis on learning from a measurement/assessment plan
  • Overall financial health
  • Strong staff and board leadership that is diverse and representative of the community that the organization serves

Proposal’s Potential for Impact

  • Clearly defined need
  • Impact of the proposed work on the population served
  • Impact of the proposed work on organization’s ability to meet its mission
  • Clear definition of proposal’s success
  • Use of new and creative concepts, approaches, and/or tools (for Innovation/New Idea applications only)

Organization’s Ability to Deliver on Proposal

  • Feasible and realistic implementation plan
  • Organization’s collaboration and partnerships with other nonprofits and the community served by the proposal
  • Necessary expertise to accomplish the proposal’s work
  • Financial capability to advance the proposal’s work

Please explore the Open Door Grants webpages to learn more and access an application form. Have additional questions? Visit the Open Door Grants FAQs page or e-mail us at VW9+Er4aFKOE3YDaURLIbK+GJZEm9Ie6BMp8pouhjEhjzcQB2qP3xYRdsH6bXAvkU68QSp6c29zt3Nn2KIQzZpdMlt+Kc+ltzRQW29KFrFWiC79qLU8zmRcZxDAWIDDJB8PMNLX9mJnQBObfMJn84+3QnbaKTanAnziOaMybHhg= and a member of our staff will respond to your request promptly.