The Safety Net Grants program is designed to support social service organizations that respond to essential needs for marginalized communities and vulnerable residents in Greater Boston.
Built upon our now-closed Open Door Grants program, Safety Net Grants provide an opportunity to provide much-needed general operating funds to nonprofits addressing critical, immediate and essential needs for people throughout the region.
Safety Net Grants are $50,000, two-year general operating support grants, paid in two equal annual installments of $25,000. Essential needs are defined as resources that restore health, wellness, safety and belonging for individuals or families in crisis. They can include, but are not limited to:
Grants are offered twice each year - once in the spring and once in the fall. Information on the program is available via the Quick Links box, or elsewhere on the page below. If you have specific questions, please send an e-mail to email@example.com or call 617-338-4508.
This session offered potential applicants to the Safety Net Grants program a chance to learn more about the eligibility requirements, application process and selection criteria.
Eligible Organizations primarily serve communities historically excluded from institutional philanthropy in Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk counties with a focus on the communities of greatest need as defined by the supplemental poverty measure (SPM). An eligible applicant would also meet the following criteria:
We are especially interested in organizations that are:
If you applied for the Safety Net Grants February 15th deadline, you are not eligible to apply for the upcoming September 26th deadline.
The Safety Net Grants team uses a version of participatory grantmaking—the practice of centering affected communities in grant-making decisions by giving them the power to decide which organizations to fund. We use a mixture of staff and community reviewers to guide our decision making process and final grant decisions are approved by our board. Community reviewers represent a diverse group of nonprofit leaders in Greater Boston and are responsible for the final grant recommendations for the program. Staff at the Boston Foundation participate in the prescreen round of grant making. The goal is to deepen this practice over the next several rounds.