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Mission Grants 2019

Grants to Massachusetts Nonprofits, Private Schools, and IHEs for
Programs in Education, Health, and Housing in the Pioneer Valley

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM)

Deadline Date:

02/15/19 5:00 PM EST


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Grants ranging from $2,500 to $25,000 to Massachusetts nonprofits, private schools, universities, and religious organizations for projects and programs that benefit the residents of Pioneer Valley. Applicants must participate in a group session or scheduled phone call before applying. The Pioneer Valley includes the counties of Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire.

The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts has a preference for an overall award portfolio that represents the following sectors: arts and culture, education, environment, health, housing, and human services as well as organizations of various budget sizes.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 169808

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant range: $2,500 to $25,000.

Based on CFWM geographic fund restrictions we anticipate awarding grants that benefit residents as follows:

- 60% of funding for Hampden County, with significant proportion of funds targeted to Springfield
- 20% of funding for Hampshire County
- 20% of funding for Franklin County

Term of Contract:

The project time frame is defined by the applicant but must be up to one year from the grant award date. Multi-year funding is rarely granted.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

General Organization Eligibility:

- Applying organizations must be recognized as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
- Organizations that do not have public charity status may apply for grants if fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) public charity.
- Private education and religious organizations with projects that serve broad community needs.
- Must be serving residents of Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties in the Pioneer Valley.
- Must be current with all CFWM grant report requirements.

Specific eligibility criteria for programs benefiting schools:

Public Schools (Preschool through 12th grade):
-All applications must come from 501(c)(3) organizations for the benefit of public school systems, including charter schools.
-Requests for support for capital improvements, core staff salaries, or technology (hardware and software) will not be considered.
-Projects benefiting public schools (preschool through 12th grade) including charter schools, may include value-added special programming that could involve after-school and summer programs, community service projects, and extra-curricular programs.

Private Schools (Preschool through 12th grade) where 50% or more of income is generated from state, federal, or municipal funding sources:
-All applications for private school programming must come from 501(c)(3) entities.
-Requests for educational scholarships will not be considered.
-Requests may follow general grant guidelines.

For Private schools (preschool through 12th grade) where less than 50% of income is generated from state, federal or municipal funding sources:
-Projects must benefit the community beyond the school’s population.

Colleges or Universities (Public or Private):
- Requests will not be considered for operating expenses, projects, and activities, or equipment which are within the primary instructional and service responsibility of a college or university and are limited for the college, university or school faculty, staff and students.
-Requests for funding of projects and activities provided by colleges or universities must demonstrate benefit to the community; provide documentation of community involvement in the planning and the implementation of the project; and include letters of support from community organizations with their application.

Nonprofits seeking support to work directly with schools:
-Organizations must provide letters of collaboration or copies of signed agreement forms from the Principal or Superintendent of school(s) the organization will be working with during the project.

For all applicants:
Requests for educational scholarships, including higher education scholarships, will not be considered.

Ineligible Activities:
-General Operating Support Grants. Exceptions may be made for very small organizations that are limited in scope and only operate one program.
-Projects that were funded by CFWM less than one year prior to the new application.
-Retroactive funding for activities or expenses that have already occurred prior to the grant decision date.
-Fundraising events, the purchase of tickets for benefits, or courtesy advertising.
-Projects that seek to directly or indirectly influence legislation or election campaigns; activities related to influencing government policies, permitting or regulations will not be considered.
-Higher education scholarships. Note: CFWM offers scholarships and interest free education loans to which individuals may apply.

Only in rare circumstances and with prior approval would CFWM fund:
-Requests for academic or medical research
-Replacement of governmental or other public funding; exceptions may be made for grants bridging periods before anticipated funding;
-Multi-year funding

Pre-proposal Conference:

All potential grant applicants must participate in a scheduled phone call or engage in a small group in-person session with the Mission Program Officer in order to be eligible for this grant competition. The opportunity to sign-up for these opportunities will take place starting January 2, 2019 and will close on February 8, 2019.

Based on available resources a maximum of 100 pre-application phone and small-group slots will be made available for potential applicants. Once the 100 slots are full the Foundation will take names for a waiting list. The Foundation reserves the right to close this program prior to February 8, 2019 if capacity is reached.

To schedule a call or register for a small group in-person session please click here:

Pre-Application Information:

Important Dates:

- Schedule a call or register for a small group in-person session with the Mission Program Officer. The opportunity to sign-up for a session will take place starting January 2, 2019 and will close on February 8, 2019.
- Application opens: January 7, 2019
- Submission deadline: February 15, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. EST
- Reviews/site visits: April – May, 2019
- Decision date: May 29,2019
- Notification to applicants: Mid-late June 2019


Ineligible Activities:


General grantmaking information and links:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Mission Program Officer Sheila Toto

Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts
333 Bridge St
Springfield, MA 01103
Ph: 413.732.2858
Fax: 413.733.8565

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts: Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties in the Pioneer Valley