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Community Grant Program: Operating and Project Support

Grants to Massachusetts Nonprofits for Projects to
Benefit Local Communities in Eligible Regions

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Greater Worcester Community Foundation (GWCF)

Conf. Date:

08/04/21

Deadline Date:

09/15/21

Description:

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Grants of up to $25,000 and grants of up to $50,000 to Massachusetts nonprofit organizations for programs to benefit the community in eligible regions. Funding areas of interest include families, health and wellbeing, and local arts and culture. Priority will be given to projects that emphasize racial equity and inclusivity. Funding is intended to benefit the Greater Worcester Region.

GWCF has been on a learning journey to better understand how to leverage and streamline resources entrusted to the Foundation to make the most meaningful impact in communities. These strategic areas -- Health & Wellbeing, Thriving Families, and Creative Worcester -- have emerged as the Foundation's current priorities, and will be continuously honed.

  • Health and Wellbeing Strengthening the systems that ensure those from historically excluded populations have equitable access to healthcare and behavioral healthcare. Strategies include:
    • Expanding access to behavioral health services
    • Expanding culturally-responsive healthcare workforce
    • Improving prenatal care/healthy pregnancies
    • Wellness programs that promote health and/or improve health outcomes
  • Thriving Families Ensuring that families have what they need to thrive and that young people have access to critical supports and meaningful experiences. Strategies include:
    • Increasing access to quality early childhood care
    • Providing meaningful out-of-school experiences
    • Delivering critical family support services including housing & food security
    • Providing opportunities to increase family wealth (job training, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, increasing minimum wage, etc.)
    • Offering family-oriented educational and/or recreational opportunities
  • Creative Worcester For Worcester to have a diverse and strong Arts & Culture ecosystem where residents share a sense of ownership and belonging in all creative spaces. Arts & Culture will be fully recognized as a key component in assisting individuals, families and communities in living healthy and thriving lives. Strategies include:
    • Increasing access to the arts
    • Developing alignment between local diverse populations and arts & culture programming.
    • Artists & creatives engaging as active partners in the growth and evolution of the city and its neighborhoods.
    • Supporting the financial stability of cultural organizations

In addition to the strategic focus areas, the Foundation also wants to ensure it is investing resources in organizations that are on a journey to examine, learn and pivot in the areas of racial equity, community voice and changing policies and systems. GWCF believes these three components are key to moving organizations forward to a more inclusive, equitable and just community where all can thrive. The Foundation seeks to understand the journey organizations are on in this area, and therefore are not necessarily looking for advanced responses, but rather honest and authentic reflections. The Foundation seeks to partner with grantees with a commitment to Racial Equity, Community Voice, and Policy and Systems, as defined on the URL for Full Text (RFP).

The Community Grant Program considers two types of grants for the highest level of investments. Both grant types are awarded on an annual basis. Organizations are eligible in the 2021 cycle to submit applications for both operating and program grants if they so choose. For additional information on these grant types, see URL for Full Text (RFP). 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 169966

Estimated Size of Grant:

General Operating Grants: $5,000-$50,000.
Project Grants: $2,500-$25,000

Term of Contract:

Grantees are asked to expend their grant within 18 months of award.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- 501c3 tax exempt nonprofit or an entity operating under the fiscal sponsorship of a tax-exempt nonprofit.
- Collaboratives or loosely organized coalitions are welcome to apply and should be submitted by the designated lead partner
- Your organization’s work is within GWCF’s geographic area served. Priority is given in the following order: Nonprofits providing an unduplicated service in Worcester County without a physical (staff or location) presence will be expected to demonstrate their authentic relationships with local stakeholders (Local board members, formalized partnerships, local committee/coalition service etc..)
Nonprofits not based in Worcester County but have a physical presence (staff or location) should focus their application entirely on their work within Worcester County.
Nonprofit organizations based in and serving Worcester County.
- Have strong demonstrated alignment with one of the key strategic focus areas
- Tell an authentic journey of progress in one or more of the 3 priority lens areas (racial equity, community voice, systems change). Successful grantees will not necessarily be advanced in these areas, but on a meaningful and inclusive journey.
- Sound Organizational Practices: A legitimate and effective governing or advisory board is in place and strong planning and fiscal stewardship is happening

Not Funded:
- Capital Projects/Campaigns
- Event Sponsorships
- Individuals
- Public organizations or municipalities (Not typically, discuss with program team member before submitting an application)
- Houses of Worship or programs/organizations that proselytize (Not typically, discuss with program team member before submitting an application)

Pre-proposal Conference:

Attend an Upcoming Application Preparation Session
Part information session, part grant writing 101, these new and improved Application Preparation Sessions will provide an overview of GWCF's 2021 Community Grant Program, as well as guidance on successful grantwriting strategies. In addition to presentations by GWCF's Program Team, Dodi Swope, professional grantwriter and training consultant, will discuss the evolving landscape of philanthropy and offer tips on how to prepare your strongest proposal.

Next & Final Session:
Wednesday, August 4: 9:00-11:00 AM
Sign up: https://greaterworcester.wufoo.com/forms/m12717kn1hcxh1o/

Pre-Application Information:

Applications Accepted July 15 - September 15, 2021
Decisions will be announced by early December. Notification will happen via email from the grants management system and payment will be issued either by check or electronic transfer.

Tips for Applicants: https://www.greaterworcester.org/Grants/Tips-for-Applicants

Contact Information:

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

Apply online: https://www.grantinterface.com/Home/Logon?urlkey=greaterworcester

If you have any questions about a particular grant program, or experience any technical difficulties, please email grants@greaterworcester.org

Questions about the Nonprofit Support Center:
Contact Sarah Shugrue, ext. 109
Senior Program Officer
sshugrue@greaterworcester.org

Greater Worcester Community Foundation
370 Main Street, Suite 650
Worcester, MA 01608
Telephone: 508.755.0980
Fax: 508.755.3406

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts: Greater Worcester Region

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