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Community Grant Program

Grants to Worcester County, Massachusetts Nonprofits for Arts,
Education, Civic Life, Health, and Environment

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Greater Worcester Community Foundation

Deadline Date:



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Grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to Massachusetts nonprofits for community projects that benefit Worcester and the surrounding towns and cities of Worcester County. Eligible program areas include arts, environment, and civic life, early childhood development, youth education and development, economic security, and healthy communities.

Civic Life, the Arts and the Environment - The Foundation believes that everyone in Greater Worcester should have access to our community’s cultural and natural resources, and opportunities to help move the community forward. This includes arts and culture, civic engagement and environmental stewardship. The Foundation is especially interested in projects and programs that:

- Increase truly equitable access for all to artistic and cultural resources that reflect the diversity of the community.
- Inform and improve civic engagement and dialogue.
- Protect the region’s natural resources, and make them accessible to all.
- Create meaningful civic participation opportunities for economically or socially marginalized populations.

Early Childhood Development - A child’s first eight years are the most critical for human development, and the Foundation believes that building a solid foundation during these years is the most effective way to assure a healthy and productive life. The Foundation is especially interested in programs that:

- Increase the quality and quantity of formal early education for low-income children.
- Provide a foundation for lifelong development rooted in behavioral and physical health.
- Support parents and families in their roles as teachers, caregivers, and supporters of their children’s development.
- Help eliminate summer learning loss among low-income children in greater Worcester.

Youth Development and Education - As a community, the Foundation wants to prepare young people to meet the challenges of adolescence and adulthood and to achieve their full potential. Youth development is promoted through activities and experiences that help youth develop social, ethical, emotional, physical and cognitive competencies. The Foundation is especially interested in projects and programs that:

- Effectively support high school graduation and foster the completion of college or other post-secondary education.
- Work closely with school systems and other youth-serving organizations.
- Provide employment opportunities.
- Provide access to networks of support for continuing success through quality relationships with caring adults.
- Teach conflict resolution, teamwork, persistence, and other 21st Century skills.
- Deliberately and effectively engage high-risk youth.

Economic Security - Every member of the community deserves access to basic resources, stable housing, and employment opportunities, and to live in a community where they feel safe, secure and respected. The Foundation is especially interested in projects and programs that:

- Address the basic needs of those facing the greatest challenges.
- Effectively prevent homelessness and increase access to affordable housing.
- Ensure all people have equal access to wholesome food and healthy physical activity.
- Provide adult basic education, skills training, and English language instruction.
- Work in tandem with employers to meet the current demands of the local economy.

Healthy Communities - The Foundation supports the Greater Worcester Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). Accordingly, the Foundation is committed to health equity, which means that all people, regardless of ethnicity, socio-economic status, sex or age, have equal opportunity to develop and maintain health through equal access to resources. The Foundation also wants to ensure that all people, particularly those most vulnerable, have access to the care they need when and where they need it. The Foundation is especially interested in projects and programs that:

- Create a well-coordinated, respectful, and culturally-responsive environment that encourages prevention of chronic disease, reduction of infant mortality, and access to quality comprehensive care for all.
- Foster a community that is responsive to mental health needs of all populations, considerate of all ages and cultures, and resilient to adapt to changing demographics in the population.
- Prevent and reduce substance use disorder and associated stigma for all populations.
- Support the goals, strategies, and objectives of the CHIP.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 169966

Estimated Size of Grant:

The typical grant range is $5,000 to $25,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must be 501(c)(3) public charities serving Worcester or the cities and towns of Worcester County. Organizations located outside this area must demonstrate the significant role of local partners in order to be considered.

Projects that are not incorporated as independent organizations must apply through an established nonprofit as fiscal agent. Public agencies, municipal departments, and houses of worship are not typically eligible to receive Community Grants.

Pre-Application Information:

Deadline: September 14, 2018

Application Forms and Instructions:

It is helpful to call the Foundation before you apply, particularly if you are applying for the first time or plan a new program. This conversation will allow you to find out more and how the Foundation operates, and enable staff to learn about your organization. Call the Foundation office and ask to speak with a program officer.

To help you prepare a more effective proposal, the Foundation has created a set of instructions for your use. See Supporting Documents below.

Webinar on the application process:

How to apply:


Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

Greater Worcester Community Foundation
370 Main Street, Suite 650
Worcester, MA

Telephone: 508.755.0980
Fax: 508.755.3406

Program Staff:

Christopher O'Keeffe, Vice President for Program
Ext. 108

Jonathan Cohen, Program Officer
Ext. 111

Sarah Shugrue, Program Officer
Ext. 109

If you have questions or need assistance, email:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts: Worcester or the cities and towns of Worcester County