A.C. Ratshesky Foundation Grant

Grants to Metro Boston Area, Massachusetts Nonprofits to Promote
Self-Sufficiency for Economically Disadvantaged Families

GrantWatch ID#: 177475
Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

A. C. Ratshesky Foundation


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Grants ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 to Metro Boston, Massachusetts nonprofits for programs that assist economically disadvantaged individuals and families attain self-sufficiency. Programs should focus on the development of the skills and tools necessary to achieve this goal. Grants are restricted to organizations serving Metro Boston communities within Route 495.

In keeping with the Foundation’s original declaration of trust, support for programs that serve disadvantaged Jewish populations are of special interest. These programs must align with one or more of the three fields of interest identified below:

Family Partnering in Early Education:

Comprehensive programs in which parents/caregivers become partners in their child’s education by providing an environment in the home that reinforces learning in school. Top funding priorities include programs which focus on narrowing the achievement gap through early learning skills, language development, reading readiness and math readiness. Supporting the parent/caregiver who is learning and mastering the same skill set to learn alongside their child is equally important.

These areas of interest share many common characteristics including:

- Focus is on prevention rather than remediation
- Adhere to an evolving but well-tested program design
- Focus on critical periods of family and child development and reach families at their most teachable moments
- Work long term with families/caregivers as a whole instead of serving only individuals
- Encourage parental/caregiver input and decision making in the program to ensure cultural competency, accountability and leadership development
- Promote peer learning and mentoring among parents and primary caregivers
- Identify meaningful program outcomes that support program management and planning

Employment and Self-Sufficiency:

This program component is intended to help individuals gain economic security through programs that make it feasible to become and remain employed. Foundation criteria require comprehensive delivery of a broad range of educational and/or vocational services. These should include cultural orientation, English language training, interview preparation, job search assistance, job placement and post-employment support. An ‘On the Job’ training component is encouraged.

The Foundation seeks to support programs that feature the following characteristics:

- Bring low-income or dislocated workers into the economic mainstream
- Collect aggregate outcome data related to skills advancement, credentialing, job placement, job retention or earnings
- Maximize the use of technology for monitoring programs and outcomes
- Build formal connections with employers
- Develop innovative partnerships with other organizations to maximize client success
- Have explicit retention strategies and post-placement supports

Active Learning:

This program component includes after-school or year-round enrichment for preteens and teens through supplemental or alternative experiences. Programs should offer hands-on, experiential learning, have real-world relevance, support the development of career-specific skills, and build 21st-century workplace capabilities such as collaboration, problem-solving and critical thinking. Programs should involve a meaningful commitment over a sustained period of time, such as year-long or school year programs versus summer only.

The A. C. Ratshesky Foundation is particularly interested in supporting youth-serving organizations or programs with the following design elements:

- Real-world relevance
- Ill-defined problem
- Sustained investigation
- Multiple sources/perspectives
- Collaboration
- Reflection
- Interdisciplinary perspective

Most of the foundation’s grantmaking will support programs providing direct services. It will only consider requests for general operating support when an organization’s primary goals are in direct alignment with the Foundation’s mission.

The foundation expects to make 20-30 grants per year.

The foundation expects to make grants ranging from $10,000 to $25,000.

The Foundation makes occasional multi-year grants at its discretion, but does not solicit requests for multi-year funding.

Eligible Applicants:

Organizations must be designated as tax exempt under Section 501 (c)(3) of the IRS Code and must be classified as “not a private foundation” under Section 509 (a) of the Code.

The Foundation does not normally support:

- Individuals
- National organizations
- Capital campaigns, endowments or fundraising activities
- Conferences
- Websites
- Research
- Municipal, state or federal agencies
- Religious instruction or worship services
- Health programs
- Community organizing/public policy advocacy
- Grants to replace government funding
- Private schools, parochial schools, public schools, including pilot and charter schools
- School-based programs, tutoring programs or college access programs
- Treatment and recovery programs
- Summer camps or short-term or seasonal programs for children and youth
- Criminal justice or re-entry programs
- Family stabilization or crisis intervention programs
- Mentoring, case management, social services
- College access programs

Types of programs for the Authentic Learning focus that are not a priority:

- Enrichment programs that focus mostly on grades, test scores, and graduation
- Tutorial and remedial education programs
- College access programs
- Mentoring programs
- Summer job programs
- In-school programs
- Programs of public, private, charter, or religious schools
- Youth organizing programs
- Short-term community service programs
- Programs that serve a small (

Please note: The Foundation seeks to support organizations where a small grant will make a meaningful contribution toward the development of a program or organization. Grant requests for $10,000 toward a program budget of $150,000 or from organization with an annual budget of $1 million, for example, are typically ranked a higher priority than requests to support a $300,000 program from large organizations with relatively strong fundraising capacity and many sources of funding.

Proposal Deadlines:

- October 1 for a January board meeting
- February 1 for a May meeting
- July 1 for an October board meeting

Application Information:

General FAQs:

Active Learning FAQs:

Please refer to the Grant Application User Guide when submitting your proposal (see Supporting Documents below).

The Foundation will consider only one application from an organization in any calendar year.

Organizations whose requests for funding have been denied are expected to wait one full year before being reconsidered for support.

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

Register and apply online:

The login code is: Ratshesky

General correspondence, inquiries, and all applications should be directed to any one of the following staff:

Liz Raskopf, Foundation Assistant
Phone: 617-391-3092

Prentice Zinn, Foundation Administrator
Phone: 617-391-3091

Chaletta Huertas, Program Officer
Phone: 617-391-3081

General Contact Information:

A.C. Ratshesky Foundation
GMA Foundations
2 Liberty Square, Suite 500
Boston, MA 02109

Phone: 617-426-7080
Fax: 617-426-7087

See the full text of this grant

USA: Massachusetts: Metro Boston communities within Route 495

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