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Open Door Grant

Grants to Massachusetts Nonprofits for Projects Addressing
Critical Needs and Challenges in Local Communities

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Boston Foundation (TBF)

Deadline Date:



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Grants of $50,000 to Massachusetts new and established nonprofits in eligible locations for innovative programs that address critical priorities and challenges in local communities. Funding is intended to support activities that strengthen populations and communities historically excluded from institutions and/or systems, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color individuals and communities; immigrants (including undocumented); elders; individuals with disabilities; survivors of domestic abuse; incarcerated and returning citizens. Applicants should serve the Greater Boston area.

The Foundation distributes a portion of its resources via the Open Door Grants program for organizations not currently aligned with the areas of impact: arts and culture, education, health and wellness, neighborhoods and housing, and jobs and economic development.

Open Door Grants are especially focused on organizations serving and building power in communities historically excluded from institutional philanthropy and whose leadership reflects the communities they serve.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182035

Estimated Size of Grant:

New grant commitments through Open Door Grants are $50,000, paid in two equal annual installments of $25,000.

Term of Contract:

Two-year general operating support grants.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

An eligible applicant would be an existing or new organization that:
- Primarily serves and builds power in communities historically excluded from institutional philanthropy within the cities and towns of the Foundation’s catchment area;

And meets the following criteria:
- Is not in direct conflict with the strategies, goals and approaches pursued by the Foundation’s five impact areas.
- Has not submitted an application within the past 12 months
- Has a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit designation from the IRS or operates under the fiscal sponsorship of a tax-exempt nonprofit (Your organization is responsible for having that relationship in place before submitting an application.)
- Aligns with the Foundation’s Values Statement, which seeks to broaden participation; foster collaboration; and heal racial, ethnic and community divisions
- Does not discriminate in the hiring of staff or the provision of services on the basis of race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability

The Boston Foundation does not make grants for capital construction costs, endowments, medical or academic research, scholarships, sectarian or religious purposes, or to support candidates for political office. Private non-operating foundations, 501(c)(4) organizations, and Section 501(a)(3) Type III Non-functionally Integrated organizations are not eligible to apply. In addition, grants are not made to individual persons or individual schools. Schools must apply through their school districts and districts may submit one application every 12 months.

Pre-proposal Conference:

The Boston Foundation is offering an online information session for prospective 2020 Open Door Grants applicants, August 19 at 12 noon.

This webinar provides an opportunity to learn more about recent programmatic updates, pose questions to the Open Door Grants team and discuss the application and review process ahead of the upcoming fall deadline (September 10, 2020).

To register:

Pre-Application Information:

- Next Application Deadline: September 10, 2020. Applicants notified by email:Mid-January 2021
- Spring 2021 Deadline: February 1, 2021. Applicants notified by email: Late June 2021

The Foundation encourages collaboration. One organization should submit the application as the lead organization on behalf of the collaborative partners.

Only one application per 12-month period.


Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

For questions, contact:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts: Greater Boston Area

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