As the Cambridge Community Foundation prepares to begin its second century, it has reimagined its offices at 99 Bishop Allen Drive as a convening space for local nonprofit organizations, grown its staff to meet the challenges of life in the 21st century – and created a new logo to encapsulate its identity. “We wanted a new emblem to capture key elements of our vision – a vibrant, diverse and inclusive city with a culture of giving and opportunity for all,” said Richard Harriman, board chairman of the Foundation. “We thought about the variety, complexity and sheer intensity of Cambridge and reached for those qualities.” The Foundation was established in 1916, making it one of the oldest community foundations in the country. The only foundation with the whole city of Cambridge in its purview, it is a key supporter of nonprofit organizations, distributing $1.2 million in grants in 2015 to meet local needs and support the aspirations of Cambridge residents. The Foundation provides advocacy and civic engagement support to deal with urgent local challenges and partners with donors to provide a permanent source of charitable funds for the community. “Logos are a challenge, but this was fun to imagine,” said [...]
In 2013, with support from the Cambridge Community Foundation and the Harvard Aggasiz Community Fund, senior leadership from a wide spectrum of nonprofit organizations in Cambridge began meeting regularly to discuss issues of mutual concern in providing services to residents of Cambridge. Out of these initial meetings the Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition was created. The unified message that helped set the stage for this work was: “Cambridge nonprofit leadership is ready to build strong partnerships— with each other and with other sectors—in order to meet changing needs, close the opportunity gap, and improve the quality of life for the community.” Over the past three years, the Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition has held community- wide summits, established a Steering Committee, and hired a coordinator. They have worked with the City to develop and strengthen the upcoming Community Needs Assessment study and are working towards a three-year strategic plan to take their ideas to actionable agendas. The Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition’s stated purpose is to strengthen the Cambridge nonprofit sector by building collective voice and promoting collaboration in order to meet changing needs and improve the quality of life for the community. Their vision, guided by principles of collaboration, inclusion, transparency, strategy and leadership is [...]
A grant from the Cambridge Community Foundation is sending 220 CRLS students to take part a conversation with noted playwright/performer Anna Deavere Smith that draws from her new work Notes from the Field: Doing Time on Education at the American Repertory Theater (ART). The work drills down on what has been called the school-to-prison pipeline, a system in which students of color are punished, removed from classrooms and sent into the juvenile justice system in far larger numbers than their white peers. The students will have a chance to take part in a “talkback” with the author, who has earned a national reputation for her works, which create dramatic explorations of topical issues drawing on people’s testimony. A matinee on September 14 will include the performance and post-show.
Foundation President Geeta Pradhan is working on a report that will gather together challenges facing the Cambridge community as well as the remarkable resources available here, developed by the City of Cambridge and other agents in a city rich in information and expertise. A key partner in the report is Metropolitan Area Planning Council, a leading regional agency created to promote smart growth, healthy communities and an informed public in the 100-plus cities and towns of Metropolitan Boston. The essential theme of the report is the idea of Shared Prosperity. The small scale of the city and the depth of talent, a tradition of creativity and innovation, and high levels of civic engagement suggest great opportunity to position Cambridge for success. Stay tuned for the report, which will be released at a forum later this fall.
A public forum about building pathways into the regional Innovation Economy for local youth and older workers drew a capacity crowd to the Kendall Square Marriott in April. In response, the Cambridge Community Foundation plans a series of conversations to act on ideas surfaced at the forum. The original event was hosted by the Foundation, with partners including Just-A-Start Corporation, Kendall Square Association, Metro North Regional Employment Board, SkillWorks and the City of Cambridge, including The Agenda for Children and the Cambridge Expanded Learning STEAM Network. Sponsors lined up to support the gathering, including Akami, Biogen, Cambridge Center for Adult Education, Cambridge College, Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition, Cambridge Public Schools, the Cambridge Science Festival, Cambridge Innovation Center, Google, Harvard University, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Lesley University, Boston Marriott Cambridge, MassCan, Microsoft, MIT, New England Venture Capital Association, Novartis and The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The conversations, described as ‘salons,’ will bring together interested people from the different sectors among the partners and sponsors to follow up on ideas about ways to create greater opportunity by better connecting the community to the extraordinary and dynamic economy that is centered in Kendall Square.
Beth Milkovits, chief wealth strategist for Boston-based Atwater Wealth Management, was elected to the board of directors of the Cambridge Community Foundation at its quarterly meeting in September. At Atwater, she creates wealth strategies for clients that integrate elements of philanthropic, tax, and estate planning, and shapes the strategic vision of the firm. Atwater is a comprehensive wealth management firm providing investment management and comprehensive planning. Earlier, Milkovits was vice president at Eaton Vance Investment Counsel where she coordinated specialized planning services and was responsible for business development and marketing. She is a former director of development at the Boston Foundation. A Cambridge resident, she is a member of the board of the Cambridge YWCA, currently serving as chair-elect. Milkovits is also a member and former president of the Boston Business Associates Club. She is a member of Boston Estate Planning Council and the Financial Planning Association of Massachusetts. A graduate of Colby College, she has been an instructor at Northeastern University in the Master of Science in Taxation Program. “Beth brings great professional strengths and personal qualities to the Foundation board,” said Richard Harriman, chairman of the Board of Directors. “A high-energy leader with an instinct for collaboration, [...]
Rev. Lorraine Thornhill was elected to the board of directors of the Cambridge Community Foundation at its quarterly meeting in September. She is the first female pastor of the First Holiness Church, Cambridge. Prior to that she worked for seven years in the role of psychotherapist for Bentley College in Waltham, MA. “I am delighted to be offered this opportunity to serve the Cambridge community in this new role ” said Rev. Thornhill. “The Foundation has a long history and a unique role to play, connecting people, raising issues of common concern, and supporting the important work undertaken by local nonprofits.” Rev. Thornhill currently serves as the president of the Cambridge Black Pastors Alliance. She is also one of three chaplains commissioned to serve in the Cambridge Police Chaplaincy Program, the first program of its kind in Massachusetts, and serves as a commissioner for the City of Cambridge’s Human Services Department and as vice-chair of the Cambridge YWCA. Rev. Thornhill is the founder of Higher Heights, LLC, a life-coaching business. “Lorraine Thornhill is a wonderful addition to the Foundation’s board board,” said Richard Harriman, chairman of the board of directors. “Her many leadership roles illustrate her deep personal and [...]
A civic leader of great compassion and wide reach, and an ardent supporter of the Cambridge Community Foundation, Ellen Moot died in Chocorua, N.H., on September 3, 2016. “Ellen was involved in everything in Cambridge,” said Patricia Pratt, who herself served 13 years on the Foundation board with a 12-year stint as president. “She knew so much – so she ran the distribution committee.” After years of helping to shape the Foundation’s grantmaking work, Ellen finally stepped down in May of 2001 after serving for 18 years. Made an honorary board member at that point, she accepted her new status as a professional opportunity – and continued to attend board meetings and contribute from a seemingly bottomless fund of knowledge and compassion. “In spirit and in deed, she shaped the Foundation,” said Robert Hurlbut, longtime executive director of the organization, who retired in 2015. “She urged me to join it after I retired as headmaster of the Park School. Her knowledge of Cambridge and of the nonprofit organizations that served it and contributed to the qualities that make this city so special was truly inspiring.” Her engagement with the Foundation has continued. “I was delighted to meet Ellen earlier [...]
The Cambridge Community Foundation has announced grants to 51 local organizations totaling $334,336 in its spring grantmaking docket. Funding decisions continued to reflect the following goals: Building bodies of work that create opportunities for collective action and measurement; Supporting the Foundation’s goal of increasing impact in the community; Giving priority to agencies that offer high-quality programs and a scale aimed at supporting progress on key issues or populations. The Foundation envisions a vibrant, diverse and inclusive city with a culture of giving and with opportunity for all. As a civic leader, the Foundation works in close partnership with donors and stakeholders to achieve that vision by connecting people, knowledge and resources to catalyze change in the city of Cambridge. Grantmaking is an important part of that work and reflects the strength and breadth of nonprofit organizations serving local residents. The spring grants were made in nine areas, including three grants that align with Foundation initiatives. They include: Support for the Family Independence Initiative, to expand a program with a robust record of success in helping low-income families achieve independence and make economic progress by tapping their own insights, hard work and social networks. Three grants to strengthen the idea [...]
Local real estate broker Gail Roberts, an associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage of Cambridge, has been elected to the board of directors of the Cambridge Community Foundation. A high-profile member of her profession, Roberts has been honored as the number-one ranked real estate associate in New England and one of her firm’s top-10 agents worldwide. She has earned an equally high profile for community service, serving currently on the boards of the New England chapter of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Mount Auburn Hospital, the Huntington Theatre Company and the Guidance Center. “Gail is a vibrant personality, a leader in her work and in the city, and a generous contributor to community organizations – including this Foundation,” said Richard Harriman, chairman of the Board of Directors. “She is a creative force with a natural gift for building social networks, and I am delighted to welcome her to our board.” “I am lucky to be in a profession that enables me to give back and help others,” said Roberts. “That brings me a lot of joy. I am honored to be invited to join the board, and especially glad to get involved at a time when the Foundation is [...]