Relief...and recovery Three months ago, we couldn’t have predicted how widespread the pandemic’s impact would be, but we, like so many of you, knew we needed to respond quickly. For an organization that does its work squarely within the nonprofit sector, that meant stepping outside the box. We began awarding cash grants directly to individuals, families, and artists in crisis, while continuing to partner with nonprofits to give small grants to people in their circles. We also provided grants to arts organizations who took an enormous hit with the loss of audiences and early closures. The results are eye-opening. A new point of view The process has given us a fresh, first-hand view of our community and its needs. One of the biggest privileges of our COVID-19 relief work has been connecting with people from all corners of the city and hearing from them directly. We've also witnessed the incredible creativity and tenacity of our nonprofits, who met community needs despite their own financial pressures. By the numbers As of yesterday morning, we allocated 1,162 cash grants to individuals, families, artists, and small businesses. We’ve also helped hundreds more through our support of 27 local nonprofits and 31 [...]
Find here: resources from books and articles to film and podcasts to educate ourselves about antiracism; organizations to support, follow, and donate to as they lead critical efforts for racial justice and equity; and, ideas for local action we can each take. This is an evolving list.
An update from the Cambridge Community Foundation's Geeta Pradhan.
Our new initiative, Feeding our Hometown Heroes, launched in partnership with the Boston-founded start-up Off Their Plate, will fund daily deliveries of local, nutritious restaurant meals in May to frontline hospital staff in three Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) Hospitals (Cambridge, Somerville, Everett) and Mount Auburn Hospital.
By Brad Bedingfield and Eleanor A. Evans The impact of COVID-19 on our communities is only just starting to come into focus. It's not just the health risks - millions are likely to find themselves unemployed, without health insurance or a means to make money. Those who must continue their work as this crisis balloons, health care workers in particular, have no safe place to leave their children. Nearly everyone is facing increased financial pressures. Local nonprofits, dealing with their own financial stresses, are still eager to bolster their support of the communities they serve during this crisis. For any Cambridge-based nonprofits thinking about how to directly give funds to individuals and families in the community, here are some considerations. Can my nonprofit make direct grants to individuals impacted by COVID-19? Many nonprofits that have not traditionally made grants to individuals are asking if they can do so, and how. They want to help specific people in their communities who are in danger of losing their homes or are already homeless, who do not have enough food for their children, or who have special health care expenses. Nonprofits without experience making grants to individuals may be nervous about doing [...]
**The We are Cambridge Celebration has been postponed until 2021.** The Cambridge Community Foundation focuses on the city’s cultural richness CAMBRIDGE, MA | February 27, 2020 The Cambridge Community Foundation has named 20 exceptional artists and creators as Cambridge Cultural Visionaries, recognizing, for the first time, a diverse and talented group of individuals who have had a major impact on the cultural richness celebrated in Cambridge and beyond for over half a century. In their honor and in recognition of the community’s commitment to safeguard the arts in our city and spark creativity of future generations, the Foundation will launch a new Cultural Capital Fund and honor the arts at its We are Cambridge celebration (postponed to 2021). Cambridge has been shaped by dreamers and visionaries throughout its history. A city of ideas and solutions, Cambridge boasts a long list of imaginative thinkers, writers, artists, innovators, and entrepreneurs who continue to call Cambridge home. The Cambridge Cultural Visionaries unanimously acknowledge that the city fostered their creativity. Cambridge is a place that supported their passion, tested their persistence, and revealed their purpose. It is a place where they “found their people.” (Jump to the full list of visionaries, [...]
At the Cambridge Community Foundation, we are committed to fostering the arts in our community, both as an investment in our fascinating cultural landscape and as an outlet for enrichment, wellness, and healing for our neighbors. A city that champions equitable access to its thriving artistic and cultural infrastructure builds a community in which everyone can nurture their creative voice and gain healing and agency through artistic expression. This month, we’re featuring four of our nonprofit partners who are performing vital artistic ministries in our community, enabling those at risk to find wellness and healing through the power of the creative process: Tunefoolery, The Dance Complex, Shelter Music Boston, and Urbanity Dance. Since their founding in 1994, Tunefoolery has empowered musicians recovering from mental health issues to showcase their work at over 150 events each year. Under their organizational umbrella, Tunefoolery runs a youth Education Outreach Program about mental health issues, sponsors holistic retreats for working musicians, and provides jobs and professional recording space for artists. Powered by the Cambridge Community Foundation: Tunefoolery has been a partner of the Foundation since 2005. Most recently, a $2,000 grant in Fall 2019 helped fund Tunefoolery's Music Education [...]
Photo of HONK! parade passing through Porter Square in October 2019 The LA Times recently ran an article called “Wealth and struggle in a liberal bubble that Elizabeth Warren calls home.” The article captured the strengths and weaknesses of our city, which is experiencing stresses similar to San Francisco and other innovation cities. These complex issues of income inequality, housing and homelessness, and traffic gridlock are taxing urban innovation centers to the breaking point. We need national, regional, and local solutions. And Cambridge isn’t sitting on its laurels waiting for the bubble to burst, nor is it losing its soul. Cambridge is a responsive, compassionate city, fiercely protective of its shared values of kindness, diversity, inclusion, and creativity. Yes, our economy is booming, and with that comes unintended consequences. Our rapidly rising real estate values and a shortage of low- and middle-income housing mean more than half of our residents struggle to find affordable homes. One in seven residents lives in poverty. One-third of our public school students of color are unprepared to pursue the jobs our city offers. One out of 10 Black and Latinx households has no internet yet every major tech company has a presence in [...]
"Nonprofit Row," home to the Foundation and nearly a dozen other Cambridge nonprofits. Giving is an impactful way to benefit your community, but it’s important to consider how you give. There are numerous ways to support local nonprofits. From an unrestricted gift of cash, to buying tickets for an annual gala, to opening a donor advised fund (DAF). A donor advised fund is one charitable giving vehicle that can stretch your dollars further and maximize the impact of your donation. DAFs have been gaining popularity in recent years and are a wonderful way to support nonprofits you care about. What is a donor advised fund? A DAF is similar to an investment account with the sole purpose of supporting charitable organizations that are important to you. Assets contributed to a DAF do not have to solely be cash. Individuals may contribute publicly traded securities, bitcoin, real estate, mutual fund shares, and certain complex assets (such as privately held C-corp and S-corp shares). Your donation will then grow in your account tax-free based on your investment preferences. The assets accumulated in a donor advised fund can be used to support virtually any charity that is qualified by [...]