Press Release

June 2019

Cambridge Community Foundation honors five groups with first-ever ‘Social Innovation Awards,’ supporting local interventions to big social issues

By | 2019-06-25T18:05:26+00:00 June 5th, 2019|Press Release|

2019 Cambridge Community Foundation Social Innovation Award recipients. From left to right, front row: Geeta Pradhan (CCF); Reham Zeroual (CRLS, Black Student Union); Lorraine Thornhill (CCF). Second row: Meron Teklehaimanot (Sisters Unchained); Corinne Espinoza (Good Bank); Rupa Bastola and Jyoti Sinha (South Asian Workers' Center);  Mackda Henok (CRLS, Black Student Union); Lori Lander (CCF). Back row: Janaki Blum and Gerald Manning (South Asian Worker's Center); Kevin Dua (CRLS, Black Student Union); Lisette Williams (Cambridge Trades Task Force); Mayor Marc McGovern. Photo by Allegra Boverman. On Friday, May 31, the Cambridge Community Foundation (CCF) announced the recipients of its first-ever Social Innovation Award during its Cambridge Community Foundation Salutes 150 Cambridge Nonprofits event.  Cambridge Mayor Marc C. McGovern named Sisters Unchained, a program supporting teenage daughters of incarcerated parents, as the first-place winner. The program, founded by three young women, two of whom are Cambridge Rindge and Latin School graduates, was awarded $5,000, and joined by four runners-up—The Black Student Union at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School; Cambridge Trades Task Force; the Good Bank; and the South Asian Worker’s Center— each receiving $1,000.  The five award-winners offer innovative solutions to big social problems such as mass incarceration, systemic [...]

May 2019

Family Independence Initiative paves the way for anti-poverty systems change

By | 2019-05-30T15:27:25+00:00 May 29th, 2019|Press Release|

On May 20, CCF’s nonprofit partner, the Family Independence Initiative (FII) launched the Trust and Invest Collaborative, a three-year pilot study of FII and the MA Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), to evaluate the outcomes families living with low-incomes can achieve when they are given access to financial capital and are provided the choice to turn to their own social networks. Four hundred families from Boston and Cambridge receiving economic assistance from the DTA will be given the option to enroll in FII. Findings from the pilot study’s evaluation, conducted by the Harvard Business School, will inform policy recommendations for government, community leaders and philanthropists interested in increasing the social and economic mobility of families living with low incomes. Attendees at the launch of FII's Trust and Invest Collaborative “We yearn for the cure-all to end racism and to end poverty. But it’s actually the small steps we take together, in community, challenging our assumptions and checking our perceptions, that make the biggest difference. That’s why I’m so excited about the Trust and Invest Collaborative,” said Jessica Taubner, FII Site Director for Family Independence Initiative Greater Boston. FII helps low-income families generate their own strategies and solutions [...]

Remarks by Geeta Pradhan at the Foundation’s 2019 Annual Dinner

By | 2019-05-29T19:05:53+00:00 May 29th, 2019|Press Release|

The Cambridge Community Foundation’s ‘We are Cambridge’ Annual Dinner on May 6, 2019 drew the who’s who of Cambridge from all sectors—universities, nonprofits, businesses, and philanthropists, as well as local artists. An underlying theme was shared by all: that Cambridge is a wonderful place to live but we cannot take it for granted. Its future is hardly guaranteed and all of us have a responsibility to invest in and nurture what we love best about the city and to take some responsibility for its challenges. CCF’s Board Chairman Rick Harriman kicked off the evening with his observations of Cambridge. He noted some of its strengths—world class universities, an innovation ecosystem, industry-leading companies, well-managed city government, cultural richness, diverse residents—and some of its weaknesses—escalating cost of living, the loss of economic and social diversity, the threats to the nonprofit community. “We will not satisfy our civic responsibility if we do not strive to bring the citizens and sectors of this city together to address these weaknesses and threats to the inclusiveness of Cambridge,” said Rick as he set the stage for our President, Geeta Pradhan, to share her thoughts on Cambridge and its future. Geeta Pradhan's Remarks [...]

2019 Annual Dinner highlights Cambridge’s values and challenges

By | 2019-06-03T19:34:53+00:00 May 29th, 2019|Press Release|

View a photo slideshow of the the 2019 Annual Dinner Watch the remarks from the 2019 Annual Dinner The Cambridge Community Foundation’s ‘We are Cambridge’ Annual Dinner on May 6, 2019 drew 350 civic leaders to the Charles Hotel to celebrate our city—its kindness and caring, inclusive diversity, and sense of possibilities.  The community gathering drew the who’s who of Cambridge from all sectors—universities, nonprofits, businesses, philanthropists, as well as local artists celebrated for their spoken word represented by Regie Gibson, who opened the evening with a reading about what is to be American. The changes that Cambridge is facing, with its booming economy and escalating real estate costs, and pride in our city’s values were underscored by all speakers. “One measure of the justness of society is how it treats the least fortunate, the most vulnerable among us. When I look out tonight, I see many, many people who are committed to trying to do more for those who are less fortunate,” said President Lawrence S. Bacow. “That’s why you are here, that’s why I am here with you. We know we have the responsibility to leave the world a better place.” Superintendent Elow, who grew up in [...]

April 2019

Cambridge Community Foundation launches new Social Innovation Award; initiative seeks emerging ideas with local impact

By | 2019-04-30T01:14:59+00:00 April 30th, 2019|Press Release|

April 30, 2019—Cambridge, MA The Cambridge Community Foundation (CCF) has announced its first ever CCF Social Innovation Award, a new competition identifying and supporting the emerging innovators developing solutions to urban problems in Cambridge. The competition is open to all—individuals, students, groups, entrepreneurs and nonprofits—who are making a difference in the quality of life in Cambridge. Applications are due May 10. “In a city like Cambridge--an epicenter of innovation and home to socially-minded residents--we know there are original, creative and daring ideas that could, with small resources and light touch interventions, have huge impact in our community,” said Geeta Pradhan, president of the Cambridge Community Foundation. “The CCF Social Innovation Award is an opportunity to fuel these ideas and create a pipeline for social innovators with the next great idea for Cambridge and beyond.” Applications will be judged by an expert panel of local civic leaders, including Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern; Mary Ann Bates, executive director of Poverty Action Lab at MIT; Conan Harris, senior vice president of policy and external affairs at College Bound Dorchester;  Risa Mednick, the former director of Transition House; and Lori Lander, artist, founder of Many Helping Hands and CCF Board member. Awards range [...]

The Cambridge Community Foundation appoints Jessica Martin as a CCF Fellow

By | 2019-04-30T18:18:22+00:00 April 29th, 2019|Press Release|

The Cambridge Community Foundation has appointed Jessica Martin, former director of the Boston Foundation’s think-tank The Boston Indicators Project to a new role: Cambridge Community Foundation Fellow. This year-long appointment will support research on the intersection of innovation and equity in Cambridge. “We are delighted to add Jessica to our team,” said Geeta Pradhan, president of the Cambridge Community Foundation.  “Jessica’s knowledge of and passion for advancing social impact through open data and civic technology will be incredible assets as we dive into the impact of our innovation city—Cambridge—and the relationship between innovation, growth and issues of equity.” As the Cambridge Community Foundation Fellow, Jessica will support CCF’s role as a civic leader in the community, by providing the research support and analysis for the Foundation’s upcoming report, titled Equity and Innovation Cities, to be released this fall. The report is supported in part by Microsoft New England Research & Development Center’s Civic Technology initiative. Jessica has been working closely with Geeta Pradhan to develop a framework for understanding the nuanced relationship between income inequity and economic vitality in thriving innovation cities like Cambridge.  In her role as fellow, Jessica will continue the effort and help lead the partnership [...]

Philanthropy Spotlight: Gail Roberts advocates for community

By | 2019-04-30T18:10:05+00:00 April 29th, 2019|Press Release|

Gail Roberts is a force for good in the world. Widely admired for her work with Gail Roberts, Ed Feijo & Team at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, she is a Cambridge resident with an unending commitment to young people, to those in need, and is a powerful advocate for nonprofits in Cambridge and Boston. In her role as a Director of the Cambridge Community Foundation, Gail is known for her ability to connect people, to advocate for their needs, and for her unparalleled flair with our annual dinners. When asked what matters to her, Gail always says “the ability to give back to the community.” Her eyes sparkle with joy as she describes how organizations have helped a young mother in distress, a family, or a community of people seeking support. And, she’s always quick to defer credit to the hard work and passion of nonprofits. At the Foundation, Gail leads the strategy for our Annual Dinner, and she serves on the Development Committee; this year, she established the Gail Roberts Fund. In addition to her work with CCF, she is active with UNICEF USA, the Mount Auburn Hospital, the Huntington Theatre Company, and Furnishing Hope of Massachusetts. In [...]

Facebook donates 100 refurbished laptops to Cambridge residents engaged in workforce development

By | 2019-04-30T18:14:51+00:00 April 29th, 2019|Press Release|

On Monday April 22, 2019, the Cambridge Community Foundation (CCF) and Facebook partnered to bring free refurbished computers along with job search and interview skills training to nearly 100 low-income Cambridge residents participating in local workforce programs and seeking jobs in the city. The CCF program, Tech-cellerate, works with corporate partners to put computers and technology into the hands of residents who need them most. Facebook Boston donated the laptops and provided in-person training led by Facebook staff, including technical recruiters and local talent recruiters, at their Cambridge-based offices. City Councilor Sumbul Siddiqui joined CCF and Facebook to welcome recipients. Kia Floyd, Facebook Head of Public Policy, Northeast, addresses the group CCF worked with local nonprofits in Cambridge to identify program participants who would benefit most from the training. Participating nonprofits and workforce programs included the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House, Parenting Journey, Heading Home, Compass Working Capital, as well as the City of Cambridge’s Community Learning Center, Office of Workforce Development, Youth Centers, and the E-Team Machinist Training Program of MassHire Metro North Workforce Board  which received a 10-laptop mobile lab. “We are delighted to be able to work with our community and corporate partners and make [...]

CCF Salutes: 2019 Social Innovation Award

By | 2019-04-24T17:25:43+00:00 April 8th, 2019|Press Release|

APPLY FOR THE 2019 SOCIAL INNOVATION AWARD Help Us Find People Working on Innovative New Ideas in Cambridge Cambridge Community Foundation is excited to announce our first Social Innovation Award. As a funder of Cambridge nonprofits for over 100 years, we are deeply rooted in the community—yet we are confident there are ideas out there we don’t know about. This is why we are launching the Social Innovation Award. We are looking for the next generation of emerging leaders and ideas that will help shape our mission to support Cambridge’s shared prosperity, social equity, and cultural richness. Somewhere in Cambridge we know there is a student, an emerging nonprofit, a group of neighbors, a new program, or maybe a young entrepreneur tackling a problem, inventing a solution, and/or implementing a program that will improve the quality of life in Cambridge. We’re looking for original ideas that exhibit creativity, daring, and ambition. We value light touch interventions—programs that can be implemented with small resources and create big impact. We’d like you to help us find them. The competition is open to all, with the exception of programs previously funded by the Cambridge Community Foundation. Our award winner and two [...]

CCF distributes $944,378 in grants, with $692,878 going to local nonprofits & scholarships

By | 2019-04-05T16:10:57+00:00 April 4th, 2019|Press Release|

The Cambridge Community Foundation distributes $944,378 in grants, with $692,878 going to 93 local nonprofits & to scholarships Jump to a list of spring 2019 grants April 3, 2019—Cambridge, MA The Cambridge Community Foundation (CCF) and its donors have awarded $944,378 in grants this spring, with $692,878 going to 93 local nonprofits and to scholarships. The grants are funded through CCF’s Community Fund, our endowment and Donor Advised Funds (DAFs), and investments in ongoing CCF initiatives. The only foundation focused exclusively on the needs of Cambridge residents, CCF supports nonprofit organizations involved in human services, workforce training, housing, hunger, homelessness, elder services, youth and early childhood services, education, and the arts. Through these investments CCF supports shared prosperity, social equity, and cultural richness in Cambridge. “Every year the number of grant requests CCF receives increases; this spring was no exception. It’s clear there is a dramatic need for support for our nonprofit sector, which serves residents of all ages, especially the most vulnerable in our community,” says Geeta Pradhan, president of the Cambridge Community Foundation. “CCF and our donors are committed to helping as many organizations as we can through large and small grants from our Community Fund and [...]

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