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 [...]
From our 2019 annual report: Some of the people who bring the Foundation's mission to life share what inspires them about our city.
The Cambridge Community Foundation has named Michal Rubin, a development executive with 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, as vice president of development. Rubin will play a key role in helping the Foundation address the social challenges Cambridge faces by strengthening partnerships with donors and nonprofit partners and advancing the organization’s strategic direction in the new decade.
At the Cambridge Community Foundation, we strive to uphold Cambridge as a beacon of cultural richness. We envision a city where diverse communities spark spiritual, social, and artistic exploration; where innovation thrives; and where connections between residents are deepened across neighborhoods, cultures, and backgrounds. We believe that supporting the arts and culture in Cambridge will ensure that the unique character of our city continues to flourish and evolve. Paramount to this goal is galvanizing younger generations to contribute to the vibrant theater and film scenes, street art, and music that make the city a wonderful place to live and work. Three of our nonprofit partners — Cambridge Community Television, the Loop Lab, and the Community Art Center — are doing just that. Cambridge Community Television's Youth Media Program Cambridge Community Television (CCTV) nurtures a strong, equitable, and diverse community. CCTV provides tools and training to foster free speech, civic engagement, and creative expression while connecting people to collaboratively produce media that is responsive, relevant, and effective in a fast-changing technological environment. With a Summer Media Institute and a School Year Production Program, CCTV’s Youth Media Program allows young people in Cambridge to work as paid media artists, building vital [...]
Two high school juniors participate in Work Force's annual mock interview event. How do you break the cycle of intergenerational poverty? In Cambridge, there’s one program with proven results that takes the approach of investing in and partnering with individual, low-income students to help them graduate on time, establish fulfilling careers, and lift themselves out of public housing. The Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) Work Force is a holistic, comprehensive, program that builds networks of learning and support for low-income students living in public housing. Work Force partners with 320 students through nine years of their education, from eighth grade through matriculating students’ post-secondary education. In Fall 2019, the Cambridge Community Foundation made a major investment in the shared prosperity of our city by committing funding of $150,000 over three years to support Work Force. The Work Force has been a nonprofit partner of the Foundation for over three decades, but this is the Foundation’s most significant investment in the program to date. Seeing students through high school and college success The program has four core components: weekly afterschool workshops (social, educational, and vocational); a system of personalized adult support and case management; paid work experiences with public and [...]
By Brad Bedingfield Giving from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) is one of the most tax efficient ways to support charity. At the end of 2019, however, by way of the SECURE Act, Congress changed the law regarding IRAs in a number of ways that could potentially affect charitable giving with IRAs. Here’s a rundown of how the new act may impact donors plus more information about charitable giving through IRAs. Potential changes under the SECURE Act Qualified charitable distributions (QCDs, sometimes referred to as charitable rollovers) are nothing new – Congress allowed them for years on a temporary basis, and the law allowing them was made permanent as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017. Now, with the 2019 SECURE Act, perhaps the most significant change is that most heirs of IRAs can no longer stretch IRA payments over the course of their lifetime. Many heirs who under prior law could have deferred realization of income tax over a lifetime are now required to take all inherited IRA assets into income within 10 years of the IRA owner’s death. By accelerating the payment schedule and the accompanying income tax burden after death, this change in law [...]
Photo courtesy of Cambridge School Volunteers. Could one of your New Year’s resolutions be to more actively participate in the community? In a big world with many challenges, taking local action is a way each of us can make a difference — by impacting one family, one nonprofit, one cause, or one community. If you live, work, or spend time in Cambridge, consider giving back to the community in 2020. Here are some ideas to get you started: 1. Gift a little of your time. Consider using some of your free time to do something positive getting better connected with our community (and have fun). Do you have MLK Day off from work? Invite family or friends to join you at the MLK Day of Service (Monday, Jan. 20 in Central Square) to make valentines for seniors, create fleece blankets and scarves for community members experiencing homelessness, and more. There are also numerous year-round volunteering opportunities. Those who care about addressing the climate crisis, can join the Charles River Conservancy for clean-ups of public parks and recreational areas. People interested in supporting the next generation can make meaningful connections with youth through Cambridge School Volunteers. You can find [...]
Immigrants with legal representation have a vastly higher chance of achieving a favorable outcome in court — but only 37% secure legal representation in removal cases. Between 2018 and 2019, the Cambridge Community Foundation granted $255,000 to four local legal services organizations to bolster their low- or no-cost support of immigrants in our communities. In March of 2019, in partnership with the mayors of Cambridge and Somerville, we renamed the fund from the Cambridge Legal Defense Fund for Immigrants, marking the extension of our efforts to include Somerville. We couldn't do this important work without the generous support of hundreds of residents who have dedicated time and money since the creation of the fund in March 2018.