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    LARGE GRANTS GUIDELINES 2017-08-21T21:23:35+00:00

    The Cambridge Community Foundation’s Large Grants are open to applications for support in responding to community needs and opportunities.  Awards of more than $5,000 are made on a competitive basis, via a set of more extensive application requirements.

    • Deadline: October 1 or February 15 — by 5:00 PM

    If deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, applications are due by 5:00PM on the following business day

    • Awards announced:
      • Fall grant announcement after the November board meeting
      • Spring grant announcement after the March board meeting

    Application Process


    Only tax-exempt 501(c)3 organizations with a program serving the people of Cambridge, MA. The Cambridge Community Foundation does not make grants to individuals or fund capital projects.

    Agencies may receive general operating support grants for three (3) years in a row and then must take a break so that we may serve the breadth of agencies. Note, the 3 year rule for general operating support grants started as of FY17 (July 2016 – ).

    Proposal Requirements

    • Email supporting material to
      • A statement of your agency and project goals. (Please limit this to one page.)
      • A description of the specific project (no more than 5 pages).
    • Goals (and how the project advances the nonprofit’s goals/objectives)
    • Activities
    • Expected outcomes
    • Organization track record and impact
    • Input/feedback from the community/your clients
    • Evidence of need or opportunity.  Expected beneficiaries and nature of improvements
    • How best practices in the field or research influence proposed activities
    • How success will be assessed
      • A project budget for which funds are being requested
      • An agency budget for the current year
      • A list of the organization’s current Board of Directors
      • A list of other prospective funding sources for this project
      • IRS determination letter
      • Most recent audit. Nonprofit organizations with budgets under $500,000 may submit a financial statement that is either reviewed or audited by an independent certified public accountant (CPA)
      • For organizations who received grant from Cambridge Community Foundation in the prior year, a final report of project activities and outcomes
      • Where proposed project work requires collaboration with other nonprofits or public sector partners, describe the extent of the collaboration and how project activities will be affected.

    Review Process

    Cambridge Community Foundation’s Community Fund grants are competitive and selection is based on the following criteria:

    • Strength of the Proposed Project or Investment
      1. Addresses a demonstrated community or organizational need or opportunity
      2. Has a strong likelihood of success and impact on the community
    • Applicant(s) Organizational Capacity
      1. Leadership capacity and experience of person leading the work
      2. Organization track record of service delivery and impact
      3. Overall financial health

    Proposals are reviewed by staff and the Distribution Committee which is comprised of Cambridge Community Foundation board members who have broad knowledge of the community. The Committee puts forward recommendations to the Foundation Board for approval.

    Applicants not awarded a grant may request feedback on their proposal and would be eligible to apply again the following year.

    Grantee Expectations

    • Grant year-end reports that share progress, lessons and constituent stories and images (if applicable)
    • Maintenance of organization’s tax exempt, 501(c)(3), status
    • Participation in feedback surveys
    • Meetings with Cambridge Community Foundation and other supporters, as requested
    • Referencing Cambridge Community Foundation support in media advisories, press releases, public events, and social media.