Help us find people working on innovative ideas 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. Help us find them!

The Cambridge Community Foundation is excited to kickoff our third annual Imagined in Cambridge! Social Innovation Award competition. As a funder of Cambridge nonprofits for more than a century, we are deeply rooted in the community—yet we are confident there are local ideas we don’t know about. Last year, we uncovered five award-winning ideas presenting innovative solutions to pressing social problems and we know there are more.

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen the power of grassroots solutions to meet intractable issues in our community. In an innovation hub like Cambridge, it’s no surprise that original, creative, and daring ideas are emerging across our neighborhoodsfrom individuals, students, groups, entrepreneurs, burgeoning nonprofits. With small resources and light-touch interventions, these ideas can have a huge impact in Cambridge and beyond. Our mission is to find them and support them.

We invite grassroots innovators who are tackling community challenges and making a difference in the quality of life in Cambridge to apply for our Imagined in Cambridge! Social Innovation Award. In recognition of elevated need in our community, this year, $5,000 will be given to each winning project.

Do you have an idea to better the Cambridge community, or know someone who does? Apply or nominate someone now through September 13! Details below.

Eligibility criteria for the 2021 Award

  • Program serves Cambridge
  • Must fill out application by due date: Monday, September 13, 2021 (by 11:59pm)
  • Individuals, students, groups, entrepreneurs, emerging nonprofits encouraged to apply
  • 501c3 status is NOT REQUIRED
  • Previous CCF Community Fund grant recipients are NOT eligible to apply

Panel of judges

  • Debbie Bonilla – Co-founder, Friday Night Hype; 2020 Imagined in Cambridge! Award winner
  • Alanna Mallon – Vice-Mayor, City of Cambridge
  • David Parker – CEO, Entrepreneurship for All
  • Erin Muirhead McCarty – Executive Director, Community Art Center
  • Niko Emack – Member, My Brother’s Keeper Cambridge Taskforce
  • C.A. Webb – President, Kendall Square Association
  • Lori Lander – Founder, Many Helping Hands 365; Artist; CCF board member (non-voting judge)

To Apply

The 2021 application deadline has passed. Stay tuned to our Facebook page on October 15 as we announce this year’s winners live!

Questions about Imagined in Cambridge? Please contact [email protected]