We’ve seen first-hand how our community mobilizes to support those in need during times of crisis. Many of our nonprofit partners have already dug into the front lines, and this month, we’re spotlighting some of their critical work in these uncertain times.
APPLY FOR THE 2020 SOCIAL INNOVATION AWARD Help us find people working on innovative ideas in Cambridge The application deadline for this year's award (August 26) has passed and the application is now closed. Thank you to all who participated in this year's competition. Join us for a live, virtual award ceremony announcing and celebrating this year's winner on Thursday, October 8 at 5pm! Register here. Cambridge Community Foundation is excited to announce our second Social Innovation Award competition, Imagined in Cambridge. 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. We want to discover and foster 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. Now more than ever, faced with two pandemics in our community—COVID-19 and racism—voices for change are needed. Somewhere in Cambridge we know there is a student, an emerging nonprofit, a group of neighbors, or an entrepreneur [...]
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 [...]
From our 2019 annual report: Some of the people who bring the Foundation's mission to life share what inspires them about our city.
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 [...]
In 2015, a group of residents came to the Cambridge Community Foundation with a plan for a scholarship fund to help Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) graduates with multi-year support for a post-secondary education. The Cambridge Community Foundation became a partner. Now in its third year, the Falcon Pride Scholarship Fund has already helped 12 CRLS grads on their college journey. Each year, CRLS selects four scholars to receive $1,000 in their first year of college, and $1,500 in their second. Thanks to the strong support of 58 committed donors, the Fund announced it was expanding the scholarship, providing an additional $1,500 scholarship in the third year. “As a community that values education, we should be thinking about all our children, the children of Cambridge, and helping them go to college because if they get their degree, it can have a huge impact on their life trajectory,” said Andus Baker, Cambridge Community Foundation board member who co-founded the Falcon Pride Scholarship, along with his wife Rowan Murphy and fellow board member, Liz Keating. “There are lots of groups helping kids succeed in high school and beyond. We wanted to help with money that can pay for books, [...]
We often look to schooling as the key to transformation and progress. When all children are educated equitably, our community fosters shared prosperity. In Cambridge, that aspiration of equity in education is becoming a reality, in part, through the important work of nonprofits and community leaders who support and implement innovative programs that help all children learn. As a grantmaker, the Cambridge Community Foundation has a long history of investing in making education equitable for all residents, thereby paving a path for shared prosperity. In 2019, we funded more than 30 nonprofit partners and collaborative initiatives that are dedicated to expanding and deepening educational opportunities for our city’s youth, from connecting them to higher education institutions and local bio-tech industry leaders to making sure in-school curriculum helps them build the skills they’ll need to succeed in the knowledge economy later on. The Foundation also manages several large funds that help grow educational equity, including the Parmenter Scholarship Fund, which supports scholarships for low-income students going to Harvard; the Falcon Pride Scholarship, which provides multi-year college scholarships for CRLS graduates who need financial support; and the Community Fund, which provides grants to nonprofits offering a range of academic and enrichment [...]
Jonathan Maynard Parmenter. Photo courtesy of The Parmenter Foundation. Jonathan Maynard Parmenter lived a simple life. He and his brother Henry drove cattle between Massachusetts and New Hampshire and shared the family’s modest farmhouse in Wayland, Mass. However, heeding advice from a local friend, he quietly invested his income from cattle with the Harvard Trust company in a range of nascent industries – such as rail, steel, mills, telephone, electricity, and manufacturing. Meanwhile, Parmenter appeared to have never spent a penny on himself, preferring to maintain the New England farm-lifestyle he’d long grown accustomed to. When he died in 1916, Parmenter left an estate worth more than $1 million dollars – to the pure shock of all those who knew him. In his will, he donated to his neighbors, family and local church, but Parmenter also designated a trust fund of $200,000 to go to scholarships that would enable “needy and deserving undergraduates” to attend Harvard College. The terms of the fund stipulate that the entire income be paid annually to Harvard University for Parmenter Scholarships at Harvard College. Since 1916, the Cambridge Community Foundation has been the trustee of the Fund, gifting annually over the course of a century [...]
Cambridge Redevelopment Authority Purchases Local Building to Preserve Nonprofit Social Service Space
October 10 — Cambridge, MA The tenants of 93-99 Bishop Allen Drive celebrated the news of the building sale last week. There was celebration in Cambridge late last week, when the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority (CRA) and the nonprofit Enroot finalized the purchase and sale of the building at 93-99 Bishop Allen Drive in Central Square. Under the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority’s ownership, the building will remain affordable and available for the provision of nonprofit services today and in the future. The transaction, supported by local advocates and organizations, is an important step toward addressing the bigger regional issue of dwindling affordable office space for nonprofits. Enroot, formerly Cambridge Community Services, has owned and operated the building since 1965. Today, the 1855 converted townhouse building is home to over 100 staff from 11 nonprofit agencies that support Cambridge residents by providing children with affordable summer camps, improving math literacy and other academic skills, engaging youth with chronic illnesses in the arts, bolstering the City’s nonprofit sector and small businesses, and providing counseling to survivors of sexual violence. Building tenants have been aware of Enroot’s decision to sell the building since September 2018. The property was formally put on the market in [...]
On Friday, October 25th, join us for an evening of dance, live music, and support for immigrant communities. The event will feature live music by Somerville's classic rockers Stanley and the Undercovers, plus a special dance performance by Jean Appolon Expressions. All proceeds benefit the United Legal Defense Fund for Immigrants, which gives grants to local organizations offering pro-bono legal assistance to immigrants. Help our neighbors stay out of and get out of detention centers. Get your tickets now at dancefordignity.eventbrite.com Event details: When: Friday, October 25th, 7-10:30pm Where: The Somerville Armory, 191 Highland Avenue Cost: Tickets are $20 Organized in partnership with the City of Cambridge and Mayor Marc McGovern, the City of Somerville and Mayor Joe Curtatone, and Stanley and the Undercovers. Why we need your support Many immigrant families, children, and workers in our community are caught up in a humanitarian crisis that is tearing families apart, threatening to deport TPS holders and DREAMers from the only home they have ever known, and exposing asylum seekers to the persecution and abuse they faced in their home countries. Help us help our most vulnerable neighbors in Cambridge and Somerville with a tax-deductible contribution to [...]