Published On: December 31st, 2016

As we approach 2017 we want to thank you on behalf of our grantees for your energy, for giving and for your commitment to the future of Cambridge.

What’s coming in 2017?

  • Save the date for the Cambridge Community Foundation Centennial Gala: March 28, 2017 – Our centennial gala will take place on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 6-9pm, 75 Amherst Street, Building E-14, 6th Floor, Cambridge, MA, located at the MIT Media Lab. It will be a great night for Cambridge and the Foundation. Please mark your calendars!
  • Our shared prosperity project will debut in February with our report on Cambridge – a close look at key indicators that underlie fundamental aspects of community, opportunity, and innovation. We look forward to distributing the report, and hearing your thoughts on shaping the agenda for change.
  • A new website is on its way!

2016 Update – $1,000,000 in grants for Cambridge

Reflecting our grantmaking strategy, we continue to respond to the community for urgent need, innovation, and to provide essential support for the nonprofits that bring hope, opportunity, and high demand services to city residents. We have streamlined our grantmaking process, and now offer grants for our community fund and strategic initiatives.

In 2016, the Board of Overseers approved over a $1 million in grants: $665,000 in December grants, and $334,000 in June grants. We encourage you to take a close look at the list of grants and grantees, and share any questions or comments.
A December grant will create the Rebuilding Fund, to people affected by the fire to rebuild their lives. Learn more here.

  • A $25,000 grant will support new work examining the achievement disparity among Cambridge students. The grant will help develop a Cambridge Public School
  • District plan examining data related to persistent gaps of achievement and opportunity, with funds being used for research, data analysis, and an external advisory team.

Partnering with our city for the future

  • Tech-cellerate Youth – A generous gift of 200 computers and a $50,000 sponsorship for digital-inclusion training and support from Google’s Goodware Program will accelerate positive youth development through technology access, training, and exploration. The project aims to provide greater access to the “Innovation Economy” for students in the Port Neighborhood, located close to Kendall Square, the epi-center of the region’s technology sector. Tech-cellerate Youth is a partnership between Google, Cambridge Community Foundation, several youth development organizations and the City of Cambridge STEAM Initiative.
  • Family Independence Initiative – A co-investment of the Cambridge Community Foundation and an anonymous donor is helping 100 Cambridge families build their income and assets. The Program draws upon the initiative and energy of families working in groups of 6-8, helping them build social networks, supporting each other’s ideas and visions of a brighter future for themselves and their children.
  • Cambridge Connects – An NEA funded community driven arts project developing and sharing narratives of how artists and community imagine the future of their Cambridge neighborhoods. Focused around Central Square, a state designated historic and cultural district, this youth development project is generating stories that we will be sharing with you, to provoke inspiration and conversation!
  • STEAM – In April, the Foundation convened over 275 people in Kendall Square for a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) conversation. Leaders from many sectors talked about the critical role played by creativity integrated with technical skills.

Steve Vinter, Site Director of Google Cambridge, gave the keynote address, which was followed by a panel of experts included Stu Schmill, MIT Dean of Admissions; Sarah Ayers Steinberg, Vice President for Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase; and Jerry Rubin, CEO of Jewish Vocational Services and Martha McKenna, Lesley University Professorand director of Cambridge Creativity Commons.

Sharlene Yang, Cambridge S.T.E.A.M. Coordinator and Deborah Ruhe, Executive Director of Just A Start, led table discussions urging participants to share perspectives on building pathways into the innovation economy. We were thrilled to be joined by Mayor Denise Simmons (through Anne Pierre’s video!).

There is more that we can and will do together, and all of us at the Foundation look forward to working closely with our many partners, our donors, and our friends across the city in 2017.

Wishing everyone a New Year filled with joy, peace, understanding, and opportunity!

Geeta Pradhan