Published On: August 8th, 2016

The Cambridge Community Foundation has announced grants to 51 local organizations totaling $334,336 in its spring grantmaking docket. Funding decisions continued to reflect the following goals:

  • Building bodies of work that create opportunities for collective action and measurement;
  • Supporting the Foundation’s goal of increasing impact in the community;
  • Giving priority to agencies that offer high-quality programs and a scale aimed at supporting progress on key issues or populations.

The Foundation envisions a vibrant, diverse and inclusive city with a culture of giving and with opportunity for all. As a civic leader, the Foundation works in close partnership with donors and stakeholders to achieve that vision by connecting people, knowledge and resources to catalyze change in the city of Cambridge. Grantmaking is an important part of that work and reflects the strength and breadth of nonprofit organizations serving local residents.

The spring grants were made in nine areas, including three grants that align with Foundation initiatives.  They include:

  • Support for the Family Independence Initiative, to expand a program with a robust record of success in helping low-income families achieve independence and make economic progress by tapping their own insights, hard work and social networks.
  • Three grants to strengthen the idea of STEAM education – which integrates programs focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math with the Arts to help prepare Cambridge students and adults seeking career advancement to find opportunity in the Innovation Economy.
  • Matching funds for a grant to the Foundation from the National Endowment for the Arts to support programs in four neighborhoods close to Central Square.

In addition, grants were made to organizations working in the following areas: Economic Mobility and Empowerment, Early Childhood Services, Education and Youth Services, Immigrant and Community Services, Urgent Needs, Senior Services and The Arts.


Strengthening Families

Family Independence Initiative (FII) – $30,000

FII works to end poverty by cultivating connections, choice and capital in very low income communities. Families in the program set goals and track their progress, meeting monthly to share resources, ideas and advice, providing mutual support. A national program, FII has established an effective record of economic progress and greater opportunity. This grant was augmented by a gift from a local donor for $80,000 to provide support for FII over the next two years.

Small Can Be Big Inc. – $10,000

This program addresses the growing regional reality of homelessness by providing modest supports raised by public donations to families at risk. Client families’ stories are presented in a public yet respectful way and money raised is used to avert homelessness. A gap fund covers any difference between need and money raised for a specific family. This grant will be used to support Cambridge families through the gap fund.

STEAM Education

Cambridge Creativity Commons – $17,500

This program works with Cambridge Public School science teachers and technology specialists with direction provided by the Director of CCC to integrate the arts with science and technology projects. Creativity Commons projects build teacher expertise and give students 21st century skills such as creativity, critical thinking and communication.

Innovators 4 Purpose – $10,000

I4P helps youth develop skills as innovators capable of solving complex problems – preparing them to fully participate in today’s innovation economy while helping to ensure the STEM education pipeline reflects America’s evolving demographics. I4P works with students in grades 3 to 12, with a focus on Latino and African American youth.

The Possible Project – $20,000

The Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP), offered by The Possible Project, uses entrepreneurial, experiential, innovative learning to promote positive youth development, job readiness and post-secondary school planning for low-income students. YEP works with 220 Cambridge students from three local public high schools. CCF’s grant will increase the number of minority youth who will benefit from this program.


Cambridge Connects – $20,000

Partnerships in four neighborhoods around Central Square will be created to raise awareness of the value of inclusion in a city being hollowed out by income inequality. Each partnership will pair an Arts organization with resident youth to articulate what the neighborhood values. CCF’s proposal for Cambridge Connects was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant requiring matching funds.


Cambridge SNAP Match Coalition — $5,000

To help double the buying power of low-income residents by matching what consumers spend in SNAP, to make healthy local produce more affordable at local farmer’s markets.

Community Action Agency of Somerville — $5,000

For early childhood teacher training.

Self Esteem Boston — $3,000

To provide self-esteem training to low-income, at-risk people, with a focus on women in shelters and transitional programs.


Algebra Project: Math Talk – $4,000

A pilot program to develop products and services to support parents, teachers and caregivers seeking to engage children ages 2-5 to develop a basic understanding of math concepts, build vocabulary, and accelerate language development.

Horizons for Homeless Children – $3,000

To support Playspaces in family shelters in Cambridge and to recruit and train playspace activities leaders to help staff them.

Nurtury — $4,362

To support a new language and literacy curriculum and to purchase supplies and provide three teacher coaching sessions for the Harvard Street center in Cambridge.


Afterworks — $4,000


To help provide for operational suppport to maintain the scholarship program ensuring that children in need will have access to after-school programming.

Associated Grant Makers Summer Fund — $20,000

To support the Summer Fund donor collaborative that helps ensure summer camps and programs are available for underserved, low-income and homeless youth. The grant directs funds to camps that serve Cambridge and that address summer learning loss.

BSA Foundation — $2,500

To support efforts by the Boston Society of Architects to develop an outreach program to engage 150 children in Cambridge in community-based, hands-on architecture and design activity using STEAM practices.

Cambridge Community Center — $5,000

To help support Hip Hop Transformations for teens in partnership with Cambridge Health Alliance & Cambridge Police to help develop critical consciousness, and violence-prevention and conflict-management skills.

Cambridge Community Television — $3,974

For a six-week media institute to enable two high school seniors to join the staff as youth trainers.

Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee — $5,000

To expand its FAFSA application assistance and follow-up program to help increase the number of low-income households that understand the financial aid award process and strengthen financial literacy related to the costs of higher education.

Cradles to Crayons — $2,500

To support their year-round program to help children thrive at home, at school and at play.

uAspire – $5,000

To help support their college affordability programs for Cambridge students.

Wheelock Family Theatre – $4,000

To provide four Cambridge teens a chance to take part in WFT’s new Teen Technical Theatre Training Program to foster interest in STEM plus arts (STEAM) through a hands-on immersion in theatre crafts.

The Young People’s Project — $7,500

To launch a new math literacy program in partnership with Cambridge Youth Programs for students in Moses Youth Center and Fletcher Maynard Academy.

Youth Enrichment Services – $2,500

To support Operation SnowSports & Outdoor Adventure for a diverse population of low-to-mid-income Cambridge youth.


Adbar Ethiopian Women’s Alliance — $5,000

For two literacy programs seeking to close language and learning gaps between children in low- and high-income households and to help families gain the same skills.

EMERGE — $3,000

For scholarship support of the Abuser Intervention Program.

Parenting Journey — $4,000

To support parenting programs that help at-risk parents create stronger, more resilient families.


The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center – $6,000

To help fund operating expenses and to hire a contracts manager to support BARCC’s services.

Bridge Over Troubled Waters — $6,000

For street outreach to connect with homeless youth.

Cambridge Health Alliance Foundation – $5,000

To support the health integration program in outpatient psychiatry.

Food For Free – $3,000

To support a program that helps feed over 25,000 people in partnership with 100 local food programs.

Heading Home – $5,000

To help chronically homeless individuals with disabilities in Cambridge.

Many Helping Hands – $2,500

To support Gift Cards for Guns, a Safer Homes, Safer Community Initiative to reduce the number of guns in the community.

On the Rise – $3,000

To help support Safe Haven & Keep the Keys programs for homeless women as they move beyond crisis.

Solutions At Work – $10,000

To help support the Children’s Clothing Exchange, and Solutions Wear – to provide homeless or low-income individuals with business attire as they seek to re-enter the workforce.

Transition House – $5,000

To resurface the playground at their emergency shelter to make it safer for children’s play.

The Union Partnership for a Whole Community – $7,500

To support the effort to develop a pipeline of highly trained nonprofit leaders of color.

Wellmet Project – $3,000

To support transitional housing services for individuals with mental illness.

Women’s Educational Center – $5,000

To support services to low-income, homeless, and abused women.


Homeowners Rehab — $15,000

To help support free technical assistance and a loan program to assist low-income homeowners in Cambridge.

The Nature Connection — $4,000

For therapeutic and animal-assisted programs to a diverse population of senior citizens at the Cambridge Health Alliance Elder Service Plan.

Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services — $3,000

For weekend home-delivered meals for isolated elders.

VNA Care Network & Hospice — $5,000

To help defray costs at the Elizabeth Evarts de Rham Hospice and care provided in patients’ homes in Cambridge.


American Repertory Theater — $5,000

To help support program expenses for 220 CRLS students to attend a matinee and interactive discussion addressing the “school-to-prison pipeline” that affects disadvantaged youth.

Cambridge Arts Council – $5,000

For the Summer in the City program to provide free diverse arts programming for the public in parks and community spaces.

Cambridge Symphony Orchestra – $2,000

For a free Pops on the Lawn Concert in Sennott Park.

Central Square Theatre – $5,000

For the Community Connectivity Program and resident youth ensemble in Central Square and across neighborhoods.

Gallery 263 – $2,500

To support operations for the nonprofit arts space on Pearl Street.

Jean Appolon Expressions – $5,000

For reduced tuition for the after-school Teen Program at the Dance Complex, focused on Caribbean and African cultures.

José Mateo Ballet Theatre – $5,000

To help support Dance for the CommonWealth, an outreach program that gives Cambridge residents of all ages access to the arts.

Multicultural Arts Center — $4,000

For operating support.

Revels, Inc. — $2,000

For the 18th Annual RiverSing event.

For more information contact David Trueblood [email protected] or call 617-576-9966 x 103

The Cambridge Community Foundation is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that works collaboratively with organizations and people committed to making a difference in our shared community. The foundation makes grants to nonprofit organizations, convenes innovative and collaborative groups, and connects donors to the community and to issues they care most about.