Published On: November 18th, 2015

New leadership introduces streamlined application process for grantees

The Cambridge Community Foundation (CCF) announced grants in response to key issues that affect local residents and the community as a whole.  Grants reflected six themes or areas of interest, including: Economic Opportunity and Mobility, Educational Opportunity, Hunger and Homelessness, Arts and Cultural Vitality, Civic Engagement and Volunteerism, and Elder Support. Grants were also made with respect to the Environment, and in a category labeled Serving the Underserved.

“One overriding goal is to give support to organizations that offer both high quality programs and the ability to drive change in issues that affect residents,” said Geeta Pradhan, president of the foundation. “We are looking to move the needle on key issues.”

Pradhan was named to head the foundation in July. She succeeded Robert S. Hurlbut Jr., who retired after more than 20 years overseeing the city’s only community foundation.

What once required multiple submissions and a complex set of deadlines for organizations seeking support from the Cambridge Community Foundation was simplified this year. Now there is a single application for four separate funds, and an online form means far less paperwork. Meanwhile, the grants approved by the foundation’s board on November 18 made reflected established patterns of giving for the foundation, with some gentle tweaks. Local organizations were given priority over regional nonprofits – although some grants continued to go to regional institutions that serve local residents.

Despite the scale of grantmaking this fall, some funds were put aside for emergency grants, to enable the foundation to respond to unforeseen events and circumstances this winter.

Below is a comprehensive list of grants made in the current cycle, grouped in the areas noted above.


Cambridge Housing Authority – $15,000

For CHAs Workforce initiative, which works with residents in 8th through 12th grades and beyond, providing employment training to more than 250 youth.

Tutoring Plus – $16,000

The organization provides academic support and enrichment to students in grades 4 to 12.

Compass Working Capital – $10,000

Compass provides financial education and coaching, and a savings incentive, to help residents of Cambridge public housing increase earnings, strengthen financial capabilities, build savings and achieve personal goals.

Just-A-Start Corporation – $20,000

Just-A-Start is a community development corporation dedicated to building housing security and economic stability for low-to-moderate income residents of Cambridge and nearby cities. Funding from CCF will support education and training services for 250 teens, youth and adults through YouthBuild and Biomedical Careers programs.

Breakthrough Greater Boston – $10,000

Helps Cambridge students in 9th through 12th grades pursue careers in education.

Cambridge Community Services – $20,000

The City Links program of CCS will expand workforce development programming focused on job readiness, career exploration and financial literacy for 80 students at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.

Community Learning Center – $15,000

This grant will help support the Life Transitions Program, connecting low-income Cambridge immigrants to services, further education and careers.


Cambridge School Volunteers – $13,000

Funding for recruitment, screening, training and supervising tutors, mentors and other volunteers in Cambridge Public Schools.

Families First – $4,000

Families First provides research-based parenting workshops for Cambridge parents and community partners.

Cambridge Camping – $20,000

Cambridge Camping programs make camping experience possible for underserved Cambridge children and children with special needs.

Cambridge Family & Children Service – $4,000

To help pay for parent-support and safety training workshops for foster and adoptive homes.

Big Sister of Greater Boston Association – $5,000

For one-to-one mentoring through community-based and site-based programs in Cambridge.

Project Prakash – $2,000

For quality-of-life programing for children with autism and their families.

City Sprouts – $3,500

A garden-based program that supports healthy food choices for young people.

Habitat Education Center – $1,500

Supports Cambridge third grade students with the study of a meadow habitat at Fresh Pond’s Maynard Ecology Center.

Girl’s Leap – $2,000

Helps provide a 20-hour curriculum teaching physical safety skills and activities to develop conflict resolution skills.


Family-to Family Project – $5,000

Family-to-Family Project works to prevent or reverse homelessness through timely financial help.

HomeStart – $17,500

Helps marginalized and vulnerable people obtain and keep housing.

Food For Free – $15,000

FFF’s Food Rescue and Distribution program will help to feed more than 25,000 people next year in partnership with more than 100 local food programs.

Homeless Empowerment Project/Spare Change – $11,000

HEP produces a newspaper for poor and homeless people to sell to showcase their talents and earn money.

CASPAR – $12,000

This grant provides support to FirstStep OutReach and Emergency Services Center and Shelter for Cambridge homeless people.

AIDS Action: Youth on Fire – $9,000

For the Youth on Fire Drop-In Center for homeless youth.

The Bridge Fund – $5,000

A homelessness prevention program helping those in arrears with rent or mortgage payments.

Community Servings – $9,000

Funding for the nutrition program for Cambridge residents affected by an acute life threatening illness.

Harvard Square Churches Meal Program – $4,000

A grant to hire homeless or formerly homeless people to help serve meals.

Project Manna – $4,000

Project Manna provides a nutritious meal twice a week at the soup kitchen and operates a food pantry.

Shelter Legal Services – $5,000

Funding will help provide matching funds for a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant to provide free civil legal services for homeless people in Cambridge.

Caritas Communities – $5,000

Funding for healthy food, cooking classes, and Y membership for residents of Central House which serves previously homeless men.

Greater Boston Food Bank – $10,000

To provide meals for individuals in need through relief agencies in Cambridge.

American Friends Service Committee – $5,000

For the Material Assistance Program to provide clothing and household goods to those in need.

Pine Street Inn – $5,000

To help serve more than 1,600 people a day with a range of services.


Art Connection – $3,000

To help place up to 25 works of art in each of three or more Cambridge social service agencies.

Boston Minstrel Company – $1,700

To support programming costs for three Minstrel appearances.

Boston Symphony Orchestra – $2,500

The grant will enable Cambridge students take part in the orchestra’s Days in the Arts program, a residential program near Tanglewood that gives middle school students a high-quality arts immersion experience.

Cambridge Art Association – $3,500

A grant to support the Creativity Lab, introducing middle school students to making art.

Cambridge Children’s Chorus – $4,000

Funding for a sequential music and youth development training program for children ages 4 to 18.

Cambridge Performance Project – $3,000

To make possible in-school opportunities to learn from participation in performing arts in Cambridge public schools.

Community Art Center – $10,000

To support the Center as it grows in response to the closing of the Middlesex Boys and Girls Club and seeks to serve Cambridge youth with a range of creative programs.

Dance in the Schools – $3,000

This program uses dance to teach science and math concepts as well as an appreciation of the art of dance in elementary school classrooms.

Longy School of Music at Bard College – $5,000

A grant to support the use of Longy students as teachers and performers in local shelters, hospitals, elder facilities and schools, and to help underwrite free concerts.

North Cambridge Family Opera Company – $3,000

This grant will help support science songwriting workshops conducted by composer David Haines in the Cambridge public schools, grades K through 5.

The Poets’ Theatre – $2,200

The Poets’ Theatre will stage Beowulf in the Seamus Heaney translation at the Muticultural Arts Center in East Cambridge for low-income residents and 40 children from across Cambridge.

Tunefoolery Music Inc. – $1,000

For the Tunefoolery Music Inc. Music Scholarship Program, to help people living with mental illness build identities as musicians.

Cambridge Creativity Commons – $10,000

To enrich teaching and learning through the arts in Cambridge schools.

Beyond the 4th wall Expression Theater – $5,000

To cover operating expenses for an organization that develops musical theater programming for Cambridge students of various ages, socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds.

Metamovements Latin Dance Company – $3,500

Funding for a Youth Arts Ambassadors residency  at Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House and Cambridge Senior Center.


Community Conversations – $10,000

Funding to bring together key community and provider stakeholders for conversations focused on health topics for underserved residents.

Boston Mobilization – $5,500

A program that seeks to strengthen teen civic participation in Cambridge.

Cambridge Senior Volunteer Clearinghouse – $25,250

The organization recruits volunteers for a broad range of agencies, in partnership with citywide Aging in Place.

Many Helping Hands – $5,000

A grant to support the sixth annual Cambridge-wide MLK Day of Service and , the Cambridge volunteering website.


Care Dimensions – $2,000

An organization that seeks to provide vital care for end-of-life patients.

Agassiz Baldwin Community – $2,000

For the Living Week Network that provides senior residents with activities that build community, support Aging in Place and help seniors to connect with people of all ages.

Transition House – $6,325

To help build a pilot partnership between Transition House, the Cambridge Council on Aging, and Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services, Solutions to Domestic Violence.

MA Alliance of Portuguese Speakers – $13,000

A grant to support MAPS work to enable Portuguese-speaking seniors receiving critical services to live independently at home.

Community Dispute Settlement Center – $10,000

To help provide affordable and accessible mediation services, with a focus on Spanish-speaking residents.

Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership – $4,500

To build providers’ capacity for effective case management of low-income elders with hoarding disorder.

New Communities Services – $5,000

NCS serves frail elders by providing holistic day services, including specialized care for adults with Alzheimer’s disease and other kinds of cognitive impairment.

Paine Senior Services – $8,000

To provide consistent support and services to Cambridge seniors regardless of their ability to pay.

St. Patrick Shelter – $7,500

SPS serves homeless women primarily from Cambridge and Somerville with shelter, advocacy and meals.

Visiting Nurse Association – $13,000

To support an organization that provides supportive housing and services for extremely low-income seniors and disabled people from Cambridge.


Green Streets Initiative – $7,500

Funding for Cambridge Walk/Ride Day Programs including collaborations with Cambridge public agencies, schools, working places, retail stores and the general public.

Grow Native – $3,000

For the Evenings with Experts lecture series in collaboration with Cambridge Public Library to support ecologically sound landscapes and gardens.

Charles River Conservancy – $5,000

To help support the activities of the organization devoted to stewardship and enhancement of the Charles River urban parklands.


Guidance Center/Riverside Community Care this includes a group of grants to partner programs including:

Family After School – $4,000

To help children 6 to 12 with serious emotional and behavioral challenges.

The Preschool Team – $5,000

To help fill a persistent gap in services for children with mental health and developmental problems.

The Early Years Project – $7,500

To provide professional development to all providers of childcare in Cambridge at no cost to them. The focus is on supporting mental and behavioral health.

Meeting Place – $4,000

To provide safe settings for parents and children to meet in when supervised visits are necessary.

Early Intervention Partnerships Program and Early Intervention – $5,500

EIPP provides outreach to the families of newborns in the families’ primary language, with risk assessment. The organization also provides developmental evaluations and therapeutic services.

Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House – $16,000

General support for one of the key community institutions serving local residents in need.

Cambridge Community Center – $15,000

To support multiple services offered to low-income families

East End House – $36,000

To support a wide range of services to low-income families including senior support services.

YMCA Cambridge Family – $3,000

A grant to help support a boxing program offered by the Y in partnership with Cambridge Police Department to at-risk Cambridge youth.

Community Legal Services and Counseling Center – $12,000

To support counseling and legal services too low-income and vulnerable individuals and families, as well as technical assistance to staff at Cambridge community based agencies.

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.