The Cambridge Community Foundation is a convener, a partner in collaboration, and a catalyst for change. We draw on our deep rooted relationships and our long history as an independent civic leader to bring together neighborhoods, organizations, and economic sectors.  We create a sense of common purpose.

To accomplish our civic leadership goals, we draw upon a number of tools and strategies. The Foundation:

  • Commissions research to examine key issues;
  • Convenes stakeholders, change-makers, and experts to build consensus on effective strategies;
  • Engages donors as core investors in community development;
  • Makes grants to encourage and support those strategies;
  • Provides space and support to encourage collaboration among community members; and,
  • Builds and strengthens networks to create connections.

The Foundation has combined its convening and connecting activity with grantmaking to move from ideas to action since our earliest years. In the 1930s, the Foundation partnered with the Red Feather Charity to generate philanthropy.  Working with City Hall, in the late 1990s, the Foundation launched the Agenda for Children. Since 2015, we’ve been  supporting nonprofit collaboration through the Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition.  Most recently, in 2016, the Foundation gathered community-wide Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (S.T.E.A.M) partners to explore pathways in today’s innovation economy. These activities are supported by annual donations to our Civic Leadership Fund.

In this centennial year, the Civic Leadership Fund will be used to fund grantmaking and the Foundation’s research on the state of shared prosperity in Cambridge. It will also support a range of convenings held in the community and at the Foundation’s offices to promote community-wide conversations around civic issues.

The community foundation is a community partner that creates a better future for all by pursuing the community’s greatest opportunities and addressing the most critical challenges, inclusively uniting people, institutions and resources from throughout the community, and producing significant, widely shared and lasting results.

FRAMEWORK for Community Leadership by a Community Foundation

Council of Foundation’s National Task Force on Community Leadership (2013).