BOSTON – Boston Business Journal has once again recognized Cummings as the Commonwealth’s “Top Charitable Contributor” at its Corporate Citizenship Awards. This is the fifth time the Woburn-based organization, made up of commercial real estate firm Cummings Properties and its affiliate Cummings Foundation, has earned the top ranking.
During a September 9 virtual event, 98 companies were honored for their donations to Massachusetts nonprofits during calendar year 2020. The businesses’ total charitable giving ranged from $100,000 to Cummings’ total of $28.9 million.
Liberty Mutual and Granite Telecommunications took the second and third spots, respectively.
“Strengthening local communities has long been a driving force for our organization,” said Dennis Clarke, chairman and CEO of Cummings Properties and a trustee of Cummings Foundation. “It’s humbling to be recognized alongside so many other generous corporate neighbors, and we heartily thank Boston Business Journal for promoting local philanthropy.”
Cummings Properties manages 11 million square feet of debt-free commercial space, the majority of which is owned by Cummings Foundation and operated for its sole benefit. One hundred percent of the rental profits supports local charities, primarily through the annual Cummings $25 Million Grant Program.
Cummings has awarded more than $300 million to date in greater Boston alone.
“Our ability to consistently give back at this level is in no small part due to the more than 2,000 local businesses that lease space from Cummings Properties,” said Clarke.
The 51-year-old commercial real estate firm operates buildings in 11 suburban communities. TradeCenter 128 in Woburn and Cummings Center in Beverly are among its largest and most visible properties.
Cummings takes an unusual “democratized” approach to its philanthropy by empowering community leaders to make the majority of its grant decisions each year. In addition, several hundred employees, long-term leasing clients, and other select associates of the organization are invited every year to each identify a local nonprofit to receive a $1,000 donation from Cummings in their honor.
“In a traditional philanthropic model, a small number of people hold all the giving power,” said Clarke. “We believe, however, that Cummings’ philanthropy is most effective when we involve a large, diverse group of people in the decision-making process.”