WOBURN, MA – Woburn entrepreneur, philanthropist, and author Bill Cummings and his wife, Joyce, appeared on Forbes’ recently released “America’s Top 50 Givers” list. The Winchester residents are ranked #43 among philanthropists nationwide in terms of dollars donated in 2017.
The list, which begins with Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates, includes one other Massachusetts couple: Barbara and Amos Hostetter Jr. of Barr Foundation, who are ranked #33.
“We certainly never imagined being on a list like this one,” said Bill Cummings. “Although we appreciate such lists’ potential to encourage greater philanthropy, it is also essential that credit be given where it is due—and that is to the nonprofit professionals and volunteers who work diligently and passionately every day to help others.”
Cummings made his fortune through commercial real estate firm Cummings Properties. He founded the company in 1970 with one small building in Woburn, and has expanded its portfolio to include 11 million square feet across 11 suburban-Boston communities.
Cummings, however, has gifted most of—and will eventually gift ALL of—this real estate to Cummings Foundation. In the meantime, all rental profits from the donated properties go to the foundation for charitable causes, according to Eric Anderson, president of Cummings Properties.
“We like to say that ‘Cummings buildings power charities’ because the revenue they generate is supporting local nonprofits, not corporate perks,” said Anderson. “We’re grateful to our leasing clients and our Cummings colleagues for the important roles they play in Cummings Foundation’s giving.”
Founded in 1986, the foundation has awarded more than $225 million to date. The history behind the Cummings organization’s unusual philanthropic structure is detailed in Cummings’ new memoir, “Starting Small and Making It Big.” It is available on Amazon and cummings.com/book.
More information about Cummings Properties’ and Cummings Foundation’s charitable giving is available at www.cummings.com/charity.