Greater Boston real estate organization awards $10 million to 30 local nonprofits

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WOBURN, MA– Cummings Foundation has selected 30 greater Boston nonprofits to share in $10 million through the Cummings $20 Million Grant Program. The grants range from $250,000 to $500,000 and will be disbursed over 10 years.

One of the three largest private foundations in New England, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the areas where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed on a pro bono basis by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. Founded in 1970 by Bill Cummings of Winchester, the Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 10 million square feet of space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

In the first phase of this philanthropic initiative, 130 nonprofits were awarded $100,000 each in June. In the second phase, delayed until the fall due to COVID-19, repeat grant winners were considered to have their $100,000 grants elevated to 10-years awards.

The organizations selected for the added funding are:

Alray Taylor Second Chance (West Newton)

Asperger/Autism Network (Watertown)

Beyond Soccer (Lawrence)

Boston Architectural College (Boston)

Breakthrough Greater Boston (Cambridge)

Build Health International (Beverly)

Challenge Unlimited (Andover)

Community Servings (Jamaica Plain)

Endicott College (Beverly)

Entrepreneurship For All (Lowell)

Fidelity House (Lawrence)

Gr. Lawrence Family Health Center (Methuen)

Housing Families (Malden)

Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center (Newburyport)

Lazarus House (Lawrence)

Mothers for Justice and Equality (Roxbury)

Northeast Arc (Danvers)

Plummer Youth Promise (Salem)

Project LEARN (Lowell)

Project Place (Boston)

Raw Art Works (Lynn)

SquashBusters (Boston)

The Corwin-Russell School (Sudbury)

The Urban Farming Institute (Mattapan)

Wellspring House (Gloucester)

West End House (Allston)

Wilmington Police Department (Wilmington)

Women’s Lunch Place (Boston)

Youth Advocacy Foundation (Boston)

Youth Villages (Woburn)

“Greater Boston is so fortunate to have a wealth of effective nonprofits that are listening to the community and working to meet its needs,” said Cummings Foundation grants manager Christina Berthelsen. “By providing a full decade of support, we hope to alleviate some of the constant fundraising burden, enabling nonprofit staff to spend more time actually providing services.”

Nonprofits contending for the extended funding made presentations via Zoom to a panel of Cummings Foundation volunteers. These community volunteers selected 19 of the 30 grant winners. The other 11 recipients had been determined previously by Foundation team members.

“As a way to share the economic power of the Foundation, we have created a system through which volunteers decide more than half of all our grant winners,” said Berthelsen. “We benefit from their diverse backgrounds and perspectives; they benefit from an enlightening learning opportunity; and the nonprofits often benefit from increased exposure and new advocates.”

Through the Cummings $20 Million Grant Program, Cummings Foundation gives back in the area where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed—at no cost to the Foundation—by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. Founded in 1970 by Bill Cummings, the Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 10 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $280 million to nonprofits in Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. It increased its annual grant program from $20 million to $25 million for the current 2021 cycle.