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Grants to Massachusetts Nonprofits to Address the Needs of Marginalized and Vulnerable Residents in Eligible Locations

Safety Net Grants


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Boston Foundation Inc
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Geographic Focus
USA: Massachusetts: Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk counties

Important Dates
Deadline: 09/26/23 11:59 PM EST Save

Grant Description
Grants to Massachusetts nonprofit organizations to address the needs of marginalized and vulnerable residents in eligible locations. Funding is intended to support general organizational operations. Priority will be given to applicants serving seniors and people with physical disabilities and providing food, fuel, and shelter support. Eligible proposals benefit families and individuals in the following counties: Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, and Suffolk.

Safety Net Grants provide an opportunity to provide much-needed general operating funds to nonprofits addressing critical, immediate and essential needs for people throughout the region.

Essential needs are defined as resources that restore health, wellness, safety and belonging for individuals or families in crisis. They can include, but are not limited to:

  • Childcare assistance
  • Direct cash assistance
  • Food security
  • Health care access
  • Legal support
  • Mental health support
  • Rental and housing assistance
  • Support for survivors of trauma
  • Transportation and mobility support


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Eligible Organizations primarily serve communities historically excluded from institutional philanthropy in Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk counties with a focus on the communities of greatest need as defined by the supplemental poverty measure (SPM).

An eligible applicant would also meet the following criteria:
- Has not submitted an application within the past 12 months;
- Has a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit designation from the IRS or operates under the fiscal sponsorship of a tax-exempt nonprofit;
- Aligns with Our New Pathway, the strategic vision for The Boston Foundation;
- Does not discriminate in the hiring of staff or the provision of services on the basis of race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability;
- Responds to an essential need by providing resources that restore health, wellness, safety and belonging for individuals or families in crisis

The Foundation is especially interested in organizations that are:
- Smaller and have been historically excluded from philanthropic support
- BIPOC-led and/or whose leadership reflects the demographic composition and lived experiences of the communities they serve;
- Meeting the needs of seniors and people with physical disabilities;
- Providing food, fuel and shelter support

Additional Geographic Information:

Geographic area served:

The Boston Foundation does not make grants for capital construction costs, endowments, medical or academic research, scholarships, sectarian or religious purposes, or to support candidates for political office. Private non-operating foundations, 501(c)(4) organizations, and Section 501(a)(3) Type III Non-functionally Integrated organizations are not eligible to apply. In addition, grants are not made to individual persons. Parent Teacher Associations and tuition-based schools (including K-12 and post-secondary schools and universities) are also not eligible for this funding.

Pre-Proposal Conference
Sign up for the Information Session on September 12th from 1pm-2pm EST:

Pre-Application Information
Grants are offered twice each year - once in the spring and once in the fall.

Deadline: September 26, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. EST

Grants are paid in two equal annual installments of $25,000.

FAQs and Funding Considerations:

Eligibility Quiz:

View a recording of the webinar from Sept. 12, 2023:

Estimated Size of Grant
$50,000 grants

Term of Contract
Two years

Contact Information
Apply Online:

Please email or call 617-338-4508 with questions.

The Boston Foundation
75 Arlington Street, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02116

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