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100k for 100 Grant Program, Cummings Foundation, Grant Recipients, Bellesini Academy
Nativity Preparatory School Boston

$100K for 100 Grant Program

100K for 100, Cummings Foundation, 100K Grant Program

Cummings Foundation awards $10 million each year through its $100K for 100 grant program. This place-based philanthropic initiative primarily supports nonprofits in the Massachusetts counties where the Foundation and its founders originally derived their funds and where staff and clients of the Cummings organization live – Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk County.

Begun in 2012 as a pilot program with 60 grants, $100K for 100 has since announced 100 grants of $100,000 each, annually. Most grants are disbursed over two to five years, depending on the size and needs of the organization. Through $100K for 100 and its other grant programs, the Foundation has awarded more than $140 million in recent years.


How to Apply

Cummings Foundation accepts Letters of Inquiry via its website from July 1 through October 1 each year. Following a review period, the Foundation will invite full applications from the applicants deemed to have the most potential to achieve $100K for 100 grant awards. Following the submission of these more comprehensive proposals, and then an extensive review process involving 10 four-person Grant Selection Committees, 100 grant winners will be chosen.

Organizations should submit no more than one Letter of Inquiry per grant cycle. Accordingly, larger institutions, such as colleges and hospitals, are urged to coordinate among departments before submitting any requests.

July 1 - Oct. 1

Letters of Inquiry accepted via website

Dec. 15

Application invitations and decline notices sent via email

March 1

Full applications due from those invited to apply


Grant approval and decline letters sent via postal mail

Early June

Grantee Celebration

Please check back on July 1, 2017 for access to the 2018 Letter of Inquiry.

Click here to preview the 2017 Letter of Inquiry form.

*Important notices about Letters of Inquiry and applications are sent via email. To decrease the likelihood of missing such an email, applicants are encouraged to check their spam folders regularly from emails from an @cummings.com address.

Priority Funding Area

The $100K for 100 program primarily seeks to support nonprofits in Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties in Massachusetts. Applicants should not only be based in but also provide at least 80 percent of their services in this tri-county area. A charity that is based in this region, but has programs in other states or countries will not generally be considered for funding.

Priority is given to cities and towns where the Cummings organization operates commercial real estate, and where many of its staff members and clients live. The Foundation may sometimes give special consideration to organizations based elsewhere in the tri-county area that propose introducing programming or services in these communities.

Priority Funding Areas — Causes

The $100K for 100 program will fund a wide variety of local causes, especially including human services, education, healthcare, and social justice. While not in any way minimizing the value or importance of arts (including dance, music, and theater), cultural, and athletic organizations, these areas are not among this program's priorities. Additionally, animal welfare organizations are not typically considered for these grants, as the Foundation already supports animals in a significant way through the ongoing fulfillment of a $50 million commitment to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

To ensure that funds benefit a wide variety of causes, the Foundation limits the number of grants awarded each year to independent organizations affiliated with the same national organization (e.g., Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA).


Grant recipients are eligible to apply for an additional grant three years after a grant is awarded, provided the previous grant has been fully disbursed by Cummings Foundation and all grant requirements have been fulfilled by the recipient organization.

$100K for 100 will not generally consider requests for:

  • Endowments
  • Medical research
  • Scholarship funds
  • Relatively new entities or initiatives
  • Political, legislative, or lobbying organizations
  • Primary and secondary schools that charge tuition
  • Individuals or debt reduction, no matter how worthy
  • Religious endeavors, including faith-based schooling
  • Organizations that do not regularly file IRS Form 990
  • Major capital campaigns, unless very near completion
  • Very large organizations already supported by robust endowments
  • Organizations with the primary purpose of raising funds to distribute to individuals or other organizations
  • Organizations that do not have tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service Code
  • National or regional organizations, or local branches thereof that do not have an EIN separate from that of the larger entity
  • Organizations that discriminate based on race, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, etc.
  • Municipalities (including requests for public schools, police departments, etc.), except for the 10 communities in which the Cummings organization operates
In any grant cycle, the list of award recipients may include one or more organizations that do not strictly adhere to all of these priorities and eligibility guidelines. Such exceptions may be made in recognition of a particular relationship to or with the Foundation.

Meeting Requests

To avoid bias in evaluating grant applications, Cummings Foundation does not typically conduct site visits or hold informational or relationship-building meetings. This policy is applied uniformly, so organizations will not be disadvantaged by it. Notwithstanding this policy, some members of the volunteer selection committees that make the final decisions concerning the majority of grant awards may independently and at their own discretion request more information from specific applicants, or in some cases, conduct site visits. When site visits are conducted, they are most often made without prior announcement.

Contact Us

Joel B. Swets, Executive Director

Joyce Vyriotes, Communications Director

Julie DeSilva, Communications Specialist

Cummings Foundation reserves the right to modify, add to, amend, or eliminate any of its eligibility requirements, priority funding areas, or policies at any time, with or without notice.


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