Frequently Asked Questions
What is the relationship between OneWorld Boston, Cummings Foundation, and Cummings Properties?
OneWorld Boston is the grant-making arm of Cummings Foundation, which is the principal beneficiary of the earnings of Woburn-based commercial real estate firm Cummings Properties. Founded in 1969, Cummings Properties manages more than 10 million square feet of prime office, lab, and medical space across 10 greater Boston communities, the majority of which is owned by, and operated for the benefit of Cummings Foundation.
What is the best way to arrange a meeting with a representative of OneWorld Boston?
OneWorld Boston has made it a policy not to hold informational, relationship-building meetings. Since this policy is applied uniformly, organizations will not be disadvantaged by it in any way.
Does my organization’s focus fit within OneWorld Boston’s guidelines? How should I determine whether to apply for a grant?
Please review the Grant Information section carefully to determine whether an organization is eligible for a OneWorld Boston grant and falls within the funding priorities. In the interest of equal consideration and attention, please do not contact OneWorld Boston to inquire whether an organization is a good fit for a grant.
Is it possible to receive funding if my organization does not match OneWorld Boston’s focus?
Funding is unlikely, however, an anonymous review committee will make that determination.
If my organization is located outside eastern Middlesex County, could it still receive funding?
It is anticipated that half of the 100 grants awarded in 2013 will be made to organizations based in and serving the communities of eastern Middlesex County. The remaining grants will likely be awarded to charities somewhere in greater Boston, with preference given to other parts of Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties, where Cummings Properties operates and many of its employees and clients' employees live.
If my organization is a regional chapter of a national organization, but serves those in eastern Middlesex County, could it still receive funding?
OneWorld Boston appreciates the positive impact national organizations have on the local area, however, its support is primarily focused on local organizations without access to the infrastructure of a national network. Some local branches may be considered if they have complete financial independence from the national organization.
Are there standard grant proposal requirements or a specific form?
Organizations wishing to apply for grant funding from OneWorld Boston should first submit a very simple online Letter of Inquiry. Not-for-profits with requests that meet the Foundation’s eligibility requirements, fall within its funding priorities, and are considered potential candidates for funding will then be invited to complete a formal online grant application.
Not-for-profits completing a full application will be asked, among other things, to complete a profile on the Giving Common, the Boston Foundation’s new online resource that connects charities and donors. The Giving Common will save area not-for-profits a great deal of time, as they can then direct potential donors to one location with a comprehensive organizational profile, rather than recreating a new document for each request for information.
In the future, it is expected that the Giving Common will be used in a similar way as the Common Application for undergraduate admission used by most American colleges and universities. In this case, however, the Common Application will allow charities to apply for consideration from multiple grant-makers with the same online form.
Can my organization submit more than one Letter of Inquiry in the same grant cycle?
While organizations are welcome to submit multiple Letters of Inquiry, no more than one letter from the same organization will result in an invitation to apply for a grant. Departments at large institutions, such as universities and hospitals, are encouraged to coordinate efforts to ensure the highest priority need is presented first.
Does receiving an invitation to complete a full application mean my organization is likely to receive a grant?
No. In 2012, OneWorld Boston awarded grants to approximately one-third of the organizations that completed full applications. While that ratio may change in either direction for 2013, we expect the selection of grantees will again be a highly competitive process, in which the number of fully worthy applications reviewed will exceed considerably the number of grants awarded. In 2013, 100 grants of $100,000 each will be awarded, mostly over periods of one to four years.
Does OneWorld Boston have a policy regarding indirect costs?
The Foundation strongly discourages the inclusion of indirect costs in grant proposal budgets.
What are the guidelines for a matching or challenge grant?
Although not a requirement, OneWorld Boston will give special consideration to applicants that propose leveraging a grant to generate new donations they would not otherwise receive. While OneWorld Boston does not have a preferred structure, a detailed description of the nonprofit’s proposed plan for a matching or challenge grant should be included in its grant application.
An organization may propose a matching grant, whereby it must raise funds equal to the amount of the OneWorld Boston grant, or a challenge grant, whereby it must raise some other amount it sets as a goal.
Grant funds will be released when the nonprofit provides documentation of the achievement of the stated goal. If the nonprofit does not meet its goal within one year, but raises at least half of the proposed amount, it will receive a grant equal to the amount of funds raised. For multi-year grants, an organization may elect to match funds on an annual basis, rather than all at once.
When will I hear if my organization is invited to apply for a grant or selected to receive a grant?
An organization should expect to hear whether it has been invited to complete a full application approximately one month after submitting a Letter of inquiry. Most grant recipients will then be announced in June 2013.
If my application was declined, is there a waiting period to submit another request?
There is no waiting period for organizations that have been declined for a grant. It is strongly recommended, however, that these not-for-profits review OneWorld Boston’s guidelines closely before submitting a Letter of Inquiry the following year.
Are there agreement documents or reporting requirements if my organization is selected to receive a grant?
OneWorld Boston requires recipient organizations to sign a Grant Agreement and complete annual reports. Not-for-profits chosen for grant awards in 2012 will receive specific reporting requirements by January 2013. All grants made will be consistent with all applicable rules of the Internal Revenue Service.
After Receiving a Grant
Will my organization be required to submit a report detailing its use of the grant funds?
Grant recipients will be required to submit an online Impact Report to Cummings Foundation by May 31 of the year following the awarding of the grant. For multi-year grants, additional Impact Reports will be due each May 31 thereafter during the grant period. Access to and the guidelines for this report will be provided each February.
How should my organization acknowledge this grant publicly?
In all public announcements of this grant, please acknowledge “Cummings Foundation.” You may also reference that your organization is the recipient of “a Cummings Foundation $100K for 100 grant.”
The award agreement signed by each grant recipient requires the organization to include a link to www.CummingsFoundation.org on its website, if it has a website and if the project/department receiving the grant has the ability to make such additions. Grantees also have permission to use the logos for Cummings Foundation and $100K for 100, both of which are available at www.CummingsFoundation.org/logos.htm.