What We Do

Cummings Buildings Power Charities

Joyce and Bill Cummings

Joyce and Bill Cummings established Cummings Foundation, Inc. in 1986. At that time, the commercial real estate firm Bill founded in 1970, Cummings Properties, was thriving, and the Winchester, Massachusetts couple decided they wanted to give back in the Greater Boston areas where the growing business operated and where its staff and clients lived.

Over the years, Joyce and Bill gradually donated the large majority of Cummings Properties commercial property to the Foundation. Today, nearly all of the buildings managed by Cummings Properties are actually owned by and operated for the sole benefit of Cummings Foundation. Clients who lease space at these properties feel good about this business decision, knowing that Cummings Buildings Power Charities.

"After about 15 very successful years in Greater Boston commercial real estate, we came to recognize and believe that no one can truly 'own' anything. With our ever-so-brief stays upon this earth, how can we possibly think of ourselves as owning land? How can we ever be anything more than caretakers of the ground beneath anything we might develop on any site? With that thought in mind, it was easy thereafter to start giving much more."

— Joyce and Bill Cummings

Now one of the largest private foundations in New England, Woburn-based Cummings Foundation has awarded $500 million in grants to Greater Boston nonprofits alone. Its giving is concentrated in Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties plus several abutting communities in Norfolk county and benefits a broad range of causes, including human services, education, healthcare, and social justice. The Cummings also have a special interest in Rwanda, where the Foundation collaborates with Partners In Health and a limited number of other organizations to aid in that East African country's post-genocide recovery and rebuilding.

Joyce and Bill quietly contributed to the local community for many years. Then, in May 2011, they joined The Giving Pledge, an organization founded by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet through which some of the world's wealthiest individuals and couples have publicly pledged to donate at least half of their assets for philanthropic purposes. Bill and Joyce had already donated 90 percent of their wealth.

Sustaining Grant recipients

(Click to enlarge) Captured above is a plaque presented to Bill Cummings when he spoke to an annual gathering of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association. Founded in 1795 with Paul Revere as its first president, it is reportedly the oldest continuously operating private foundation in the United States. Cummings Foundation values acting in partnership with other funders and views these as opportunities to learn and leverage greater impact.

Primary Programs and Affiliates

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$30 Million Grant Program

As a place-based philanthropic initiative, the annual Cummings $30 Million Grant Program seeks to support nonprofits in eastern Massachusetts' Essex, Middlesex, and Suffolk counties and the Norfolk County cities of Brookline, Dedham, Milton, Needham, Quincy, and Wellesley. Each year, this program awards 150 grants to a diverse group of organizations. These awards include 125 three-year grants of $30,000–$300,000 each, plus 25 ten-year grants of up to $1,000,000 each. These grants fund a wide variety of local causes, including human services, healthcare, social justice, and education. Learn more.

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New Horizons Communities

New Horizons at Choate, in Woburn, and New Horizons at Marlborough are Cummings Foundation's not-for-profit independent and assisted living communities. Offering abundant activities, gourmet dining, and beautiful surroundings, they collectively house more than 500 senior residents.

Cummings Schools

In recognition of the transformative power of a good education, the Foundation has embarked on significant partnerships with several highly regarded institutions, including:

These seven named schools and programs share no affiliation with each other apart from the monetary investment of no less than a combined $200 million from Cummings Foundation.

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Cummings Community Giving

While actually funded directly by Cummings Properties, this giving program honors Cummings Properties colleagues, long-term clients, and other select associates by contributing $1,000 or $2,000 to the local charity of their choice. Since 2012, this program has resulted in more than $4 million in donations to more than 500 local nonprofits. This unique initiative is one of the many ways that "Cummings Buildings Power Charities."

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Cummings Properties

With 11 million square feet of debt-free prime commercial real estate ranging from 80 to 300,000 square feet, Cummings Properties can accommodate your executive office, healthcare facility, laboratory, retail storefront, warehouse, and more. And, with in-house experts in design, construction, and property management, you'll surely save time and money through "one-stop shopping." Learn more about Cummings Properties' convenient locations in Woburn, Beverly, and nine other suburban Boston communities along I-93 and Route 128 (I-95).

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Cummings Executive Suites

With three locations in Woburn and Beverly, MA, Cummings Executive Suites offer the flexibility of executive office suites with prestigious business addresses at a fraction of the cost of a conventional office. Ready-to-use office and conference space available by the day, week, month and year simplifies the process of finding the right space to suit your business needs. Cummings Executive Suites also deliver a wide array of workplace solutions to support your office needs - including telephone answering, virtual offices, mail programs, and full receptionist & administrative support services.