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100k for 100 Grant Program, Cummings Foundation, Grant Recipients, Bellesini Academy

$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 $170 million in recent years.


How to Apply

Cummings Foundation accepts brief Letters of Inquiry (typically one to two pages in length) 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. After the submission of these more comprehensive proposals, and then an extensive review process involving two stages of 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

Online Letters of Inquiry opens (see link below)

Oct. 1 @ 5 PM

Online Letters of Inquiry closes

Dec. 15

Application invitations and decline notices sent via email

Feb. 15 @ 5PM

Full applications due from those invited to apply


Grant approval and decline letters sent via postal mail

Early June

Grant Winner Celebration

Check back on July 1, 2019 to submit a Letter of Inquiry.

Click here to preview the 2019 Letter of Inquiry form.

*Important notices about Letters of Inquiry and applications are sent via email. To decrease the likelihood of missing such emails, applicants are encouraged to check their spam folders regularly for 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 headquartered in but also provide at least 80 percent of their services in this tri-county area. A charity that is based in this region and has programs in other states or countries, will not generally be considered for funding.

Priority is given to the 11 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, especially Woburn.

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 organizations focused on the arts (including dance, music, and theater), culture, athletics, or the preservation of land or historic buildings, 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 more than $70 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).


A grant recipient will be eligible to apply for an additional grant after all the requirements below have been satisfied.

  • All previous Cummings Foundation grants to that organization have been fully disbursed, and at least one "gap year" has passed during which the organization did not receive $100K for 100 funding. (i.e., A recipient may not submit an LOI during the same calender year that it receives its final grant installment, but it may submit an LOI the following year)
  • A minimum of three years has passed since the previous grant was awarded (e.g., a winner of a grant awarded in 2017 will be eligible to apply again no sooner than the 2020 grant cycle, for which LOIs will open in summer 2019).
  • All requirements stipulated in the prior Grant Agreement, including the completion of annual Impact Reports, have been fulfilled by the recipient organization.

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

  • Endowments
  • Medical research
  • Scholarship funds
  • Religious endeavors
  • Relatively new entities or initiatives
  • Political, legislative, or lobbying organizations
  • Individuals or debt reduction, no matter how worthy
  • Organizations that do not regularly file IRS Form 990
  • Major capital campaigns, unless very near completion
  • Very large organizations already supported by robust endowments
  • Nonprofits that primarily serve other nonprofits, such as with management assistance
  • 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 11 communities in which the Cummings organization operates commercial properties
  • Primary and secondary schools, except for those located in the 11 communities in which the Cummings organization operates. Schools in these priority communities will typically not be considered, however, if they charge significant tuition.
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 with $100K for 100 applicants. 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, Deputy Director

Christina Berthelsen, Grants & 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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