Local Nonprofits Invited to Apply for Tufts Community Grants

Grant applications available now through March 1

Tufts University is now accepting Tufts Community Grants (TCG) applications from local nonprofit organizations located in its four host communities of Boston, Grafton, Medford, and Somerville. The TCG program is funded by donations from Tufts faculty and staff during the Tufts Community Appeal, the university’s annual internal fundraising campaign and from a generous matching gift from Cummings Foundation.

Earlier this fiscal year, Tufts faculty and staff donated a record-breaking amount to the Tufts Community Grants program, which, when combined with the matching gift from Cummings Foundation, will allow the TCG board to award $105,000 this cycle. One hundred percent of donations made to TCG during the Tufts Community Appeal go directly to nonprofits as grants.

Since TCG was founded in 1995, over 150 nonprofit organizations have benefited from the program’s grants.

Grant applications will be accepted from February 1 to March 1, 2024. To be eligible to receive a grant, an organization must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, located in one of Tufts University’s host communities, and have had a Tufts student, faculty, or staff volunteer in the last year.

“We are incredibly grateful for the deep and meaningful partnerships that Tufts has built with local nonprofit organizations that are working tirelessly in our communities,” said Rocco DiRico, executive director of government and community relations at Tufts University. “Through the Tufts Community Grants program, we are able to further our commitment to our community partners as they work to provide much-needed services and programming.”

The program has been able to grow over the past few years thanks to Bill Cummings, A58, H06, J97P, M97P, founder of Cummings Properties, co-founder of Cummings Foundation, and a major supporter of the Tufts Community Grants program. Bill is a business leader, philanthropist, and trustee emeritus who grew up in Medford.

“With the Tufts Community Grants program, we can partner in bolstering the work of local nonprofit organizations doing important work right in Tufts’ own backyard,” said Bill Cummings. “We are delighted to help amplify this program, and, in turn, help extend the tireless efforts of local non-profits supporting those most in need in our communities.”

Last year, the Tufts Community Grants board awarded 35 $3,000 grants to organizations in Tufts’ host communities, including six first-time TCG recipients. The grants supported a wide range of programs and projects addressing community needs. For example:

Two young students from Touchstone community School

Two students participate in the stewardship programming at Touchstone Community School, a pre-K through grade 8 school in Grafton. In 2023, Touchstone received a grant to support their programming with purchase of supplies that allowed students to have a hand in taking care of their school grounds.

  • In Grafton, Community Harvest Project received a grant for the purchase of fertilizer and greenhouse supplies to support an extended growing season, yielding fresh, free, local produce for food-insecure households.
  • The Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center received a grant to purchase materials to enhance their Red Oak visual arts and music programs and professional development trainings to increase staff capacity to better serve school-age children from low-income, immigrant, and English Language Learner households.
  • In Medford, Chapters Coffee Carts, a first time TCG grant recipient, received a grant for the purchase of café equipment to upgrade Chapters Coffee Cart (at the Medford Public Library), which employs individuals with disabilities, providing critical job and professional skills.
  • Somerville Bike Kitchen, another first-time TCG recipient, was awarded funding to provide expanded access to signature programming, including cycling repair education and events for underrepresented LGBTQIA+ and femme/trans/women/nonbinary groups within the local cycling community.

The TCG program is just one of the numerous ways in which the university supports campus neighbors. The Government and Community Relations team provides event sponsorships for local organizations, hosts community events on campus, and, in collaboration with other offices at Tufts, helps over 1,000 student, faculty, and staff volunteers with their community engagement work each year.

Applications can be found on the Government and Community Relations website.

Questions regarding TCG can be directed to Government and Community Relations at communityrelations@tufts.edu or 617-627-3780.

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