Archive for the ‘Environmental Program’ Category

New Grant Awards

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Children, Youth and Families (CY&F) Program Grants

ACCEPT Education Collaborative, Natick, MA, $19,200
For a marketing/communications consultation.

Bethany Hill Place, Framingham, MA, $5,000
For a strategic planning consultation.

Doc Wayne Youth Services, Boston, MA, $25,000
For a program evaluation consultation.

Family Promise Metrowest, Natick, MA, $10,000
For a strategic planning consultation.

Hoops and Homework, Framingham, MA, $16,500
For board develop and strategic planning consultations.

Jeff’s Place, Framingham, MA, $20,500
For a board development consultation.

Jewish Family Service of Metrowest, Framingham, MA, $8,500
For a board development consultation.

Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, Framingham, MA, $9,665
For staff development.

CY&F Invitation & Discretionary Grants:
Lovelane Special Needs Horseback Riding Program, Lincoln, MA, $18,200
To strategize and pilot a new way of managing herd transition.

MetroWest Legal Services, Framingham, MA, $25,000
To provide legal representation to 30-40 undocumented immigrant youth in Framingham schools to assist them in applying for and obtaining legal status and to conduct “Know Your Rights” presentations and trainings.

Sudbury Program

Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, Sudbury, MA, $7,500
Faculty stipends to pilot the Hub for Innovation.

Town of Sudbury/Goodnow Library, Sudbury, MA, $31,250
To purchase equipment and provide staff training as part of an extensive renovation to the Library’s second floor.

MetroWest Free Medical Program, Sudbury, MA, $1,200
To purchase equipment to create an additional exam room at the Sudbury location.

Organization for the Assabet, Sudbury & Concord Rivers, Concord, MA, $5,000
To create a report card on the health status of the Assabet, Sudbury and Concord rivers.

Sudbury United Methodist Church, Sudbury, MA, $25,000
In support of a capital campaign.

SWEET, Inc., Sudbury, MA, $545
A series of small projects to help eradicate invasive species in Sudbury.

Sudbury Historical Society, Sudbury, MA, $200,000 matching grant
Toward a capital campaign to renovate the Loring Parsonage to create a Town History Center. 

Farm & Local Food Initiative

Mass. Dept. of Transitional Assistance Healthy Incentives Program (HIP), $25,000
To support a state-level evaluation of the HIP project which enables SNAP participants to use their benefits at farmers markets, farms stands, mobile markets and CSAs.

Franklin County CDC/Fiscal Agent for the  Mass. Food System Collaborative, Greenfield, MA, $25,000
General support for the Collaborative’s work supporting the recommendations of the Mass. Local Food Action Plan.

Conservation Law Foundation/Legal Food Hub, Boston, MA, $100,000 over three years
General support for the Massachusetts work of the Legal Food Hub which provides pro bono legal assistance to farmers and food purveyors.

Community Program

Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, Boston, MA, $10,000
Honorariam recognizing former trustee Sharon Driscolls’s many years of service to the Foundation.

Posted on June 15, 2017

Working with Consultants

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Brain power

Most of our capacity building grants involve working with a consultant. There’s considerable value from such collaborations including gaining a fresh perspective or specific expertise. It can be especially helpful when previous efforts have stalled or stakeholders have wildly differing points of view.

But there are an equal number of headaches as well — from the resistance of staff or board members who shun interference from outsiders to the considerable added time it takes to bring the consultant up to speed about your organization.

Is it worth it?

Yes… IF you’ve thought it through, planned ahead, allotted enough time, gotten all your stakeholders on board and, most importantly, found the consultant who “gets” your organization and has the temperament to shepherd the project and your agency’s varied personalities through the process.

That’s a lot of “ifs”  – it does make your head spin — but it’s also a realistic view of what you should be thinking about before you jump in and hire a consultant.

One thing is for sure, the consultant doesn’t do all the work. In fact, most times you and your colleagues are the ones doing the deep thinking and heavy lifting. The truth is you’re the ones with the answers. You just don’t know it yet. Consultants facilitate the process and keep you moving forward. They steer you in the right direction and make sure no one is left behind. They help you get to the heart of what you need to do and to recognize how you’re going to get there.

When the stars align, the results of working with a consultant can be quite remarkable.

There’s much more to think and read about here:

Posted on December 21, 2016

2016 Winter Grant Awards

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

images-1The following organizations received support during our September and December grant cycles. We are delighted to have them as grant partners.

Sudbury Grants

Gaining Ground, Concord, MA, $5,000
To support Gaining Ground’s work providing healthy produce to the Sudbury Community Food Pantry, and other local pantries.

Sudbury Valley Trustees, Sudbury, MA, $10,000
To develop a master landscape plan for Wolbach Farm, the agency’s headquarters.

Town of Sudbury – Council on Aging, Sudbury, MA, $18,000
To encourage residents to support their neighbors through continued funding of the Senior Volunteer Coordinator position at the Fairbank Senior Center.

Children Youth & Families (CY&F) Grants

Communities for Restorative Justice, Concord MA, $22,500
For a marketing consultation.

Employment Options, Marlborough, MA, $15,000
For a consultation to develop a computer training program for young adult clients.

Massachusetts Audubon Society/Drumlin Farm, Lincoln, MA, $19,975
A evaluation consultation to develop assessment instruments for three programs and to train staff in program evaluation best practices.

One Can Help, Newton, MA, $5,870
To work with a social media consultant for one year to develop and implement a social media communications plan.

Taly Foundation, Framingham, MA, $13,100
For a strategic planning consultation.

Wildflower Camp Foundation, Wellesley, MA, $25,000
For communications, rebranding and website consultations.

CY&F Invitation Grants

John Andrew Mazie Memorial Foundation, Framingham, MA, $20,000
General support during a time of transition.

Boys & Girls Clubs of MetroWest, Marlborough, MA, $100,000
A combination grant to support professional development and other projects.

Farm & Local Food Initiative Grants

Boston Area Gleaners, Waltham, MA, $25,000
To work with a consultant to create a customized inventory management system to expand the agency’s ability to glean and distribute local produce to food banks and food pantries.

The Carrot Project, Boston, MA, $25,000
To work with a senior fellow for one year on client coordination, tracking and evaluation.

See our 2016 spring recipients here.

Posted on December 20, 2016

MA and its Farms Need Rain

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

drought-11740Massachusetts is experiencing its worst drought in more than a decade, with little reprieve in sight for dry rivers, thirsty crops, and water bans across the state. Farmers are trying to be creative, despite the heat. You can read up on it here:

Baker tours farms impacted by drought-filled summer

How This Summer’s ‘Severe’ Drought Is Affecting Mass. Farmers And Their Crops

Did the overnight rainfall help with the drought?

Posted on August 23, 2016

Grant brings Lovin’ Spoonfuls to MW

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Eat Fresh Jane & Tina

A coalition of local funders – the MetroWest Health Foundation; the Sudbury Foundation; Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation; and the Foundation for MetroWest – are partnering to bring more fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to the pantries and tables of those most in need in our communities. Over the next three years, these four organizations have pledged more than a quarter of a million dollars to support the expansion of Lovin’ Spoonfulsa nonprofit dedicated to bridging the gap between abundance and need.

The three-year grant of nearly $275,000 will allow Lovin’ Spoonfuls to bring their proven food rescue model to food pantries and shelters in the MetroWest region.

“Each of the funders participating in this project has a long history of providing support for hunger programs in the region. This grant will further those efforts by working to make fresh fruits, vegetables, and other products available in a more organized and responsive way,” said Martin Cohen, president of the MetroWest Health Foundation.

In communities known for great affluence and beauty, it may come as a surprise to many that organizations like Lovin’ Spoonfuls are necessary. But suburban hunger is real, and it must be addressed. Together, we are working towards a future where neighbors in need have safe, supportive, and well-stocked places to go when consistently putting healthy food on the table becomes challenging.

While there are 700,000 food insecure residents in Massachusetts, and 20,000 MetroWest kids who rely on free or reduced school lunches,  there is no lack of food—in fact, there is abundance.

“Picture the Rose Bowl, fill it up with fresh produce and set it on fire. That’s the rate that we waste food in this country every day,” Lovin’ Spoonfuls Founder Ashley Stanley said last week at a Panel Talk: “Hunger in MetroWest, ” hosted by the Foundation for MetroWest. “And yet, local food pantries are struggling to stock their shelves. The divide between abundance and need is great, but we can change that.”

Efforts like those of Lovin’ Spoonfuls help bridge the divide by connecting people in need to the bounty of unused food that exists in our communities.

Food programs are ready to take in more fresh food. Joanne Barry, executive director of A Place to Turn in Natick said, “A Place to Turn is thrilled to hear that local foundations will be funding Lovin’ Spoonfuls in our area as they have a proven record of encouraging businesses and other food establishments to donate food that is currently going to waste. This new collaboration will absolutely result in more food delivered to organizations like ours that can then distribute it immediately to people in need in our community.”

Read the MetroWest Daily News article here.

Photo courtesy of A Place to Turn
Posted October 15, 2015

Small Agency, Big Results

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013










We think of them as the “Little Engine that Could” —  Cobscook Bay Resource Center

They’re located way up north, in Eastport, ME, the easternmost city in the United States. It’s a beautiful spot on the Bay of Fundy in the Gulf of Maine, perhaps best known for its productive scallop fishery.

With just two staff (Executive Director Will Hopkins and Heidi Leighton) and a dedicated board of directors, the Resource Center has had a dramatic impact on the lives of local fishermen, bringing them together to have a say in their own future as fisheries’ regulators, tidal power advocates, and a challenging economy threaten their way of life.

The Foundation has been following and funding the work of the Resource Center since 2002. Now they are close to realizing a long-held dream: the creation of the Cobscook Marketplace, pictured above. The new, shared-use facility will house a licensed commercial kitchen and a marketing co-operative where local fishermen and farmers can add value to their products, meet with and sell direct to the consumer, and receive entrepreneurial training and business assistance.

The facility will also provide a permanent home for the Resource Center staff and a community meeting place.

There’s still some additional work to be done and money to be raised but they hope to test out the kitchen this fall. It’s an impressive accomplishment for the Resource Center and a great benefit for the local community.

Posted on August 20, 2013

Fall 2012 Grant Awards

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012










Foundation trustees approved the following grants at their September board meeting:

N.E. Grassroots Environment Fund, Montpelier, VT, $120,000
Over three years, to support NEGEF’s work providing small grants and other support to New England-based grassroots groups.

Penobscot East Resource Center, Stonington, ME, $120,000
Over three years, general support for the organization’s work to secure a future for the fishing communities of Eastern Maine.

Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, Topsham, ME $25,000
A one-year, general support grant for this new entity serving small boat fishermen in Maine.

Sudbury Companies of Militia & Minute, Sudbury, MA $2,000
In support of the organization’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2013.

MetroWest Nonprofit Network, Framingham, MA $2,980
To enable four local nonprofits to participate in the Essential Strategic Plan workshop in which a team of board, staff and volunteers from each agency produce a customized strategic plan draft in a timely, cost-effective manner.

Posted September 18, 2012

Photo courtesy of Xcode

News from our Fisheries Partners

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Penobscot East Resource Center

PERC logo

What would it take to develop Maine’s prime location on the Gulf of Maine into a thriving sustainable seafood system? Penobscot East Resource Center’s Executive Director Robin Alden provides a smart commentary on the topic in a recent issue of Maine Policy Review.

Based in picturesque Stonington, ME, Penobscot East, a Foundation grant partner since 2003, continues its work to promote a community-based approach to resource management that involves and supports local fishermen.

Cobscook Bay Resource Center

Cobscook Bay Resource Center

Ground has finally been broken on the Cobscook Marketplace, a mixed-use facility on the waterfront in Eastport, ME which will house a licensed commercial kitchen and a marketing co-operative for local fishermen and farmers. There, they will be able to add value to their products, meet with and sell direct to the consumer, and receive entrepreneurial training and business assistance.

The existing building will be renovated as a permanent home for the Cobscook Bay Resource Center offices and will include a community meeting room. You can follow the project’s progress online.

Like the Penobscot East Resource Center, Cobscook Bay encourages community-based approaches to the management of the region’s precious natural resources.