Archive for the ‘Regional Program’ Category

The Value of Arts & Culture

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

MW Visitors BureauWe all know that arts and culture organizations contribute much to the quality of life in our region. What some may find surprising is these organizations also contribute to the economic vitality of the communities they are located in.

According to a new study by Concord-based Carlisle & Company, commissioned by the MetroWest Visitors Bureau and funded, in part, by the Sudbury Foundation, the overall economic impact of just 21 participating MetroWest cultural organizations totaled nearly $375 million and almost 4,000 full-time-equivalent jobs projected over five years.

The dollar figure represents what these organizations have put back into the economy: what they’re paying their employees, what they’ve earned through ticket sales and what they’ve generated through the “ripple effect,” money spent at area hotels and restaurants by people coming to the region to visit the cultural organization.

“These findings are very good news, indeed, and a reminder of the importance of our region’s arts and cultural institutions, said Susan Nicholl, Executive Director of the MetroWest Visitors Bureau.  “Although these numbers only reflect a portion of the region’s cultural assets, the trend is clear: all arts/cultural organizations large and small are critical to our region’s total economic impact in a very measurable way.”

Nicholl noted that the impact would have been much greater if all the area’s organizations, large and small, were included. More weren’t because they either didn’t participate in the study or wouldn’t have fit the two models used by Carlisle & Company for the study.

Participants included Amazing Things Arts Center, The Center for Arts in Natick, Commonwealth Ballet, Concord Museum, Danforth Museum of Art, The Discovery Museums, Five Crows, Fountain Street Fine Art, Framingham History Center, Franklin Performing Arts Company, Franklin School for the Performing Arts, Hopkinton Center for the Arts, Mass Audubon, Museum of Russian Icons, Natick Center Associates, Natick Historical Society, New England Wildflower Society, Palettes, Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History, Tower Hill Botanic Garden and The Wayside Inn.

Read more here.

Posted May 15, 2013

Nominate a Nonprofit for “Excellence”

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Nominations for the 2012 Massachusetts Nonprofit Network Nonprofit Excellence Awards are now open.

The awards shine a spotlight on nonprofit organizations and individuals making a difference in their communities so that the public can appreciate the value of these organizations.

The awards are given out each year at a State House ceremony held on Nonprofit Awareness Day, scheduled this year for June 11.

Click here for more information. The dealine for nominations is March 28, 2012.

Award categoried include:


This award recognizes a nonprofit organization whose work has affected significant public policy change through the education and mobilization of constituents, the general public, and/or public policy decision makers.


This award recognizes two or more nonprofit organizations that have partnered to achieve an outcome that furthers the mission of each organization and could not have been achieved separately.


This award recognizes a nonprofit organization that effectively used new and/or traditional media to increase the use of programs and services, or to create awareness of a specific issue or need.


This award recognizes a nonprofit organization that has made substantial progress toward key outcomes through use of new approaches or strategies.

Board Leadership

This award recognizes a nonprofit organization that exemplifies best practice in Board governance and effectively partners with staff resulting in improved outcomes and/or increased resources.


This award recognizes a nonprofit leader whose strategic vision, passion, perseverance and collaborative style have led to extraordinary organizational or programmatic results.

Young Professional

This award recognizes a nonprofit leader whose strategic vision, passion, perseverance and collaborative style have led to extraordinary organizational or programmatic results.  This award is targeted to individuals 35 years of age or younger.

Posted 3/21/12

The all-important “Ask”

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Last year, in partnership with the MetroWest Nonprofit Network, we brought fundraising expert Christine Graham to Sudbury to lead a workshop on cultivating individual donors.  Christine is a gem and the session was a huge success.  After the workshop, we got to talking about one of the most challenging aspects of fundraising, actually asking for a donation. Christine agreed and noted, “I can run a great workshop on that topic.”

So we’re just delighted to work with MWNN again this year to bring Christine back on March 30, 8:30 am to 2:30 pm at the UCC Conference Center in Framingham for a workshop that will focus on major donors and “The Ask.”

It’s a chance to learn how to identify the most likely major gift donors, how to make appointments with them, and how to ask for the major gift.  The idea is to build comfort and confidence while reinforcing the essential elements of trust, mission, and appreciation.  Christine will focus on:

  • How to move from impersonal mass mailings to personal appeals
  • How to build the personal relationships that will garner larger donations
  • How to know when a donor is ready to become a major donor
  • How to identify what amount to ask a donor for
  • How to actually make the ask – when to ask, what to say, and what NOT to say.

And yes, there will be role play. It takes practice to get to the point where you can make the ask with ease and grace.

We hope you’ll attend!

Workshop Details:
Date and Time:  Friday, March 30 from 8:30 am – 2:30 pm (networking at 8:30am, workshop begins at 9:00am)
Location: UCC Conference Center, 1 Badger Road, Framingham
Fee: $35, includes breakfast and lunch

Christine Graham bio: Ms. Graham has worked with hundreds of nonprofit organizations over the past 40 years, serving as a consultant, writer, and teacher.  She specializes in fundraising planning and advisement, with a special focus on capital campaigns and building new and advancing annual fund programs.  She is the author of Keep the Money Coming: a Strategic Guide to Annual FundraisingBlueprint for a Capital CampaignAsking: Practice Makes Perfect; and Raising Money for Local Land Projects.

To register, please click here.


Posted on March 8, 2012

New Program Announcement

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

The 2012 Children, Youth & Families Capacity Building Grant Program 

For the past 10 years our Regional Grants Program has funded a broad range of nonprofits in the 10 towns surrounding Sudbury.

Beginning in 2012, we will narrow our grant focus to support agencies serving Children, Youth and Families. Our goal is to help shift the life trajectories of young people facing economic and personal barriers to success.

We’ve spent the last year reading, listening and chatting with grant partners, issue area experts and other funders to help craft a funding strategy that will best serve children, youth and families in our catchment area. Based on that input and feedback, our new Program will invest in Capacity Building projects that nurture leadership, enhance management and operational effectiveness and, most importantly, strengthen the financial sustainability of youth-serving agencies.

We’ll be hosting two grants cycles in 2012 using a Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Preliminary details can be found here.

We’re pleased to introduce this new program and invite you to contact us with comments, questions and suggestions.

Posted December 29, 2011

Farewell to the Regional Program

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

December 2011 marked the close of our Regional Grants Program, offered in its current configuration since late 2001. During that time, the Foundation awarded more than 200 grants totaling $3 million in four interest areas: Youth Development and Opportunity, Community Building, Preservation of Community Character & Assets and Capacity Building.

It’s been a wonderful program that has enabled the Foundation to work with a broad array of nonprofits in our catchment area on a variety of issues but it was time for a change. Recent economic conditions highlighted the need for us to narrow our focus to help our grant partners to achieve greater impact.

During our strategic planning session in the fall of 2010, Foundation Trustees chose to sharpen that focus from four issue areas to just one: Youth Development. After some discussion we decided to call the Program “Children, Youth & Families” to include children of all ages and parents of young children who play such a crucial role in insuring kids get off to a good start in life. We’ve spent most of 2011 listening and learning about good programs, good agencies and good grantmaking practices. (Our thanks to all who took the time to chat with us.) Details of the new program can be found here.

In the meantime, we acknowledge with some regret that our new focus will mean a parting of the ways with some long-time programs and friends who no longer fit our revised funding guidelines. We hope there will still be ways to work together and we’ll continue to be on the lookout for resources to share with the nonprofits in our region whether we fund them directly or not.

Posted December 29, 2011

Regional Program Grants Announced

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Getting a Facelift

The Robbins House in Concord (circa 1830) was built and inhabited by the descendants of Revolutionary War veteran and former Concord slavery survivor Caesar Robbins. Saved from demolition, the house was recently returned close to its original site across from The North Bridge and Old Manse where renovation is underway. A December 2011 grant to the Drinking Gourd Project will support interior restoration of the property and preliminary exhibit design. The facility will reopen as The Robbins House Interpretive Center.

Twenty-seven local nonprofit agencies were awarded more than $265,000 in grant support in December  through the Foundation’s final Regional Program funding cycle. Lots of impressive work being done in our area. Congratulations to all!


Acton-Boxborough Coalition for Healthy Youth, Acton, MA / $5,000
For strategic planning for this new alliance of youth agencies.

A Place to Turn, Natick, MA / $5,200
A second year of support for the Eat Healthy program, which enables this food pantry to provide fresh produce to clients on a weekly basis.

Appalachian Mountain Club, Boston, MA / $10,000
To pilot a series of programs and trainings to nurture new environmental stewards along the Metrowest section of the Bay Circuit Trail and Greenway.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metrowest, Worcester, MA / $10,000
To support youth mentoring services in Metrowest.

Boys & Girls Club of Assabet Valley, Maynard, MA / $25,000
To support the agency’s Beyond the Bell after-school programming.

Center for Parents and Teachers, Concord, MA / $5,000
To plan and host parent education workshops during the 2011-12 academic year.

Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, MA / $15,000
To support the Teen Docent program, which provides high school students with experiential learning in art, leadership and artistic professions.

Drinking Gourd Project,  Concord, MA / $10,000
To restore and interpret the Robbins House, the early 1800s home of one of Concord’s earliest African-American families and to present the stories of slavery-to-freedom-to-homeownership.

Foundation for MetroWest, Natick, MA / $3,000
To fund three Insight Tours to educate local donors about funding opportunities at area nonprofits.

Friends of Resiliency for Life, Framingham, MA / $15,000
To pilot the part-time position of Graduate Support Coordinator, who will track program graduates and support them as they transition to college or the workforce.

Golden Tones, Natick, MA / $7,500
To support a grantwriting consultation for this senior citizens chorus as a means of diversifying funding sources.

Indian Hill Music Center, Littleton, MA / $12,000
To support the development of a new website as part of an updated communications strategy.

Jewish Family Service of Metrowest, Framingham, MA / $20,000
To support the Reducing Achievement Gaps program at the Wilson Elementary School in Framingham.

John Andrew Mazie Memorial Foundation, Wayland, MA / $10,000
To support the Mazie Mentoring Program for at-risk students at Framingham High School.

Kids Connect, Natick, MA / $5,000
To support after-school tutoring.

Partnerships for a Skilled Workforce (formerly Metro South/West Regional Employment Board), Marlboro, MA / $17,000
To support the Future Skills Institute which provides job readiness training and placement services to low-income 16-24 year old young adults in the Framingham area.

MetroWest Mediation Services, Framingham, MA / $10,000
To support free mediation services to parties in small claims, minor criminal and housing/eviction cases in the Framingham, Marlborough, Natick and Concord district courts.

Metrowest Nonprofit Network, Framingham, MA $2,500
To host a fundraising workshop for area nonprofit staff.

Metrowest YMCA, Framingham, MA / $26,000
To support the High Flight Program, the YMCA’s outdoor, adventure-based counseling program for at-risk youth ages 12-17.

Organization for the Assabet, Concord & Sudbury Rivers, Concord, MA / $12,000
A second year of support for a project to increase community stewardship of the Sudbury and Concord rivers.

Sudbury Valley Trustees, Sudbury, MA / $25,000
To support the agency’s effort to obtain accreditation certification through the Land Trust Alliance.

Thoreau Farm Trust, Concord MA / $5,000
In support of a project to enhance the visitor experience at Thoreau’s Birthplace through audio and video programming.

Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, Framingham, MA / $10,000
For a consultation to develop a micro-enterprise that will provide supervised employment opportunities for the at-risk young adult population at Wayside’s TEMPO Young Adult Resource Center.


This marks the close of our Regional Grant Program. Beginning in 2012, the Foundation will direct local funding (in the 10 towns contiguous to Sudbury) to agencies serving Children, Youth and Families.

Posted December 22, 2011.

Four SIF Finalists Selected

Thursday, November 10th, 2011










The four finalists for the Root Cause-Social Innovation Forum “At-Risk Children and Youth in MetroWest” grant track are all winners in our eyes. They are four great agencies serving youth in MetroWest in a variety of innovative ways.

Congratulations to:

Everybody Wins! MetroBoston supports youth in Framingham and Waltham through Power Lunch, a reading and mentoring program which promotes literacy by pairing elementary school children, one-to-one, with volunteers from nearby businesses for a weekly read aloud session.

Family Success Partnership, a program of the Assabet Valley Collaborative, brings schools, state agencies and community organizations together to address the mental health needs of families who don’t meet traditional criteria for support.

The John Andrew Mazie Memorial Foundation matches high school students in Framingham and Waltham with adult mentors who help them set and achieve goals, prepare to apply to college and experience success.

TEMPO Young Adult Resource Center, a program of Wayside Youth and Family in partnership with a coalition of human service agencies, helps at-risk youth age 17-24 achieve self sufficiency by offering an array of support services in a single downtown Framingham location.

The winning applicant will be announced in early December.

Once selected, Social Innovators receive 12 months of intensive support from the Social Innovation Forum, including:

  • Consulting: identification of a social impact model and growth plan, preparation of a presentation for investors, mini-prospectus
  • Executive Coaching: a year of guidance from an experienced business executive
  • Presentation Advising: presentation and messaging support from high-level business executives
  • Relationship Building Support: advice on funding strategies, and events to raise organizational profile
  • Performance Measurement Support: selection of key targets, quarterly progress reporting, and presentation to funders of successes and lessons learned
  • In-Kind Services: connections to in-kind service providers, including media and marketing services, legal services, research analysis, technology development, and leadership development
  • Access to New Networks: exposure to a community of Social Impact Investors – investors of time, talent, and resources interested in matching dollars to impact
  • Culminating in the opportunity to present at the Social Innovation Forum’s annual Showcase in May 2012

Each Social Innovator receives a $10,000 grant from the sponsoring track partner, plus an additional $10,000 consulting engagement the following year upon completion of a key measures process.

Posted November 10, 2011

Support Your Local Food Pantry

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Food Pantry

In the summertime, demand at local food pantries goes up just as donations decline. Why not drop off a bag of groceries or send a contribution to your local pantry today? Photo courtesy of Micah68.


Community Supper, Inc (
Acton Congregational Church
12 Concord Rd, Acton, MA 01720

Acton Food Pantry (
St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church
435 Central Street, Acton, MA 01720


Open Table, Concord (
Trinitarian Congregational Church
54 Walden St., Concord, MA

Gaining Ground (
315 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742


Hope Worldwide New England, Inc.
113 Irving St, Framingham, MA 01702

Salvation Army/Framingham Food Pantry (
35-45 Concord St, Framingham, MA 01704

St. Bridget’s Food Pantry (
St. Bridget’s Rectory
15 Wheeler Ave, Framingham, MA 01702

SMOC/Elderly Nutrition Program/Meals on Wheels (
300 Howard St, Framingham, MA 01702


Hudson Community Food Pantry
28 Houghton St, Hudson, MA 01749


Marlborough Community Services (
25 Main Street, Suite 113, Marlborough, MA 01752


Maynard Food Pantry (
Coolidge School
12 Bancroft St, Maynard, MA 01754

Open Table Food Pantry/Maynard (
80 Main Street, Maynard, MA 01754


A Place to Turn (
Hartford Street Presbyterian Church
99 Hartford St., Natick, MA 01760

Natick Service Council Food Pantry (
39 East Central St., Natick, MA 01760


Stow Food Pantry (
First Parish Church
353 Great Road, Route 117, Stow, MA 01775


Sudbury Community Food Pantry (
Our Lady of Fatima Church
160 Concord Rd., Sudbury, MA 01776


Celebration International Church (
6 Loker St., Wayland, MA 01778

Eat Fresh

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

One of the many valuable programs the Sudbury Foundation has supported is the “Eat Fresh” initiative at A Place to Turn (APTT), a food pantry in Natick.

Funds from the grant (combined with a companion grant from the Foundation for MetroWest) allow APTT volunteers to shop twice a week for fresh produce so no matter when APTT clients visit the pantry, they can find something fresh and healthy to take home.

Says APTT Executive Director Joanne Barry: “We are seeing so many people who still need basic food assistance. It is interesting how many of them are more nutrition-conscious and are choosing healthy items in the pantry. The addition of the fruits and vegetables has been so appreciated.”

APTT  is a “choice” pantry set up to allow clients from the Metrowest area to “shop” for their own groceries. APTT serves about 6,800 individuals a year; almost half are children.

Summertime at A Place To Turn always brings an upswing in clients and an increase in the need for food due, in part, to out-of-school children not receiving free/reduced price lunch at school. The increase occurs just as APTT experiences a lull in donations.

If you’re able, now is the time to drop off a donation or send a check to APTT or your local food pantry.

In the photo: APTT volunteers Karen (left) and Jane are delighted with the fresh fruits and vegetables they are able to offer food pantry clients.

Photo courtesy of A Place to Turn


Dream Green

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Discovery Museum-Dream Green









The Discovery Museums (TDM) in Acton recently unveiled a new exhibit, Dream Green, designed to get kids and families thinking about energy conservation at home.

Using technology, bold graphics and hands-on activities, the new Dream Green exhibit lets visitors design and build their own model house, try out various types of insulating material and then, using cool thermal imaging cameras, test how well the structure holds heat.

Children can see themselves on an infrared display screen and then try on capes, mittens etc. to see which fabrics keep them warmest.

Families can also map out choices for energy conservation at home, projecting how energy and cost savings would add up for their family, their neighborhood, their community and beyond,

In a fun, active way – typical of every exhibit at TDM — Dream Green inspires museum-goers to uncover the exciting connections between real world issues and scientific solutions.

It’s worth a trip.

Photo courtesy of Nancy Roberts