Fall Professional Development

Treat yourself and/or your staff to an upcoming professional development workshop. They are a great way to recharge, learn new skills and connect with peers.

Meet and Greet with SoarMCG
Presenter: Bill Stone, SoarMCG
Date & Time: Wednesday, December 6, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Location: Foundation for MetroWest, 3 Eliot Street, Natick
Sponsor: Foundation for MetroWest

Cybersecurity for Small and Medium-Sized Organizations
Presenter: Tech Networks of Boston
Date & Time: Wednesday, December 6, 1:30 – 3:30  pm
Location: Cary Memorial Library, 1874 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington
Sponsor: Nonprofit Net

Securing New Donors & Dollars with Limited Time
Presenter: Robin Cabral, Development Consulting Solutions
Date & Time: Wednesday, January 10, 9:00 -10:30 a.m.
Location: TBA
Sponsor: Foundation for MetroWest

A Beginners Guide to Grassroots Events
Presenter: Karin Turer, Tugboat 23 Consulting 
Date & Time: Thursday, February 1,  9:00 -10:30 a.m.
Location: TBA
Sponsor: Foundation for MetroWest

Updated  on November 29, 2017

Sudbury Winter Coat Drive

Now through November 13th. Sponsored by the Sudbury Health Department.

Posted on October 25, 2017

Sept. is Hunger Action Month

Children and adults face hunger in every community across the country. Your neighbor, child’s classmate or even coworker may be struggling to get enough to eat.

Every day, they are faced with some tough choices. Should I buy food or medicine? Buy food or pay my rent? Buy food or repair my car so I can get work?

Food pantries are doing great work in our communities, providing a valuable resource and safety net for these individuals and families. Are there ways your nonprofit can promote, support and work together with local pantries to serve your constituents?

For your reference, here’s a list of Local Food Pantries.  Why not get in touch?

Posted on September 20, 2017

Surviving & Thriving in Difficult Times 10/5/17

Recent political shifts in Washington have many wondering what the future of government funding of health and social services may look like in the months ahead.

As funders and organizations concerned about the long-term health of the region and its residents, we believe it is important that local health and social service providers begin to plan for the potential impact that these changes may have on your organization and the people you serve. To this end, we have come together with other MetroWest Area funders to jointly sponsor a special one-day seminar entitled, SURVIVING AND THRIVING IN DIFFICULT TIMES.

The purpose of this seminar is to bring agencies together to hear how those in business and industry plan for these kinds of public policy and funding shifts. This seminar will be led by Dr. Michael Cummings, Senior Lecturer in Management at Babson College. Dr. Cummings has experience across several industries including manufacturing and healthcare. His research interests are in public policy and organizational performance and survival.

The workshop is limited to 40 participants and will be held on Thursday, October 5th from 8:30am-3:30pm at the Babson Executive Conference Center.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP online. If you have questions about this seminar, please contact Rebecca Gallo.

Thanks to the MetroWest Health Foundation, Middlesex Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, Foundation for MetroWest and MetroWest Nonprofit Network for joining us in bringing this workshop to MetroWest nonprofits.

Posted on September 19, 2017.



The Most Patriotic Zip Code in the Nation

WCVB Channel 5’s Chronicle did a great profile of Sudbury for its July 5, 2017 episode.

Among the many highlights: Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, the Sudbury Historical Society, Sudbury’s Ancient Fyfe and Drum Company, and Sudbury Valley Trustees – all Foundation grant recipients. Also featured: Town Manager Melissa Murphy-Rodrigues, Duck Soup, Protect Sudbury, Laurel Grove, Cavicchio Greenhouses, Dotti Bisson and Nobscot Boy Scout Reservation.

We also loved seeing our home at the Grange Hall in Sudbury Town Center show up in a variety of clips.

Missed the show? It’s worth taking a look: http://www.wcvb.com/article/chronicle-sudbury-01776/10268541

Posted on July 11, 2017




2017 Taft Scholarship Recipient

Our best wishes go to L-S senior Courtney Brown (right) who received this year’s John Taft Scholarship from the L-S Scholarship Fund.

The award is given to a student who has demonstrated leadership in the school community through participation in student government or other activities focused on the betterment of the LS community.

The ideal candidate is a “catalyst for change” who has shown initiative by founding a club, program or activity or by serving in an elected or appointed leadership position that has enhanced the school community.

Previously known as the Sudbury Foundation scholarship, the award was changed in 2014 to recognize longtime Foundation trustee John Taft, who passed away in 2010.

Mr. Taft was a Sudbury resident and community leader who served as a Sudbury Selectman from 1964-1976. He was also a long-standing Trustee of the Sudbury Foundation from 1973 to 2007 where, among other things, he was instrumental in providing the seed funding to establish the L-S Scholarship Fund. He also made possible the construction of the Town’s Atkinson Pool, renovation of the historic wing of the Goodnow Library and many grants to community nonprofits.

Ms. Brown will attend Williams College in the fall. We wish her much success!

Posted June 27, 2017

Mentoring Matters

Mentoring — whether formal or informal — is a powerful tool to keep young people on the right track, particularly kids who are disconnected from their community.

Highlights and insights from the 2015 report The Mentoring Effect: Young People’s Perspectives on the Outcomes and Availability of Mentoring, are worth repeating.

Youth with mentors are more likely to report positive behaviors and less likely to report negative ones.

  • At-risk young adults who had a mentor are more likely to aspire to enroll in and graduate from college than those who did not have a mentor (76 percent versus 56 percent).
  • At-risk young adults who had a mentor are more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor (45 percent versus 29 percent).
  • At-risk young adults who had a mentor are more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities than those who did not have a mentor (67 percent versus 37 percent).
  • At-risk young adults who had a mentor are more likely to hold a leadership position in a club, sports team, school council, or another group than those who did not have a mentor (51 percent versus 22).
  • At-risk young adults who had a mentor are more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities than those who did not have a mentor (48 percent versus 27).

Young people believe mentoring provides them with support and guidance to lead productive lives.

  • Youth report that formal mentoring programs provide a variety of benefits, and most commonly offer that they receive advice about school, get help with school issues and/or schoolwork. They also make reference to receiving help to address life problems, assistance in getting a job, choosing a career and getting into college – though these benefits were less commonly reported.
  • Youth in informal mentoring relationships commonly offer that their mentors provided developmental, more than academic, support. These mentors conveyed advice and encouragement to help them make good decisions, taught young adults how to make the right decisions and follow the right path and become motivated.
  • Nearly nine in ten respondents who were mentored report they are interested in becoming mentors. In addition to confirming the value of mentoring, this desire to become a mentor also strengthens the earlier finding that mentoring is linked with higher rates of leadership and volunteering and offers a pool of future mentors to be activated.

The field of mentoring has grown significantly but a mentoring gap exists.

  • One in three young people overall (34 percent) and even more at-risk youth (37 percent) report they never had an adult mentor of any kind (naturally occurring or structured) while they were growing up.
  • Nationwide, that means today approximately 16 million youth, including 9 million at-risk youth, will reach age 19 without ever having a mentor.
  • Youth who struggled with attendance, behavior, and course performance are 10 percentage points less likely to have an informal mentor than those without these risks (57 percent versus 67 percent). Four in five (79 percent) youth with these off-track indicators do not have a structured mentor.
  • On a positive note, an estimated 4.5 million at-risk young people will have a structured mentoring relationship while growing up.

Locally, there are lots of mentoring opportunities – both formal and informal – that support at-risk youth. But are there enough? Probably not. Is your agency doing it all can to foster meaningful relationships between youth and caring adults? January is National Mentoring Month, a good time assess programs and services through a mentoring lens.

Mentoring Resources:

The Power of a Mentor to Change a Young Life

Mass Mentoring Partnership

Mentoring: National Mentoring Partnership

The Search Institute

Updated June 26, 2017

New Grant Awards

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

Congratulations 2017 Atkinson Scholars!

We were delighted to host our newest Atkinson recipients, their families and invited guests at our annual recognition breakfast on Friday, April 28, 2017.

The reception, held in our Community Meeting Room at the Grange Hall, recognized the following Lincoln-Sudbury Regional school seniors:

Joe Gilberto, Olivia Silva, Emma Silva, Mahek Ramani, Sammi Chen, Melody Phu, Neandre Fernandes, Rebecca Cohen, Jack Parker, Deven Pathak, Meredith Ackley, Brenna Sherrer, Megan Chunias and Stephen Kurtz.

These students were selected because they embody the qualities valued by former Sudbury residents Herbert and Esther Atkinson, who established the Foundation in 1952 and for whom the scholarship is named.   

“The Atkinson were a modest couple who believed in private giving for the public good,” said Executive Director Marilyn Martino. “Their generosity has helped more than 300 students attend college since the program began in 1996. We are delighted to welcome the latest group of bright, talented students into the Atkinson program and are pleased to entrust them with the Atkinsons’ legacy.” 

In recognizing the students, Sudbury Foundation Trustees Jill Stansky, Dian Quinn, Steve Richmond and Susan Iuliano noted their many contributions, both in and out of school, including a host of community service and leadership activities and initiatives. 

“It goes without saying that the 15 recipients are all diligent students who value education and the opportunities they’ve been afforded in Sudbury,” Stansky said. “But beyond that, they are caring citizens who are poised to make a difference in the world.”

Atkinson Scholarship recipients receive $5,000 in scholarship assistance and an opportunity to reapply for aid each year of their undergraduate academic career.

Posted on April 28, 2017

Comparing Financial Aid Offers

Financial aid offers are not all alike. Here’s some good advice from a college senior and intern at the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid office on how to read and compare aid packages before you decide which school to attend. 

It’s worth a look: 4 Steps to Understanding and Comparing Financial Aid.

Posted on 3/6/17

Working with Consultants

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