Brainstorming: Thinking about Kids


Early Learners

How investing in Preschool Beats the Stock Market, Hands Down. Nobel laureate James Heckman, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago and the director of the Center for the Economics of Human Development, makes a strong argument to support early education programs in his paper, The Life-Cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program.

11 Parenting Podcasts Worth Checking Out. Parenting: It’s the most important job of all and there’s no roadmap for how to do it best. Some good resources provided in this Washington Post article.

Read Aloud 15 Minutes. In an era of high-stakes testing and education reforms and revolutions, research has repeatedly proved that one simple parenting technique is among the most effective. Children who are read aloud to by parents get a head start in language and literacy skills and go to school better prepared.

The Joyful, Illiterate Kindergartners of Finland.  While American youngsters learn how to read, Kindergarten students in Finland play. Notes one researcher: “There isn’t any solid evidence that shows that children who are taught to read in kindergarten have any long-term benefit from it.” Food for thought.

Run-down schools trigger low test scores. Common sense says it’s so. (We’ve been saying it for years.) Now Cornell social scientists show why it’s true.

Teens & Young Adults

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

Today’s College Students May Be Emotionally Unprepared. Findings confirm what we all know is happening. A survey of more than 123,000 students at 153 colleges by the American College Health Association in 2013 found that more than half experienced overwhelming anxiety and about a third felt deep depression during the academic year, as reported in the New York Times. Here’s one program that’s helping high school teens cope: Students returning to school after a serious mental health issue get the care they need thru “BRYT

The Real Reason College Tuition Costs So Much. Interesting findings reported in the New York Times. It’s not due to cuts in public funding but an increase in enrollment and administrative personnel.

The Cost of An Overdose. Facing the opiod-heroin crisis in MetroWest. In 2015 emergency personnel statewide responded to 11,884 opioid-related incidents, up from 6,315 in 2013.

Posted on July 25, 2016

2016 Spring Grant Awards

innovationWe’re pleased to have provided financial support to the following organizations during our March and June grant cycles.

Children, Youth & Family Grants:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of CM/MW, Worcester, MA, $25,000
For a series of fundraising consultations/enhancements.

Birthday Wishes, Inc., Newton, MA, $4,750
To build a Volunteer Party Coordinator portal on the website.

The Discovery Museums, Acton, MA, $6,200
For strategic planning related to the new Discovery Woods outdoor play space.

Doc Wayne Youth Services, Inc., Boston, MA, $25,000
For development support.

The Learning Center for the Deaf,Framingham, MA, $10,000
For a fundraising/board training consultation.

OUT MetroWest, Framingham, MA, $10,000
For a board development consultation.

Resiliency for Life, Framingham, MA, $10,000
For a staff training consultation.

SPARK Kindness, Natick, MA, $20,600
For a two-phase strategic planning consultation.

Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, Framingham, MA, $5,000
For a staff development project.

Sudbury Grants:

Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, Sudbury, MA $12,000
To help subsidize travel costs for the Global Student Summit to Turin, Italy in June, 2017.

Farm & Local Food Initiative Grants:

Franklin County CDC/Fiscal Agent for MA Food System Collaborative, Greenfield, MA, $25,000
General support for the Collaborative to implement the MA Local Food Action Plan.

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture, S. Deerfield, MA, $25,000
For an outreach and communications project.

Conservation Law Foundation, Boston, MA, $25,000
To expand and enhance the work of the Legal Services Food Hub in Massachusetts.

Mill City Grows, Lowell, MA $25,000
To design and build outdoor education centers at each of MCG’s two urban farms.

New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, Lowell, MA $25,000
To extend a strategic planning consultation in order to implement the fundraising recommendations of the strategic plan.

Posted June 22, 2016

Nonprofit Staff Development

CEO 400 x 400














Have you invested in your staff lately? It’s one of the most important things you can do.

Providing professional development opportunities is a great way to help your staff grow and thrive while demonstrating your commitment to them.  Here are some good resources for excellent but affordable nonprofit workshops and trainings.

Workshops & Trainings

Posted June 6, 2016

May is Mental Health Month

NAMI factsSome sad statistics on mental health and its impact on kids*:

  • 20% of youth ages 13-18 live with a mental health condition.
  • Half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14; three-quarters by age 24. Despite effective treatment, there are long delays—sometimes decades—between the first appearance of symptoms and when people get help.
  • Over one-third (37%) of students with a mental health condition age 14­–21 and older who are served by special education drop out—the highest dropout rate of any disability group.
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. the 3rd leading cause of death for people aged 10–24 and the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15–24.
  • More than 90% of children who die by suicide have a mental health condition.
  • 70% of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition and at least 20% live with a serious mental illness.

May is Mental Health Month. We need to raise awareness and eliminate the stigma so we can improve the lives of all Americans whose lives are affected by mental health conditions.

Learn more here.

*Statistics from NAMI
Posted on May 4, 2016

Celebrating Rich Davison

1 Grange Hall - Rich at podiumRich Davison retired in December 2015 following 30 years as a Sudbury Foundation Trustee. At a small gathering of friends and colleagues recently, the Foundation acknowledged Rich’s many contributions to the Foundation with this video.

Rich leaves behind a great legacy of influence over many projects and organizations in Sudbury and beyond.

As a parting gift, Rich was asked to make a final grant to an organization of his choice. He selected the Wayside Inn Historic Site Preservation Fund as the recipient. The Fund was established last year to celebrate the Inn‘s 300th anniversary in 2016 and to insure the historic treasure can be protected and preserved for all to enjoy.

Rich, thank you and best wishes from all of us.

Videos by Jane Simons of Everpresent.

Posted on April 18, 2016


Welcome & Thanks!

Richmond-Steve-highresWe are pleased to announce the appointment of Stephen M. Richmond to our board of trustees. Mr. Richmond joined the board in February following the retirement of long-time trustee, Richard Davison.

Mr. Richmond is a long-time Sudbury resident with extensive volunteer and community service credentials and a variety of personal and professional attributes that will enhance the Foundation’s work.

Board of Trustees’ Chair Jill Stansky welcomed Mr. Richmond to the board, noting that the Foundation’s nominating committee recommended him enthusiastically. “The board greatly values the range of perspective and experience that our new trustee will bring to our organization. We are delighted to have him working with us to preserve and strengthen the Foundation and its grant making programs.”

Mr. Richmond received his law degree from New York University. He is currrently a principal at Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. and the former Managing Principal of the firm’s Massachusetts office. His practice focuses primarily in the areas of environmental compliance counseling and project development.

Prior to joining Beveridge & Diamond, Mr. Richmond held positions as in-house counsel at two multinational corporations, and was Deputy General Counsel at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

An active community member since he moved to Sudbury in 2000, Mr. Richmond is the former chair of the Sudbury Zoning Board of Appeals and a former board member of the Sudbury Valley Trustees. In addition, he served as committee chair for the Environmental Business Council of New England and on the Allocation Committee of the Seacoast United Way (Portsmouth, NH), Currently, he serves on the board of MetroWest Legal Services.

Mr. Richmond and his wife, Julie, have two grown sons who attended Sudbury Public Schools. rich d

Mr. Davison, who grew up in Sudbury and has deep roots in the community, retired in December 2015 following 30 years of outstanding service to the Foundation.

During that time, he took on key leadership roles in a variety of major projects in Sudbury, including construction of the Atkinson Pool, renovation of the historic wing of the Goodnow Library and the historic renovation and expansion of the Grange Hall in Sudbury Town Center. He was involved in open space preservation as well, championing projects to preserve the Nobscot, Piper and Pantry Brook Farm properties. He was also instrumental in directing the Foundation’s environmental grants program which in recent years focused on preserving communities in the Northern Forest and fisheries in the Gulf of Maine. Mr. Davison held a special affinity for the Foundation’s Atkinson Scholarship Program, which provides financial assistance to help local high school students attend college.

“The list of Rich’s contributions to Sudbury and to the Foundation is long and substantive,” said Marilyn Martino, executive director. “We will greatly miss his wise counsel and unique perspective on philanthropy. We wish him all the very best in his retirement.”

Posted on March 11, 2016

Coffee and Conversation

coffee cup,jpgPlease join your Sudbury Nonprofit colleagues for coffee & conversation on Thursday, April 7 at 9:30 a.m. at our meeting space on the second floor of the Grange Hall.

It’s a chance to update us on what your nonprofit or community group has been up to, to hear what others are doing, to learn and to share.

We look forward to seeing you.

Please RSVP by April 4 to

Posted March 10, 2016

MA Local Food Action Plan

Mass Local Food Action Plan





We’re pleased to be supporting the efforts of a new alliance — the Mass. Food System Collaborative — working to implement the recommendations of the Massachusetts Local Food Action Plan.

In 2013, the Mass. Food Policy Council convened stakeholders from every segment of the state’s local food system to develop a plan to address the opportunities and challenges of increasing local food production, creating jobs and economic opportunity in food and farming, protecting the land and water needed to produce food, and reducing hunger and food insecurity. It was a long, in-depth and complex process that concluded with a series of detailed action items to make the food system in Massachusetts more robust and resilient. Their final report was released in December 2015.

And the hard work isn’t over yet. Next steps call for prioritizing the recommendations and working to get them implemented.

The Sudbury Foundation, along with the Merck Family Fund, the Massachusetts Convergence Partnership and Associated Grant Makers are hosting a Funder Briefing on April 13 in Sudbury to share more about the effort. If you are interested, you may register with AGM here.

Posted on March 8, 2016

Why Read Aloud?





















March is Read Aloud Month, a national promotional campaign to encourage parents and caregivers to read aloud to children at least 15 minutes every day. It makes a difference!

Posted March 2, 2016


Upcoming Professional Development

LearnProfessional development trainings are a great way to boost your skills and connect with peers. Workshops are also a way to spark new ideas and re-energize yourself and your organization, especially valuable as the new year begins.

We don’t think of professional development as a luxury but as a worthwhile investment in staff. After all, they’re what make your organization great.

Here’s a list of workshops that might be of interest to you with topics ranging from getting the most out of your events to building your board’s fundraising capacity to creating an action plan. Even better, these sessions are local and free!

Mobilizing Your Board to Raise More Money
(Click link then click on “Nonprofit Seminars”)
Presenter: Andy Robinson
Date & Time: Thursday, March 10, 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Location: Webinar, At your desk
Sponsor: Foundation for MetroWest

Meet the Funders
Panelists: Cummings Foundation, Watertown Foundation, Foundation for MetroWest
(Click link then click on “Nonprofit Seminars”)
Date & Time: Tuesday, March 15, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Cary Memorial Library, Lexington
Sponsor: Nonprofit Net

Special Events: Engagement After the “I Do”
(Click link then click on “Nonprofit Seminars”)
Presenter: Ali Magee, Iron Pepper Consulting
Date & Time: Wednesday, March 23, 9:30 am – 11:30 am
Location: Marlborough Library
Sponsor: Foundation for MetroWest

Look Before you Leap to Action: A Personal Strategic Planning Workshop
(Click link then click on “Nonprofit Seminars”)
Presenter: Fredia Woolf, Woolf Consulting
Date & Time: Tuesday, April 5, 9:00 am – noon
Location: TBD
Sponsor: Foundation for MetroWest

Budgeting Mistakes Your Organization Needs to Avoid 
(Click link then click on “Nonprofit Seminars”)

Presenter: David Orlinoff
Date & Time: Thursday, April 14, 9:30 am – 11:30 am
Location: Cary Memorial Library, Lexington
Sponsor: Nonprofit Net

Graphic courtesy of Got Credit
Posted on January 11, 2016