Letters of Inquiry due Friday, September 10

WOBURN – The window for local-area nonprofits to apply for the Cummings $25 Million Grant Program will close Friday, September 10 at 5:00 PM. The place-based initiative annually supports 140 Massachusetts nonprofits, each of which will be awarded a grant ranging from $100,000 to $500,000.

Last year, 590 organizations vied for the 140 grants, with 417 Letters of Inquiry (LOI) being filed in the final four days alone, according to Cummings Foundation deputy director Joyce Vyriotes.

“We already have a few hundred LOIs in our online portal, and, based on past experience, we expect that number to rise significantly before the deadline,” said Vyriotes. “We urge grant writers not to wait until the last minute, however, as you would not want computer problems, sickness, or other unanticipated hurdles to preclude you from being considered for this substantial funding opportunity.”

The LOI is typically just one to two pages in length. Following LOI review by a committee of volunteers, a limited number of applicants will be invited to submit more comprehensive full applications.

“Although the selection process is competitive, the odds of receiving a grant—about one in four or five—make it well worth the time for a nonprofit to throw its hat in the ring,” said Vyriotes. “And our staff is readily available to answer questions about the process.”

Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the 11 communities where it owns commercial real estate and where Cummings Properties manages buildings and technology campuses: Andover, Beverly, Burlington, Marlborough, Medford, Somerville, Stoneham, Sudbury, Wakefield, Wilmington, and Woburn.

Also wanting to support the areas where staff and leasing clients of the Cummings organization live, the Woburn-based foundation broadened its priority giving region to include all of Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties.

Eligibility requirements, a timeline, and FAQs for the Cummings $25 Million Grant Program, as well as a link to the Letter of Inquiry, are available at

One of the three largest private foundations in New England, Cummings Foundation was founded in 1986 by Bill and Joyce Cummings of Winchester. Bill also founded Woburn-based commercial real estate firm Cummings Properties, which leases and manages 11 million square feet of debt-free space. Most of the buildings it manages are owned by Cummings Foundation, with 100 percent of all rental profits supporting hundreds of local charities.

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