Open Door Grant

The Boston Foundation

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Grant amount: US $10,000 - US $50,000

Next anticipated deadline: Aug 1, 2020

Later anticipated deadlines: Jan 31, 2021

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, General Operating Expense, Project / Program, Training / Capacity Building

Location of project: Counties in Massachusetts: Essex County, Middlesex County, Norfolk County, Plymouth County, Suffolk County

Location of residency: United States

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About this funder:



Open Door Grants

Responding to the expressed ideas and needs of the community

To complement our program area-targeted approach, the Boston Foundation distributes a portion of its resources via its Open Door Grants program, which responds to expressed opportunities and needs in the communities we serve.

We encourage new and existing nonprofit organizations in Greater Boston that are not directly aligned with the strategies, goals and approaches pursued in the Foundation’s five impact areas to pursue Open Door Grants for support of their efforts to meet existing needs or test new ideas and innovations that address the most critical challenges and biggest opportunities facing our community.

What Can I Apply For?

  • General operating support or project support (including capacity-building projects)
  • Grant funding ranging from $10,000 to $50,000
  • Grants will be made for one year at a time and for up to two years in a row, with a renewal application required for those seeking a second year of funding

Note: Open Door Grants are especially focused on organizations serving and building power in communities historically excluded from institutional philanthropy and whose leadership reflects the communities they serve. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • communities of color;
  • the LGBTQIA community;
  • immigrants and refugees;
  • people with disabilities;
  • poor or low-income people;
  • youth and seniors.

Organizations that work on behalf of seniors or individuals with physical disabilities are especially encouraged to apply for an Open Door Grant as the Foundation has funding specifically designated for these purposes.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • An eligible applicant would be an existing or new organization that:
    • Is not in direct conflict with the strategies, goals and approaches pursued by the Foundation’s five impact areas
    • Has a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit designation from the IRS or operates under the fiscal sponsorship of a tax-exempt nonprofit
      • (You are responsible for having that relationship in place before submitting your application.)
    • Primarily serves the people of the cities and towns in the Foundation’s catchment area, with the exception of regional, statewide or national public policy efforts that may benefit a substantial portion of the people in the Foundation’s catchment area
    • Aligns with the Foundation’s Values Statement, which seeks to broaden participation; foster collaboration; and heal racial, ethnic and community divisions
    • Does not discriminate in the hiring of staff or the provision of services on the basis of race, religion, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability
    • Has not submitted an application within the past 12 month


  • Note: If your organization does work on behalf of seniors or individuals with physical disabilities, you are especially encouraged to apply for an Open Door Grant as the Foundation has funds specifically designated for these purposes.


  • The Boston Foundation does not make grants for capital construction costs, endowments, medical or academic research, scholarships, sectarian or religious purposes, or to support candidates for political office.  
  • Private non-operating foundations, 509(c)(4) organizations, and Section 509(a)(3) Type III Non-functionally Integrated organizations are not eligible to apply.
  • In addition, grants are not made to individual persons. 
    • Individual schools must apply through their school districts and districts may submit one application every 12 months.
  • Please note that while staff time and costs related to capacity building projects are welcome, grants are not solely intended for staff positions (e.g., hiring or creating a position such as a development director).