Open Door Grant

The Boston Foundation

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

Next anticipated deadline: Sep 1, 2018

Later anticipated deadlines: Dec 1, 2018, Mar 1, 2019, Jun 1, 2019

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, General Operating Expense, Applied 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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As a complement to our program area–targeted approach, the Boston Foundation also distributes a portion of its resources via its Open Door Grants program, which responds to the expressed opportunities and needs of the communities we serve.

Open Door Grants Guidelines

Responding to the expressed ideas and needs of the community

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

The Foundation encourages collaboration! Joint programs with fellow nonprofit organizations are also eligible. One organization should submit the application as the lead organization on behalf of the collaborative partners.

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
      • (For example, given the focus of the Structural Reform strategy of the Foundation’s Education impact area, proposals that aim to limit or block charter schools will not be considered for a grant.)
    • 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).

About this funder:

View past grantees & full 990 summary