Cambridge COVID-19 Emergency Fund

Cambridge Community Foundation

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Deadline: Rolling

Grant amount: Up to US $10,000

Fields of work: Poverty Alleviation & Services Disaster Relief / Humanitarian Aid Basic Human Needs

Applicant type: Individuals, Nonprofit, For-Profit Business

Funding uses: General Operating Expense, Project / Program

Location of project: Middlesex County, Massachusetts

Location of residency: Middlesex County, Massachusetts

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In times of crisis, it is paramount that emergency funds get deployed to the people who need them when they need them the most. The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected all sectors of the city and its residents, workers, and students. Many city and non-profit services are no longer readily available, creating a void in our ability as a city to provide for others. In response, the Cambridge Community Foundation has launched the Cambridge COVID-19 Emergency Fund as a source of immediate relief for those who need it most. 

With strict guidelines to slow the spread of the virus, public gatherings are banned, performances, shows, events, and classes have been cancelled and businesses, including restaurants, bars, and shops of all kinds are closing their doors for the foreseeable future. There is a great deal of uncertainty and we know the most vulnerable in our community—low-income families, the elderly, hourly employees without work, the self-employed, and trades people—will need immediate financial support to pay for their basic needs and the needs of their families. 

These grave challenges are calling the Cambridge community to action. The Cambridge COVID-19 Emergency Fund fills the gaps in serving the most vulnerable members of our community.  

The Foundation and its partners have launched this fund in close consultation with the City of Cambridge to ensure that we are not duplicating, but rather offering supplemental support to the broader relief efforts underway.  

Our goal is to swiftly respond to the emergency needs of Cambridge residents, businesses, and organizations. 

The Fund

The Foundation has directed $50,000 into the Cambridge COVID-19 Emergency Fund with an additional $25,000 contributed by Rosemarie and Steve Johnson and $25,000 more from a generous donor. Google Cambridge has pledged an additional $100,000. We are so grateful to and our steadfast partners from all sectors of the community. As the Foundation adds to the fund through collective giving in the community, it will begin the immediate assessment of applications and deploy grants to Cambridge residents, nonprofits, and small businesses experiencing financial crisis. These one-time grants ranging from $200 to $1,000 will be made available on a rolling basis until funds are depleted,

Regardless of the imposed physical isolation, Cambridge as a community continues to come together and support one another. Please lend a hand to our neighbors most in need and consider donating to the fund. 100% of your donations go to Cambridge families, residents, workers, and nonprofits in urgent need.

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


  •  Applicants must be Cambridge residents – or people whose main source of income emanates from Cambridge – Cambridge organizations with 501c3 status, or small businesses in our community with demonstrated loss of opportunity or income.
    • To be clear, individuals or groups can apply to this fund; 501c3 status is not a requirement.
  • A limited number of special grants of up to $10,000 will be considered to nonprofit organizations, based on the following criteria: 
    • Track record of working with low–income families 
    • The ability to make cash transfers to individuals and families for a range of needs such as rent shortage, food, utilities, medicines/medical supplies
    • Evidence of 501c3 status