Hyams Foundation Grant

Hyams Foundation

Suggest an update

Grant amount: Up to US $300,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit

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

Location of project: Suffolk County, Massachusetts

Location of residency: United States

View website    Save Need help writing this grant?

About this funder:

View past grantees & full 990 summary


Our Mission

The Hyams Foundation is a private, independent foundation with a mission of increasing economic, racial and social justice and power within low-income communities in Boston and Chelsea, Massachusetts.

Our Vision

Our vision for the future is a society in which systems and structures are transformed to create the conditions for increased collective well-being and produce equitable power, access, opportunities and outcomes, regardless of race.

Our Goal

The Foundation’s one overarching goal is to dismantle persistent, racialized economic disparities in Boston and Chelsea, Massachusetts. While we recognize that this may be an ambitious objective for any foundation to pursue, we believe that being aspirational is critical to addressing the racial equity challenges of our time. As in the past, we also plan to carry out our work in close collaboration with others.

What We Fund

Read the full Grant Guidelines for complete details. 

Our Overall Approach

To pursue our mission, vision and overarching goal, the Foundation will:

  • support and expand those funding strategies that represent the Foundation’s experience and expertise - grassroots leadership development/community organizing and pursuit of public and institutional policy change;
  • structure our work within three levels of Foundation engagement and allocation of resources, using funding strategies that are additive in nature;
  • address three important racial justice challenges in Boston and Chelsea today, with the understanding that these may evolve over time; each one has emerged from the community, has involved active organizing and related efforts by Hyams’s grantees and others, and presents specific current or emerging policy change agendas with potential for results;
  • continue to allocate up to 10% of the annual grantmaking budget for a Special Opportunities Fund to support public policy efforts focused on addressing racial disparities that fall outside of the specific grantmaking guidelines and to provide timely responses to unanticipated and compelling community needs; and
  • increase the use of Hyams's endowment for mission/impact investments that address the Foundation's mission, vision, values and beliefs, overarching goal and /or targeted racial justice issues.

Community Identified Issues

At the most fundamental or “base” level of our work, the Foundation will support grassroots leadership development and organizing strategies to build a strong base of civic activism and power on a broad range of issues important to local low-income communities. 

Important Racial Justice Issues

At the “enhanced” level of our work, the Foundation will focus its resources on grassroots leadership development/community organizing and policy change to address three specific racial justice issues of critical importance in Boston and Chelsea today in order to increase the potential for impact on dismantling persistent, racialized economic disparities:

  • Disrupt the “School to Prison Pipeline”, Beginning with Decreasing the # of Youth of Color Suspended/Expelled/Excluded from Boston and Chelsea Public Schools 
  • Expand Fair Wages and Benefits, and Improve Working Conditions, for Low-Income Workers
  • Reform and Adopt Land Use and Institutional Policies to Advance Equitable Housing Access 

Pivotal Racial Justice Issue

At the "intensive" level of its work, the Foundation will select one especially critical racial justice issue area (or a goal that addresses intersecting areas) for its most intensive level of investment, including grantmaking dollars, capacity-building resources, convening and communications activities, and staff time.

Decisions regarding this level of engagement will be made by the end of 2016 following a process that will include input from our grantees and others in the community. 

Promoting Racial Justice

The Special Opportunities Fund (SOF) provides an additional way for the Foundation to support specific efforts to advance racial equity in greater Boston.

Unanticipated Community Needs

The Special Opportunities Fund (SOF) also is available to support a limited number of requests each year to address urgent but unanticipated concerns and needs in the community.

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


  • All applicants to the Hyams Foundation must:
    • Be a charitable corporation with an office and activities located in Boston or Chelsea and serving residents of those communities.
    • The Foundation will consider an organization based outside of Boston or Chelsea only if it has an office in one of these cities that offers activities that match the Foundation’s Grantmaking Guidelines.
    • Such organizations should request a grant for the satellite office.
    • Be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Code and “not a private Foundation” under section 509(a) of the Code.
    • Submit an online grant report if previously funded. The Foundation will only consider one proposal from an organization during a 12-month period.  


  • The Foundation DOES NOT make grants to:
    • Individuals
    • Educational institutions
    • Municipal, state, or federal agency
    • Hospitals and health centers
    • Religious organizations for sectarian religious purposes (although the Foundation will consider proposals for social ministry and/or community organizing programs of faith-based organizations)
    • Curriculum development, video and film production, scholarships and conferences (unless related to grantees’ core work)
    • Capital campaigns