Smith Family Foundation: Mid-Sized Capital Grants

Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation

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Grant amount: US $250,000 - US $3,000,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Capital Project

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

Location of residency: United States

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About this funder:

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Overview:

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Foundation staff prior to submitting a letter of inquiry to determine whether their organization and/or proposed project are eligible for consideration under this program. If you believe your work aligns with the Foundation’s funding criteria for a Mid-Sized Capital Grant, please submit a LOI via the online application system. 

The Foundation will review LOI submissions on a rolling basis and organizations typically hear back within six months. Please note that due to the high volume of inquiries received for a limited number of funding opportunities, few organizations will be invited to submit full proposals. 

Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation

The Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation is committed to effecting permanent positive change in the lives of the residents of Greater Boston, particularly individuals and families in economically disadvantaged communities. Today, three generations of the Smith family oversee the Foundation, stewarding approximately $14 million annually in grants aimed at promoting greater health, educational attainment, and economic mobility.

Mid-Sized Capital Grants

The Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation will consider requests for support for transformative capital projects in the $250,000-$3 million range from agencies that are well-led, can point to significant accomplishments, and have a mission that is clearly aligned with that of the Foundation.

The Trustees’ intent in presenting this opportunity is not to provide general support for larger, multi-million dollar capital campaigns, but rather to catalyze discrete, identifiable projects that meet a specific need in keeping with the Foundation’s mission. Projects that might be funded include those that enliven public spaces, such as recreational or community facilities, parks, or public art, as well as projects that improve the quality of life and well-being of individuals and families, and provide for the benefit of entire neighborhoods and communities.

The requested funds must be for a game-changing physical asset that will permanently enhance an agency’s service delivery potential, either by enabling it to serve significantly more clients, provide new and vitally important services, or improve the quality of its existing programs in deep and lasting ways. Requests are considered on a rolling basis. Please note that this is the most competitive program at the Foundation, with at most one to two grants awarded annually from among 40 or more inquiries. 

Examples of previously funded projects that meet these criteria include a universally accessible park and playground at Children’s Wharf, a new Boys & Girls Club teen center in Mattapan, and an overnight shelter for homeless youth in Cambridge. Please review the list of recent Mid-Sized Capital grantees to assess whether your project aligns well with the program’s objectives.

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

Eligibility:

  • To be eligible for a Mid-Sized Capital Grant, an applicant must be:
    • A nonprofit organization with 501(c)3 tax-exempt status or a fiscal sponsor that is a 501(c)3 public charity
    • An agency whose primary mission aligns with an issue area in which the Foundation funds. Possible issue areas of interest include, among others:
      • cultural and economic vitality
      • economic mobility and/or human services
      • youth development
      • health
    • An agency or program within an agency that serves people in Greater Boston (roughly defined as within Route 128) and/or in the Gateway Cities of Brockton, Chelsea, Fall River, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, or New Bedford.
  • In seeking a Mid-Sized Capital Grant, the recipient organization must demonstrate that it will have sufficient funding to maintain and repair the capital project over time and to support programs that make maximum use of the funded project.
  • Many of the Foundation’s grants are structured as multi-year commitments that are contingent upon agreed upon performance benchmarks. The Foundation has learned that this approach allows highly-effective leaders to focus their time and attention on long-range planning, innovation, and quality improvement in addition to fundraising.

Ineligibility:

  • Ineligible applicants include: individuals; endowments or private foundations; religious organizations, where the grant is to be used for sectarian purposes; federal, state, or municipal agencies (with rare exceptions); or political campaigns.
  • The Foundation does not typically provide emergency funding. In general, grants are awarded several times a year as part of larger strategic initiatives.
  • The Foundation does not sponsor events/conferences/meetings/etc. or buy tables at events.