Smith Family Foundation: Small Capital Grants

Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation

Suggest an update

Next anticipated deadline: Oct 1, 2020 2:00pm PDT

Later anticipated deadlines: Feb 4, 2021 2:00pm PST

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

Fields of work: All fields of work

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

View website    Save

About this funder:



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.

Small Capital Grants

The Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation’s Small Capital Grants Program supports one-time capital expenses that directly enhance a nonprofit organization’s ability to serve its clients and achieve its mission. Grants may be used for such purposes as facility improvements, vehicles, equipment purchases, and other non-expendable assets. The Foundation targets this assistance to nonprofits that would otherwise find it difficult, if not impossible, to meet this type of need through their operating budgets. Since the program’s inception in 2004, over $8.1 million has been awarded to over 200 organizations in Greater Boston.

It is anticipated that in each round of small capital grants, 10 to 12 organizations may receive grants ranging in size from $10,000-$50,000. Please note: Single, coherent, high-impact projects tend to compete more favorably than requests for a variety of unrelated items. The requested grant must cover the entire cost of the proposed capital project.

Due to the high volume of applications received, on average only 10-15% of project requests are selected for funding each round. Please see links below for a list of recent grantees.

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


  • The amount requested for the project must be between $10,000-$50,000.
  • Eligible Applicants:
    • Nonprofit organizations with 501(c)3 tax-exempt status or a fiscal sponsor that is a 501(c)3 public charity.
    • Agencies or programs within agencies that serve people in the Greater Boston area (roughly defined as within Route 128) and/or in the Gateway Cities of Brockton, Chelsea, Fall River, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, or New Bedford. 
    • Agencies with annual operating budgets of approximately $5 million or less. 
    • Agencies working in any issue area may apply. Typically, organizations whose primary mission falls into one or more of the following areas tend to have a higher likelihood of funding: economic mobility, health, human services, or youth development.
  • 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.


  • Preference is given to agencies with operating budgets under $3 million.
  • Preference is given to agencies working in low-income communities.


  • Ineligible projects and expenses include, but are not limited to: undesignated contributions to larger capital campaigns, program support, staff salaries or other administrative costs, website or mobile application development, annual software licenses, service/support plans, warranties, insurance/fuel/maintenance for vehicles, contingency fees, etc.
  • Funding is not retroactive, so projects that have already been started or completed are not eligible for consideration.
  • 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.