The Foundation announced the 110 awardees of its 2021 Community Grants: a total of $1,900,000. Community Grants are made possible by people who have set up discretionary funds with the Foundation. This type of fund provides GWCF with the maximum amount of flexibility to grant resources where community needs are greatest.

“In the face of such demand for services, our local nonprofits are proving their dedication to serving others,” says Carolyn Stempler, Interim GWCF President and CEO. Stempler also noted how other societal changes informed this year's grant making. “Nonprofit organizations have a unique relationship with the community, partnering with individuals with lived experience to tackle the most pressing problems.” In recognition of this, GWCF actively sought to support nonprofit organizations doing authentic work around increasing racial equity, centering community voice, and working to change systems.

For 2021, Community Grants set its focus on three strategic areas: Health & Wellbeing, Thriving Families, and Creative Worcester. In response, the Foundation saw its highest number of applicants, and was able to fund over half of them. The Foundation also increased its arts investment compared to previous years, and singled out a group of organizations working on advocacy and policy change.