GWCF has announced significant funding opportunities available through the Foundation's Community Grant and Nonprofit Effectiveness Programs. Designed to be responsive to the needs exposed by the pandemic and racial justice reckonings of the last year and half, these two programs will provide much needed funding for nonprofits to strengthen their capacities and implement meaningful programming that will further strengthen the Worcester community.

The 2021 Community Grant Program: Operating and Project Support, is the Foundation's hallmark granting program, and it is available once again, but with refined guidelines and priorities. The program will fund organizations through either general operating or project support grants that address community needs in the following strategic focus areas: Health & Wellbeing, Thriving Families, and Creative Worcester. Grants will range from $2,500 to $50,000, with variability depending on grant type (operating or project support).

Replacing the Foundation's Mini-Grant Program this year is the Nonprofit Effectiveness Grant Program, an innovative funding opportunity designed to support nonprofits as they pursue fresh perspectives on routine operations. The Foundation is interested in supporting nonprofit organizations with values-driven activities that increase nonprofit capacity, enhance organizational culture, and create a space for critical planning. Grants will range up to $10,000, and awards will be made on a rolling basis through November 15, 2021.

“The funding opportunities available this summer are designed to meet the changing needs of our community,” says Carolyn Stempler, Interim President & CEO of the Foundation. “As a community foundation, it's our responsibility to leverage our resources to create the greatest impact. By investing in nonprofit operations, capacity building, and systems transformation, the Foundation is supporting strong and inclusive organizations that will deliver high-quality, equitable services to our community.”

In an effort to support organizations of all sizes and proposal writing capacities, the Foundation has expanded online resources for applicants for a more efficient and effective application process. GWCF encourages potential Community Grant applicants to attend an Application Preparation Session scheduled for July 22 and August 4. Sessions will provide an overview of GWCF's 2021 Community Grant Program, guidance on successful grant writing strategies to help nonprofits prepare their strongest proposals. More information and a sign up form can be found online here.

Applications for both grant programs are open online now. The deadline to apply for 2021 Community Grants is September 15, 2021 and the deadline to apply for Nonprofit Effectiveness Grants is rolling through November 15, 2021.

With questions about the Community Grant Program or Nonprofit Effectiveness Grant Program, contact Senior Program Officer Sarah Shugrue at