A 2022 Grantee Perception Study by the Center for Effective Philanthropy ranks the Foundation number one among peer grantmakers for impact and for understanding the needs of the community and its nonprofits.

While working to further its own capacity, the Foundation has introduced nonprofit effectiveness grants that support grantees making organizational changes to better fulfill their mission. These investments are among the ways that the Foundation helps nonprofits succeed beyond making operating and program grants. For example, agency funds allow nonprofits to grow endowments within the Foundation’s pooled fund. And its Nonprofit Support Center enables staff and leaders to gain skills, network, and join cohorts that explore emerging issues.

Transforming lives through language, Literacy Volunteers of South Central Massachusetts (LVSCM) provides adults with free tutoring in basic literacy and English for Speakers of Other Languages. Its trained volunteers teach in convenient locations, including the Jacob Edwards Library in Southbridge, LVSCM’s home for nearly 50 years. An effectiveness grant funds the organization’s work with a consultant to develop a high-performing board. “As our ambassadors,” says Executive Director Emily Farrell, “our board will help us recruit more volunteers, expand fundraising, and advance our growth.”

Skateboarding too can transform lives. “We provide pathways for youth on the margins to connect with mentors, grow as leaders, and make a positive impact on their community,” says Jacob Folsom-Fraster, executive director of Push Worcester, which is working to build a strong, inclusive skate scene. “Our programs and events offer unique options for employment, recreation, creative expression, and civic action.”

The Foundation was one of our first-ever funders. Its grants and one-to-one support enable small organizations such as ours to get off the ground and become sustainable.

- Jacob Folsom-Fraster, Executive Director, Push Worcester

With an effectiveness grant, Push is investigating what it will take to make Worcester a skate-friendly city. Survey advisors are Clark University’s Collaborative for Youth and Community Justice and Francisco Vivoni PhD, Chair of the Dept. of Sociology at Worcester State.