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Big Sister Boston Receives Sustaining Grant From Cummings Foundation

Posted 05/04/2018


Joyce Cummings; Deborah Re, Big Sister Boston’s President and CEO; Ann Eggleston, Vice President of Development; and Bill Cummings

Big Sister Association of Greater Boston is one of 33 local nonprofits awarded a total of $10 million from Cummings Foundation through its new Sustaining Grants program, which provides funding for up to 10 years.

Big Sister Boston serves 69 towns and cities in Suffolk, Middlesex, Norfolk, Essex, Plymouth, Worcester, and Bristol counties. Currently, 76% of the girls served live in Suffolk county; 15% in Middlesex county; 5% in Norfolk county; and 3% in both Essex county and the combined counties of Plymouth, Worcester, and Bristol.

“The Cummings Foundation’s significant investment in our work, is validation of the impact that long-term mentoring relationships have on our community as a whole when those relationships receive thoughtful, intentional support based in research and experience,” said Deborah Re, Big Sister Boston’s President and CEO. “The Cummings Foundation is clearly committed to positive youth development.”

The funds granted by the Cummings Foundation will go to the direct service of recruiting more women to become Big Sisters; interviewing, training, and matching Big Sister volunteers with girls in each community; providing individualized guidance and support to each Big and Little Sister and Little Sister’s family; and facilitation of enrichment activities that nurture the Little Sister’s skills and confidence to achieve greater long-term outcomes.

The Sustaining Grants program builds on Cummings Foundation’s $100K for 100 program. First offered in 2012, $100K for 100 annually awards $10 million through multi-year grants of $100,000 each to 100 nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Essex, Middlesex, and Suffolk counties. Grant recipients that received their final grant disbursements in 2017 were automatically considered for the Sustaining Grants initiative in 2018.

“Long-term financial support is rare for nonprofits, making fundraising a constant and time-consuming task for organizations like Big Sister Association of Greater Boston,” said Joyce Vyriotes, deputy director of Cummings Foundation. “The Sustaining Grants are intended to provide some relief, allowing them to focus more of their time and energy on delivering and enhancing their important services.”

Sustaining Grants winners were selected primarily by a 40-member volunteer committee, which included former state legislators, CEOs of companies and organizations in Greater Boston, and a retired justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, among many others. Committee members conducted two site visits with each nonprofit to learn how the $100K for 100 funds helped to advance its mission, and how it might put a 10-year grant to use.

The complete list of 33 grant winners is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.

Cummings Foundation has already awarded more than $200 million to date in Greater Boston alone, and it will award an additional $200 million over the next 10 years through the $100K for 100 and the Sustaining Grants programs.