Wonderfund Awarded Cummings Grant

Contact: Erin Murphy Rafferty, The Wonderfund, (617) 939-1762, erafferty@wonderfundma.org
Contact: Alison Harding, Cummings Foundation, (781) 932-7093, aeh@cummings.com

The Wonderfund is one of 130 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s $20 Million Grant Program. The Boston-based organization was chosen from a total of 738 applicants during a competitive review process.

The Wonderfund is committed to helping kids be kids. We are an ordinary group of people on an extraordinary mission to bring the magic and meaning of childhood into the lives of children who have been impacted by trauma, abuse and neglect.

“The Wonderfund team is beyond grateful to be a Cummings $20 Million Grant Program recipient,” said Wonderfund CEO Erin Murphy Rafferty. “The Cummings Foundation’s status in grantmaking and supporting nonprofit work in the Boston area is unparalleled. This generous grant from the Cummings Foundation will enable us to enrich the lives of children who have been impacted by trauma, abuse and neglect.”

Children who are involved with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) have often endured significant trauma in their young lives. While DCF focuses on their care and protection, the Wonderfund focuses on providing opportunities for enrichment, learning, and growth. The Cummings Foundation grant will allow the Wonderfund to provide transformative enrichment opportunities that every child deserves, but that many of our kids do not have otherwise have access to: opportunities like dance classes, organized sports, SAT prep, driving lessons, art classes, martial arts, and summer camp. The chance to participate in these kinds of activities helps kids build confidence, learn new skills, and just feel “like a kid.”

The Cummings $20 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the area where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. Founded in 1970 by Bill Cummings, the Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 10 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

“We have been impressed, but not surprised, by the myriad ways in which these 130 grant winners are serving their communities, despite the challenges presented by COV ID-19,”said Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation’s executive director. “Their ability to adapt and work with their constituents in new and meaningful ways has an enormous impact in the communities where our colleagues and leasing clients live and work.”

Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $280 million to greater Boston nonprofits.

Social distancing requirements will prevent Foundation and grant winner representatives from convening for a reception at Trade Center 128 in Woburn, as planned, to celebrate the $20 million infusion into greater Boston’s nonprofit sector. Instead, Cummings Foundation expects hundreds of individuals to gather virtually for a modified celebration in mid-June. The Cummings $20 Million Grant Program resulted from a merger of the Foundation’s two flagship grant programs, $100K for 100 and Sustaining Grants.

The Foundation and its volunteers first identified 130 organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each. Among the winners are first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that have previously received Cummings Foundation grants. A limited number of this latter group of repeat recipients will be invited to make in-person presentations in the fall, when public health related circumstances allow, proposing that their grants be elevated to long- term awards. Thirty such requests will be granted in the form of 10-year awards ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 each.

This year’s diverse group of grant recipients represents a wide variety of causes, including homelessness prevention, affordable housing, education, violence prevention, and food insecurity. The nonprofits are spread across 40 different cities and towns, and most will receive their grants over two to five years.

The complete list of 130 grant winners is available at https://www.cummingsfoundation.org/

A great deal more information about Cummings Foundation is detailed in Bill Cummings’ self-written business book, “Starting Small and Making It Big: Hands-On Lessons in Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy.” The brand-new, and significantly updated, 6th edition is available on Amazon or cummings.com/book.

About The Wonderfund

The Wonderfund is a private, nonprofit, 501(c)3 that serves children engaged with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. We provide comfort and dignity to children in traumatic situations and enrich childhoods that have been impacted by abuse and neglect. Research shows that childhood trauma makes it more likely for people to suffer from addiction, mental health issues, chronic illness, and early death. By supporting traumatized children, the Wonderfund can help them build resiliency, confidence, and agency over their own lives. We can help them overcome significant obstacles and increase their chance of becoming healthy, productive adults. The Wonderfund strives to empower every child involved with DCF to experience hope, confidence, and joy. To learn more about the Wonderfund, visit https://www.wonderfundma.org/

About Cummings Foundation

Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities in Marlborough and Woburn, and Veterinary School at Tufts, LLC in North Grafton. Additional information is available at https://www.cummingsfoundation.org/