Wonderfund of MA Awarded $100,000 Cummings Grant

Massachusetts nonprofit receives 1 year of funding from Cummings Foundation

Contact: Colleen Walsh, The Wonderfund, (978) 994-4018, [email protected]
Contact: Alison Harding, Cummings Foundation, (781) 932-7093, [email protected]

Boston, MA Aug 2, 2022 – WONDERFUND OF MA is one of 140 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Program. The Boston-based organization was chosen from a total of 580 applicants during a competitive review process. It will receive $100,000 over 1 year.

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 $25 Million Grant Program recipient,” said Wonderfund CEO Erin Murphy Rafferty. “The Cummings Foundation’s status in grant making 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 $25 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 areas where it owns commercial property. Its buildings are all managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. This Woburn based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 11 million square feet of debt free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

“We are so fortunate in greater Boston to have such effective nonprofits, plus a wealth of talented, dedicated professionals and volunteers to run them,” said Cummings Foundation executive director Joyce Vyriotes. “We are indebted to them for the work they do each day to provide for basic needs,
break down barriers to education and health resources, and work toward a more equitable society.”

With the help of about 90 volunteers, the Foundation first identified 140 organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each. Among the winners were first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that had previously received Cummings Foundation grants. Forty of this latter group of repeat recipients were then selected to have their grants elevated to 10-year awards ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 each.

“Our volunteers bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives, which is so critical to our grant selection process,” said Vyriotes. “Through this democratized approach to philanthropy, they decide more than half the grants every year.”

This year’s grant recipients represent a wide variety of causes, including food insecurity, immigrant and refugee services, social justice, education, and mental health services. The nonprofits are spread across 45 different cities and towns. The complete list of 140 grant winners, plus more than 900 previous recipients, is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.

Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $375 million to greater Boston nonprofits.

About The Wonderfund
The Wonderfund is a private nonprofit, 501(c)3 serving kids engaged with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. We provide comfort and dignity to 53,000 children who have been impacted by abuse and neglect. Our services include providing emergency aid services, enrichment  opportunities, everyday essentials such as toiletries and school supplies, access to cultural experiences across the Commonwealth, holiday gifts and more! We believe that every child deserves to experience the wonder of being a kid.

About Cummings Foundation
Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings and has grown to be one of the largest private foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities, in
Marlborough and Woburn, and Cummings Health Sciences, LLC. Additional information is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.