Breakthrough Greater Boston Awarded $100,000 Cummings Grant

Education nonprofit serving Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston communities receives Cummings Foundation grant

BOSTON, May 18, 2020 – Breakthrough Greater Boston has received a four-year, $100,000 grant through Cummings Foundation’s $20 Million Grant Program. Now serving over 500 students annually since expanding into Somerville from Cambridge and Boston, Breakthrough is one of 130 nonprofits to receive the grant award, chosen from a total of 738 applicants during a competitive review process.

Breakthrough’s Board Chair Melanie Goins recently described the meaningful relationship between the Cummings Foundation and Breakthrough: “There are many things that make the Cummings Foundation special. One that has stood out for us is that they regularly award multi-year gifts. For an organization committed to being in young people’s lives for six years, this resonates! We, too, need partners to believe in and commit to us for the long term…we are proud that the Cummings Foundation believes in the promise of our young people and has decided to partner with us so that we can grow the impact of Breakthrough.”

The Cummings $20 Million Grant Program which 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 COVID-19,” said Joel Swets, Cummigs Foundation’s executive director. “Their ability to adapt and work with their constituents in new and meaningful ways has an enormous impact on the communities where our colleagues and leasing clients live and work.”

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

The Cummings $20 Million Grant Program resulted from a merger of the Foundation’s two flagship grat 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 heal 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.

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

A great deal more information about Cumminngs Foundation is detailed in Bill Cumminggs’ 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

About Breakthrough Greater Boston
Founded in Cambridge in 1992, Breakthrough Greater Boston is a year-round, tuition-free program that offers six years of academically intensive out-of-school time services to highly motivated, traditionally underserved middle and high school students in Greater Boston. Unique to Breakthrough is the Students Teaching Students model, which offers diverse, high achieving college and high school students the opportunity to teach middle and high school classes while benefiting from professional mentorship and research-based instructional training.

Visit to learn more.

About Cummings Foundation
Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings of Winchester. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including two New Horizons retirement communities, in Marlborough and Woburn, and Veterinary School at Tufts, LLC in North Grafton.

Additional information is available at