City of Cambridge, MA, Offers New Grants

The city of Cambridge, MA, announced on February 10 that it is accepting applications for 100 grants in amounts of up to $10,000. any 501(c)3 organization is eligible to apply. The grants are from the City of Cambridge Community Benefits Advisory Committee. The Cambridge City Council recommended the funding to support local nonprofits. The total sum of the grant funds is $1 million.

About the Grant Eligibility Requirements

Any interested nonprofit organization can apply online now. The application period ends on February 22. The grants will be awarded for nonprofits that provide services to vulnerable residents of the community. The funds are meant for recovery and services related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Services have to be aligned with the needs indicated by the needs assessment that was conducted in 2020. Previously, the Cambridge City Council awarded $1 million of grant funds in July 2020.

What the Mayor Says About the Grants

Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui said that the nonprofit organizations in the community are essential to the citizens of Cambridge. Whether the organizations do civic engagement, arts or cultural work or provide direct services, all of them are important. It is critical that the city offer financial support for those organizations and the work they have been doing and continue to do during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What Cambridge's City manager Has to Say

Louis A. DePasquale is the City Manager of Cambridge. He said that he is pleased that the Cambridge City Council can provide the $1 million in grant funding. The funds will help the local nonprofits continue serving the community. Those organizations focus on some of the most vulnerable members of the community, including low-income families, households with children and senior citizens. The ongoing pandemic has caused a lot of financial hardships for individuals. That has led the city's residents to need more help from the nonprofits. In turn, that has pushed many nonprofits to the brink. Their budgets are stretched to the max. The city's mayor and manager hope the funds will make a big positive impact and allow the nonprofits to continue providing critical services.

Why the Funds Are Important

The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated low-income families, people of color and immigrants. They have faced more job losses and economic hardship. The nonprofits in Cambridge have stepped up to help these vulnerable residents. The additional funding will help them continue doing so. Some of the projects that the July 2020 round of grant funding paid for included rent, food, utility and child care assistance.

What Else Cambridge Is Doing

Cambridge has provided financial assistance to small businesses and individuals. It used funds from the Mayor's Disaster Relief Fund, CARES Act, Cambridge Redevelopment Authority, federal Community Development Block Grant and Housing Stabilization Fund. Starting with this round of funding, there will be $5 million from the Mayor's Disaster Relief fund distributed to the community. The city will spend $3 million for COVID-19 related shelter, lodging and food services. The city has contributed $5.4 million in direct support to residents who participate in the housing stabilization program.

Schools Also Receive Grant Assistance in Cambridge

The city of Cambridge has issued more than $10 million in grant funds for the school district. Those funds are for COVID-19 related health and safety equipment and supplies, staff, technology and instructional supplies and support for students and teachers. Additional funds have been spent on activities and food for school-age children.

How Nonprofits Can Apply for the Grants

Nonprofits that hold 501(c)3 designations from the Internal Revenue Service are invited to apply for the grant funding if their services align with the Cambridge Community Needs Assessment. More information is available at The city's website has details on what programs are eligible, what services can be paid for from the grants.

Types of Services the Previous Funds Paid for

In July 2020, recipients of the $1 million of grant funding from the city of Cambridge used the money to pay for technology for students and seniors to use for remote learning. The money also paid for food support for low-income families, seniors and children. Some of the grant recipients used the money to get senior citizens connected for telehealth services. Families received support for housing, utilities, food and transportation. The funds also paid for backpacks and snacks for children who live in a food-insecure household.

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