Through past grants, the Foundation has supported capital projects such as the restoration of historic buildings; creation of new public sculpture and gardens; restoration of historic monuments; and other projects that enhance quality of life and sense of place, while demonstrating design excellence. Grants are made only for projects within Boston city limits and to projects that are accessible and visible to the public. Grants are not made to individuals. Grants are made for restoration and preservation activities, but not for routine care or maintenance (as defined by National Park Service technical standards.)
In 2019, the Designators are particularly interested in requests for support of permanent public art projects, projects focused on outdoor spaces, and historic preservation projects. In addition, the Designators are seeking proposals from projects in neighborhoods that have not been well represented in previous grants, including but not limited to East Boston, South Boston, Mission Hill, Allston/Brighton, Charlestown, Chinatown, Mattapan, and Roslindale.
The Fall 2019 Grant Round will accept requests for projects whose projected completion is on or before December 31, 2020. Applications are due by 5:00 pm on Friday, October 4 and will be reviewed at a meeting in early December.
The Designators will host an applicant forum before each deadline, on Tuesday, April 9 and Wednesday, September 11, both 1:30-3:30 pm at Hemenway & Barnes, 75 State Street, Boston. Pre-registration is required and open to all potential applicants.
PRESERVATION IS DEFINED AS the act or process of applying measures necessary to sustain the existing form, integrity, and materials of an historic property. Protection, maintenance, and repair are emphasized while replacement is minimized.
RESTORATION IS DEFINED AS the act or process of accurately depicting the form, features, and character of a property as it appeared at a particular period of time by means of the removal of features from other periods in its history and reconstruction of missing features from the restoration period.
Applicants must provide nine (9) copies of the proposal narrative, budget, and all exhibits and one (1) copy of all attachments. Please collate but do not bind proposals or include videos.
1. Proposal Narrative and Budget – 5 page maximum (9 copies)
2. Proposal Exhibits (9 copies)
3. Proposal Attachments (1 copy)
Please submit completed applications no later than 5:00 pm on the day of the proposal deadline. You may mail, courier, or hand-deliver your proposals. If you choose to hand-deliver, please notify us one day in advance so we may add you to the building security access list.
Ms. Gioia Perugini, Foundation Administrator
Hemenway & Barnes LLP
75 State Street, 16th Floor
Boston, MA 02109
A carefully prepared grant application that adheres to the printed guidelines and tips for grant applications is critical. Please review the full guidelines carefully before submitting your proposal. Below are some frequently asked questions to help guide you.
Does my application need to look a certain way?
Applications need not be elaborate and may be inexpensively printed. Do not submit with elaborate bindings or covers.
What’s the best way to tell you about our organization?
Do not assume that your organization, the project, or project location are known to reviewers; all requested information and attachments should be provided, even for repeat applicants.
Do you need information about my community or constituency?
The need for the project should be clearly stated, and the case for how the proposed project will meet community needs or aspirations should be succinctly presented. In order to better understand the project and its neighborhood context, illustrations or renderings that show the project from the pedestrian point of view are welcome.
Does the size of my organization matter?
The Foundation welcomes applications from nonprofits of all sizes. The Designators will hold an Applicant Forum each year so that applicants may meet with the Foundation and learn more about its giving priorities. Should you need assistance with proposal writing, there are many resources available in Boston, including but not limited to Philanthropy Massachusetts (www.philanthropyma.org) and the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (www.massnonprofitnet.org).
Does it matter who does the preservation or restoration work?
The Foundation expects that professional planning for the project will have taken place prior to the application. The professional expertise of those responsible for the project is an important consideration that will be evaluated. For example, a preservation project is expected to involve a qualified preservation architect; a conservation project is expected to involve a well-qualified conservator; a landscape project is expected to be designed by a qualified landscape architect. Contractors performing the work should have prior experience with similar professional projects of recognized high quality.
What information should I include about other funders?
Project funding sources must be identified, whether received or proposed. Reviewers will consider whether the funding plan is thorough and realistic given the Foundation’s knowledge of funding sources, the applicant’s budget and resources, and the history of fundraising by the applicant.
What information do you require regarding maintenance?
Maintenance of the project after completion is a key component of proposal evaluation. State who will maintain the project, how annual and long term maintenance and repairs will be funded, and whether any endowment will exist for the care of the project.
What are the Foundation’s expectations for recognition?
Recognition of the Foundation’s contribution may be made in newsletters, press releases, media announcements, annual reports, on the organization’s web site or through social media channels; by invitation of the board of designators to attend project events; and on plaques or other long term recognition if those are planned for the project. The level of recognition is expected to be proportionate to the scale of the Foundation’s contribution to the full project budget. Grant expectations and guidelines will be sent with the award letter.