2019 forward fund:
Strengthening cambridge neighborhoods
Purpose and goals
The Cambridge Redevelopment Authority’s (CRA) Forward Fund is a grant program intended to make targeted investments throughout the City of Cambridge’s non-profit community. The purpose is to provide financial assistance to capital projects that will improve or maintain the quality, efficiency, and accessibility of organizations that provide direct services for the benefit of all the City's residents, workers, or visitors.
The CRA anticipates offering awards to a diverse set of organizations whose proposals are both feasible and, once completed, foster innovative approaches to address how to create a more livable and caring City. Examples include improving access to greater educational and employment opportunities, and how best to provide the resources so all Cambridge residents can achieve economic vitality.
The Forward Fund’s goals are to:
Advance the CRA’s mission to implement creative initiatives that promote social equity and a balanced economic system.
Support organizations whose ha
Available funding and grant cycle
The CRA will distribute up to $300,000 for 2019 projects. Grant award maximums will vary between two types of grants. The CRA reserves the right to allocate funding amounts depending on the quality of the proposals.
The application period opens on Thursday, March 21, 2019. Applications may be submitted at any time throughout the year and will be considered by the Selection Committee on a quarterly basis. Organizations may receive one grant per the calendar year.
Submitted applications will be reviewed quarterly by the Forward Fund Selection Committee on:
June 21, 2019 (applications are due June 19th, by 11:59 PM)
September 27, 2019 (applications are due Sept. 25th, by 11:59 PM)
December 13, 2019 (applications are due Dec. 11th, by 11:59 PM)
Funding approvals will be announced based on the Forward Fund Selection Committees decision.
Applicants may apply for one of two award types. The award categories are:
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE GRANTS
(Funding Level Request up to $10,000)
Awards will be offered to applicants seeking to fund a feasibility analysis, architectural design, or engineering study for pursuing preconstruction information and relevant data related to a facility improvement project. The CRA believes this analysis can be important to the organization prior to committing their staff resources and financial reserves to an extensive construction project.
COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE CAPITAL GRANTS
(Funding Level Request up to $100,000)
Awards will be offered to applicants seeking assistance with the construction, repair, renovation, and/or other capital improvements, such as open space and landscape improvements associated with a civic mission that touches a significant portion of the public population. If the grant is to be part of a much larger project, the applicant will need to demonstrate how the CRA investment is filling a critical gap in the viability of that project and show specifically how that money will be used.
Grants are to be paid 50% at the time of award, and 50% at the completion of the project.
Forward Fund Grants in the past have required a 1:1 organizational match, for 2019 the applicant should explain in detail how the awarded grant will be leveraged with other resources – which could include another outside funding source or in-kind/volunteer matching resource.
Funds are not to be used for programming, but specific technical or physical investments.
Who should apply
Eligibility is open to all Cambridge-based non-profit organizations that own and/or operate community facilities. The organizations mission should provide support, social services, and resources with the goal of closing the gaps reported in Envision Cambridge and the Community Needs Assessment.
Applicants will be asked to provide a clear narrative on how their proposed project and organization’s mission is aligned with improving the overarching needs stated in the reports.
Projects must meet all of the following yes/no criteria in order to be eligible:
Is the project is located within Cambridge?
Will the project facilitates a physical improvement that does not require any additional ongoing funding from the CRA or the City to operate or maintain?
Does your fund request does not exceed award maximum?
Is the applicant is a Cambridge-based nonprofit organization?
Can the applicant clearly explain how the proposed project is feasible?
Does the applicant have control over the proposed project site or have a letter or support from the property owner detailing a long-term lease agreement upon submission of their proposal?
Previous awardees and applicants are encouraged to apply for a 2019 Forward Fund.
Please see our FAQ page. All interested parties with questions not answered there are encouraged to contact the CRA.
Contact: Carlos Peralta, Program Manager
Telephone: 617-492-6800 x14