Thank you for your interest in applying for a Seeding and Expanding Innovative Partnerships in Early Childhood grant at the Boston Foundation. Proposals are due to the Boston Foundation by  5:00 p.m. on March 20, 2018.  

Together with our donor partners, the Boston Foundation (TBF) is soliciting proposals to improve young children’s readiness for success in school and life by investing in cross-sector, neighborhood-based partnerships that will expand access to quality services for families with babies and toddlers.  Two types of proposals are being solicited: Seeding Innovative Partnerships grants and Expanding Innovative Partnerships grants.  Competitive proposals will describe a cross-sector partnerships that is informed by community voice and need; the steps (planned or underway) that will improve child readiness for success at age five; and, the systems change implications that will sustain the work. 

Successful proposals will receive one-year grants to formulate and hone their partnership and proposed programs, or implement and track the progress of their efforts (respectively).  Funded organizations may be eligible to apply for multi-year funding after successful completion of year one.  

The application process has several stages.  To begin an application, interested organizations must complete this Interest Form which will also serve as a registration form for TBF's Early Childhood Idea Lab on March 5, 2018.  (All applicants should plan to participate in the required Idea Lab.)  Interest forms must be submitted by Friday, February 9, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.

To complete the application, please begin by reading the RFP in its entirety.  Please note that there are three sections for this form:

Part 1: Required questions for ALL applicants
Part 2: Required questions for Seeding Innovative Partnerships grant applicants
Part 3: Required questions for Expanding Innovative Partnerships grant applicants

Applicants must complete two of these, including Part 1 and either Part 2 or 3.

There is a final confirmation question at the very end. Please make sure all parts of the application are complete and accurate before submitting.

If you have any questions, please contact

Purpose of Grassroots Grant-Making

Grassroots grant-making at the Boston Foundation is set up to respond quickly to community needs, with the Grassroots Fund proactively providing grants that range from $200 to $10,000 to grassroots organizations. These grants help people come together, establish relationships, strengthen political will, form caring connections, heal divides and build efficacy, clout and resilience. 

The Grassroots strategy provides early support for grassroots ideas and neighborhood-based innovation by making a range of small and speedy grants through the Grassroots Fund

The lessons learned and connections made through this process have enriched the Foundation’s grant-making. Ideas funded over the past five years have ranged from targeted events to transformational opportunities — each starting with the power of people.

Grassroots Fund Applications & Process

Applications for the Action Fund are accepted on a rolling basis.

Successful applications will:

  • Be complete, and follow application guidelines
  • Demonstrate resident participation and diverse perspectives
  • Show careful planning and appropriate budget allocations
  • Reflect the neighborhood’s ability to implement the proposed project


Priority will be given to projects that accomplish one or more of the following:

  • Make your neighborhood safe, vibrant, clean or green;
  • Have leaders that represent the communities with which they work;
  • Include diverse perspectives and participation by residents of all ages;
  • Increase participation by residents, organizations and businesses in
    neighborhood activities and community associations;
  • Increase residents’ confidence to do other projects;
  • Build partnerships with residents, community-based organizations, schools,
     religious institutions, local merchants or others.


For questions about the application process, contact:

Natanja Craig, Director, Grassroots Programs, (617) 338-2678
Dee Moore, Grassroots Program Associate, (617) 338-4276