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Small Capital Grants

The Smith Family Foundation’s Small Capital Grants Program supports one-time capital expenses that directly enhance a nonprofit organization’s ability to serve its clients and achieve its mission. Grants may be used for such purposes as facility improvements, vehicles, equipment purchases, and other non-expendable assets. The Foundation targets this assistance to nonprofits that would otherwise find it difficult, if not impossible, to meet this type of need through their operating budgets.

It is anticipated that in each round of small capital grants, eight to ten organizations may receive grants ranging in size from $10,000-$50,000. The requested grant must cover the entire cost of the proposed project. Due to the high volume of applications received, on average only 10-15% of project requests are selected for funding each round. Please see links below for a list of recent grantees.

Eligible Applicants:

  • Nonprofit organizations with 501(c)3 tax-exempt status
  • Agencies with annual operating budgets of approximately $5 million or less. Preference is given to agencies with operating budgets under $3 million.
  • Agencies working in any issue area may apply. Typically, organizations whose primary mission falls into one or more of the following areas tend to have a higher likelihood of funding: economic mobility, health, human services, or youth development.
  • Agencies (or programs within agencies) that serve people in the Greater Boston area. Outside of Greater Boston, the Foundation will also consider agencies serving the communities of Brockton, Chelsea, Fall River, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, and New Bedford. Preference is given to agencies working in low-income communities.

Ineligible Applicants:

  • Individuals
  • Endowments or private foundations
  • Religious organizations, where the grant is to be used for sectarian purposes
  • Federal, state, or municipal agencies (with rare exceptions)
  • Political campaigns

Please note: Single, coherent, high-impact projects tend to compete more favorably than requests for a variety of unrelated items. The requested grant should cover the full cost of the proposed capital project. Ineligible items include, but are not limited to: undesignated contributions to larger capital campaigns, program support, staff salaries, website development, annual software licenses, insurance/fuel/maintenance for vehicles, etc.

Selection Criteria
The following criteria will be used in evaluating grant requests:

1. Does the organization and project address a well-defined need that aligns with the Smith Family Foundation’s mission?
2. Will the project, when completed, have a significant impact on the quality or reach of the program?
3. Is the project innovative, well thought out and ready to implement? Can the project be completed in a reasonable period of time (generally within one year)?
4. Does the organization have strong and creative leadership? Can it point to significant accomplishments?
5. Going forward, will the applicant be in a position to manage, maintain, staff or otherwise well-use the asset(s) acquired with Smith Family Foundation funds?

Staff and Trustees will do their best to assess the relative need among the proposed projects in making the awards.

To Apply
The next deadline to submit a proposal for the Small Capital Grants program is 5pm ET on Wednesday, September 13, 2017. The online application will be available by early September 2017. Please review the previous application questions which will be similar, if not exactly the same, for the September deadline. Final grant award decisions for the fall 2017 round of applications are expected to be made in January 2018.

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Smith Family Foundation staff prior to submitting an application to determine whether their organization and/or proposed project are good candidates for funding under this program. Inquiries may be directed to Amy Hampe at 857-404-0705 or

Repeat Applicants
The process for consideration of repeat applicants will be as follows: Organizations that receive a Small Capital Grant from the Foundation will not be eligible to apply for another Small Capital Grant for a period of at least two years from the date of the previous application. They would then be eligible to apply for a subsequent Small Capital Grant if the project for which they previously received funds has been successfully completed and a final report concerning the project has been received by the Foundation. There is no waiting period for organizations whose applications were not selected for funding.

Spring 2017 Small Capital Grantees »
Spring and Fall 2016 Small Capital Grantees »
Spring and Fall 2015 Small Capital Grantees »
Spring and Fall 2014 Small Capital Grantees »

Spring and Fall 2013 Small Capital Grantees »

Small Capital Grants