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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, five 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.

Eligible Applicants:

  • Nonprofit organizations with 501(c)3 tax-exempt status
  • Agencies with annual operating budgets of approximately $5 million or less
  • Agencies whose primary mission falls into one or more of the following issue areas: human services, youth development, economic mobility, or cultural enrichment.
  • 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
  • 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. Requests for undesignated contributions to larger capital campaigns are highly discouraged because they tend not to score favorably under the evaluation criteria for this grant opportunity (noted below). Please see links below for a list of all grantees funded under the program in the past several years.

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

1. Does the organization and project address a well-defined need that falls within a Smith Family Foundation priority area?
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. Will Smith Family Foundation funds, if granted, have a significant impact on the overall project?
5. Does the organization have strong and creative leadership? Can it point to significant accomplishments?
6. 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 (but not required) 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

Final grant award decisions for the February 17, 2017 deadline are expected to be made in June 2017.

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 receipt of the previous grant. 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 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 »

Spring and Fall 2012 Small Capital Grantees »
Spring and Fall 2011 Small Capital Grantees »

Small Capital Grants