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Gov. Healey, many Winchester residents celebrate Cummings grants

Gov. Maura Healey with Cummings Foundation co-founder and Winchester resident Bill Cummings at the grant celebration on June 13. COURTESY PHOTO/CUMMINGS PROPERTIES

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The following was submitted by Cummings Properties:

Confetti flew, horns were blown, and banners were waved at TradeCenter 128 last week.

Cummings Foundation’s annual Grant Winner Celebration drew 400 attendees, including Gov. Maura Healey, Cummings Foundation co-founders and longtime Winchester residents Joyce and Bill Cummings, and Cummings Properties CEO Dennis Clarke, also from Winchester.

“You are the lifeblood of our communities,” Healey told representatives from the 150 nonprofits sharing in $30 million in newly announced Cummings grants. “Every person deserves to have their worth and their dignity respected, and that’s what you all empower every day.”

Many Winchester residents turned out for the celebration of grants by the Cummings Foundation last week. COURTESY PHOTO/CUMMINGS PROPERTIES

The Commonwealth’s top elected official also commented on Cummings Properties’ unique model, in which 100% of all profits from its commercial buildings are dedicated to philanthropic purposes.

“To the Cummings, thank you for your innovative and thoughtful and, dare say, courageous leadership,” said Healey. “As somebody whose pretty focused on economic development in the state, we want to see buildings full and those rents coming in.”

Winchester Council on Aging director Phillip Beltz and board member Tom Howley attended to celebrate the Council’s $150,000 grant. It will be used over the next three years to continue English as a Second Language and American citizenship instruction and hire a Mandarin-speaking consultant to help integrate Mandarin-speaking patrons within the Jenks and Winchester communities.

“Winchester Council on Aging is thrilled to receive your grant award enabling us to continue our important work towards fostering cultural competency at the Jenks Center and the community at large,” wrote Beltz in an email to the Foundation. “We appreciate your validation of our work and your continued support.”

Winchester Council on Aging director Phillip Beltz (right) and board member Tom Howley (left) with Cummings Foundation Executive Director Joyce Vyriotes.COURTESY PHOTO/CUMMINGS PROPERTIES

This year’s grant-winning organizations represent a wide variety of causes, including immigrant and refugee services, education, housing and food insecurity, workforce development, social justice, and mental health services.

“We are so inspired by the local nonprofit professionals and volunteers who work every day in service to others,” said Cummings Foundation Executive Director Joyce Vyriotes. “They really move the needle on issues facing our communities, and we are so pleased to support their efforts.”

Democratized philanthropy

Through a unique “democratized” philanthropic model, Cummings Foundation empowers a diverse corps of community volunteers to determine the majority of each cycle’s grant winners. Other volunteers foster relationships with grantees through site visits.

Gov. Maura Healey and Cummings Foundation trustee Dennis Clarke. COURTESY PHOTO/CUMMINGS PROPERTIES

Seventeen Winchester residents currently volunteer with the Foundation. Among those who joined the June 13 celebration were longtime surgeon and retired Winchester Hospital president Rick Weiner, former Boston Private Bank & Trust Co. vice president Lisa Craig, L.H. Sisitzky Sales president Brian Sisitzky, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services managing partner Patrick Fortin, and Golden Seeds managing director Denise Saltojanes.

Also present were Foundation trustees Robert Keefe and Dr. Arlan Fuller, along with his wife, Alice Fuller, plus trustee emeritus and former state representative Paul Casey.

A total of 125 organizations were awarded three-year grants of up to $300,000 each. The remaining 25 nonprofits received 10-year funding of $300,000 to $1 million each. The full list of new and past grant recipients can be found at

One of the largest private foundations in New England, Cummings Foundation has awarded more than $500 million to greater Boston nonprofits to date.

Cummings’ Philanthropic Model

A meaningful percentage of Cummings Foundation’s approximately $4 billion in assets is in the form of commercial real estate. The now sizeable portfolio was donated over time by Bill and Joyce Cummings. It serves as a stable, ongoing source of revenue for the Foundation’s philanthropic programs.

Patrick and Maggie Fortin with Joyce Vyriotes (second from left) and Julie Mulvey of Watts2Boston. COURTESY PHOTO/CUMMINGS PROPERTIES

The Foundation’s buildings are all debt free and operated, on a pro bono basis, by Cummings Properties, which Bill Cummings founded more than 50 years ago. One hundred percent of their rental profits go directly to the Foundation to fund initiatives like the Cummings $30 Million Grant Program.

“These annual grants would not be possible without the 2,000 or so businesses that are located in Cummings buildings and the 300-plus talented, hard-working colleagues who design, build, maintain, and lease them,” said Clarke.

The Next Funding Opportunity

While wrapping up the 2024 grant cycle, Cummings Foundation is already looking ahead to the next one. Local nonprofits are invited to visit in early July to view updated eligibility requirements and submit a letter of inquiry for the Cummings $30 Million Grant Program.


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