Cummings Foundation Awards $100,000 Grant to Dignity Matters

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FRAMINGHAM – Dignity Matters is one of 130 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s $20 Million Grant Program.

The Framingham-based organization was chosen from a total of 738 applicants during a competitive review process.

Dignity Matters collects, purchases and supplies menstrual care, bras and underwear to local women and girls who are homeless or economically disadvantaged, in order to help them stay healthy, regain self-confidence, and live with basic dignity.

“The grant from Cummings Foundation will allow us to further scale up our operation to serve even more women in need in Massachusetts. As the inequality rate in the local community continues to grow, so does period poverty and the demand for Dignity Matters’ services” said Kate Sanetra-Butler, Founder and Executive Director of Dignity Matters.

“The grant from Cummings Foundation will support our growth by funding critically important warehousing and volunteering space for the organization. Dignity Matters is on track to distribute over million units of menstrual care and pairs of underwear in 2020 and the grant from Cummings Foundation will fund warehousing capacity underpinning our operations”, said Sanetra-Butler.

The Cummings $20 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. Through this place-based initiative, Cummings
Foundation aims to give back in the area where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties.

Founded in 1970 by Bill Cummings, the Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 10 million square feet of debt-free space,
the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

“We have been impressed, but not surprised, by the myriad ways in which these 130 grant winners are serving their communities, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19,” said Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation’s executive director. “Their ability to adapt and work with their constituents in new and meaningful ways has an enormous impact in the communities where our colleagues and leasing clients live and work.”

Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $280 million to greater Boston nonprofits.

Social distancing requirements will prevent Foundation and grant winner representatives from convening for a reception at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn, as planned, to celebrate the $20 million infusion into greater Boston’s nonprofit sector.

Instead, Cummings Foundation expects hundreds of individuals to gather virtually for a modified celebration in mid-June.

The Cummings $20 Million Grant Program resulted from a merger of the Foundation’s two flagship grant programs, $100K for 100 and Sustaining Grants.

The Foundation and its volunteers first identified 130 organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each.

Among the winners are first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that have previously received Cummings Foundation grants. A limited number of this latter group of repeat recipients will be invited to make in-person presentations in the fall, when public health-related circumstances allow, proposing that their grants be elevated to long-term awards. Thirty such requests will be granted in the form of 10-year awards ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 each.


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