The Safety Net Grant Program supports organizations and community groups with providing, adapting, and/or expanding vital services to the Brookline community. Safety Net grants can be used to support a wide range of activities related to increasing access to essential services, supporting organization’s unanticipated operating or program expenses, and/or addressing crises such as fires or pandemics.
If you are interested in applying for a Safety Net Grant, please contact our Program & Partnerships team directly to schedule a conversation to discuss your proposed project and eligibility.
Grant program details
Safety Net grants support organizations, projects, and efforts that provide essential services to individuals and families who live, learn, work, and play in the Brookline community. Essential services can include, but are not limited to:
- Direct cash assistance
- Rental assistance
- Food access
- Utility payments
- Child care assistance
- Health care access
- Mental health support
- Public benefit enrollment
- Continuing education
- Other acute financial needs
Please note that BCF is unable to provide direct cash assistance to individuals, but can fund organizations that offer direct cash assistance to individuals and families. Additionally, organizations or community groups may apply for Safety Net grants to support unexpected operating or program expenses, such as unanticipated technology upgrades or adapting a program to meet a new or evolving community need.
In the context of this grant program, essential services are defined as being any and all resources essential to promoting and maintaining health, wellness, safety and belonging. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Healthy food
- Safe, stable, and affordable housing
- Access to medical and mental health care
- Primary and continuing education
- Quality affordable childcare or out-of-school time programming
- Social support services
- Language and translation services
In alignment with our organizational vision and funding priorities, as we review proposals, we will give preference to community organizations and groups that:
- Are working to advance equity, including removing barriers to opportunities, meeting the immediate needs of those impacted by inequities, addressing root causes of inequities such as poverty or racism;
- Are led by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), and/or;
- Focus on BIPOC and other vulnerable populations.
For this grant program, an organization/group is considered BIPOC-led if they meet at least one of the following three criteria:
- The organization/group’s Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer or Board Chair identifies as BIPOC.
- 50% or more of the organization’s leadership staff or program directors identify as BIPOC.
- 50% or more of board members identify as BIPOC.
501(c)(3) nonprofits organizations, Town departments or agencies, and community groups can apply for funding. If you are a Town department or agency, please see our additional guidelines. Organizations and groups that are currently funded through other BCF grant programs are eligible to apply.
Proposed projects or programs should directly benefit members of the Brookline community, which we define as those who live, learn, work, or play in Brookline.
To be eligible, an applicant must be operated and organized so that it does not discriminate in the hiring of staff or provision of services on the basis of race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or disability.
If an organization or project is new and/or not yet tax-exempt (is not a 501(c)(3) nonprofit), an application may be submitted through a fiscal sponsorship. BCF can assist applicants in identifying an appropriate fiscal sponsor. If you are interested in pursuing fiscal sponsorship, please refer to our grant FAQs for more information or contact BCF.
BCF is unable to provide direct support or scholarships to individuals and our grants cannot be used to cover travel costs, political campaigns, or lobbying.
Safety Net Grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis, year-round, as funding is available. Grant decisions announced within two weeks of grant application submission.
How to apply
To apply for the Safety Net Grant Program, please contact BCF to discuss your proposed project and confirm eligibility. This may be done via email or a phone conversation.
Once eligibility is confirmed, please apply through our online grant application, by mailing or emailing your application to BCF, or by setting up a call or zoom with a member of the BCF Program & Partnerships team.
If you would like to apply via a conversation with a member of the BCF Program & Partnerships team, please reach out to BCF to schedule the phone or virtual conversation. Please be prepared to respond to the application questions live during the scheduled phone or zoom conversation. The call/zoom will be recorded, with your permission, so that we can share your responses with grant reviewers. You may also be asked to email or mail additional application materials such as a budget to BCF.
Application support & technical assistance (TA)
We encourage all applicants to contact us prior to submitting your application so that we may support you, as needed, in your submission. We also welcome you to attend one of our optional applicant support and TA sessions.
Attend our Virtual Grant Information Session to learn about BCF’s grant programs and application process. A recording will be available after the Information Session.