Grant Guidelines

The Foundation, started in 2008, provides bricks and mortar grants for capital improvements to projects that support women and families as well as capital improvements for economically and racially integrated childcare centers. Since becoming a foundation in 2008, FSHF has made grants totaling just more than 9.5 million dollars.

In support of this its mission, the Franklin Square House Foundation makes grants to housing and shelter organizations working to support women and families in Boston and the surrounding communities. While we focus our grant making activities primarily on projects providing transitional and permanent housing, we pay specific attention to organizations that provide supportive services appropriate for the populations they serve.


Each calendar year, we will offer one funding round for housing grants in the winter and one funding round for childcare grants in the fall. The Housing applications is normally online in December and the Childcare in June.

The 2019 Childcare Application is due Tuesday July 17, 2019 at 5pm.

The 2019 Housing Application will be available in December.

Threshold Criteria for Childcare Application

1.  Prospective grant applicants must contact the Executive Director of the Foundation prior to submitting a grant application (you have probably done this already if I have sent you these guideline). No grant applications will be considered without the previous explicit consent of the Executive Director of the Foundation.

2.  Organizations applying for a grant must be within Barnstable County, Bristol County, Dukes County, Nantucket County, Essex County, Middlesex County, Plymouth County, Norfolk County, Suffolk County and those parts of Worcester County that are east of (or bisected by)  routes 395, 290, 190 and including a line extending from the northern limit of the end of route 195 to the New Hampshire border.  This includes the communities of Leominster, Fitchburg and Gardner.

3.  All grant applicants must be 501(C)3 nonprofit organizations.

4.  All grantees must have audited financial statements and be in sound financial condition

5.   All grant applicants must be licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and be NEAYC accredited

6.  Applicants must, at a minimum, have 50% subsidized childcare slots

7.  Applicants cannot have been funded in the 2018 FSHF childcare or shelter funding rounds

8.   Applicants need to have submitted all required paperwork from previous grant awards and be in compliance with the Foundation’s Terms of Award Agreement

Application Requirements

1.  An electronic copy of your application must be received, by the Foundation by 5:00pm on Tuesday July 17, 2019. Your application is officially considered submitted when you receive a receipt from us that we are in possession of the electronic copy of your application. 

2.  Once you have completed and submitted the application electronically, please send a hard copy of the application and all of the attachments to Franklin Square House Foundation, PO Box 78037 Belmont, MA 02478. Without a hard copy submission, your application will not be eligible for consideration.

3.  Grant applications must include a contractor level bid for the work to be done (only one is required), and/or vendor pricing for furniture, fixtures, and equipment. Estimates of these numbers are not acceptable (that includes pricing from an architect). Ignoring this requirement will result in immediate rejection of your application.

4.   Please pay particular attention to the last question in the application. It is there to allow grantees to put their best foot forward. Do not miss the opportunity. We will look at any and all materials you send us. 

5.  The maximum Childcare Grant is $50,000. If the cost of the work you wish to perform is greater than your request to the Foundation, we need to see how you will pay for the remaining balance of the work. If you are applying for other grants please give us a table showing grants applied for, how much you expect to receive, timing of the submission and award, and status of application (it is okay to say you will be applying for something).

6.  Existing Grantees of the Foundation may only apply to the Foundation once every rolling two-year period. In the past, policy allowed the same sponsor to apply in successive years for different projects. This is no longer the case. You can apply in successive years if your initial grant request was not funded, otherwise, grantees can apply, independent of the project, every other funding cycle if you have previously been awarded a grant.

7. Grantees must own the facility they are proposing to improve, or have a minimum of 10 years left on the lease. In the instance of a lease, you will be asked to provide the lease.

8.  Existing grantees please make note of the requirement in your previous grant agreement that you must submit a closeout report no later than twelve months from the date of your award. If this paperwork is missing from your file at the time we receive a new grant proposal from you, we will not consider your proposal.

9.   If you received a grant from us in a previous round and you have yet to expend those funds, you cannot apply for a new grant and probably will not be in good standing with the Foundation for a very long time.

10. Grants are judged based on their readiness to proceed upon funding. This means proposed work that you are seeking funding for must begin no more than 90 days from the date of the potential grant award letter. In the case of this funding round that would be approximately December 28, 2019.

Things We Do Not Fund…  So Do Not Ask

• Operating costs
• Landscaping
• Project design, management or overhead
• Relocation
• Vehicles
• Computers
• Manipulative and teaching materials
• Requests to reduce mortgage debt
• Requests to fund already completed work
• Projects that have developer's fees

Criteria used in Evaluating Grant Requests

• Administrative capacity of the organization

• Financial condition of the organization

• Track record of the organization

• Past standing of the grantee with the Foundation

• Alignment of the organization and the project with the mission and goals of the Foundation

•  Proportions of subsidized slots to the overall population of the center. We generally like to see greater than our required minimum of 50% subsidized slots

 • Completeness and coherence of the grant application

• Readiness to proceed with the project. All projects must be ready to start within 90 days of the date on the grant award letter and be completed within six months of the grant award

The presence of slots reserved for homeless children

The grantee’s offering of comprehensive services for families it serves (or             access to those services through partnerships)

The results of the site visit

What will happen once I submit an application?

1.  You will receive a confirmation email when the electronic version of your grant application is received and then again when the hard copy of your application has been received. 

2.  After receiving both the electronic and hard copy, the application will then be reviewed for completeness by the Executive Director.  During this review you will receive an email, or a series of emails, regarding missing materials or seeking additional clarification on parts of your application.  This is all part of our standard follow-up.

3. If we have an interest in finding out more about your project and your organization you will get a call to set-up a site visit.  We like to take this opportunity  to meet your staff, become familiar with your organization, view your facility, your operations and see the proposed project. 

 Our site visit usually consists of the Executive Director of the Foundation and a minimum of two Foundation Board members.  Since the scheduling of these meetings can get quite complicated there will be little to no flexibility in the proposed date and time of the site visit.  These site visits will most likely occur in mid to late August and early September.   

 It is expected that the Executive Director or the Chief Operating Officer of your organization will be present at the site visit.

4.   Once the site visit is complete, a Foundation board member who attended the site visit will present your project at the September 2018 Board meeting.  All decisions regarding grant applications are made at that meeting.

Prospective grantees are required to contact the Foundation’s Executive Director prior to submitting a proposal. No proposals will be accepted without doing so.
Robert Goldstein, Executive Director, 617.312.3400