A New Way To Give It Away

How a small grants program has engaged residents and achieved quick successes in Boston

Posted February 2, 2006
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
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Use of small grants in Boston during the early years of Making Connections helped to clarify the elements of a complex community change initiatve by putting residents in charge of the funds. Residents built capacity by deciding how to use resident-selected short-term, small dollar projects ($2,000 to $5,000) to authentically engage neighborhoods in – and build local leadership for – longer-term community change efforts.   

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations

Key Takeaway

Community benefit and vision were important

Residents used small grants to promote the greater good by funding projects that benefitted the neighborhood as a whole and that were aligned to a broad vision for community change. Residents applied directly to recieve the grants