A New Way To Give It Away

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

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

February 1, 2006

Summary

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.   

Table of Contents

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

Findings & Stats

Selection Process

Criteria for Boston’s Family Strengthening Small Grant Fund 

Statements & Quotations