BlogFeatured NewsFundraisingGrantsJamaica PlainNewsNutritionPress Releases

Ethos Awarded $150,000 Cummings Grant

By May 24, 2024May 29th, 2024No Comments

Boston nonprofit receives 3 years of funding from Cummings Foundation

BOSTON, MAY 24, 2024 – Ethos is one of 150 local nonprofits that will share in $30 million through Cummings Foundation’s major annual grants program. The Boston-based organization was selected from a total of 715 applicants during a competitive review process. It will receive $150,000 over three years.

Ethos, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the well-being and independence of older adults.

“Social isolation is one of the biggest challenges facing older adults today,” said Valerie Frias, CEO of Ethos. “The Cummings Foundation grant is an important investment in tackling social isolation locally. This funding will allow us to enhance our Community Cafés and provide engaging, culturally competent programming to help seniors reconnect with their neighbors and communities.”

Ethos plans to use the grant funds to enhance its Community Cafés, which are vital for providing social connection and addressing food insecurity among older adults. The organization aims to increase attendance through targeted outreach, additional staffing, and by offering engaging and culturally competent programming. These efforts will help reduce social isolation and improve the well-being of seniors across Boston.

The Cummings $30 Million Grant Program primarily supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties, plus six communities in Norfolk County: Brookline, Dedham, Milton, Needham, Quincy, and Wellesley.

Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the areas where it owns commercial property. Its buildings are all managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. This Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 11 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

“Greater Boston is fortunate to have a robust, dedicated, and highly capable nonprofit sector that supports and enhances the community in myriad ways,” said Cummings Foundation executive director and trustee Joyce Vyriotes. “The entire Cummings organization is thankful for their daily work to help all our neighbors thrive.”

The majority of the grant decisions were made by nearly 100 community volunteers. They worked across a variety of committees to review and discuss the proposals and then, together, determine which requests would be funded. Among these community volunteers were business and nonprofit leaders, mayors, college presidents, and experts in areas such as finance and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion).

“We believe strongly that grant decisions will be more equitable when made by a diverse group of community members,” said Vyriotes. “We’re incredibly grateful to the dozens of individuals who participated in our democratized philanthropic process.”

The Foundation and volunteers first identified 150 organizations to receive three-year grants of up to $300,000 each. The winners included first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that had previously received Cummings grants. Twenty-five of this latter group of repeat recipients were then selected by a panel of community volunteers to have their grants elevated to 10-year awards ranging from $300,000 to $1 million each.

This year’s grant recipients represent a wide variety of causes, including housing and food insecurity, workforce development, immigrant services, social justice, education, and mental health services. The nonprofits are spread across 49 different cities and towns.

Cummings Foundation has now awarded $500 million to greater Boston nonprofits. The complete list of this year’s 150 grant winners, plus nearly 2,000 previous recipients, is available at

About Ethos
Ethos is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the independence, dignity, and well-being of older adults in southwest Boston. For over 50 years, Ethos has been providing a range of programs and services to help older adults live healthy, active lives. To learn more about Ethos and its programs, visit

About Cummings Foundation
Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings of Winchester, MA and has grown to be one of the largest private foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities, in Marlborough and Woburn, and Cummings Health Sciences, LLC. Additional information is available at