Last week, the East Boston’s Excel Academy Charter School was awarded a Cummings Foundation Sustaining Grant. Excel is one of many local nonprofits sharing in Cummings Foundation’s $25 million grant program in 2019.
The $350,000 grant to Excel will be distributed over 10 years.
“The Cummings Foundation Sustaining Grant will help provide our College Access and Post-Secondary Success team with the resources necessary to serve thousands of Excel students and alumni,” said Excel Academy CEO Owen Stearns. “This provides a significant boost to our ability to serve an increasing number of students long-term and offer them support through to college graduation.”
The Sustaining Grants initiative builds on Cummings Foundation’s $100k for 100 program. First offered in 2012, $100k for 100 annually awards $10 million through multi-year grants of $100,000 each to 100 nonprofits based in and primarily serving Essex, Middlesex, and Suffolk counties. Grant recipients that received their final grant disbursements in 2018 were automatically considered for $15 million in Sustaining Grants.
“We introduced Sustaining Grants to help alleviate the constant burden of fundraising so nonprofit professionals can spend more of their limited time and resources on actually providing services,” said Christina Berthelsen, grants manager at Cummings Foundation.
Cummings Foundation has awarded nearly $250 million to date in Greater Boston alone. Sustaining Grant winners were selected by a 33-member volunteer committee, which included former state legislators, CEOs of local companies, and a retired justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, among many others. Committee members met with each nonprofit to learn how the $100k for 100 funds helped to advance their mission, and how they might put a 10-year grant to use.
Excel Academy is a high-performing, college preparatory network of charter public schools serving 1,300 students in grades 5 through 12 from East Boston and Chelsea. Excel’s mission is to prepare students to succeed in high school and college, apply their learning to solve relevant problems, and engage productively in their communities.
Over 90 percent of Excel Academy Charter High School’s first-ever graduating class of seniors will go on to attend college.