The Builders of Color Coalition Awarded the $75,000 Cummings Grant

Boston Nonprofit Receives 3 Years of Funding from Cummings Foundation

The Builders of Color Coalition 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 $75,000 over three years.

The Builders of Color Coalition is a non-profit organization with a mission of increasing access and diversity in the real estate sector and promoting the economic well-being of diverse-owned businesses whose products and services serve the real estate industry as well.

By 2024, the Builders of Color Coalition will solidify a central role in transforming the body and leadership of the real estate sector throughout Greater Boston and beyond to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

“We are thrilled to be selected as a recipient of the Cummings Foundation grant. In collaboration with the Cummings Foundation, we celebrate the commitment to with these grant dollars; we will continue to support our network of talented and diverse real estate entrepreneurs and professionals to provide a path of equity for diverse communities to gain a vital stake in our thriving economy,” said Executive Director of Builders of Color Coalition Colleen Fonseca. “We are eager to witness the collective impact of our shared efforts alongside our fellow recipients to make a meaningful difference throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

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 Builders of Color Coalition

Builders of Color Coalition (BCC) increases access and diversity in Boston’s commercial real estate sector, and to promote the economic well-being of minority businesses and the communities we serve. BCC convenes real estate professionals of color, private firms, government agencies, trade organizations and community nonprofits to collectively create greater opportunities for education, employment, partnership and financing. Our minority real estate network comprises developers, investors, architects, attorneys, bankers, contractors and brokers working across a range of firms, from family-owned enterprises to multinational companies. BCC collaborates closely with other initiatives working to diversify Boston’s real estate sector, including African American Real Estate Professionals (AAREP), Minority Developers Association (MDA), Commercial Real Estate Success Training (CREST), Real Estate Executive Council (REEC), NAIOP, Urban Land Institute (ULI), Greater Boston Real Estate Board (GBREB) and CREW Boston. For more information on BCC, or to become a member or a supporter, please 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