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Cornerstone Initiative

The Cornerstone Initiative was established in 1995 as a source of funding with a targeted focus on serving youth and seniors, specifically for pilot or innovative programs. Today, the Cornerstone Initiative includes grant-based funding and scholarships.

Grant-Based Funding

The Cornerstone Initiative for Innovation grants represent a commitment to address important needs in our community in new and creative ways. 

Criteria for innovation grants include:

  • One-time grants to organizations or programs seeking support for innovative start-up, new, or pilot projects addressing human service needs in the Concord and Carlisle community, with a focus on vulnerable populations. Special emphasis is given to programs that fill a void not satisfied by other programs.
  • Cornerstone grants are intended to help launch discrete, well-defined projects or initiatives. Projects should have a clear beginning and end and demonstrate plans for sustainability after receiving initial funding from Cornerstone.
  • Organizations or programs must be 501(c)3 nonprofits, town agencies, or programs within the schools and serving individuals in Concord and Carlisle.

In 2022 and 2023, the Cornerstone Initiative awarded over $64,000. Grant amounts have ranged between $1,500 – $20,000. Recent Cornerstone funding has been awarded in support of:

  • Brain Health Bootcamp – An innovative online educational program to address teen mental/brain health being rolled out at Concord-Carlisle High School
  • First Connections – A post pandemic one-year program targeting development of social skills for young children
  • MetroWest Legal Services/Emerson Hospital – A collaborative initiative integrating legal assistance as a component of patient care
  • Open Table – Enhancements to the food pantry’s online/phone ordering system supporting food distribution to their client base

We encourage organizations that are considering submitting an application for a Cornerstone grant to reach out to our Executive Director, Jennifer Ubaldino in advance. Our ED and our Cornerstone Leadership Team will gladly schedule a call to discuss your project. 

If you would like to submit an application outside of our grant cycle, please contact us to discuss. 

Click here for more information and/or contact Jennifer Ubaldino to learn about these innovation grants.

The Cornerstone Initiative Scholarship of The Community Chest: Advancing Racial Justice and Equity

Launched in January 2021, the Cornerstone Initiative Scholarship is given to candidates who have demonstrated interest in, experience in or commitment to racial justice, equity, or working with historically underserved or underprivileged populations. This experience or commitment can be demonstrated through their school experiences, community service experiences, or their future college and career plans and aspirations. If an applicant is not available that meets this criteria, The Scholarship Fund will make the award to otherwise eligible “best fit” candidates.

To learn more about the Scholarship, please contact Jennifer Ubaldino

Collectively, the Community Chest distributed $636,448 back into our towns in 2023-2024!
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