Cummings Foundation, Inc. (CFI), is a private operating foundation based in Woburn, Massachusetts. Since its establishment in 1986, it has been funded primarily by Joyce and Bill Cummings of Winchester, MA.
Cummings Foundation has grown to become one of the largest charitable foundations in New England, now with just more than $1.2 billion in net assets, as of December 2014.
The Foundation owns and operates two large not-for-profit and affordable independent and assisted living facilities with abundant activities, gourmet dining, and delightful surroundings. New Horizons at Choate and New Horizons at Marlborough collectively house more than 500 senior residents.
In 2005, the Foundation finalized a $50 million collaboration with the newly renamed Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Through this innovative partnership, the Foundation offers support and financial resources to help enable the Cummings School to sustain its global reputation for excellence in veterinary medicine.
In 2012, two newly established affiliations of CFI - a grant making foundation and Institute for World Justice (IWJ) - together awarded grants of $100,000 to 70 different organizations. On June 19, 2013, $10 million in grants was announced to 100 local charities. Almost all of these grants were awarded in Middlesex, Essex and Suffolk counties, in Massachusetts. During 2014 grants totalling $38 million have or will be distributed by Cummings, primarily in eastern Massachusetts.
Another $1 million will be awarded by IWJ to entities beyond Massachusetts, primarily in Rwanda, plus a few other selected organizations focused on Holocaust and genocide education. In the meantime, Cummings Foundation, as well as Cummings Properties, continue to make substantial other anonymous or unpublicized grants, as they have for decades. Bill and Joyce took their annual trip to Rwanda in August 2013.
Another of Cummings Foundation's charitable initiatives is the McKeown Scholars Program, through which the Foundation has awarded college scholarships annually, since 1996, to high school seniors, currently in Woburn and Winchester Massachusetts. The merit-based program is designed to encourage improvement in citizenship and writing ability among college-bound students. Since 1996, more than $1.5 million in direct scholarship aid has been awarded in nine eastern Massachusetts communities.
The Giving Pledge
In May 2011, Bill and Joyce Cummings joined a new national organization founded by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet called "The Giving Pledge." As of May 2013, about 110 prominent people or couples had pledged publicly to donate at least half their assets for philanthropic purposes, either during their lifetimes or upon their deaths. All members either are billionaires or would be if they had not already donated most of their wealth. Many, including the Cummings, have pledged that they will donate (or in the Cummings' case, already have donated) 90 percent or more of their wealth.
The Giving Pledge does not promote any particular charities or causes, and does not encourage joint or collective contributions. It is also 100 percent non-political, although on July 18, 2011, the Cummings, along with the Gateses, Buffet, and two dozen other Giving Pledge members, did meet in the White House. President Obama chaired the meeting personally for two hours, with considerable discussion on how philanthropists and government agencies might work together to accomplish more with their assets.
One fairly common interest among Giving Pledge members is education, including K - 12 education in public schools. Obviously, our communities and our country become stronger and more competitive when youth are better prepared to thrive in innovative areas with opportunities for growth.
Cummings Foundation's grant-making affiliate became active in 2012. Details about the grant application process are available on the Grant Information section of this website. Please note that all grant requests should be directed through this formal process.
Trustees of Cummings Foundation, Inc. are elected as either "Community Trustees" or "Charter Trustees," but all have equal authority. Community Trustees, who serve renewable three-year terms, are typically area leaders with no employment connection to Cummings Properties or Cummings Foundation, or their subsidiaries. Charter Trustees, who serve without limit of time, are Cummings family or members of the professional staff of Cummings Foundation or an affiliate thereof.
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Retired Massachusetts legislator
Community volunteer (former hospital dietician)
San Francisco, Psychological Services
President, Cummings Foundation
Retired public school teacher and legislator
Vice president for oncology services, Winchester Hospital Center for Cancer Care
Dean, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
President, Tufts University
Associate professor, Fordham University
Associate professor, Columbia University
Retired president, The Boston Globe
Former chairman of Cummings Properties
Executive director, Cummings Foundation
TRUSTEES: All trustees have equal authority. Most serve for renewable three-year terms, except for five family members who serve without limit of time. No trustees receive any compensation from Cummings Foundation, Inc., and no family members are anywhere employed by the Foundation or by any affiliate.
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