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Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation

Through our giving, we help worthy nonprofits give even more.

Helping make a difference for the organizations that make a difference.

Middlesex Savings Bank is always right there to help support community organizations with funding. But some nonprofits working toward the common good deserve even more support. That’s why the Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation was created. This separate entity has its own endowment and is able to give grants up to $20,000 to worthy 501(c)(3) organizations that raise the standard of living for underserved groups.

The Foundation supports nonprofits, services, and programs in education, public health and welfare, the arts, community development and scholarships for college-bound high school seniors. Our programs include:

To be eligible for the A. James Lavoie Scholarship, applicants must demonstrate financial need, academic achievement, and community involvement. They must also plan to attend a four-year college program, and graduate from one of the many public, charter, or vocational high schools in the communities we serve. The winner is selected from among eligible applicants by an independent committee on the basis of strength and quality of submitted essays.

Congratulations to Mallory Otten from Lincoln-Sudbury High School for being named the recipient of the 2022 A. James Lavoie Scholarship! 

The application period for the 2023  A. James Lavoie Scholarship is now open. Apply now

The Social Services Program funds projects and programs whose primary focus is on:

  • Shelter – including affordable housing, homebuyer education programs, foreclosure prevention and homeowner counseling programs, housing for the homeless, and emergency home repairs.
  • Hunger Security – including projects and programs to provide food for low- and moderate-income and vulnerable populations. Food pantries may apply, but the request must be for a program or other initiative, with no more than 25% of grant proceeds used towards the purchase of food related to the broader initiative.
  • Clothing and Basic Needs – includes projects and programs that work to provide clothing and personal hygiene products to low- and moderate-income and vulnerable populations. 
  • Veterans & First Responders – including projects and programs that benefit the physical and mental well-being of veterans and first responders.

Foundation Directors will review each grant proposal for the following:

  • Confirmation that the organization is reasonably financially stable, with no overwhelming threats to their continued viability
  • Evidence of experienced leadership at the staff and board levels
  • Program uniqueness and the needs of the target population
  • Anticipated impact of the project on its participants
  • The significance of the grant on the organization's ability to implement the project
  • A clear detailing of how results will be measured and communicated, and how success will be defined
  • Primarily benefits those within the Bank's communities
  • The financial size and strength of the organization
  • The impact of the requested grant on the organization and/or project/program to be funded

Learn more about Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation eligibility requirements.

Apply for the Social Services Program.

Grant requests considered up to $20,000 and reviewed on the following schedule:

Submitted by:                 Reviewed by:
April 1, 2023                     June 1, 2023
August 1, 2023                October 2, 2023

The Educational Opportunities Program is designed to encourage organizations to provide unique and meaningful educational opportunities to youths and adults.

Programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Job training and job readiness programs
  • Adult education and English as a Second Language
  • Credit education and home buying seminars
  • Youth enrichment programs

Foundation Directors will review each grant proposal for the following:

  • Confirmation that the organization is reasonably financially stable, with no overwhelming threats to their continued viability
  • Evidence of experienced leadership at the staff and board levels
  • Program uniqueness and the needs of the target population
  • Anticipated impact of the project on its participants
  • The significance of the grant on the organization's ability to implement the project
  • A clear detailing of how results will be measured and communicated, and how success will be defined
  • Primarily benefits those within the Bank's communities
  • The financial size and strength of the organization
  • The impact of the requested grant on the organization and/or project/program to be funded
Learn more about Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation eligibility requirements.

Apply for the Educational Opportunities Program. 


Grant requests considered up to $20,000 and reviewed on the following schedule:

Submitted by:                 Reviewed by:
April 1, 2023                     June 1, 2023
August 1, 2023                October 2, 2023

The Capacity Building Program funds initiatives designed to strengthen and increase the impact of local non-profits by improving their organizational capacity.

Desired outcomes for non-profits selected to receive grants through this program include one or more of the following:

  • Improved governance and leadership
  • Improved staff skills
  • Improved management systems and practices
  • Completed strategic plans
  • Improved, expanded, or additional services
  • Expanded strategic assets, including financial and human resources

Successful applicants will be able to describe how their enhanced capacity will ultimately benefit the communities that they serve.

Foundation Directors will review each grant proposal for the following:

  • The financial size and strength of the organization
  • The impact of the requested grant on the organization and/or project/program to be funded

Learn more about Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation eligibility requirements.

Apply for the Capacity Building Program.

Grant requests considered up to $20,000 and reviewed on the following schedule:

Submitted by:                 Reviewed by:
April 1, 2023                    June 1, 2023
August 1, 2023                October 2, 2023

During his tenure as CEO of Middlesex Savings Bank, John was supportive of the Foundation and its efforts to help strengthen local non-profits. John also believed in the importance of leadership and the need to develop and recognize strong leaders.

To honor his contributions to the Foundation in a way that reflects his personal interests, we are proud to introduce The John R. Heerwagen Award for Nonprofit Leadership.

This annual award recognizes a strong, nonprofit leader whose work has significantly benefited the lives and wellbeing of residents within the Foundation's community. The award provides a one-time grant of $20,000 to the recipient's organization to be used in a manner that the recipient believes will benefit the organization.

Nomination Process:

The Selection Committee will accept nominations from anyone familiar with the nominee. Self-nominations will not be accepted.


Selection Criteria:

The Selection Committee seeks to recognize experienced, nonprofit leaders who demonstrate the ability to develop and implement effective organizational strategies. The ideal nominee will demonstrate the following capabilities and characteristics:

  • Creates and stewards collaborations and partnerships to advance the work of their organization in a manner that produces tangible benefits to the community.
  • Brings innovative ideas forward and to fruition.
  • Builds organizational and individual capacity and expertise.
  • Instills passion in themselves and the people with whom they work.
  • Demonstrates the highest levels of integrity and ethical behavior.


The nomination period for the 2022 John R. Heerwagen Award for Nonprofit Leadership is now closed.

2022 John R. Heerwagen Award for Nonprofit Leadership Recipient

Kate Sanetra-Butler, founder and executive director of Dignity Matters, Inc. is the 2022 John R. Heerwagen Award for Nonprofit Leadership recipient. A one-time grant of $20,000 was presented to Ms. Sanetra-Butler and will be used in a manner that she believes will benefit Dignity Matters, an organization that provides free monthly menstrual care and undergarments to 14,000 women and girls who are homeless or living in poverty, helping them manage their periods with dignity so they may attend school and work and live full, healthy lives. 

For additional information, please contact us at:

Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation
PO Box 5210
Westborough, MA. 01581-5210

For general and program-related questions, or technical questions regarding the submission process, contact:

Mike Kuza
mkuza@middlesexbank.com


For additional information, please contact us at:

Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation
PO Box 5210
Westborough, MA. 01581-5210

For general and program-related questions, or technical questions regarding the submission process, contact:

Mike Kuza
mkuza@middlesexbank.com


Middlesex is a full-service bank serving individuals, families and business owners throughout Massachusetts.