De Novo Wins $300,000 Cummings Foundation Sustaining Grant

Disbursed over 10 years, the grant will support pro bono legal and mental health services.

De Novo is one of the local nonprofits sharing in Cummings Foundation’s $25 million grant program in 2019. The Cambridge-based organization has been awarded a $300,000 sustaining grant, to be disbursed over 10 years.

“We are truly honored to receive support from such a wonderful philanthropic organization,” said Mojdeh Rohani, De Novo’s Executive Director. “These funds provided by the Cummings Foundation will enable us to better serve our clients and further our important work to provide access to legal and mental health services to underserved members of our community.”

De Novo offers free legal assistance and affordable psychological counseling to low-income people in matters ranging from child custody and domestic violence, to housing and homelessness prevention, disability benefits, and immigration and refugee rights. The organization’s staff and volunteer attorneys and therapists work collaboratively to provide legal and mental health support throughout Greater Boston, and to immigrants and refugees statewide. More than 1,500 clients benefit from De Novo’s legal and counseling programs annually.

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 that are based in and primarily serve Essex, Middlesex, and Suffolk counties. Grant recipients that received their final grant disbursements in 2018 were automatically considered for $15 million in Sustaining Grants.   

Cummings Foundation has awarded nearly $250 million to date in Greater Boston alone. Funds are generated through commercial properties that are owned by, and operated for the sole benefit of, Cummings Foundation. All of its buildings are managed pro bono by Woburn commercial real estate firm Cummings Properties.

Sustaining Grants winners were selected primarily 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 twice to learn how the $100K for 100 funds helped to advance its mission, and how it might put a 10-year grant to use.

View the complete list of the 50 Sustaining Grants winners at www.CummingsFoundation.org.

Amanda Becker