Community Impact Grants

Thrive Goals IconsWhen you donate to Acton-Boxborough United Way, your dollars work harder to bring critical services to our community.  By pooling your donations, we can make significant grants to organizations, attracting the quality services necessary for all residents to belong and thrive as the need for support is dramatically increasing.  

Our funded partners for the 2023-2024 grant cycle are 25 organizations that equitably, effectively, and sustainably drive progress on our 5 Thrive Impact Focus Areas: Mental Health, Early Childhood Success, Equity & Racial Justice, Financial Stability, and Crisis Preparedness.

Our Current Grantees

A Friend in Need is a program of South Acton Congregational Church which provides one-time emergency assistance to residents of Acton, Boxborough, and Maynard who have been identified to the program by a caseworker, social worker, or clergy person.

AB Community Education logoOur grant to A-B Community Education supports tuition assistance for the Summer Day Program, providing opportunities to attend this enriching program to students who would not otherwise be able to afford to do so. 

The goal of the ABHL Early Childhood Council Scholarship Program is to promote access to developmentally appropriate high-quality pre-kindergarten settings for young children from low to moderate income working families of diverse cultural, racial and linguistic and economic backgrounds. This is accomplished by providing partial scholarships, making high-quality caring and supportive preschool environments financially accessible to families who could not otherwise afford the cost.


Acton Food Pantry is committed to alleviating food insecurity in our area by partnering with the community to provide access to food with care, dignity, and respect.

Acton Housing Authority (AHA) assists some of the neediest residents of Acton and Boxborough. Its mission is to provide safe and affordable housing to low-income residents from Acton and Boxborough. Our grant to AHA covers the cost of the Self-Sufficiency Coordinator to work extra hours to assist residents in State Funded Housing. The residents are provided with case management, information and referrals and support services to elderly, disabled and family residents who live in AHA’s State funded housing. 


Aurelia’s Garden is a community of passionate and dedicated volunteers growing fresh and nutritious produce to donate to people in need to address local food insecurity.

Blanchard PTF is fundraising to build a safe, accessible playground for the community to enjoy.

The Boys & Girls Club of Assabet Valley, Inc. has been serving children ages 5 - 18 in the Maynard, Stow, Concord, Acton and Sudbury, Massachusetts area for over 40 years. Today our programs serve a record number of area youth with year-round program offerings. The Club adapts its programs to meet the changing needs of the community we serve.  The programs impact the lives of more than 700 children annually through a variety of youth-centered programs. Boys & Girls Club of Assabet Valley strives to provide a world-class Club Experience that assures success is within reach of every young person who enters our doors, with all members on track to graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character and citizenship, and living a healthy lifestyle.  The mission and core beliefs of Boys & Girls Clubs fuel their commitment to promoting safe, positive and inclusive environments for all. Boys & Girls Clubs of America supports all youth and teens – of every race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, ability, socio-economic status, and religion – in reaching their full potential.


Clear Path for Veterans New England's mission is to build a safe, supportive and respectful place for Veterans to seek the help and resources they need in order to successfully integrate into their communities. 

Danny’s Place Youth Services (DPYS) is a place where young people are encouraged to connect, get inspired, and grow. DPYS provides youth and teens with experiences to explore and create, to access helpful resources, and to grow into thriving, healthy emerging adults. Their physical space is a gathering space for our youth and our community, though our impact reaches far beyond the physical walls of DPYS. They partner with several other community organizations to provide services, programs, and events to youth, families, and the greater community.


DACI logo

The Doli Atamian Campership Program raises funds to provide a camp or summer experience for children of low-income families who reside in Acton or Boxborough or for those whose housing is subsidized by the Acton Housing Authority in other communities contiguous to Acton and Boxborough.

A summer camp experience is valuable for children who often have no access to recreational areas and limited opportunity to explore new interests and skills. The opportunity to attend summer school can make a significant difference to a child in remaining with his or her peer group.  

DVSN logoDomestic Violence Service Network (DVSN) provides outreach and direct support to victims of domestic violence in partnership with ten police departments (including Acton and Boxborough), Hanscom AFB, the Concord District Court, and volunteer advocates.

DVSN provides two direct service programs: The Domestic Violence Victim Assistance Program (DVVAP) and the Court Support Program (CSP), which helps victims navigate the court system by assigning the victim an Advocate (volunteer).

Eliot was founded in 1963 and is a full-service community mental health center.

Eliot provides community-based services to more than 50,000 individuals and families throughout MA. The Eliot Center, which is part of Eliot Community Services, offers a range of outpatient mental health and substance abuse services, including diagnostic evaluation, individual, couple, group, and family therapy. Eliot serves a diverse population throughout their needs-based lifespan.

Important programs include Driver Alcohol Education (DAE), DMH-funded Jail Diversion Program, follow-up counseling for mental health and substance abuse issues as they relate to law enforcement. In addition, Eliot also provides crisis intervention training to police departments, including Acton PD.

English At Large (EAL) is a nonprofit agency founded in 1970 that provides individual and small group instruction through a volunteer network to adult immigrants and other newcomers who want to acquire English language skills as they adapt to life in the United States. Their vision is that newcomers to the United States will develop the English language skills and acquire the cultural knowledge needed to fully engage in their communities and fulfill their life goals. They offer One-to-One Tutoring, Conversation Groups, the Career Access Lab (CAL) and Beginner English Programs in 21 local communities.

First connections, which was founded in 1994, provides comprehensive family support programs in 11 MetroWest communities to families with children birth through age eight. Their mission is to equip parents with young children with tools, practical strategies, and connections to other families and their communities to foster healthy parenting and guide them through the first years of their parenting journey.

Habitat NCM is an independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Their vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Our grant this year supports Critical Repair Projects in Acton and Boxborough.

About Housing & Climate Justice for Acton: 

We are Acton’s renters and condo residents – one in four residents of Acton – and supporters.

Housing & Climate Justice for Acton supports apartment and condo residents in creating solutions to the housing emergency and climate emergency by offering tools, resources and models.

We are here to say that no matter what you are struggling with, you’re not alone. We invite you to join us in working for housing and climate justice.  

We prioritize solving residents’ problems and mobilizing for change. When two or three of us gather, our voices can be heard.

Incorporated in August 1976, MetroWest Legal Services (MWLS) provides legal advocacy to protect the rights and improve the lives of poor, elderly, disabled and otherwise disenfranchised individuals and families in the 45 cities and towns in their service area. 

MWLS assists clients in cases involving the following legal issues: Housing, Domestic Violence, Government Benefits, Immigration, and Wage & Hour Disputes. MWLS is the only source for free civil, legal aid in our area.

Minute Man Arc provides a lifespan of support for children and adults with disabilities by increasing independence, personal choice, and self-advocacy. They serve the nine town area of Acton, Bedford, Boxborough, Carlisle, Concord, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard and Stow.

The Early Intervention (El) Program provides a range of therapeutic services to more than 500 children each year, from birth to three years, for whom there are developmental concerns due to biological, medical or environmental factors. MMA is the only provider of EI services in our area.

Minuteman Senior Services (MSS) has been helping elders and their family caregivers locate appropriate eldercare assistance since 1975. Their mission is to help elders and others with chronic care needs remain in their own homes safely and independently for as long as they are able, and to support their caregivers as they face the challenges presented by competing needs of family, work and self. Minuteman Senior Services operates more than 20 programs helping residents in 16 communities in the suburbs northwest of Boston. They assist in excess of 30,000 seniors and disabled individuals each year.

560 residents of Acton and Boxborough received support education and resources to age in place with assistance through the Senior Nutrition program, 300 AB residents received meals, safety checks, socialization and nutrition information. 200 residents participated in the SHINE program, which provides guidance in the Medicare benefit selection process. There were 64 instances of elder abuse cases and 11 residents completed the chronic pain management program.

The Mt. Calvary Community Supper is a non-denominational program aimed at reducing food insecurity and social isolation by providing a free weekly Wednesday dinner in a warm, compassionate environment since 2012. “Their mission is “To Eliminate Hunger and Address Social Isolation”. The Mt Calvary Community supper is the only active supper program in town, and the number of guests they serve has been increasing.

Open Door Theater of Acton is a non-profit, family-oriented, accessible community theater company that has been creating learning experiences through theater for adults, children, and people with disabilities since it was founded in 1980. Open Door envisions and embraces a diverse community which enables access to theater for all on both sides of the curtain through mentorship and communal problem solving. Open Door strives to create a family environment in which cast and crew can reach their goals and we share our experiences and expertise with other organizations so that we can all become more inclusive and accessible.

Open Table is a food pantry and community meals program located in Maynard, MA, with an additional weekly dinner hosted in Concord, MA. They are open to all who come, including many guests from Acton and Boxborough.

In addition to offering a hot meal in a friendly environment and groceries to bring home, Open Table has a team of guest support volunteers, such as trained mental health professionals, who connect guests to a variety of social services such as fuel assistance, legal aid, and medical resources.

The Stow Food Pantry is now a weekend drive-up pantry by appointment only. To minimize waste, volunteers call clients to take food orders.

The Healing Garden Cancer Support Center is a beautiful facility located in 8 acres of woodlands and gardens. Our cancer care complements medical care and is instrumental in improving  quality of life for all those who are affected by cancer. We provide a community of support where clients participate in educational programs and classesexperiential stress-reducing activities and individual therapeutic services to  promote resiliency and recovery.

Spring 2023 Grant Cycle

Acton-Boxborough United Way invests in effective strategies to meet the basic needs of our neighbors. This year, our targeted grant-making will strive to bring innovative services to our towns to address key issues for each of our strategic priority areas:  financial stability, early childhood success, mental health, and equity & racial justice.

We have two tracks of funding for this year’s grant cycle: Targeted Priority Initiative Grants (an open application) and Legacy Grants (restricted to previously funded programs): 


Targeted Priority Initiative Grants 

For this track, open to any nonprofit currently or planning to serve residents from Acton and Boxborough, grant applications should address one of these key strategic priority areas:


  • Financial Stability: Advancing financial stability and economic mobility, especially programs focused on food security, job readiness, distributing clothing and household necessities, or providing help in navigating and applying for public benefits.


  • Early Childhood Success: Creating safe, accessible places for children to play and learn


  • Mental Health: Culturally-relevant mental health outreach and/or programming


  • Equity & Racial Justice: Engaging Renters. Recognizing that over 28% of our community rents their homes, and that historically these residents have been overlooked, we seek to fund initiatives that target communication and help accessing local resources and initiatives for renters in Acton and Boxborough.


We invite new and existing programs to apply for up to $5,000.  Larger scale, collaborative projects that are seeking more than $5,000 will also be considered, if the funding request is justified by the impact of the project.




Legacy Grants

Recognizing that funding from Acton-Boxborough United Way provides critical support to a powerful patchwork of local agencies supporting our neighbors, agencies funded within the last 2 years, serving Acton and Boxborough residents may apply for a Legacy Grant of up to $15,000 for services that fall within one of our 5 broad Thrive2024 focus areas: Financial Stability, Early Childhood Success, Mental Health, Crisis Preparedness and Equity & Racial Justice. 


Grant Process Timeline



Acton-Boxborough United Way funds services for Acton and Boxborough residents. We will accept grant applications from programs that are located outside these two towns, if clients served are from Acton or Boxborough.


Selection Process

Applications are due March 17, 2023. Grant cycle is July 2023 - June 2024. 

Acton-Boxborough United Way’s Grant Allocations Team will select grant recipients and determine funding amounts, within an overall budget approved by the Board of Directors. The process will include a group interview (20-30 minutes via Zoom), to allow applicants to present their organization and answer questions.  The Interview Team will include community members and will reflect the diversity of Acton and Boxborough.  Please note that funding is limited, and it is unlikely that all grant requests will be funded.


Proposal Format

The grant application form should be submitted by Google Form [Targeted Priority Initiative Grants, Legacy Grants]. If you're unable to access or complete the application in this format, please email Katie at, and we can provide you a document version.  


Reporting Requirements

A mid-year report will be required.


For more information or to discuss a project idea, please contact

Katie Neville at