MAHA Awarded $750,000 Cummings Grant

May 28, 2024 – MAHA is one of 150 local nonprofits that will share in $30 million through Cummings Foundation’s major annual grants program. The Dorchester-based organization was selected from a total of 715 applicants during a competitive review process. MAHA will receive $750,000 over 10 years.

MAHA increases access to affordable and sustainable homeownership through homebuyer education, programmatic support and community organizing. Since 1985, MAHA has graduated over 48,000 homebuyers and homeowners from its comprehensive classes, more than any nonprofit in the state, and its campaigns have resulted in over $10 billion in investment in affordable housing from private and public sources.

“We are absolutely elated that our work of closing the racial homeownership gap has been recognized with the 10-year grant from the Cummings Foundation,” said Symone Crawford, MAHA’s Executive Director. “We are especially excited about the positive impact this funding will have on our work and how many first-time and first-generation homebuyers we will be able to reach over the next decade.”

This long-term funding will allow MAHA to look towards the future and invest in the programs that are proven to increase access to affordable homeownership. It will also allow the organization to be creative in developing new strategies and programs to address the housing crisis.

The Cummings $30 Million Grant Program primarily supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties, plus six communities in Norfolk County: Brookline, Dedham, Milton, Needham, Quincy, and Wellesley.

Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the areas where it owns commercial property. Its buildings are all managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. This Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 11 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

“Greater Boston is fortunate to have a robust, dedicated, and highly capable nonprofit sector that supports and enhances the community in myriad ways,” said Cummings Foundation executive director and trustee Joyce Vyriotes. “The entire Cummings organization is thankful for their daily work to help all our neighbors thrive.”

The majority of the grant decisions were made by nearly 100 community volunteers. They worked across a variety of committees to review and discuss the proposals and then, together, determine which requests would be funded. Among these community volunteers were business and nonprofit leaders, mayors, college presidents, and experts in areas such as finance and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion).

“We believe strongly that grant decisions will be more equitable when made by a diverse group of community members,” said Vyriotes. “We’re incredibly grateful to the dozens of individuals who participated in our democratized philanthropic process.”

The Foundation and volunteers first identified 150 organizations to receive three-year grants of up to $300,000 each. The winners included first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that had previously received Cummings grants. Twenty-five of this latter group of repeat recipients were then selected by a panel of community volunteers to have their grants elevated to 10-year awards ranging from $300,000 to $1 million each.

This year’s grant recipients represent a wide variety of causes, including housing and food insecurity, workforce development, immigrant services, social justice, education, and mental health services. The nonprofits are spread across 49 different cities and towns.

Cummings Foundation has now awarded $500 million to greater Boston nonprofits. The complete list of this year’s 150 grant winners, plus nearly 2,000 previous recipients, is available at

About MAHA

MAHA is a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive first-time homebuyer and homeowner education programs, civic engagement, and community organizing in order to break down the barriers facing first-time and first-generation homebuyers. Since 1985, our campaigns have resulted in affordable mortgages for over 25,000 low- and moderate-income homebuyers over $10 billion in public and private investment in affordable housing. To learn more, visit 

About Cummings Foundation

Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings of Winchester, MA and has grown to be one of the largest private foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities, in Marlborough and Woburn, and Cummings Health Sciences, LLC. Additional information is available at

MAHA is presented with the 10 year Cummings grant at the MAHA office. From left to right,                                                                                                                Thais de Marco, Anthonina Fenelon, Acia Adams-Heath, Symone Crawford, Hillary Pizer, and Michael Ouellet.