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Science Club for Girls Got a Cummings Grant

SCIENCE CLUB FOR GIRLS awarded $100,000 Cummings grant

Cambridge nonprofit receives 3 years of funding from Cummings Foundation

Cambridge, May 21, 2021 - Science Club for Girls is one of 140 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Program. The Cambridge-based organization was chosen from a total of 590 applicants during a competitive review process. It will receive $100,000 over 3 years.

Science Club for Girls (SCFG) is a 26 year-old nonprofit that provides free, mentor-led programming in STEM to girls in grades K-12 from underrepresented communities. SCFG’s guiding principles are equity of access, hands-on learning and commitment to increasing girls’ networks of role models and caring adults.

“With the achievement and opportunity gaps for girls of color and girls from lower income backgrounds widening in STEM due to the pandemic, Science Club for Girls is thrilled to receive a Cummings grant to make STEM learning, mentorship and community accessible for more girls from underrepresented communities to inspire and empower them to pursue and succeed in STEM education and careers. SCFG creates the pipeline of future, skilled STEM workers, and this support could not be more relevant given the need to increase the STEM workforce and diversify its perspectives and approaches to solve the most pressing issues of today and tomorrow”, Bonnie Bertolaet, Executive Director, Science Club for Girls.

Science Club for Girls has successfully provided a variety of programs in a virtual format during the pandemic including mentor-led Science Clubs for over 250 girls per semester in grades K-12 during the academic year, summer rocketry programs for middle school girls and a live science show, #SCFGLive, with over 47,000 views in six cities. The Cummings grant will allow SCFG to run dual mode programming going forward, in both in-person and virtual formats, allowing the organization to increase its enrollment by 40% to serve 350 girls per semester and further reduce the barriers of STEM education for girls from underrepresented communities.

The Cummings $25 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties.

Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the area where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. This Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 10 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

“We aim to help meet the needs of people in all segments of our local community,” said Cummings Foundation executive director Joel Swets. “It is the incredible organizations we fund, however, that do the actual daily work to empower our neighbors, educate our children, fight for equity, and so much more.”

With the help of about 80 volunteers, the Foundation first identified 140 organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each. Among the winners were first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that had previously received Cummings Foundation grants. Forty of this latter group of repeat recipients were then selected to have their grants elevated to 10-year awards ranging from $200,000 to $500,00 each.

“We have adopted a democratic approach to philanthropy, which empowers an impressive roster of dedicated volunteers to decide more than half of all our grant winners each year,” said Swets. “We benefit from their diverse backgrounds and perspectives; they benefit from a meaningful and fulfilling experience; and the nonprofits often benefit from increased exposure and new advocates.”

This year’s grant recipients represent a wide variety of causes, including social justice, homelessness prevention, affordable housing, education, violence prevention, and food insecurity. The nonprofits are spread across 43 different cities and towns.

The complete list of 140 grant winners, plus more than 800 previous recipients, is available at

Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $300 million to greater Boston nonprofits.

About Science Club for Girls

Science Club for Girls (SCFG) fosters excitement, confidence and literacy in STEM for girls from underrepresented communities by providing free, experiential programs and by maximizing meaningful interactions with women mentors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. For over 26 years, Science Club for Girls has been addressing gender and racial inequities in STEM and increasing opportunities for girls from diverse backgrounds. With women making up only 24 percent of the STEM workforce—and Black and Hispanic women at less than 4 percent—Science Club for Girls addresses a critical need, offering a continuum of engaging activities in STEM for K-8 girls, leadership experiences for high school girls, and adult mentoring by committed women in STEM. To find out additional information and ways to get involved with SCFG please visit

About Cummings Foundation

Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings and has grown to be one of the three largest private foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiary, including New Horizons retirement communities in Marlborough and Woburn, and Veterinary School at Tufts, LLC in North Grafton. Additional information is available at

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