Established in 1992, the Smart Choices program is designed to strengthen the capacity of community-based organizations serving Charlestown to meet the health and social service needs of community residents. Since its inception, nearly $5 million has been distributed to nonprofits and agencies that seek to promote the wellbeing of residents of this Boston neighborhood. A central focus of these funds is to facilitate collaboration and leverage collective impact among partnering organizations.

Apply now for the 2020 Grant Cycle

Application Deadline: 12 pm ET on Monday, June 15, 2020

Award Amount: In 2020, Smart Choices seeks to award one-year grants up to $25,000 to bolster organizations’ efforts to address the health priorities of community residents, totaling $180,000 in investments. Importantly, as the 2020 Smart Choices program launches, it does so during an unprecedented time as Charlestown and communities across the state and world grapple with the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic. In light of its traditional grantmaking process, the program welcomes and is receptive to various approaches that seek to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, in addition to alternative methods of programming or activities given administered policies (e.g., physical distancing). Finally, Smart Choices reserves the right to award higher amounts in response to community need.

Funding period: July 2020–June 2021

Eligibility Requirements

Organizations eligible to apply include those that:

  • Are designated as a 501(c)(3) organization or have a fiscal sponsor
  • Provide services or host activities that benefit members of the Charlestown community, with an emphasis on youth and families
  • Provide programming that is responsive to the needs of the community
  • Actively engage community residents and populations that would greatly benefit from these services

Selection Criteria

Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  1. Responsiveness to the goals of the Smart Choices program
  2. Alignment between the mission of the organization, the community served, and the key components of the program
  3. Feasibility of the proposed activities
  4. A demonstrable history of working with community members who will benefit from activities
  5. The ability to engage in and coordinate partnerships with other community organizations
  6. Alignment with one or more of the health priorities or strategies outlined in the 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment report by Massachusetts General Hospital