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 2021 Grant Cycle

Application Deadline: 12:00 pm ET on Friday, May 21, 2021

Award Amount: In 2021, 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. Priority is given to initiatives and programs that support youth and families. The vision of the Smart Choices program is that members of the Charlestown community lead healthy lives resulting in optimal health and social outcomes, and that the network of organizations which provide vital supports and services have the capacities and resources to effectively operate. This past year, Charlestown and communities globally have weathered an incredibly challenging time grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. As we look ahead to this year’s funding cycle, we are interested in hearing how your organization has addressed challenges that have emerged during this time, including how programming has pivoted in support of Charlestown residents. We would also like to hear how your organizations are beginning to plan for a post-COVID-19 world, and how Smart Choices resources would be helpful.

Funding period: July 2021 - June 2022

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