John H. and H. Naomi Tomfohrde Foundation

160 Federal Street, 15th Floor
Boston, MA 02110-1700

Purpose and Overview:

The Tomfohrde Foundation may make grants "for charitable purposes or to charitable organizations, with particular focus on supporting the work of charitable institutions, organizations and agencies in the New England area and particularly in Greater Boston, which are dedicated to the cultural, social and civic betterment of the community and particularly which foster the advancement of higher education, the classic arts, scientific research in biomedicine and the improvement of community health." (From The Declaration of the Trust of the John H. and H. Naomi Tomfohrde Foundation)


The focus of the Tomfohrde Foundation in 2021 will continue to be support for job training programs, apprenticeship programs, post-secondary certificate programs and associate degree programs for low-income young adults ages 18 32.

Geographic focus: Eastern Massachusetts, defined as areas east of, and including the city of Worcester.


  • Applicants are required to submit a Preliminary Application - Concept Cover Letter prior to submitting a full application. This may be done by clicking on the Preliminary Application - Concept Cover Letter link below. The Preliminary Application - Concept Cover Letter should not exceed two pages and should include a brief description of your organization, an outline of project activities and goals, any potential collaborators, an estimate of the project cost and the amount you intend to request. Preliminary Applications are due by the 5th day of February, June and September at 5:00 p.m.

     Preliminary Application - Concept Cover Letter - Grant Report 

  • Only Applicants whose Preliminary Application - Concept Cover Letter has been approved by the Trustees will be invited to submit a Full Proposal to the Trust. The Trustees meet to review Full Proposals during the second week of March, July and October. As with the Preliminary Application, Full Proposals must be submitted on-line.

  • Grants generally range in amounts up to $15,000.

  • In order to permit other worthy organizations an opportunity to benefit from the limited resources at the Foundation's disposal, we request that any organization receiving a grant allow at least three years to elapse before applying for further support from the Foundation.

  • Because the Tomfohrde Foundation is a relatively small funder, the Trustees find that their limited resources have a greater impact on smaller organizations that have a demonstrated financial stability and sustainability.

  • Applicant organizations that have neglected to submit a final report on previous programs supported by the Foundation should not expect to receive a favorable response on a current request.

  • Grants will be considered for the following purposes: program support, capacity building, capital campaigns and start-up support. Grants will not be made to support endowment campaigns.

  • The Trustees generally will not fund projects as the sole funder because it raises concerns about the sustainability of a program.

  • Proposals should be as concise and brief as possible and should avoid jargon and acronyms that may not be familiar to the reader.

  • Additional materials pertinent to the proposal may be submitted to the grants coordinator by email. Please do not send DVD's or videos.

  • The Foundation Trustees will pay particular attention to the composition of an organization's governing board which should include people from diverse backgrounds, professions and occupations and who are active and visible in the community served.

  • The Trustees will frequently require an applicant organization to seek funds to match a grant from the Foundation. Such challenge grants have proven to be an incentive to organizations to develop other funding sources in the community and at the same time, to raise public awareness of their programs and activities.

  • Applicants may be asked to submit, by email: (i) a federal tax determination letter stating that the organization qualifies as an IRC Section 501(c)(3) organization; (ii) Form 990 for the organization's most recent fiscal year; and (iii) a financial statement signed by a CPA for the organization's most recent fiscal year. The tax determination letter should state that the organization is not a private foundation.
  • Final Grant Report: If you have received a grant and have been notified to complete a Final Grant Report, you can access the report by logging back into the application through the link above. Upon logging in, at the bottom of the Welcome page, you should see a 'Report' link associated with the request you have received funding for.

  • To review grants made last year, click here


Michael F. O'Connell, Esq., Rackemann, Sawyer and Brewster, P.C.

Maura E. Murphy, Esq., Rackemann, Sawyer and Brewster, P.C.

Grants Coordinator:

Susan T. Monahan
Phone: 617-951-1108
Fax: 617-542-7437