Guidelines for Town of Brookline Departments, Committees, and Commissions Seeking BCF Funding


The Brookline Community Foundation (BCF) shines a spotlight on community needs, inspires philanthropy and awards strategic grants to build a more vibrant, engaged and equitable Brookline. Grant dollars are directed toward proposals that address the various needs and opportunities in the community, encourage collaborations and partnerships that address community needs, and strengthen our community and local non‐profits. Successful proposals demonstrate creative and strategic thinking, financial need, and the ability to leverage partnerships and resources. For additional information on BCF’s Grants Program, visit the grants page of our website.

Although the majority of BCF’s grantmaking program is directed towards private, not‐for‐profit organizations, there are occasions when the Foundation will accept requests from the Town of Brookline’s Departments, Committees, and Commissions. In addition to the usual criteria, the following requirements also apply to grant applications from public agencies:


The Registration Process

  • In order to stretch limited charitable funds for the greatest impact, funding from BCF will not displace funding for items and services that clearly should be supported by the Town budget.

  • BCF cannot fund programs that have been cut from Town budgets or that the Town is legally required to provide, except when grant requests address immediate needs of underserved populations or enhance existing programs and services.

  • Prior to submitting a grant request, BCF requires that a Town Department demonstrate that 1) there are no available Town funds for its proposed project or program; and/or 2) funds were requested as part of the Departmental budget but denied.

  • Town departments are encouraged to seek matching funds from additional outside sources where necessary, including the possibility of establishing a “Friends of” group, like the Friends of Brookline Rowing, etc. to act as an advocacy and fundraising adjunct.

  • The Town “match” must include cash or staff time contributed directly and exclusively to the proposed program or project. The Town “match” may not consist only of in‐kind services elements (e.g. departmental administrative time, office supplies/telephone; public space for program implementation, etc.) The Town “match” may include funds leveraged by the Town from other sources.

  • Grant requests must include a description of how the program or project will be completed or sustained in future years.

As with all BCF grantmaking, the award of a grant does not mean that ongoing support will be available from BCF for the same program or project.


Examples of Town Requests Funded by BCF


Enhancement/extension of an existing program or pilot of a program likely to be funded by the Town in the future

  • Park Rangers (in 2002) – extend existing program from June to November. (Extension of existing program)

  • Solar‐powered aeration system at Hall's Pond – enhance water quality improvement program. (Enhancement of existing program)

  • Recreation Department’s purchase of a second lift to enable disabled people to have access to the pool at the Kirrane Aquatics Center. (Enhancement of existing program for disabled citizens)

  • Brookline Council on Aging – additional drawing class for seniors. (Extension of existing program)

  • Parks and Open Space Division – subsidize free summer outdoor movies. (Pilot program with intent to make permanent)

  • Solid Waste Advisory Committee Recycling – purchase containers for public spaces (Pilot program with intent to expand.)


Program to be supported with matching funds from the Town or with multiple sponsors

  • Brookline Police Department – D.A.R.E Drug Abuse Resistance Education; summer basketball program for 10–14 year old girls and boys

  • Brookline Department of Public Works – Restoration of the historic landscape between the lagoon and community gardens at Larz Anderson Park

  • Outreach program to seniors with arthritis – partnership with the Brookline Health Department, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and the Arthritis Foundation


Scholarship requests

  • Tuition assistance for Brookline Early Education Program

  • Subsidies for the Recreation Department’s summer camp programs


Direct services to underserved population

  • “Project Independence 9‐1‐1 for Everyone” – program to distribute cell phones to disabled citizens of Brookline for the purpose of providing cost‐free access to emergency services.

  • Brookline Department of Public Health – support for emergency preparedness for vulnerable populations


Challenge Grants

  • Photovoltaic panels on Health Department roof

  • Van for Senior center

  • Library expansion/renovation


Grants to leverage citizen participation in organizations formed specifically to benefit and support Town‐owned properties

  • Matching funds for volunteer fundraising effort by Friends of Minot Rose Garden

  • Challenge grant to the Friends of the Old Burying Ground to help raise the group’s visibility and fundraising for restoration and preservation of gravestones and monuments