bIRch House logo

The Cummings Foundation's generosity to Arlington nonprofits continues. The bIRch House is the third in town to have a major grant announced --  $100,000 over four years.

Last week, Food Link and the AYCC each announced awards of $100,000 over 10 years from Cummings.

The nonprofit, at 37 Broadway, is a supportive community dedicated to healing for female adult survivors of incest and childhood sexual abuse through programs, resources, education and advocacy.

It is among 140 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Program.

Chosen from 580 applicants

The Arlington-based organization was chosen from a total of 580 applicants during a competitive review process.

“The Cummings Foundation Grant will help The bIRch House change more lives with the interaction, support and programming we offer to adult women who are survivors of incest and childhood sexual abuse,” said Judith Rathbone, who represents the organization, in a June 10 news release.

The Cummings Foundation grant will make it possible for the bIRch House to transform itself from an entirely volunteer-run organization to one with an executive director and thus increase its outreach and programming. 

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 areas where it owns commercial property. Its buildings are all managed, at no cost to the foundation, by its affiliates, Cummings Properties. This Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 11 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the foundation. 

“We are so fortunate in greater Boston to have such effective nonprofits, plus a wealth of talented, dedicated professionals and volunteers to run them,” said Joyce Vyriotes, Cummings Foundation executive director, in a release. “We are indebted to them for the work they do each day to provide for basic needs, break down barriers to education and health resources, and work toward a more equitable society.” 

With the help of about 90 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 $500,000 each. 

“Our volunteers bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives, which is so critical to our grant selection process,” said Vyriotes.  “Through this democratized approach to philanthropy, they decide more than half the grants every year.” 

This year’s grant recipients represent a wide variety of causes, including food insecurity, immigrant and refugee services, social justice, education and mental health services. The nonprofits are spread across 45 different cities and towns. 

The complete list of 140 grant winners, plus more than 900 previous recipients, is available at

Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $375 million to greater Boston nonprofits.

What bIRch House does

The bIRch House promotes a welcoming and sustaining recovery community for female survivors of incest and childhood sexual abuse. Its volunteers coordinate and provide trauma-sensitive, psycho-educational support groups for female survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

They also provide trauma-sensitive, arts-based and body-based workshops for female survivors. They produce and distribute original resources and recovery materials. Additional information is available at

Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings and has grown to be one of the largest private foundations in New England.  The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities, in Marlborough and Woburn, and Cummings Health Sciences LLC.

Additional information is available at

June 7, 2022: $500k more from Cummings, this time to Food Link
June 7, 2022: Foundation awards AYCC $500k to support mental health


This news announcement was published Monday, June 13, 2022.