Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Geographic focus

Organizations serving individuals living in Greater Boston (defined as cities and towns on or within Route 128), or the cities of Lawrence or Brockton, are eligible to apply.

Nonprofit status

Applicants must be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and remain in good standing with the IRS.

Organization size

Clipper Ship considers funding requests from organizations with annual operating budgets of any size but anticipates awarding most of the available grant funding to organizations with annual operating budgets smaller than $5 million.


The Foundation evaluates organizations and their funding requests based upon their potential for achieving tangible impact. In reviewing funding requests, the Foundation considers the organization’s:

  • track record of success and experience, and the expertise of its leadership and key staff members;
  • service delivery model and commitment to addressing the needs of its constituents and the underlying causes of these needs;
  • client impact objectives for the next 3-5 years (including demonstrating management’s plan for achieving them);
  • ability to demonstrate integrated strategic and financial planning to predict the proposal’s viability and intended impacts; and
  • ability to carry out the proposed program and achieve the intended impacts.


Exclusions: The Clipper Ship Foundation does not fund religious programs, hospitals, higher education, research, scholarships, fellowships, student loans or travel, writing or publishing of books, articles, or mass media, campaigns for endowment funds, or expenses related to conferences or conventions.

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