The Foundation makes grants to federally tax-qualified, public charities serving sick and poor residents of the Greater Boston community and the cities of Brockton and Lawrence.  Preference is given to organizations devoted to helping:

  • the homeless and under-housed,
  • people in need,
  • children,
  • elders,
  • people with disabilities,
  • new immigrant populations, and
  • low-income communities and neighborhoods.

The Clipper Ship Foundation specializes in funding smaller organizations. It considers applications from organizations with annual operating budget of less than $5,000,000. If you have a budget larger than $5,000,000, please contact foundation staff before applying.

Consideration is also given to emergency disaster situations, worldwide.

Grants are awarded to organizations in each of the Foundation’s priority areas.  In addition to providing the roster of priority areas, we have also included examples of some of the interest areas supported by the Foundation in each priority area last year:

Children and Young People

  • Out of school time tutoring and mentoring
  • College prep
  • Violence prevention education
  • Sports and fitness education
  • Environmental education
  • Arts education

Community Affairs

  • Literacy / English as a Second Language
  • Adult education
  • Health
  • Arts & culture
  • Safety
  • Athletics, physical fitness/health activities
  • Programs serving the formerly or currently incarcerated

Food and Shelter

  • Food pantries
  • Community farms
  • Homelessness prevention
  • Affordable housing services
  • Day shelters
  • Emergency access to food and shelter

Aid to Persons with Disabilities

  • Adult day centers
  • Physical education access
  • Elder services
  • Workforce preparedness training
  • Integrated youth programs
  • Health literacy programs

Emergency and Disaster Relief

  • Pakistan Flood Emergency
  • Haitian Earthquake Relief

To review the complete list of grants provided by the Foundation in 2014, please click here.


The Foundation does not fund the general operations or core educational programs of public, private, parochial, or charter schools. However, school-based programs and services that are not part of the school’s core curriculum will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Eligible activities may include:

  • Tutoring
  • Supplemental art, sports, music, or academic programs
  • Non-academic needs such as mentoring, counseling, leadership development, or nutrition programs

Please contact Foundation staff with any questions.

In general, grants will not be made for the support of:

  • Individual summer programs independent of Summer Fund collaborative,*
  • Individual CDC-sponsored low income housing development initiatives (the Foundation typically provides CDC support through grants to LISC),
  • Legal services,
  • Programs whose central focus is advocacy,
  • Religious programs,
  • Hospitals,
  • Higher Education,
  • Research,
  • Scholarships,
  • Fellowships,
  • Student loans or travel,
  • Writing or publishing of books or articles,
  • Campaigns for endowment funds,
  • Production of mass media, or
  • Expenses related to conferences or conventions.

*Clipper Ship does entertain funding requests for summer programs for disadvantaged youth. However, funding to support summer programs for youth living in Greater Boston is provided through the Summer Fund. Requests to the Clipper Ship Foundation for summer program funding will only be considered if the applicant is prohibited from receiving Summer Fund support.