The Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund (TNSF) committee recently awarded grants to twelve organizations in Somerville. TNSF collects donations from university employees throughout the year and then awards grants to community-based, charitable organizations that serve Tufts’ host communities (Somerville, Medford, Grafton and Boston’s Chinatown) and that actively engage Tufts volunteers in their work.

 A committee comprised of Tufts administrators, faculty and staff meets annually to review proposals and select grant recipients. In 2012 there was a total of $20,380 available to distribute through TNSF. The committee received 49 proposals representing more than $74,000 in requests and selected 32 programs and projects for awards.  Members of the TNSF committee base their decisions on a desire to address the most pressing needs in the communities and to encourage expanded involvement of Tufts volunteers.

The Somerville grant recipients for 2012 are:

  • Community Action Agency of Somerville — $500 for cab vouchers for emergency transportation for low-income Somerville residents.
  • Eagle Eye Institute, Inc. — $500 to enhance their environmental youth leadership program series at the Healey Boys and Girls Club and at the Mystic Learning Center.
  • East Somerville Community School — $400 for refreshments at their Welcome Back Day, to mark the opening of the new school building.
  • El Sistema Somerville — $400 for musical instrument accessories.
  • Groundwork Somerville — $500 for translation services and childcare at community meetings that will engage community members of color and low-income residents in the redevelopment of a state park near Assembly Square.
  • Mystic Learning Center, Inc. — $500 for the purchase of five new chairs at the center for the youth who participate in the afterschool and evening programs.
  • RESPOND, Inc. — $500 for short term money in gift card form for victims to buy food, clothing, medication, and baby needs.
  • Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services — $500 for additional meals for their Meals on Wheels program.
  • Somerville High School — $400 to purchase a Vernier LabQuest standalone interface used to collect sensor data that will replace outdated equipment in a classroom.
  • Somerville Homeless Coalition — $500 to develop a food rescue network that prevents the waste of excess food by connecting those with surplus (grocery stores, farmers markets, local growers, restaurants) with those in need (food pantries, shelters and residence homes) by way of volunteer transporters.
  • Somerville Public Library — $500 to expand programs involving computer training and job/interview training for Somerville residents.
  • The Welcome Project — $500 to support the training of 15 bilingual Somerville high school students to learn professional language interpretation skills.


“Each year, the range of grant requests from community agencies is more diverse and more telling, meaning that the committee faces an increasingly more difficult decision.  This year’s grant proposals were thoughtful and compelling. We wish we could fund all of them,” said Barbara Rubel, director of Community Relations.  “We hope the employee contributions to TNSF demonstrate how vital our host communities are to the university and we want to thank the Tufts volunteers, faculty, and staff who made this possible.”


TNSF is a giving option of the annual Tufts Community Appeal (TCA), in which the university encourages its employees to contribute to charitable organizations at the regional, national and international levels. The TCA unites faculty and staff across all campuses of the university, and demonstrates the support the Tufts community for local and global efforts. It reflects the university community’s belief that individual action can make a difference in the world.



7 Responses to “Tufts University employees give grants to twelve Somerville organizations”

  1. Ray Spitzer says:

    We don’t need no stinking charity crumbs from Tufts! We need them to pay their taxes!

  2. j connelly says:

    Yes Tufts has to come clean and do like Harvard & MIT (Each pays Cambridge,$8 Million Annually) & pay in lieu of taxes. I can only hold the “Shrunken Head Lady’s” wrath back for so long & then she will do it.
    1st] Per Diem payments for the Board of Trustees/Directors, etc. shall cease.
    2nd] Endowments to tufts shall dry up.
    3rd] The university’s presidents house will be converted to a dorm.
    4th] All federal, state, & municipal tax exemptions will cease.
    5th] All the university’s “gifts” to elected officials shall be made public.

    Hopefully Tufts will “smarten up” and become a good neighbor.

  3. A. Moore says:

    Gee Ray, you don’t appreciate their sizable contributions to Somerville and all they have done for us.

  4. beenthere/donethat says:

    Tufts currently “donates” about $130,000/yr +/- to Somerville. Thanks to our agricultural ordinance we can now legally call this chicken feed. The Jumblies get a lot of fire, police, water and sewer, and other benefits, while buying up property and taking it off our tax roles. Cambridge and Boston have become adept at shaking the university money tree by calling for a state law taxing non-profits with billion dollar plus endowments. The last time this bill went up for a hearing, Denise Provost testified in favor and Tufts was very, very upset with her. Thanks, Denise, and maybe it’s time for the BOA to visit this issue?

  5. Somerbreeze says:

    Tuft’s financial pacification program is meant to deflect our attention from:

    a) All the free City services it gets
    b) Tufts student buttheads who wreak havoc on neighborhoods
    with their all-night parties, vandalism and public urination
    c) Their truly-enjoyable tax-free status

  6. A Moore says:

    It would be interesting to know the actual or close to taxes and so forth the city would have made with Tufts properties had they been a private company minus those giant contributions they make. Or what our actual loss is.

  7. Barry the Pig says:

    This seems to me such an obvious case. Tufts is not like a big company that can blackmail the community by threatening to leave! They are stuck here and they are going nowhere. Therefore, telling them that from now on they HAVE to pay taxes or a sizable flat fee to the community is a no brainer. There should be an investigation into this.

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