About the Foundation

About the Watertown Community Foundation

Mission:

The Watertown Community Foundation (WCF) is a 501(c)(3) public foundation that works to build and sustain a vibrant, close-knit community in Watertown, Massachusetts — now and for future generations.

To accomplish this, WCF:

  • Raises funds from individuals, families, foundations and businesses,
  • Awards grants to non-profit organizations and community projects serving Watertown,
  • Builds networks of donors, grantees, program participants and stakeholders.

WCF and its grantees are consistent leaders:

  • Advancing education and health,
  • Supporting the most vulnerable,
  • Protecting the environment,
  • Encouraging creativity and the arts,
  • Fostering community engagement and leadership.

Practice: 

WCF offers everyone — individual donors, families and businesses — effective ways to give back to the community.

The Foundation raises funds from individuals and institutions. It awards grants to non-profit organizations and community enterprises that affect many aspects of life. To inform its work, WCF convenes community conversations that focus on advancing the well being of all who live, work, and visit in Watertown.

The foundation has awarded over $500,000 in grants to programs and organizations that serve the people of Watertown. WCF supports a variety of non-profits and community programs that enhance the quality of life for those who live, work or visit in Watertown. Examples include:

Early Childhood Services – For infants, preschoolers and their families

  • Parent Child Home Program – Watertown
  • Watertown Family Network

Youth Services – Helping children and youth grow into healthy, productive citizens

  • Critical Explorers, Inc.
  • Hosmer Elementary School
  • Improbable Players
  • Lowell Elementary School
  • Perkins School for the Blind
  • United Cerebral Palsy Association of MetroBoston
  • Watertown Boys & Girls Club
  • Watertown Children’s Theatre
  • Watertown Community Education
  • Watertown Cub Scouts – Pack 30
  • Watertown Cultural Council
  • Watertown High School Drama
  • Watertown High School Library
  • Watertown High School Robotics
  • Watertown Housing – Learning Centers
  • Watertown Public Schools
  • Watertown Public Schools – PTOs
  • Watertown Schools Extended Day
  • Watertown Youth Coalition
  • Wayside Multi Service Center

Elder Services – Supporting programming for seniors

  • Sancta Maria’s Windsor House – Adult Day Health
  • Springwell
  • Taxiarchae/Archangels Greek Orthodox Church – Nurse Ministry
  • Watertown Council on Aging/Senior Center
  • Watertown Prosperity, Inc.

 Community Services – Ensuring access to resources

  • Asperger’s Association of New England
  • Asthma & Allergy Foundation
  • Beaverbrook STEP
  • Block Parties for Philanthropy
  • First Parish UU Church’s Helen Robinson Wright Charitable Fund
  • Metro West Collaborative Development (formerly Watertown Community Housing)
  • Project Literacy
  • St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Food Pantry
  • Watertown Citizens – Peace, Justice, Environment
  • Watertown Food Pantry (at St. John’s Methodist Church)
  • Watertown Free Public Library
  • Watertown Health Dept.
  • Watertown Police Dept. – Jail Diversion
  • Watertown Together
  • World in Watertown’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day – Annual Unity Breakfast

Arts, Culture and Environment – Caring for our environment, encouraging creativity and arts for all

  • Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA)
  • Arsenal Center for the Arts
  • Charles River Conservancy
  • Charles River Watershed Association
  • Friends of Mt. Auburn Cemetery
  • Friends of the Watertown Riverfront
  • Historical Society of Watertown
  • New Repertory Theatre
  • Watertown Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee
  • Watertown Citizens for Environmental Safety
  • Watertown Community Gardens
  • Watertown Free Public Library

Vision:

WCF envisions a time when many more residents, businesses, civic associations, and people who work, shop and visit in town are actively engaged in philanthropy that benefits the community.

This is the WCF commitment: to provide every donor with practical, high impact ways to make a difference through your gift.

History: How WCF Got its Start

Watertown Community Foundation was established in 2003, when the Town of Watertown was presented with a special opportunity. At the time, the Watertown Arsenal Development Corporation, a publicly appointed board of leading local citizens, was concluding the ten-year process of reclaiming the former Army Arsenal as a real estate development to benefit the Watertown community and beyond. As that process drew to a close, it resulted in the creation of a new endowment for the long-term benefit of the community. Because a local nonprofit institution with a broad philanthropic mission for the town did not exist at the time, Watertown Community Foundation was created to oversee the management of the new endowment and work for the betterment of our community.

Community Leadership: Bringing Watertown Together

In addition to its local grantmaking work, Watertown Community Foundation partners with other local organizations on emerging town-wide issues. In 2006, for instance, the foundation initiated a broad dialogue between public and private agencies regarding emergency assistance for families and businesses, a collaboration that became even more important in the recession. In 2007, Watertown Community Foundation facilitated a town-wide conversation on re-use of the branch libraries and turned over its findings to the Town Council for action. Since then, our foundation has been central in the collaborative effort to enhance the condition of the town’s Charles River waterfront, and therefore founded the Friends of the Watertown Riverfront. We also facilitate networking for local philanthropists and corporate donors; assemble local social service agencies to encourage communication; and convene local emergency assistance funders to help coordinate their valuable work on behalf of our community’s most vulnerable residents.