Learn what’s happening at the Foundation and in the communities where we work. Hear from staff and partners about their accomplishments and lessons learned along the way.

*** 2019 Grants Calendar Dates and Guidelines will be released shortly ***

Partnering with Humility: Lessons from the School Ground in Eastern Massachusetts


Author: Tracy Sawicki

Authored by: Tracy Sawicki, Executive Director at the Peter & Elizabeth Tower Foundation and Jane Feinberg, Founder and Principal, Full Frame Communications In 2013, a group of philanthropists gathered together in Beverly, MA for an education roundtable. One of the guest speakers was Jeff Riley, currently the Education Commissioner for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, who … Continued

Meet our Spring 2019 Grant Partners


Author: Don Matteson

The Peter & Elizabeth Tower Foundation is pleased to announce its recent grant awards totaling nearly $1.3 million to 15 organizations for projects benefitting Erie and Niagara Counties in Western New York, as well as Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Essex County in Eastern Massachusetts. “It’s a great privilege to support these organizations as they work … Continued

Real Talk


Author: Megan MacDavey

  What applicants thought about applying to the Tower Foundation in 2018 I can’t say it enough: we love feedback. Don’t get me wrong – some of it is not easy to hear. But we truly appreciate feedback from applicants and grant partners in all its challenging, validating, and sometimes surprising forms. It helps us … Continued

Adventures in Grantmaking: Arc Tank 2.0


Author: Nicholas Randell

On a chilly November afternoon, I had the pleasure of attending Arc Tank 2.0 at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum on UMASS’s Boston campus.  This is the second year of the event, hosted by Northeast Arc (NeArc)¹, and loosely based on the tv show Shark Tank.    Organizations that serve people with intellectual disabilities or … Continued

Meet our New Grant Partners


Author: Megan MacDavey

The Peter & Elizabeth Tower Foundation is pleased to announce that it recently awarded nearly $1.4 million in grants to 14 organizations in Erie and Niagara Counties in Western New York, as well as Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Essex County in Eastern Massachusetts. “We are delighted to support this recent group of grant partners. This … Continued

Small Capacity Grants –> Large Impact


Author: Chuck Colston

In the most recent blog, Megan MacDavey explained how the Small Grants Program will now fit into the Foundation’s “Strengthening Partner Capacity” portfolio. This was done in a continuing effort to streamline our grantmaking. Please refer to Megan’s blog for more information on this change. Today, I really want to focus on the impact that we … Continued

Virtual Office Hours


Author: Megan MacDavey

We love getting to know the communities we work in, learning about the organizations located there, and talking to the people who see what’s happening there every day. Holding office hours at local coffee shops in your neighborhood is one of our favorite ways of connecting. Unfortunately, it’s not always feasible to carve out that … Continued

Announcing New Strengthening Partner Capacity Guidelines


Author: Megan MacDavey

Our newly-launched “Strengthening Partner Capacity” grant guidelines for 2019 mark the beginning of a more streamlined approach to capacity building funding at the Tower Foundation. The Foundation’s Trustees and staff are committed to supporting the organizations, and their leaders, responsible for advancing our goals across the four fields we fund (intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, mental … Continued

Assessing Program Grants: Are They Making an Impact? [Part 2 of 2]


Author: Nicholas Randell

PART 2 [This second (and final) installment takes a look at recent Tower grants and their impact on the target population, grantee organization, and the field at large.] Once again, we wanted to take a look at the somewhat broader impact of our grantmaking. On our lessons learned forms, we also scored grants for impact … Continued

Are We Making Effective Grants? 2018 Version. [Part 1 of 2]


Author: Nicholas Randell

PART 1 [This installment of a two-part series looks at the performance of Tower grants when measured against specific project goals; Part 2 will look at the broader impact of the same grants.] Every 18 months or so, we take a look at the latest cluster of closed grants and assess their aggregate effectiveness and … Continued