Status: Opening August 5, 2024

An Overview of Our Flexible Funding Opportunity

Flexible Funding aims to provide unrestricted financial support to sustain day-to-day operations of organizations, enabling you to focus on your mission. At CFWM, equity is central to all our efforts. We especially welcome applications from smaller, newer, non-traditional, or fiscally sponsored organizations that have not yet received substantial institutional philanthropy. We also prioritize organizations deeply rooted in their communities.

This year, we are excited to announce a partnership with the MassMutual Foundation, offering an expansion of Flexible Funding grants specifically for Springfield-serving organizations. Additionally, we have expanded funding available in Franklin County. With a single application, organizations can apply for funding; our staff will decide which of the criteria your organization best meets.

Organizations in CFWM’s strategic focus areas can serve Franklin, Hampden, and/or Hampshire Counties. Organizations working in our additional focus areas are limited to Springfield or Franklin County as outlined below.

Please take our eligibility quiz (available August 5) before proceeding to the full application. 

Program Details 

Flexible Funding grants provide general operating support to local organizations aligned with our strategic focus areas. More details on these areas are available here, helping you determine if your organization qualifies.

Grants of up to $30,000 are available. Funds must be spent by December 31, 2025.  CFWM plans to award a minimum of $2.9 million in total.


This year, organizations will begin with an eligibility quiz before proceeding to the full application. Every organization that takes the eligibility quiz will receive feedback and guidance to help with the application process. Please take this quiz (available August 5) as soon as possible so you have plenty of time to follow up with CFWM staff. 

Eligible organizations must have IRS designated 501(c)(3) status or an existing fiscal sponsorship.   

Organizations should be located and serve residents in Franklin, Hampden and/or Hampshire counties. If you also have locations outside of the region, you must demonstrate local presence through indicators such as having locally based staff, regional offices, or programs exclusively serving our region’s residents. 

Additional eligibility criteria includes:

An operating budget less than $10 million. Organizations with operating budgets larger than $10 million are not eligible. There is a strong preference for organizations with an operating budget of less than $5 million.

Funding cannot support the following:  

Preference will be given to organizations with BIPOC leadership and where leadership is reflective of the communities they serve. 

We encourage organizations who haven’t applied with CFWM to apply and connect with us if you have questions. 

Priority Focus Areas

Decisions about whether an organization falls into the outlined focus areas will be determined by CFWM staff, with information provided by the organization as well as other publicly available information.

The foundation’s strategic vision serves as the cornerstone for establishing the priority support areas for Flexible Funding.  

Our aim is to fund organizations working to increase equity and opportunity while demonstrating a strong mission in the following areas:  

1. Racial Justice: Recognizing the urgent need to address systematic racism, we are seeking applications from organizations whose primary mission and activities are dedicated to this cause.  

We believe that working toward dismantling systems of racial inequality provides a framework for dismantling all other forms of oppression. We seek organizations explicitly working to combat racial disparities, promoting equity and justice, and creating pathways for marginalized communities. This grant opportunity is intended to support your efforts in fostering inclusive communities, eliminating systemic barriers, and advancing social change.

2. Accessible and more affordable post-secondary education and training: Education and skills training are critical components for individuals seeking economic mobility. We are seeking applications from organizations that provide access to learning opportunities for post-secondary learners, including trade, vocational, and skills-based programs. This grant opportunity aims to support efforts in equipping individuals with the tools and knowledge necessary to meaningfully access the workforce.  

3. A strong start for all children: From birth to age five, children develop more rapidly than at any other time in their lives. A strong start for children helps to set the foundation for their future success, health, and well-being. We seek to fund nonprofit organizations that that provide early childhood education and care as a core part of their mission, professional development for early childhood education providers, and direct cohort-based support related to parenting knowledge and skills. This grant opportunity is intended to strengthen the bandwidth, skills, and resiliency of those who provide care to children before kindergarten. 

4. A vibrant local arts and creativity ecosystem: Art and creativity bring people together, create community dialogue, and inspire imaginative approaches to community challenges.  ValleyCreates aims to support a vibrant arts and creativity sector that is interconnected, collaborative, and actively engages the full and diverse community with programs and artistic expression opportunities. We encourage organizations whose primary mission and purpose revolve around creating and/or presenting cultural activities in the arts to apply. This grant opportunity is intended to support your efforts in promoting creativity and fostering community engagement. ValleyCreates specifically prioritizes organizations with an operating budget of less than $500,000 to create a more inclusive ecosystem. 

This focus area does not include humanities or historical societies, but we encourage those organizations to connect with Mass Cultural Council or Mass Humanities. While we also appreciate the creativity many organizations bring to their work, we will not consider non-arts organizations as part of our strategic priority area. Our goal is to support the arts and creativity sector and those organizations whose primary mission leads with the arts. 

Additional Focus Areas for springfield-serving organizations working to build financial resilience in their communities

Supported through funding from

1. Building Networks: Connecting people builds social capital, which creates a financially strong community where people can support each other. We seek to fund organizations that take collaborative approaches to break down silos, coordinate among systems, and connect people to critical resources and each other so everyone can meet their basic needs and achieve their goals.

2. Fostering Financial Health: When people experience less debt, more savings, and improved credit, they are able to take advantage of future opportunities. We seek to fund organizations that expand financial capabilities (e.g., financial coaching, building credit, debt management) and increase access to affordable financial products that help build financial resilience and long-term wealth.

3. Fulfilling Basic Financial Needs: When people’s most basic needs are met, they can focus on things that make their lives better. We seek to fund organizations that help people meet the following critical needs: reliable childcare that accommodates work schedules, increased food security, and safe & affordable housing (rent or own).

4. Expanding Employment Opportunities: Building skills, knowledge, and expertise helps people find a career or start their own business – creating long-term change in the process. We seek to fund organizations that work to expand entrepreneurship and small business growth, or provide post-secondary education, skills and training that drives employment and increased income.

Additional Focus Areas for Franklin County

Thanks to the generosity of our partners, additional funding is available for organizations serving Franklin County with a focus on family economic resiliency. This includes:

1. Food security: This funding opportunity is intended to support organizations that increase food security in Franklin County.

2. Housing security: We seek to fund organizations that provide and expand housing security in Franklin County.

3. Basic service needs: For organizations that increase access to basic service needs such as health, transportation, and other human services.

Connect with us

Open Office Hours (Virtual) 

Virtual open office hours are held every month. Please feel free to drop in via Zoom at any time during the session to speak with us. The schedule is as follows:
July 26, 2024: 10am – 1pm 

Drop In
August 30, 2024: 10am – 1pm 

Drop In
September 10 – 13, 2024: 9am – noon 

Drop In
September 16, 2024: 9am – noon

Drop In

Information Sessions for Flexible Funding 2024 (Virtual) 

CFWM Staff will hold virtual information sessions about the Flexible Funding 2024 grant opportunity. Information sessions will review the grant process, the application and criteria. They are as follows: 
August 7, 2024: 2pm – 3pm (general)
Register Now

August 23, 2024: 9am – 10am (general)
Register Now

August 23, 2024: 10am – 11am (for fiscally sponsored organizations)
Register Now

Flexible Funding 2024 Drop-ins (In-person)

CFWM staff will hold in-person drop-ins in each of the counties in the Valley. Drop-ins are a time for you to discuss your organization and your application in a 1:1 setting with CFWM staff. The dates are as follows: 
August 8, 2024: 10am – 1pm, Westfield Athenaeum: Committee Room,
6 Elm St, Westfield, MA 01085 
August 9, 2024: 9am – 12pm, Franklin County Co-op: Community Room,
170 Main St. Greenfield, MA 01301 
August 13, 2024: 12pm – 3pm, Wilbraham Library: Brooks Room,
25 Crane Park Dr., Wilbraham, MA 01095 
August 15, 2024: 2pm – 5pm, Urban Food Brood,
250 Albany St., Springfield, MA 01105
August 20, 2024: 2pm – 5pm, Happier Valley Comedy,
1 Mill Valley Rd., Suite B, Hadley, MA 01035


Applications are due Monday, September 16, 2024 at 12:00PM EST.

Questions? Comments? 

Please reach out to Community Impact and Partnerships at

Frequently Asked Questions

How many organizations will you fund?

We anticipate funding at least 65 organizations, along with at least an additional ten grants in partnership with the MassMutual Foundation. If more funds become available, or the average grant size is smaller, we are committed to funding more organizations. 

Can I apply for less than the full $30,000?

Absolutely. Every organization, regardless of their budget, is invited to apply for the full $30,000; but if your organization needs less, you can share that in the application. Organizations asking for less than $30,000 will not be prioritized over those asking for the maximum grant amount. 

Can this grant be used as a match for another grant?

Absolutely. We will support grantees needing documentation of our grant for these purposes.

If we are a current grantee, can we be funded again?

Yes. Flexible Funding is currently awarded as a one-year grant. As our priority areas do not change year to year, we anticipate that some current grantees will be funded again. Current grantees must have their required grant check-ins and must be up to date on any reports before the grant deadline to be considered. If you have questions, please contact us at

Can we apply for both the MassMutual Foundation Partnership Opportunity and Flexible Funding?

If you meet the criteria for multiple opportunities, you will automatically be considered for all. You only need to fill out the application once

Who decides if a grant is funded or not?

CFWM tries to center voices of community members in our grants process. More than three dozen community reviewers, who have professional and volunteer experience in the nonprofit sector and in our focus areas, join our staff in reviewing grants. They have diverse race, age, and gender identities and live across our three-county region.

What grant reporting is required of grantees?

To minimize the work associated with our grants, CFWM staff will have two brief check-ins instead of reports throughout the grant period. A short report sharing how you spent the funds and what you learned over the grant period may be requested at the end of 2024. 

Our work is outside the focus areas. Should we apply?

This year Flexible Funding is open to three groups of organizations: those whose mission aligns with CFWM’s strategic focus areas, those in Franklin County that focus on family economic resilience, and those in Springfield that support the MassMutual Foundation’s mission to help build financial resilience.

How do we determine if our work falls within your priority areas?

We share more on how we think about our priority areas here. If you have any questions or you are unsure, we encourage you to connect with our team at the listed times or to email us at 

Will there be opportunities for organizations outside of these focus areas to apply for additional funding?

Yes. CFWM will open a grant opportunity for project and general operating grants in January. These grants will be focused on unique areas of interest such as environmental protection and conservation and supporting people living with disabilities. We’ll have additional grant opportunities available throughout the year and encourage you to sign up for our newsletter to stay up- to-date!