The Discovery Museums Awarded $100,000 from Cummings Foundation

ACTON, MA, June 11, 2015 – The Discovery Museums have been selected as one of 100 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s “$100K for 100” program. The Acton-based organization was chosen from more than 350 applicants during a very competitive review process.

For more than 30 years, the Discovery Museums have blended the best of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning and intentional play for families throughout the region. Two museums offer hands-on, playful exhibits developed by professional educators to inspire curiosity, exploration, experimentation and imagination.  The Discovery Museums are committed underserved audiences, welcoming 25% of nearly 172,000 served in 2014 for free or deeply reduced cost.

Representing The Discovery Museums, CEO Neil Gordon and Chief Development Officer Marie Beam joined approximately 300 other guests at a June 4 reception at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn to celebrate the $10 million infusion into Greater Boston’s nonprofit sector. With the conclusion of this grant cycle, Cummings Foundation reached a major milestone – it has now awarded more than $100 million in grants to local nonprofits alone.

“This generous grant will create an important foundation for our work to redevelop our outdoor spaces to be filled with nature-based experiences that every child can access,” said CEO Neil Gordon. “The Cummings Foundation grant will fund our new Adventure Paths, sensory-rich, exhibit-lined, fully accessible and inclusive paths through our outdoor exhibits and leading into to a fully-accessible treehouse.  We are filled with gratitude for this important support and validation of our future direction.”

The $100K for 100 program supports nonprofits that are not only based in but also primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. This year, the program benefited 41 different communities within the Commonwealth.

Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the area where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate Cummings Properties. Founded in 1970 by Bill Cummings of Winchester, the Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages more than 10 million square feet of space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

“The Foundation is incredibly grateful to nonprofits like The Discovery Museums that are working diligently for the benefit of the communities where the staff and clients of the Cummings organization live and work,” said Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation’s executive director.

This year’s diverse group of grant recipients represents a wide variety of causes, including mental health, STEM education, veteran’s services, healthcare, hunger relief, and homelessness prevention. Most of the grants will be paid over two to five years.

The complete list of 100 grant winners is available at



The Discovery Museums are the children’s and science museums of Metrowest Boston. Two great museums—for one admission price—blend the best of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning on a beautiful 4.5-acre campus in Acton, MA, about 20 miles west of Boston. The Museums serve families and schools from towns throughout the region, with a commitment to informal education that enhances classroom learning. The hands-on, playful exhibits, developed by professional educators, inspire curiosity, exploration, experimentation and imagination. The Discovery Museums combine manageable scale, convenient location and free parking to provide a fun and engaging experience where children and adults can discover their world together.  For more information please visit

About Cummings Foundation

Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings of Winchester. With assets exceeding $1 billion, it is one of the largest foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including two New Horizons retirement communities in Marlborough and Woburn. Its largest single commitment to date was $50 million to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Additional information is available at