Community is Central to Our Mission

a main street intersection of Natick town center with brick buildings and old church with high steeple

Mission: The Foundation for MetroWest improves the quality of life in 30+ MetroWest communities by providing financial and educational resources to local nonprofit organizations, sharing essential data about our region to inform decision making, and partnering with donors to help guide and align their giving with the areas of greatest need in the community.

History: Philanthropy across the country is increasing, however too often critical needs closer to home are neglected. Local needs may not be as well known and donors may not have the time or inclination to determine where to give. Community giving is vital to a region’s infrastructure. In 1996, a visionary group of residents established the Crossroads Community Foundation to address the issues and challenges facing the cities and towns west of Route 128 and east of Route 495, and to bring the benefits of a community foundation to MetroWest residents and nonprofit organizations.

With a deep understanding of MetroWest, its nonprofits and its needs, the Foundation served as a resource, leader, and catalyst for philanthropy by connecting donors with nonprofits, and nonprofits with each other, across the region. By providing donors with flexible and innovative means to make gifts to support MetroWest, the Foundation helped all area residents, especially those who are most vulnerable and in need.

Renamed Foundation for MetroWest, today the Foundation holds over $30 million in assets comprising more than 100 funds. This financial depth gives trustees, staff, and community partners the resources to assess community challenges and propose sustainable solutions. As of 2022 over $28 million has been distributed to nonprofits across MetroWest to support their work in the human services, environmental stewardship, education, youth development, hunger relief, and arts and cultural sectors.

As one of almost 800 community foundations nationwide, the Foundation for MetroWest represents one of the fastest-growing types of philanthropic organizations in the United States. MetroWest would not be the thriving region it is today if it were not for the continued support of private giving. The Foundation for MetroWest’s efforts sustain and invigorate MetroWest communities now and for the future.

stone bridge with the Charles River running below it in Natick

About Our Historic Building

3 Eliot Street, the Morse-Dana-Leach House, was built when the east boundary of Natick extended to the western shore of Lake Waban, now in Wellesley. In 1759, David Morse built this as a “saltbox” on land he had purchased from the native owners in 1730. Ephraim Dana bought the property on April 27, 1779, and established a blacksmith shop at the corner of Leach Lane. His daughters, Rebecca and Tabitha, built the eastern extension of the house for the store. The property remained nominally in the Dana family for over 100 years. Eventually passing to in-laws, the Abbotts, then in-laws, the Leach Family and finally to H. Hollis Hunnewell on October 16, 1876.

the 3 Eliot Street building with the Foundation for MetroWest sign on the front sign post