The Parker Foundation



The Theodore Edson Parker Foundation was established in 1944 in Lowell, Massachusetts, under a will that reflected the founder’s interest in a wide range of community needs including children, disadvantaged young women, the elderly, refugees and immigrants. Since then, trustees have expanded our priorities to many other needs of the residents of Lowell.

Fields of Interest and Types of Support

The Parker Foundation’s primary goal is to make effective grants that benefit the residents of the City of Lowell. Grants are made for a variety of purposes including social services, cultural programs, community development activities, education, community health needs, and urban environmental projects. The foundation funds specific needs including special programs and projects, capital improvements and equipment purchases, and technical assistance. The trustees do not usually award funds for the operating expenses of well-established organizations, for endowment, or to fund deficits. Grants are restricted to organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are classified as “not a private foundation” under Section 509(a). No awards are made to individuals.

The Form 990-PF may be found at

Guiding Suggestions

In his will, Mr. Parker suggested that his trustees give special consideration to the welfare of children, disadvantaged young women, and the elderly. The foundation is especially committed to assisting these and other under-served groups, including refugees and immigrants, to create a more caring and equitable community. The foundation favors applications from organizations with balanced representation in staff and management, reflecting constituents served and the diverse community that Lowell has become. For more information on the importance of equity and inclusion and how to successfully move in this direction, refer to articles from Independent SectorCouncil of FoundationsNonprofit HRBuilding the Movement Project, and the Nonprofit Quarterly with the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network.

Grant Application Guidelines

To register in application system:

Organizations interested in applying to the foundation are welcome to contact staff prior to applying.  Thereafter, applicants are encouraged to apply online. be aware that this portal’s deadline is January 30.

  1. Click on Create New Account
  2. Enter your personal contact information
  3. Enter your organization’s contact information
  4. Click on the Proceed to Next Step button
After you have registered your account you will be directed to the Application Status Page.
  1. Start New Application – This allows you to review the available grants and apply.  Enter “ parker” as the Access Code.
  2. Application Status – This is your homepage where you can check on the status of your grants.  This page will display the form you just filled out, what its status is, and what the next form will be.
  • a list of board members, with an indication of their organizational affiliations, special skills, and links to the community
  • a completed diversity form detailing racial and ethnic compositions of board, staff, and constituents. This form may be found here: Philanthropy MA Diversity Form.
  • a copy of the organization’s most recent audited financial statements
  • a copy of the most recent IRS Form 990, with all attachments and schedules
  • a current organizational budget, including projected income and expenditures
  • bio statements or resumes of key project staff
  • a project budget, including line-item detail on sources of revenue and salary expenditures

Mini Grant Application

Who is eligible?

In recognition of the needs of smaller organizations, beginning in 2023, the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation will be offering mini-grants.  

  • Only request up to $7,500.
  • All organizations who have a non-profit, tax-exempt status, or who have a fiscal sponsor.
  • All organizations who serve the residents of Lowell.
  • Organizations who have not received within the last two years a grant from the Parker Foundation.

Please note that organizations who receive a mini-grant will be required to wait for two years to apply for another mini or major grant.

Mini-grant applications will be reviewed on a quarterly basis. 

Grant deadlines are the last day of each quarter:
  •  March 31
  • June 30
  • September 30
  • December 31

Suggestion Box

We would love to hear from you!

Our grant application is currently under construction.