The Chelsea Community Fund was established in December 1999 as the result of a community fundraising campaign that raised more than $750,000 in contributions and pledges from approximately 100 businesses, charitable foundations, the City of Chelsea and individuals. This amount was matched by a 750,000 "challenge grant" from the Clipper Ship Foundation, resulting in an endowment of $1.5 million. The Community Fund is housed at The Boston Foundation as an "advised fund" and as such The Boston Foundation provides investment and management services. The Chelsea Chelsea Fund Committee , a nine-member committee and donor representatives, reviews funding proposals and recommends grants to The Boston Foundation.

The purpose of the Chelsea Community Fund is to make grants that contribute to realizing the vision of Chelsea as a community, which is:

  • Knowledgable about it's own needs

  • Willing to mobilize it's own resources to respond to community members in need.

  • Working to strengthen it's capacity to respond to needs.

  • Able to mobilize it's resources by organizing and advocating for services.

  • Able to successfully attract external resources.

  • Able to successfully integrate external resources into it's local problem-solving efforts.

Under this vision, which has guided the implementation of the Chelsea Collaborative's Five-Year Human Services Plan, there is a shared sense of commitment, responsibility, and recognition of mutual benefit among both the community at large and the service providing institutions and organizations.

The fund typically makes grants to charitable, educational and other tax-exempt organizations which serve Chelsea residents, with a preference for Chelsea-based organizations.