Saheli staff members Divya Chaturvedi, Renu Tewarie, Deepali Gulati, Jigna Shah and Madlin Shehada, celebrate receiving the Cummings Grant

Saheli Inc. awarded $100,000 Cummings Grant over 4 years

Burlington, June 1, 2021 – Saheli Inc. is one of 140 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Program. Chosen from a total of 590 applicants during a competitive review process, Saheli Inc. was awarded $100,000 from the Cummings Foundation this year spread over next 4 years.

Saheli Inc. is a nonprofit based in Burlington dedicated to providing essential services to South Asian and Arab domestic violence survivors and their children. Through a variety of intervention, prevention and empowerment services, Saheli works towards empowering survivors to reach a point where they can be self-sufficient, healthy and free from abuse.

According to Neelam Wali, President of Saheli Board, “Saheli promotes language and culture access as it core services. The Cummings Grant will allow Saheli to deepen its capacity to provide culture and language access thus enabling many more survivors of domestic violence to live safely and without fear.”

The grant’s funds will go towards providing essential resources and services to South Asian and Arab survivors of domestic violence in the greater Burlington area. Specifically, it will go towards expanding Saheli’s multilingual helpline, language access, supporting their economic empowerment and legal advocacy programs, and improving their financial literacy workshops and free tax clinics.

The Cummings $25 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. 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. This Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 10 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the foundation.

“We aim to help meet the needs of people in all segments of our local community,” said Cummings Foundation executive director Joel Swets. “It is the incredible organizations we fund, however, that do the actual daily work to empower our neighbors, educate our children, fight for equity, and so much more.”

With the help of about 80 volunteers, the Foundation first identified 140 organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each. Among the winners were first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that had previously received Cummings Foundation grants. Forty of this latter group of repeat recipients were then selected to have their grants elevated to 10-year awards ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 each.

“We have adopted a democratic approach to philanthropy, which empowers an impressive roster of dedicated volunteers to decide more than half of all our grant winners each year,” said Swets. “We benefit from their diverse backgrounds and perspectives; they benefit from a meaningful and fulfilling experience; and the nonprofit often benefit from increased exposure and new advocates.”

This year’s grant recipients represent a wide variety of causes, including social justice, homelessness, prevention, affordable housing, education, violence prevention, and food insecurity. The nonprofits are spread across 43 different cities and towns. Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $300 million to greater Boston nonprofits. The complete list of 140 grant winners, plus more than 800 previous recipients, is available at

About Saheli Inc.

Saheli was founded in 1996 by a group of passionate South Asian immigrant women dedicated to helping and providing resources for survivors of domestic violence within the South Asian community. For over two decades, Saheli has offered non-judgmental culturally sensitive domestic and sexual violence services that are vital to the wellbeing of immigrant survivors. Saheli’s domestic and sexual violence intervention, prevention, and empowerment services include a multilingual hotline, support groups, an economic empowerment program, financial literacy workshops and free tax clinics, a legal advocacy program, and so much more. Additional information is available at

About Cummings Foundation

Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings and has grown to be one of the three largest private foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities in Marlborough and Woburn, and Veterinary School at Tufts, LLC in North Grafton. Additional information is available at

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