Photo Credit: Found in Translation | Dorchester, MA


The Claneil Foundation believes in the power of innovation in the non-profit world as a catalyst for social change. The Emerging Leaders Fund was created to support the critical role that executive directors play in launching and growing early-stage organizations. The Foundation recognizes that these individuals and their organizations face unique internal and external challenges: they devote time and energy to the everyday demands of building an organization while developing new thinking, trying untested approaches and cultivating broader networks.

To provide critical support for these leaders and their organizations, the Foundation awards a four-year unrestricted general operating grant totaling $240,000 to each recipient’s organization and access to a thoughtful, close-knit support network of peers. In addition, each grantee organization has access to $10,000 in professional development funds to support its designated leader(s).

Recipients are selected based on their creative vision, leadership capacity, potential for impact, and commitment to innovation and learning in one or more of the following issue areas: education, hunger & nutrition/food system, health & human services, environment. This grant program is focused on early-stage organizations located in the New England and Mid-Atlantic states. Grantees are selected based on nominations from a diverse pool of nominators who represent the foundation, nonprofit and business sectors. We typically receive over 100 nominations each year.

How to nominate

We are currently accepting nominations for the 2020 cohort.

If you have an organization that you would like to nominate, simply send an email to, and include the name of the organization, its leader(s), location, budget (if known) and a few sentences explaining the reason for your nomination.

We do not accept self-nominations. We ask that all nominations remain confidential.

Important Dates

Nominations due: October 1
Finalists selected: December 1 
Grantees selected: May 30

Please note: if a deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline will automatically be extended to the following business day.