UMass Boston

Community Mediation Center Grant Program

FY25-27 GRANT APPLICATION REQUEST OPEN THROUGH JULY 15. Click here for more information. 

The statutory MA Community Mediation Center Grant Program (CMC Grant Program), created in 2012 through adoption of G.L. Ch. 75, s. 47, is administered by MOPC to advance the public mission of community mediation in the Commonwealth. The program grew out of the Legislative Study: A Framework to Strengthen Massachusetts Community Mediation as a Cost-Effective Public Service, conducted in 2011. Through this Grant Program, MOPC allocates state operational funding to qualified community mediation centers located across the state that provide free or lost cost mediation and other conflict resolution services to their communities.  

Community Mediation 

Mediation is a widely practiced conflict resolution and prevention approach that has historical roots across cultures. In the United States today, community mediation is an established local conflict resolution resource that provides a confidential forum for community members to directly resolve conflicts with one another with the help of an impartial mediator. If all parties are interested and willing to engage in the process, any issue is suitable for mediation, including family, neighborhood, business, organizational, municipal, and others giving people control over the outcome of the process. Mediation services are provided by trained staff and volunteer mediators and are available to all.  

Community Mediation Centers 

Through their community-centered service model, centers increase access to justice; build community capacity, relationships, and social capital; and serve as the primary trainers of mediators in both the private and public sectors. MOPC’s unrestricted operational and performance-based funding allows centers to continue to provide these benefits in a sustainable way by supporting the stability of center operations. This organizational stability further reinforces centers’ capacity to grow their programs and infrastructure and leverage additional investments. 

Grant Program Goals 

  1. Serve: Provide access to conflict resolution for all Massachusetts residents by promoting community mediation as an affordable public service and by supporting community and organizational partnerships statewide. 
  1. Stabilize: Provide a consistent funding source for centers with performance based public accountability to promote the stability of center operations. 
  1. Sustain: Make public investment in community mediation centers that can be leveraged to further diversify funding and create long-term center sustainability.   

Funding Model 

The funding model for the operating grants under the CMC Grant Program has three components that are assessed by an independent Grant Review Committee and MOPC’s executive director. 

  1. The first component addresses how a center is meeting the qualifying "Twelve-Point Model" of community mediation. This set of standards serves as the basis for defining community mediation in MA. Centers that confirm alignment with the twelve-point model qualify for a baseline grant awarded in equal amounts across all funded centers. 
  2. The second component assesses a center’s performance with the aim of encouraging work towards continually increasing the range, quality and accessibility of conflict resolution services provided to communities. Centers submit data on caseload activity and self-defined SMART goals in targeted areas under the Twelve-Point Model framework. The performance awards are based on performance levels in both areas and vary across centers depending on their performance levels. 
  3. The third component requires centers to raise a cash match for their total operating grant award. The amount of the cash match is determined based on the level of the center’s caseload activity. The purpose of this grant component is to ensure center sustainability through diversification of funding. 

Excellence and Capacity Building  

Since the CMC Grant Program’s inception, MOPC and the state-funded centers have been collaborating on statewide community mediation excellence and capacity-building initiatives, with the joint benefits of developing quality standards and providing a platform to attract additional funding. Efforts have involved creating shared learning objectives, sharing resources, sponsoring trainings for mediators and staff in new program areas (e.g., re-entry, housing, municipal) and additional conflict resolution methodologies (e.g., restorative justice, conflict coaching), and launching network-wide learning communities to support high quality program services and project grants (e.g., youth, DEI). Most recently, MOPC launched a trainer development project to build the skills of center trainers and the training capacity of the community mediation network.   

Evaluation & Research 

MOPC evaluates the performance of the community mediation centers to ensure effective implementation, measurable impact, and a return on investment of public funding and reports annually on the Grant Program performance to the Governor, Legislature, and the Trial Court. Data collection and reporting is managed by MOPC using a unified database deployed by the centers. For more information, see Research & Evaluation

Grant Application Request Process  

The Grant Application Request (GAR) process is open periodically subject to the availability of funding for the CMC Grant Program through MA state budget appropriations.  If a center that currently does not receive grant support wishes to apply for funding, they should contact MOPC for information. 

The CMC Grant Program grant-making process is intended for community mediation centers who provide free or low-cost services through volunteer mediators and can demonstrate that their mission and operations are aligned with the Twelve-Point Model. Alignment with the Twelve-Point Model is a pre-requisite for funding qualification. 

FY25-27 Grant Application Request

The Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration (MOPC) of the University of Massachusetts Boston is accepting grant applications to provide operational and program funding to pre-qualified community mediation centers for the grant period FY 2025-2027 under the Community Mediation Center Grant Program pursuant to G. L. Ch. 75, Section 47. 

State operating grants awarded under the Community Mediation Center Grant Program support private non-profit and public agency-based community mediation centers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. To be eligible for funding through this Grant Application Request (GAR), centers must show that they are complying with the Twelve-Point Model of community mediation and have a proven track record of service to their communities. Funding is projected to cover baseline and performance-based awards for up to twelve (12) pre-qualified centers and a limited number of program project grants for pre-qualified centers.

Submission Deadline: Grant applicants must submit PDFs of Grant Application forms by email no later than 5:00 PM on Monday, July 15, 2024, to with “MOPC GAR” in the subject line. A briefing to answer questions from prospective grant applicants will be held via Zoom on Friday, June 14, 2024, at 9:30 AM. The Zoom meeting link is provided in the GAR. Participation in the briefing is a required condition of the grant application process. 

Grant Application Request Documents

FY25-27 GAR Guidelines

FORM #1: Center Operating Grant

FORM #2A: DEI Organizational Grant

FORM #2B: DEI Expansion Grant 

FORM #3: Youth Grant

FORM #4: Reentry Grant

FORM #5: Housing Grant 

FY25-27 Budget Summary Spreadsheet


MOPC Contact 

Essie Martsinkovsky, Program Manager, or 617-287-3178 

Connect with currently funded community mediation centers: 

Other Resources 

For more information on the MA network of Community Mediation Centers see Resolution Massachusetts website: