Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration

at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Community Mediation Center Grant Program

Representatives of the Community Mediation Centers

The Community Mediation Center Grant Program (“CMC Grant Program") is administered by the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration (MOPC) pursuant to G.L. Ch. 75, Section 47 to advance the public mission of community mediation in the commonwealth and allocate state operational funding to qualified Massachusetts community mediation centers. The goal of the CMC Grant Program is to broaden access to dispute resolution for all Massachusetts residents by promoting community mediation as an affordable public service. A community mediation center is defined by the statute as “a community-based program of a private nonprofit or public agency organized for the resolution of disputes or for a public service, charitable or educational purpose, that provides direct access to free or low-cost mediation services at any stage of a conflict through trained community volunteers and involves community members in the governance of the center.” Community mediation is a proven conflict resolution and prevention mechanism that increases access to justice for low-income and marginalized populations and builds community capacity, relationships and social capital. Community mediation centers serve as the primary trainers of mediators in the private and public sectors and as the prime innovators in conflict resolution programs for communities.

The CMC Grant Program provides a sustainable funding framework that enables investment in existing and new community mediation programming and infrastructure. The program was built on findings and recommendations from the Legislative Study: A Framework to Strengthen Massachusetts Community Mediation as a Cost-Effective Public Service, conducted by MOPC in November 2011. The Program’s eligibility criteria and performance-based grant distribution system were adapted from a successful working model at Maryland’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (MACRO). The Massachusetts version was developed by MOPC to achieve incentivized growth and diversification of funding.  MOPC evaluates the performance of the community mediation centers to ensure a return on investment and provide written reports on the Grant Program performance to the Legislature. The funding model for the CMC Grant Program contains three components. The first addresses how a center is meeting the Twelve-Point Model of community mediation. This set of criteria serves as the basis for a baseline grant award. The second component consists of a range of performance levels with the aim of encouraging centers to work toward continually increasing the conflict resolution services provided to their communities. This serves as the basis for a performance-based grant award. The third component requires centers to raise a cash match that corresponds to their performance level in order to ensure center sustainability through diversification of funding.

The Grant Application Request (GAR) process to qualify community mediation centers for operating grants is open for a limited period on an annual basis subject to the availability of funding for the CMC Grant Program through Massachusetts state budget appropriations.

NEW: Click here for the FY 2016 CMC Grant Application Process page

Click here for the FY 2014 CMC Grant Program Report & Evaluation or here for the Executive Summary

Click here for a list of FY 2015 funded centers and the counties they serve

Click here for the FY 2013 CMC Grant Program Mid Year Progress Report (January 2013)

Click here for a list of FY 2013 funded centers

Please note: This grant process is for mediation programs and not for programs using other alternative dispute resolution processes.

MA Community Mediation Grant Program Advisory Committee

Melissa Brodrick
Ombudsperson, Harvard Medical School (former director, MA Association of Mediation Programs)

Thomas Coury
Executive Director, Gardiner Howland Shaw Foundation

Nancy Fleming
Executive Director, Cape Cod Dispute Resolution Center, Inc. d/b/a Cape Mediation

Wendy Foxmyn
Regional Services & Innovations Manager, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission

Darren Kew
Associate Professor, Graduate Programs on Dispute Resolution, University of Massachusetts Boston

Timothy Linnehan
Acting Director, Support Services Department, Massachusetts Trial Court

Elizabeth Lynch
Executive Director, Massachusetts Bar Foundation

Hon. Mark Mason
Associate Justice, Springfield District Court (Chair, Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution)

Susan Ostberg
Former Executive Director, Metro West Mediation Services, Inc. (Co-Chair, Community Mediation Coalition of MA)

Hon. Gail Perlman (Ret)
Associate Justice, Hampshire Probate & Family Court (former Chair, Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution)

Robert Smith
Professor, Suffolk University Law School, Boston, MA

Elizabeth Williams
Co-Director, The Mediation & Training Collaborative of Community Action of the Franklin, Hampshire, and North Quabbin Regions, Inc. (Co-Chair, Community Mediation Coalition of MA)

FY 2014 Year-End Report & Evaluation

The Fiscal Year 2014 report and evaluation of the Community Mediation Center Grant Program is now available! Read More