James W. Blake "Catalyst" Award

Accelerating growth & impact in the local community

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James W. Blake served as President and CEO for HarborOne Bank for over 25 years. During his tenure, the Bank grew from$ 458 million to $4.5 billion in assets. Through this tremendous period of growth, Jim remained committed to the people and communities where HarborOne Bank had a presence. Jim lent his time, talent and voice to numerous local and state-wide organizations and encouraged staff and Bank leadership to do the same. Under Jim’s leadership, HarborOne established a first of its kind financial education center serving over 20,000 individuals and businesses, a robust college scholarship program which invests $1M in promising area students, and the HarborOne Foundations serving Massachusetts & Rhode Island that have donated over $3 Million to local nonprofit organizations. Beyond the time, wisdom and financial support, Jim served as a model for all who have had the pleasure to work with him, as he treated any and all with respect and dignity. As a social entrepreneur and business leader, Jim is a believer in the value of investing in quality organizations and watching them grow and make an impact in the cities and towns served by HarborOne.

Award Amount: One-time $25,000

Award Purpose

The annual James W. Blake “Catalyst” Award is intended to assist a local organization in dramatically accelerating their organizational development, impact and reach. The award will support transformative projects or small but critical capital projects that will have a substantial effect on the organization and who they serve.

Investment Focus Areas

  • Education that fuels future economic success: Our education grants help empower people to build personal assets and skills to create opportunities for economic mobility.
  • Safe and affordable housing: Our affordable housing grants support access to safe, clean and affordable places to live.
  • Basic Human Services: Our basic human services grants support organizations that meet the immediate needs of individuals and families while also supporting prevention and long term solutions for people living in difficult economic circumstances.

Eligibility Guidelines

  • Organizations primarily serving underrepresented and economically challenged or low- and moderate-income individuals and families.
  • Organizations that focuses their effort on creating opportunity and access in the areas of education (including mentoring), housing and basic needs
  • Registered 501c3 organization who demonstrates significant local impact.
  • Organization within HarborOne's Geographic area.

Additional Eligibility Guidelines

Although there are many worthy endeavors, this Award does not support the causes listed below.

  • Individuals including those seeking scholarships, fellowships, or sponsors for a particular cause
  • Alumni organizations
  • Animal related causes e.g., rescue societies
  • Beauty pageants
  • Major capital (bricks & mortar) or endowment campaigns
  • Fundraising dinners or events and tickets to fundraising events
  • Individual sports teams including youth sports teams and leagues
  • Advertising and promotional items or merchandise
  • Organizations designed primarily for lobbying, Political Action Committees, candidates, and lobbying
  • Single disease issues
  • Travel, including conferences, seminars, tours and student trips
  • The bank does not make grants to organizations for which program services are contingent on participation in religious services or events or adherence to religious doctrine.

Geographic Preference

  • Massachusetts: Cities and towns within the following counties: Bristol, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk.
  • Rhode Island: Greater Providence area and its surrounding communities

HarborOne Bank does not provide financial support to political organizations or candidates, activities for religious purposes, individual endeavors or organizations which are discriminatory in their practices.


Organizations are welcome to apply for HarborOne Bank’s James W. Blake “Catalyst" Award as well as the HarborOne Foundation. However, the organization is only eligible to receive funding from one source either the Foundation or HarborOne Bank. Organizations are eligible to receive funding only once per calendar year from either source.

Deadlines and Review Process

Applications for the James W. Blake “Catalyst” Award will be reviewed by an independent committee once a year.

  • Open date: March 1
  • Deadline: May 15
  • Decision: July

How to Apply

For your convenience, HarborOne Bank offers an online request process, which will help determine if your organization is eligible for support and collect all the information that we need to make a timely and informed decision.

First time applicants will be required to create a user name and password. This will allow organizations to track applications, funding decisions, as well as receive any follow up reports that need to be submitted. Applicants will have the option to save and finish their work at any time throughout the application process. After your initial account creation all subsequent times you visit the site you can simply login using your user name and password.

Our online application process has the following five steps:

  1. Eligibility Quiz: Applicants are required to complete an eligibility quiz to determine if their request meets basic eligibility requirements for support from the James W. Blake “Catalyst" Award.
  2. Organization Information: Applicants are required to complete basic organizational information including the official organization name, address, website, tax id number and brief overview.
  3. Contact Information: Applicants are required to submit contact information for the individual filling out the application as well as the President/CEO/Executive Director of the organization.
  4. Project/Program Information: Applicants are required to submit information about the program/project including a program summary, goals, objective, metrics and budget narrative, and other supporting information.

Attachments: Applicants are required to submit the following attachments as part of any funding request: 501c3 IRS Determination Letter, a W-9 Form with a revision date no older than 2018 is required, Detailed Organization and Program Budget, Latest Audited Financial Statements, Form 990, CV of President/CEO/Executive Director and list of Board of Directors. Please submit budgets in the Template Format provided.

Download Our Budget Template

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Please contact Jennifer White @ Community@HarborOne.Com with any questions.