Common Good Reads Grant

Common Good Reads funds reading and discussion series—for libraries, correctional facilities, Adult Basic Education programs, and other community organizations—that respond to Mass Humanities’ thematic initiative Negotiating the Social Contract and make use of Pulitzer Prize-winning literature and journalism (with an emphasis on journalism). Applicants create a multi-session public series that uses works from Mass Humanities’ Common Good Reads Resource Guide or other Pulitzer Prize-winning readings.

Scholars who would like to be added to the Common Good Reads discussion facilitators list should fill out the scholar involvement form.

Note: Pulitzer is celebrating 100 years of journalists, novelists, nonfiction writers, photographers, cartoonists, composers, playwrights, biographers, historians, and poets awarded Pulitzer Prizes. This video is a tribute to them all.

Applicants who wish to modify a Common Good Reads project into something that does not fit these guidelines may want to apply for an Open Discussion grant instead. Please contact Abbye Meyer if you have questions.

Essentials for Applicants

  • All nonprofit and government organizations that serve Massachusetts residents are eligible to apply.
  • Humanities scholar-facilitator must be confirmed at the time of application.
  • Applicants may request a maximum of $2,000 or $2,500 (see Common Good Reads guidelines (pdf) for maximum amount eligibility).
  • Applicants ensure a minimum of 15 participants.
  • Download and read the Common Good Reads guidelines (pdf) before submitting an application. Full instructions on how to apply online can be found in the guidelines.


  • Discussion Grants deadlines are four times a year and notification is within three weeks of submission. See Discussion Grants deadline chart for specific dates.
  • LOI forms must be submitted online at least two weeks before the application deadline. You may contact Mass Humanities staff or submit an LOI form online at any time.
  • Submit your online LOI form at least ten weeks ahead of your intended start date, so that you can submit your online application at least eight weeks ahead of your intended start date.
  • For guidance in scheduling a discussion project, please see our Discussion Grant Coordinator’s Guide (pdf).

Grant Publicity Requirements, click here.

Common Good Reads is part of the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Initiative, a joint venture of the Pulitzer Prizes Board and the Federation of State Humanities Councils in celebration of the 2016 centennial of the Prizes. The initiative seeks to illuminate the impact of journalism and the humanities on American life today, to imagine their future and to inspire new generations to consider the values represented by the body of Pulitzer Prize-winning work. For their generous support for the Campfires Initiative, we thank the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Pulitzer Prizes Board, and Columbia University.