Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



The FY2022 evaluation report prepared by MOPC for the tenth year of the Grant Program operations confirms that the state’s FY2022 appropriation of $2.7 million[1]continued to strengthen community mediation center operations statewide, expanded public awareness and utilization of community mediation, and maintained critical public programs focused on housing stability, youth empowerment, reducing recidivism and building capacity for diversity, equity and inclusion for center practices and services, while producing significant social and economic impacts, including a $22.1 million return on the state’s investment in cost-savings and leveraged resources. This impact demonstrates the public value and cost-effectiveness of this local conflict resolution infrastructure funded by the state.

The sizable state budget appropriation maintained for the CMC Grant Program in FY2022, a continuing pandemic period, was critical to the sustainability of statewide access to community mediation. State funding of $2,114,022 (75% of the appropriation) enabled the continuation of operating grants with required matches of 40-55% to 12 local centers across the state based on the quantity of services delivered, compliance with community mediation standards, and progress on goals to strengthen the centers’ public service missions. Program grants and technical assistance through the CMC Grant Program also contributed substantially to their financial stability as local, affordable dispute resolution resources. The total state funding comprised half of Center incomes, and the CMC Grant Program continued to be the largest single grant funding source. The 12 Centers used the state operational investment to leverage an additional $1.7 million from other private, state, local and/or federal government sponsors/funders, including private foundations. In addition to fundraising, the positive effect of state funding was reported by Centers across all categories of operations – center sustainability; staff, volunteer, and mediator numbers; professional development; diversity of mediators and parties served; and programs.

[1] The FY2022 state appropriation of $2,713,465 to the Community Mediation Grant Program was maintained in FY 2023 at the same level and continued the $200,000 earmark of funding for the statewide re-entry mediation program.


The policy of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts of promoting broad statewide access to dispute resolution is implemented through the statutory Community Mediation Center (CMC) Grant Program (G.L. ch.75 §47). This state-funded, performance-based grant program awards operating grants to local non-profit community mediation centers (Centers) under the administration of the MA Office of Public Collaboration (MOPC), the state’s statutory dispute resolution office (G.L. ch.75 §46). The CMC Grant Program goal is to advance the mission of community mediation as a cost-effective public service that increases access to justice. Community mediation centers deliver free or low-cost services to the public and with MOPC serve as the backbone of mediation in the state. They are publicly funded infrastructure on which dispute resolution programs are built.

Community Engaged/Serving

Part of the UMass Boston Community-Engaged Teaching, Research, and Service Series. //



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