Objectives & Strategies

All of our objectives and strategies are designed to encourage and nurture “thriving people and vibrant places” throughout Greater Boston.  They are the result of information and insights gained from our highly diverse community—through surveys, focus groups and numerous conversations with Greater Boston’s civic and nonprofit leaders.  They are also informed by an enormous body of research conducted by the Foundation and our partners over the last decade, providing us with unique insights into the problems and challenges we face as a community. 

Objectives and Strategies

  • Increasing Philanthropic Resources

    Senior photo
    A central part of our mission is to help individuals, families and businesses engage in effective and fulfilling philanthropy.  We do this by encouraging planned and legacy gifts to the Permanent Fund for Boston, which supports all of our grantmaking in Greater Boston.  We also work closely with those who have established Donor Advised Funds at the Foundation to make their giving as meaningful and effective as possible.  For those wishing to go deeper to increase the impact of their philanthropy we offer customized consulting services through The Philanthropic Initiative.  And we encourage personal philanthropy with our groundbreaking online resource called the Giving Common.
  • Education to Career

    Student linbratry photo
    Education has the power to lift individuals and families out of poverty and into life-sustaining jobs.  Our work in this area focuses on improving outcomes for Boston’s residents along the entire education pipeline, including: promoting structural reform throughout the entire K-12 system; increasing the college graduation rate for low-income, minority and first-generation college students; and promoting the career advancement and economic security of low-income individuals and families.  We also helped to launch major public/private partnerships in education, including the Success Boston college completion initiative and the Boston Opportunity Agenda, which focuses on cradle to career education and development.
  • Health and Wellness

    Girls softball photo
    A tremendous body of evidence shows that we are experiencing an epidemic of obesity and chronic disease in Massachusetts and across the country.  As a result, health care costs are crowding out investments in all of the determinants of health, such as education, recreation and the environment.  Our work in this area focuses on encouraging healthy behaviors among Boston residents and increasing access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity with a particular focus on children.  We are also a major partner in the statewide Healthy People/Healthy Economy Coalition.
  • Jobs and Housing

    AbigailLugay  photo

    Housing, jobs and local businesses are critical components of thriving neighborhoods and play a key stabilizing role for families and communities.  They are also a core component of our region’s competitiveness.  Combined effects of the recent economic crisis and a long-term regional housing shortage have created serious affordability challenges across income groups, but have a particularly profound effect on our lowest income families and individuals. Our work in this area focuses on increasing neighborhood stability, livability and vitality with a particular emphasis on housing and jobs for vulnerable populations.

  • Community Safety

    Housing development  photo
    Families and individuals can only thrive if they live and work in safe and vibrant neighborhoods.  Research from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government has shown that the vast majority of youth violence occurs in the most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods of Boston, including Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury and parts of the South End.  In response, the Boston Foundation created StreetSafe Boston, a five-year, $18 million special initiative entirely focused on these neighborhoods.  We also work to keep children occupied and safe through the CHAMPS Boston youth development initiative and My Summer in the City programming.
  • Civic and Cultural Vitality

    Dancing girls  photo
    Investing in the cultural vitality and richness of Boston’s communities is key to improving the quality of life for residents of all ages and our local economy.  The Boston Foundation is devoted to strengthening and celebrating our region’s diverse audiences, artists and nonprofit cultural organizations—and promoting full participation and representation in arts and culture through a wide range of opportunities across Greater Boston.
Back to Top