The Permanent Fund for Boston

Help Shape the Future of the City You Love

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At the heart of everything the Boston Foundation has done over the last century—every grant it has made, every innovation it has supported, every cause it has championed—is its endowment, the Permanent Fund for Boston.  Established through bequests left by hundreds of visionary and forward-thinking Bostonians since 1917, this essential fund fuels all of the Foundation’s work and provides the resources that have sparked positive change and enabled new ideas.

The list of iconic institutions that have received seed funding from the Foundation over the years includes WGBH-TV, New England Aquarium, ABCD, American Repertory Theater, Greater Boston Food Bank, City Year, Citizen Schools, Year Up, Boston Landmarks Orchestra and Boston Children’s Chorus.  The Foundation was there at the beginning for all of these and many more.  (See the full list of the more than 100 times the Foundation was “There at the Beginning.”)

Read There at the Beginning: How the Boston Foundation Took a Chance on More Than 100 Great Ideas That Worked.

Watch a brief video showcasing many of the organizations.

In addition, the Foundation offered early funds for most of the city’s neighborhood health centers and community development corporations.  It also played a major role in the cleanup of Boston Harbor, helping to transform it from one of the filthiest bodies of water in the world to one of the cleanest urban harbors in America.

No one knows what the challenges of the next century will be, but we do know that the Boston Foundation will be there—adapting to the times and leading the way.  And all of its work will be underwritten by the Permanent Fund for Boston.

Why Now?  The Campaign for Boston

Boston stands at the pinnacle of the world today, but in the 1960s it was a decaying metropolis, hemorrhaging people, businesses and jobs to the suburbs and characterized by abandoned buildings, disinvestment and poverty.  It wasn’t easy, but the people of Boston turned their city around.  In order to thrive, however, a city needs to be constantly re-imagined.  And it has to work for everyone.

The American Dream is fundamental to the DNA of our city and our country…and is at serious risk today, with too many children living below the poverty line and too many people finding Boston a hard place to live and make a living.   The genius of America always has been in its commitment to widening access to success and holding out the prospect of mobility to more and more people.  We are at a point now in Boston where this commitment must be renewed if our city is going to continue to thrive.

The Boston Foundation is celebrating its 100th Anniversary in 2015.  This centennial moment offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those who deeply love Boston to strengthen the Permanent Fund for Boston, in the process equipping the Foundation to continue its history of making vital contributions to the never-ending process of civic reinvention.

Why You?

The Campaign for Boston seeks to engage those who have deep ties and affection for this city.  It seeks major bequests from individuals and families who want to leave a permanent legacy to the city they love.

Ways to Participate

We invite you to explore the many ways you can leave a bequest to the Campaign for Boston. They include:


For More Information

For information about the many creative ways you can leave a bequest to the Permanent Fund for Boston—through stocks, retirement funds and complex assets—please contact the Senior Director of Leadership Giving at 617-338-3910.