Donor Education + Events

Our programs and events keep you in touch with community issues and your own approach to philanthropy.

Our donors are always invited to Boston Foundation programs that are open to the public. Chief among these is Understanding Boston, a series of forums, educational events and research presentations that provide information and insight into issues affecting Greater Boston, its neighborhoods and the region. See recent Understanding Reports and forum videos below.

Donor-Only Events

The Boston Foundation hosts events for donors that engage them in programmatic topics (an evening at Commonwealth Shakespeare, for example, or a screening of a film about a prison transition program) and that introduce them to thought leaders in philanthropy: Donors were invited to a “Jeffersonian Dinner” with Dr. Atul Gawande, and to a concert and conversation with Peter Buffett at the Isabel Stewart Gardner Museum. We offer a series of philanthropic workshops each year to help donors and their friends learn more about the mechanics of estate and charitable gift planning from experts in the field. Past programs have included: 

  • Responding to Financial Markets: Life Income and Related Plans
  • Charitable Planning with Real Estate Interests
  • Estate and Gift Planning Basics
  • Charitable Contributions of IRA and Qualified Retirement Plan Assets
  • Planning for the Future of Your Donor Advised Fund 
Avenues to the Arts cover

Report | Arts and Culture

Avenues to the Arts: A New Creative District for Boston

How can Boston raise the profile of its world-class cultural offerings? This new report, created from two years of interviews and discussions, suggests branding a new creative district "The Avenues to the Arts," and bringing together civic, commercial and cultural assets to create a powerful arts partnership

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Eileen McAnneny presents at the Grade Incomplete forum

Video | Education

Grade Incomplete: Understanding Boston Forum

In a highly engaging Understnading Boston forum, community college funding took center stage. The Boston Foundation and Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation presented an examination of the fate of the Massachusetts' community college performace funding formula, and college presidents and the audience joined in a vibrant discussion of funding, private support and the opportunities and challenges facing the 15-campus system.

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Video | Civic Leadership

Census 2020 Explained

An October 24 forum for the release of the new Boston Indicators report "Census 2020, Explained" highlighted the critical importance of an accurate Census for Massachusetts, and featured an interesting conversation with the regional director for the US Census.

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Video | Civic Leadership

Boston Is Booming... But for Whom?

Boston as a whole is enjoying an era of growth, but the prosperity isn't distributed equally among various ethnic and socioeconomic groups, according to a new Boston Indicators report that was the focus of an October 10 event at the Edgerley Center for Civic Leadership

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Work of Leisure

Video

The Work of Leisure

At this forum, the Boston Foundation released "The Work of Leisure: Behind the Scenes of Massachusetts' Leisure, Hospitality and Tourism Industry" - the first such study in 27 years - which is a detailed report that reveals how ubiquitous this industry really is and how much influence it has. The forum included a presentation of the report and a panel discussion about the implications of its findings.

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Holyoke Community College Patrick Prize

Video

2018 Patrick Prize for Community Colleges

The Boston Foundation welcomed community college leaders and staff to the Foundation on June 5th where it was announced that Holyoke Community College has been selected as the winner of the 2018 Deval Patrick Prize for Community Colleges.

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