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 
Greater Boston Housing Report Card cover

Report | Neighborhoods and Housing

Greater Boston Housing Report Card 2021

The 18th Annual Greater Boston Housing Report Card looks at the effects of COVID on the region's economy and housing, and highlights some of the policies that could provide permanent improvements in housing affordability and availability.

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Report | Racial Equity

The Color of the Capital Gap

Boston Indicators and the Foundation's Economic Inclusion team, in partnership with the Coalition for an Equitable Economy, explore the many elements feeding into the troubling lack of access to capital for entrepreneurs and business owners of color - and the local policy solutions that could close the gap.

Download the report
Greater Boston Housing Report Card cover

Video | Neighborhoods and Housing

The Journey from Pandemic to Permanent Changes in Housing

The release of the 2021 Greater Boston Housing Report Card served as a look back at a pandemic, and a look ahead to what it taught us about economic and policy interventions that could advance the long-term fight for housing equity.

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A picture of three women of color on graduation day. Two are wearing purple graduation robes, smiling, one of whom has her hands in the air. The third woman is standing in between the two graduates, wearing a black coat and holding an umbrella. Graduates and their families are in the background.

Video | Education

Pathways to Economic Mobility: Identifying the Labor Market Value of ​​​​​Community College in Massachusetts

On June 9, we heard some good news: The economic returns for students who enroll in community college are strong and positive, according to a new report from Boston Foundation, MassINC and Dukakis Center at Northeastern University. After a report presentation, we heard from panel of leaders, researchers, educators and students who shared reactions to the findings and discussed their implications for policy, practice, and investment.

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Boston Opportunity Youth Collaborative logo; teal and black text on a white background

Video | The Boston Opportunity Agenda

Opportunity Youth Collaborative Data for Impact

On June 8, 2021, representatives from Boston Public Schools and Bunker Hill Community College, as well as youth and young adult leaders, spoke about their work with the Opportunity Youth Collaborative. They shared lessons learned from their work using data to address racial inequity in student experience and outcomes and their goals for the future.

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Health Starts at Home report cover

Video | Health Starts at Home

Health Starts at Home

On June 1, the Boston Foundation hosted a forum in which evaluation researchers presented data, representatives from the Health Starts at Home partnerships talked about their respective approaches and learnings, and a panel of housing and health experts talked about the findings in relation to the daily work of physician, administrator and public servant.

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In center photo, two drawings of women of Asian descent with the words "NO HATE" written below them. These drawings are being held up by people in a rally outdoors.

Video | Asian Community Fund

Building AAPI Power

During this May 24, 2021 forum hosted by the Asian Community Fund and the Boston Foundation, Anne Kiyono Calef (Research Fellow, Boston Indicators) presented data assessing the current needs of AAPI communities. Her presentation was followed by a panel discussion featuring community leaders who not only shared how their organizations are supporting AAPI communities, but also how we can work together to meet these needs while building AAPI power.

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