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 
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Report | Racial Equity

A Guaranteed Income for Massachusetts

Boston Indicators teams up with the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center and the Economic Security Project to explore how an expansion of the state Earned Income Tax Credit could provide a guaranteed income stream, and improved financial security, to over 1.7 million Massachusetts residents in families earning less than $70,000 per year.

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Racial Equity in Housing GBHRC 2020 cover

Report | Neighborhoods and Housing

Race, Equity & Housing in the Time of COVID-19

In the second installment of the Greater Boston Housing Report Card report series, researchers from the UMass Donahue Institute highlight the links between decades of housing inequity and lack of affordability and the spread of COVID-19 in 2020.

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Voucher report cover


Qualified Renters Need Not Apply

A new study from the Housing Discrimination Testing Program at Suffolk University Law School, supported by the Boston Foundation, finds strong evidence of discrimination against Black and lower-income renters by agents and housing providers in Boston.

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A large number of people standing in line outside - all wearing masks - at a food bank.

Video | Health and Wellness

The State of Hunger: Before & Since the Pandemic

The Boston Foundation presents an updated look at food insecurity before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, with new research from Boston Indicators, Project Bread and CHildren's HealthWatch, and a keynote from Massachusetts Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley.

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Video | Racial Equity

Opportunity, Justice and Philanthropy

The Boston Foundation and the Obama Foundation collaborate on a discussion of how philanthropists must seize this critical moment in history to connect with a new generation of nonprofits and leaders of color.

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Two photos, from left to right; Cheryl Dorsey smiling, wearing a silk, blue, short-sleeved shirt. Orlando Watkins smiling, sitting, one arm resting on a table next to him, wearing a gray suit and a blue and red tie.

Video | Racial Equity

Breaking Down Racial Barriers to Philanthropy

On September 30, 2020, TBF's VP for Programs Orlando Watkins and Echoing Green President Cheryl Dorsey discussed the racial inequities in philanthropy, and our unique opportunity to wipe them away now.

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GBHRC 2020 webinars banner

Video | Neighborhoods and Housing

The 2020 Greater Boston Housing Report Card, Part 3: Housing Equity and Resilience in Greater Boston's Post-COVID Economy

The Boston Foundation’s 17th Greater Boston Housing Report Card, formatted into a webinar series in this pandemic year, presented its third and final research brief on September 23. Alicia Sasser Modestino, Research Director at Northeastern University’s Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, shared data she had analyzed for a look ahead at what lies on the housing horizon as our region begins an economic recovery after COVID-19.

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