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 
HSAH Interim Findings cover

Report | Health and Wellness

Health Starts at Home Interim Findings report

This report from Health Resources in Action shares some of the promising early findings from our Health Starts at Home partners on the impact of coordinated health and housing supports for housing and health care unstable families in Greater Boston.

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Report | Jobs and Economic Development

Catapult Forward: Accelerating a Next-Generation Workforce Ecosystem in Greater Boston

A strong economy is creating a unique moment for a new wave of workforce development. In this report, we explore how "next gen" workforce development organizations are partnering with business, connecting with new groups of job seekers, and focusing on job quality and retention to create new opportunities and a more effective workforce.

Download the report
Annual report cover


2019 Annual Report: Look What We Accomplished Together

The 2019 Annual Report from the Boston Foundation celebrates the power of partnerships. Meet some of the donors, partners in research, nonprofit leaders, other funders, grassroots activists and our close allies in business and in government who together have made possible remarkable advances in the arts, education, workforce development and more.

Download the report
ROI of ESOL Programs main image

Video | Jobs and Economic Development

The Powerful Economic and Social Returns of ESOL Programming

The Boston Foundation and Latino Legacy Fund release a report from Northeastern University researchers that show ESOL programs work - but there are far too few of them for the quarter-million working-age adults in need of English-language learning.

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Brenda Cassellius

Video | Education

What’s Next for Boston’s Public Schools?

Looking back at her first few months and ahead at the future, Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius shared her plans and listened as a panel of her peers discussed what it might take to move BPS forward.

Kids today cover image

Video | Demographics

Boston’s Kids Today: Where Are They?

At the first forum of 2020, education leaders and journalists joined the discussion of a new report that finds the number of school-aged children in Boston falling, and the city's schools becoming more segregated.

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MJ Ryan Abby Marquard

Video | Jobs and Economic Development

Catapult Forward

How can workforce development organizations connect jobseekers and employers in one of the tightest job markets in recent memory? A new report and forum brought to light some ideas that successful "next-gen" organizations are using to make a difference.

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Soni Gupta

Video | Neighborhoods and Housing

Greater Boston Housing Report Card 2019

A full house at the Edgerley Center for Civic leadership explored the implications of local control when it comes to addressing Greater Boston's pernicious housing challenges.

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