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 

Report | Arts and Culture

Shared Spaces: Learnings from the Place Leadership Network

A web collection and a new report capture some of the impacts and lessons learned of the Place Leadership Network, a year-long pilot bringing together a diverse cohort of place-based organizations to learn, build a network, and work toward creating more equitable spaces in Greater Boston

Download the report
Report cover of "A Culture of Excellence: A Case Study of the Benjamin Banneker Charter Public School."


A Culture of Excellence: A Case Study of the Benjamin Banneker Charter Public School

Before COVID-19 forced school closures across Massachusetts, the Boston Foundation partnered with the Rennie Center to conduct a case study of the Benjamin Banneker Charter Public School. The case study tells the Banneker’s remarkable story of school improvement and sustained excellence, describing how the school achieves success by creating an environment that celebrates and affirms the culture and identity of every student, family, and staff member.

Download the report
Studio B at The Record Co. - a warmly lit recording studio with a red carpet and a drum set in the center of the room. Photo by Jenny Bergman.

Video | Arts and Culture

Bright Spots, Big Questions: Cultural Spaces in Greater Boston

During the pandemic, cultural organizations are finding new ways to build and finance space for rehearsal and recording, classes, performances, culinary enterprises, and more. On March 31, 2021, leaders of four Boston-area organizations operating or seeking to build new cultural space shared how they are approaching new business models, how they are faring in the pandemic, and the challenges and opportunities they see in retaining and creating new arts and cultural workspaces in the region.

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Overhead shot of a white mug full of coffee sitting on a bed of coffee beans.

Video | Early Childhood

Early Childhood Coffee and Conversation: Vaccine Hesitancy

On March 12, 2021, early education leaders, grassroots leaders, health care providers and child care directors explored vaccine hesitancy and what it means for the education community. They covered historical and current trends, community resources and how to support those who need more information.

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