In addition to our competitive grantmaking, the Boston Foundation also supports and raises resources for a series of ambitious special initiatives aimed at solving Greater Boston’s most serious and demanding challenges. These initiatives are developed when the Foundation, often in partnership with government, business and other funders, sets aside resources to address particular issues, frequently over a multi-year period. All of our special initiatives are informed by data and their success is tracked by the Boston Indicators Project.


  • Health Starts at Home

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    Health Starts at Home is an initiative hosted by the Boston Foundation that brings together housing and health-care organizations to support work that focuses on the positive benefits of stable, affordable housing on children’s health outcomes.

  • Philanthropy in the Innovation Economy

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    With the promise of rapid economic growth in Greater Boston comes the potential for an even larger income equality gap. We are dedicated to helping close this gap and are forging active partnerships to do so.  To reach this goal, we have launched Pledge 1% Boston, part of a global movement of startups and other innovation economy players who are making support of their communities integral to what they do.
  • Success Boston

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    Success Boston is Boston’s citywide college completion initiative. Together, the Boston Foundation, the Boston Public Schools (BPS), the City of Boston, 37 area institutions of higher education led by UMass Boston and local nonprofit partners are working to double the college completion rate for students from the BPS.

  • Healthy People/Healthy Economy

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    Healthy People/Healthy Economy is an initiative launched by the Boston Foundation and NEHI with the ambitious goal of making Massachusetts the national leader in health and wellness. The initiative was formed in response to the stunning findings of reports published by the Foundation and NEHI that showed that an epidemic of obesity and a rising tide of chronic disease are crowding out spending for all important determinants of health, such as education and recreation.
  • The Giving Common

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    Visitors to the Giving Common have the ability to search for nonprofits and causes important to them by geography, organization income size, keyword, mission category and more. Through this online portal, donors also have the opportunity to donate to nonprofits by credit card or through their Donor Advised Fund at the Boston Foundation.

  • SkillWorks

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    SkillWorks is a multiyear initiative, launched by the Boston Foundation in 2003 to improve workforce development in Boston and across Massachusetts.  SkillWorks brings together philanthropy, government, community organizations and employers to address the twin goals of helping low-income individuals attain family supporting jobs and helping businesses find skilled workers.
  • Boston Opportunity Agenda

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    The Boston Opportunity Agenda is dedicated to ensuring that all of Boston’s residents have the opportunity to acquire the education they need to find work in the region’s knowledge economy and to help them lead secure, fulfilling lives.
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