TBF News Summer 2022 Masthead
Imari and Hank at ICA

'Not A Zero Sum Game': Embrace Ideas Festival

The Boston Foundation proudly hosted the opening session of the five-day Embrace Ideas Festival, organized by King Boston and featuring dozens of speakers discussing central themes of race and equity at venues across the city.

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Heather McGhee

The Interview: Heather McGhee, 'The Sum of Us'

In the headline discussion of the Embrace Ideas Festival at TBF, President and CEO Lee Pelton sat down with author Heather McGhee for a thought-provoking discussion of the themes of her book, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

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Anne Bromer

The Last Mile to Home

A Boston Foundation donor with a longstanding interest in housing justice finds an innovative (and replicable) way to help the Boston Neighborhood Community Land Trust preserve access to affordable housing near Upham's Corner in Dorchester.

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Live Arts Boston: Equity in the Arts

Lumniarium dance
Luminarium Dance / Photo:Olivia Moon Photography

The pandemic has been hard on the entire arts sector and brutal for the performing arts which thrive on live audiences. In June, Live Arts Boston (LAB), a partnership of the Barr Foundation and TBF, awarded nearly $1 million to 50 performing artists and groups. More than 78 percent of grants went to BIPOC artists and groups.

LAB provides up to $15,000 in project-specific funds to create, produce or present new performing arts work for Greater Boston audiences. It also offers grantees access to an invaluable resource—Dunamis, a professional development organization specializing in the support and training of Boston’s emerging artists and arts-managers of color. A partner of LAB since 2020, the Dunamis team meets creatives where they are at any stage of their careers, offering one-on-one consultation, project advising, and an evolving array of professional development workshops.

Listen to Dexter's L.A.B., a Dunamis-produced podcast featuring LAB grantees exploring their creative process.

TBF Welcomes New Board Members

Jane Steinmetz

Two new members joined the TBF Board in July: Jane Steinmetz, the Office Managing Principal of Ernst & Young LLP’s Boston office, and Raj Sharma, Managing Director/Private Wealth Advisor and Founder of The Sharma Group at Merrill Private Wealth Management.

“It is with great excitement that we welcome Jane Steinmetz and Raj Sharma to the Board,” said Board Chair Linda Mason.

Raj Sharma

“Jane is both a renowned business executive in the city and an active and thoughtful leader in the nonprofit sector, and Raj brings both tremendous acumen and insights as a financial advisor and his own history as a leader and advisor for a number of organizations.” With the new appointments, the Boston Foundation’s Board of Directors is majority female—with 11 of the 19 seats occupied by women—and the most racially and ethnically diverse it has been in its history.

A Record-Setting Response to COVID-19

COVID 19 Response Fund final report cover Read the report

In July, the Boston Foundation announced that it had wrapped up its COVID-19 Response Fund, a two-plus year effort to distribute grants quickly and efficiently to the remarkable community-based nonprofits supporting communities during the pandemic. The Response Fund received and distributed more than $18 million to Massachusetts nonprofits from 1,600 individual and corporate donors. More than half of those donors were first-time donors to the Boston Foundation. In addition, Boston Foundation donors stepped up their giving in other ways with a record-setting $200 million in grants made from Donor Advised Funds.

Read more about this effort in the COVID-19 Fund summary report, or explore the list of grantees and a recap of our series on nonprofits during the pandemic at tbf.org/covid19fund.

From Our President and CEO

Chelsea 2021

On a beautiful afternoon in the City of Chelsea, I had the honor of attending the capstone event of an innovative and community-centered approach to philanthropy called Chelsea 2021. It began with $150,000 in seed funding from our COVID-19 Response Fund and brought TBF donors together with nonprofit leaders, community members, Chelsea officials and our staff to decide how to spend what eventually added up to $825,000 thanks to the generosity of our donors. The example shines a light on the practice of trust-based philanthropy. Learning from leaders on the ground is the only way forward as we nourish ideas that contribute to a more equitable and just Greater Boston.

Chelsea 2021 Celebrates a Successful Experiment

Chelsea 2021 event photo
Representatives of the nonprofits supported by Chelsea 2021 (from left): Gladys Vega, Peter Barros, Sara Arman, Joan Cromwell and Kyle Umemba. Photo by Darlene DeVita.

The challenges faced by the city of Chelsea during the COVID-19 pandemic inspired it. Thoughtful donors and the knowledge and expertise of the people of Chelsea made it a reality. On June 7, everyone involved with the experiment in participatory philanthropy called Chelsea 2021 gathered in Chelsea Square to celebrate.

Over the course of the initiative, Chelsea organizations and leaders were strengthened, and donors and nonprofits alike say they are eager to follow up with similar initiatives.