Boston Foundation and Its Donors Give $10,890,613 to Nonprofits in Tight Economy: Health & Human Services Grants Almost $500,000

March 27, 2003

Boston – At the March 27th meeting of the Boston Foundation Board of Directors, the Foundation awarded a total of $2,641,500 in discretionary grants to support the work of 67 nonprofit groups in the Greater Boston community.  In addition, the Foundation awarded $7,169,310 through Donor Advised Funds held by the Foundation, and $1,079,803 in designated funds to nonprofit organizations.  Combined discretionary, advised fund, and designated grants totaled $10,890,613 for the quarter, from December 13, 2002 to March 27, 2003. (An explanation of the different grant categories immediately precedes the grant listings below.)

Both the volume of requests submitted by local nonprofit groups for funding, and the dollars they requested, are down slightly from the same quarter last year.  However, the Foundation was able to support a smaller-than-average percentage of the total requested funds this quarter.

“One of our greatest challenges has been confronting the reality of significantly diminished assets as a result of the economic condition of the markets over the last several years,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation.  “This decline, which translates into fewer grantmaking dollars, has forced us to re-examine our overall strategy and priorities.  While we intend to continue serving this community in a proactive way, we are focused on building strategic funding partnerships, leveraging our money wherever we can, and making sure that our grants have the maximum impact on meeting the Boston community’s greatest needs.”

In the health and human services sector, this quarter’s grants fall into three clusters.   The first cluster addresses various aspects of what are referred to as the “social determinants of health,” that is, external factors in one’s environment that impact health status and well-being. These grants are going to the U. Mass Medical Center’s Mental Health Diversion Project, a public-private collaborative seeking to divert the mentally ill out of the criminal justice system and into comprehensive services, the Boston Medical Center’s Advocacy for Traumatized Children Project, the Boston Ten-Point Coalition and the Equal Justice Partnership.

The second cluster of grants in this sector focuses on the Foundation’s longstanding commitment to developing innovative models that promote access to high quality care and services.  These grants include Boston Medical Center’s Diabetes Program, the Alzheimer’s Association of MA, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital’s large-scale, community-based internet access project for people with physical disabilities.

The third cluster of health and human services grants this quarter goes to projects that advance public policy advocacy in these areas, and that provide critical capacity building support for key service organizations.   Advocacy grants include Boston Self-Help Center, Massachusetts Arc, Children’s Services of Roxbury, and the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery.  Capacity building support was awarded to the American Red Cross of Mass Bay to restructure Boston’s largest food pantry and food distribution program at a time of skyrocketing demand, and Project Hope, one of Boston’s key leaders in the area of family homelessness.

In the arts and culture sector, the Boston Foundation continues its grantmaking in a climate dramatically affected by the recent state budget cuts and decreased individual giving.  Following last month’s release of a major report comparing the funding of Boston Arts organizations with arts funding in nine other metropolitan areas, the Foundation is making a grant to support the Foundation’s first Senior Fellow, David Ellis, President Emeritus of the Museum of Science, who will co-chair a Cultural Task Force that will delve more deeply into various funding mechanisms and make recommendations for change. Another grant, to the Massachusetts Advocates for the Arts, Sciences and Humanities, will support their work raising the profile of arts and culture state-wide and restoring the Massachusetts Cultural Council to its pre-2002 budget levels.

A grant to the Boston Museum Project will support its efforts to establish a Boston-focused history museum and visitor information center that is also a source for community pride, education, and civic engagement.  The museum hopes to secure a location on parcel 6 of the Rose Kennedy Greenway on the Central Artery Corridor.

The Foundation selected the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) to receive this quarter’s $75,000 ‘Out of the Blue’ grant.  Foundation President Paul Grogan noted, “Under the leadership of Director Jill Medvedow, this mid-sized agency has described an ambitious vision for the role of a contemporary arts institution in a city that more readily embraces the traditional.  Today, the ICA is clearly poised to assume its rightful role as the region’s presenter, arbitrator, and educator in contemporary artistic matters.”

In the Civic Engagement sector, a grant to the Citistates Group will support the production of a 35,000 word report examining the critical challenges facing the Boston metro region, including traffic congestion, suburban sprawl, “brain drain,” shortages in affordable housing, and how to keep Boston competitive relative to other cities. The Foundation will work with Citistates to distribute the report through print, radio, and television media outlets, a website, and public forums.  Also in this sector, a grant to Harvard University’s Civil Rights Project will be used for their Creating a 21st Century Opportunity Agenda, a research and public forum series.  They will produce a series or reports on racial change and inequalities in metropolitan Boston, and promote discussion among community groups, local and state leaders, the media, civil rights organizations, and researchers over the problems and possible solutions for issues raised in the report findings.  A grant to the Funders Collaborative for Racial Justice Innovation will partner the Foundation with other funders to support a series of racial justice projects here.

In the Environmental sector, a grant to the Artery Business Committee’s Wharf District Corridor Edges Study will look at the public and private space directly adjacent to the new Central Artery land in the Wharf District, and provide its key abutters with an opportunity to explore ways to integrate the Wharf District streetscape and the Rose Kennedy Greenway.  The project will also examine ways to activate the new public realm, reinforce the character of the Wharf District, and reconnect the city to the harbor.

In the area of Education, the Foundation continued its support for charter schools by funding the Massachusetts Charter School Association and the Massachusetts Charter School Resource Center.  In addition, a grant to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing (Fair Test) will support community groups that are opposed to the use of the MCAS test as a graduation requirement.  The Foundation has also funded several groups, including Mass Insight, that favor maintaining the test as a graduation requirement, in order to ensure that the public discussion covers both sides of this important issue.

Several grants in the Out of School Time sector will help expand the availability of after-school programs for Boston-area youth, such as the Bird Street Community Center and East Boston Ecumenical Community Council’s ASPIRE Program, while others support advocacy on behalf of the sector, such as the grant to Massachusetts School-Age Coalition.  These and other grants are part of the Foundation’s 5-year, $2.5 million commitment to the goals of the Boston After School for All Partnership, a public-private funding collaborative.

The area of housing and community development continues its strong support for community-based development organizations (CDCs), the leading producers of affordable housing in the state, at a time of enormous need.  A grant to Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), an organization that has been extraordinarily successful in multiplying the impact of local funds through its leveraging of financial support from national foundations and corporations, will provide funding to support many of this area’s 25 CDCs.  Other grants in this sector include support for the Mattapan Community Development Corporation, Nuestra Communidad, and Caritas Communities, which specializes in Single Room Occupancy Housing.

The Boston Foundation’s Community Safety Initiative, developed to revitalize and strengthen successful community safety efforts to reduce the incidence of violent crime in Boston, funded two programs that advance these goals.  The Equal Justice Partnership is a collaborative effort of 17 city, state and community-based institutions to improve services for high-risk youth, and the Boston Ten Point Coalition’s Second Chance Program provides extensive outreach in schools and to the homes of high-risk youth, working closely with the Boston Police Department’s Gang Unit, school police, probation officers and clergy.

The New Economy Initiative, now operating under refocused guidelines, will fund programs that either use technology as a means for economic and career advancement for youth and adults, or that increase the organizational effectiveness of nonprofits.  In the area of youth education and development, emphasis is on expanding the career choices for young people in technology with a focus on encouraging college education for careers in the New Economy is exemplified by a grant to the Center of Excellence in Machine Science and Technology at the John D. O’Bryant public high school in Roxbury.  In the area of adult workforce and skills development, a grant to Bunker Hill Community College will help students navigate their way towards advanced IT education and degrees, as well as the IT workforce.

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The Boston Foundation, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations, has an endowment of more than $550 million and made grants of  $53.7 million to nonprofit organizations last year. The Boston Foundation is made up of 750 separate charitable funds, which have been established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. The Boston Foundation also serves as a civic leader, convener, and sponsor of special initiatives designed to build community. For more information about the Boston Foundation and its grantmaking, visit, or call 617-338-1700.

Discretionary grants are made from the Boston Foundation’s Community Fund, a collection of unrestricted gifts made to the Foundation to be distributed to nonprofit groups working to meet the needs of Greater Boston’s residents across a broad range of issues.  Donor Advised grants are made from Funds established by donors who want to play an active role in selecting the organizations and programs they support. Designated grants are made from Funds established by donors to support one or more of their favorite nonprofit organizations in perpetuity.

The following is a complete listing of the Boston Foundation’s $2,641,500 in discretionary grants made this quarter:

ARTS AND CULTURE – nine grants totaling $257,500
Arts/Boston, Inc. - $40,000
Boston Foundation, Inc./Senior Fellow, Convenings - $30,000
Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Inc. - $20,000
Boston Museum Project  - $30,000
Dorchester Community Center for the Visual Arts, Inc. - $30,000
Forest Hills Educational Trust - $20,000
Handel and Haydn Society - $12,500
Massachusetts Advocates for Arts, Sciences and Humanities - $50,000
Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston - $25,000

OUT OF THE BLUE GRANT – one grant totaling $75,000
Institute of Contemporary Art - $75,000

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT – eight grants totaling $330,000
Allston-Brighton Healthy Boston Coalition - $15,000
Boston Foundation/Citistates Group - $150,000
Civil Rights Project at Harvard University - $25,000
Funders’ Collaborative for Racial Justice - $40,000
Greater Four Corners Action Coalition, Inc. - $25,000
Hyde Square Task Force, Inc. - $25,000
La Alianza Hispana, Inc. - $25,000
Massachusetts Voter Education Network, Inc. - $25,000

EDUCATION – five grants totaling $195,000
American Family Child Care Association - $30,000
Center for Collaborative Education - $25,000
Massachusetts Charter School Association, Inc. - $75,000
Massachusetts Charter School Resource Center - $25,000
National Center for Fair and Open Testing, Inc. -  $40,000

ENVIRONMENT - one grant for $55,000
Artery Business Committee, Incorporated - $55,000

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES – thirteen grants totaling $494,500
Alzheimer’s Association, Massachusetts Chapter            - $50,000
American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay - $50,000
Arc Massachusetts - $6,000
Boston Medical Center Corporation/Diabetes Program - $75,000
Boston Medical Center Corporation/ Advocacy for Traumatized
Children Project - $50,000
Boston Self Help Center, Inc. - $15,000
Boston Urban Asthma Coalition           - $50,000
Children’s Services of Roxbury, Inc. - $20,000
Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery, Inc. - $25,000
Pine Street Inn - $12,500
Project HOPE - $25,000
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Corporation - $76,000
University of Massachusetts Medical Center - $40,000
HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT – five grants totaling $220,000
Boston Tenant Coalition - $25,000
Caritas Communities, Inc. - $40,000
Local Initiatives Support Corporation - $100,000
Mattapan Community Development Corporation       - $30,000
Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation - $25,000

NONPROFIT SECTOR – three grants totaling $184,500
Center for Effective Philanthropy - $24,500
Community Foundations of America - $135,000
MassINC - $25,000
OUT OF SCHOOL TIME – eleven grants totaling $420,000
Artists for Humanity, Inc. - $20,000
Associated Grant Makers/Summer Fund – $75,000
Bird Street Community Center - $20,000
City Mission Society - $25,000
City School, Inc. - $20,000
East Boston Ecumenical Community Council - $20,000
Freedom House, Inc. - $40,000
Lead to Opportunities for Youth with Disabilities - $100,000
Massachusetts School-Age Coalition, Inc. - $50,000
New England SCORES - $25,000
West End House Boys and Girls Club - $25,000

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT – two grants totaling $100,000
Greater Boston Legal Services, Inc. - $50,000
Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries, Inc. - $50,000


COMMUNITY SAFETY INITIATIVE – two grants totaling $60,000
Boston Ten Point Coalition - $35,000
Equal Justice Partnership - $25,000

NEW ECONOMY INITIATIVE – eight grants totaling $250,000
Bunker Hill Community College - $50,000
Girls Get Connected Collaborative - $30,000
Machine Science, Inc. - $50,000
Massachusetts Community Action Program Directors’      
Association, Inc. - $25,000
TechMission, Inc. - $25,000
University of Massachusetts/Boston/ Technology Goes Home@School Project - $30,000
University of Massachusetts/Boston/ CSPTech Project - $25,000
WiredWoods, Inc. - $15,000