Boston Foundation Funding Targets Substance Abuse Prevention, Elderly Services

December 16, 2004

Boston Foundation Funding Targets Substance Abuse Prevention, Elderly Services

December 16, 2004

Boston – At the December 16th meeting of the Boston Foundation Board of Directors, the Foundation focused a number of grants on substance abuse services and advocacy, including a $50,000 grant to the Boston Public Health Commission to support an innovative, three-year effort to reduce substance abuse in Boston.  The Foundation is prioritizing this issue because many Boston neighborhoods are experiencing high rates of heroin use and abuse of the prescription drug Oxycontin, and drug-related hospital admissions, particularly among youth, are running double or triple the city’s average rate in neighborhoods like South Boston and Charlestown.

“This alarming situation is occurring at the same time that state budget cuts have had a significant impact on the service capacity for detox and post-detox programs,” noted Paul S. Grogan, President of the Boston Foundation.  “The Boston Public Health Department has responded with a new initiative to develop 11 neighborhood coalitions of residents, service providers, police, court personnel, and parents to implement neighborhood-specific strategies to prevent substance abuse and promote access to treatment.  We see this as an important partnership with the public sector to develop the ground-breaking models that will have a significant impact on expanded prevention and treatment programs.”  Two other substance abuse programs that are being funded by the Foundation are the South Boston Neighborhood House and the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery.

Overall, the Boston Foundation authorized $10,838,562 in grants this quarter, including $4,165180 in discretionary grants to support the work of nonprofit organizations in the Greater Boston community.  In addition, the Foundation awarded $5,707,369 to nonprofits through Donor Advised Funds held by the Foundation, and $966,013 in designated fund grants to nonprofit organizations in Boston and throughout the country.

Noteworthy in this quarter are a number of grants to help the area’s elderly residents remain living in their home communities through a variety of strategies.  A $35,000 grant to the Haitian Multi-Service Center will provide services such as ESOL programs and citizenship classes to Haitian elders; additional grants to Beacon Hill Village, United South End Settlements, Rogerson Communities, the MAB Community Services, and the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts will also target the needs of elders.

The Foundation selected the Committee to End Elder Homelessness to receive its $75,000 ‘Out of the Blue’ grant this quarter.  The Committee to End Elder Homelessness (CEEH) works on behalf of Boston’s elderly population to develop new housing and social services to meet the needs of homeless seniors, operating an extensive outreach and housing placement program throughout the area.  “Over the past four years, since the hiring of Dr. Elizabeth Babcock as CEO, the Committee to End Elder Homelessness has demonstrated the kind of innovation and development that will continue and expand upon its solid track record of accomplishment and service,” Grogan noted.

The ‘Out of the Blue’ grants are unsolicited, one-year grants that are made to high performance organizations that are deemed to be making a difference in the community.  The primary focus of these grants is to provide unrestricted support to established organizations in recognition of their highly effective work in areas of major interest to the Boston Foundation.  The program was launched in 2002.

Education reform remains a crucial priority for the Boston Foundation, and this quarter the Foundation supported a number of innovative efforts that promote system reform in the Boston schools.  A $100,000 grant to the Massachusetts Charter School Association is seen as particularly important, both because of new demands to scale back state support for charter schools at this time, and new efforts to expand them, particularly in connection with addressing the problem of failing schools. “We believe that the Massachusetts Charter School Association is advancing the charter school movement in Massachusetts by providing a mechanism both for the exchange of best practices in the field, and for organizing parents, faculty, and other supporters to represent the interests of charter schools. They have been enormously successful in propelling the field forward,” Grogan said.

A $200,000 grant was made to the Greater Boston YMCA for its Y/BPS program, a comprehensive outreach program designed to educate and inform parents of the West Zone (Roxbury, West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, and Roslindale) about the Boston public schools.  The program is designed to encourage families to consider the Boston public schools as an option, help parents become more informed consumers of Boston’s choice system, and improve the schools’ ability to communicate what they offer to parents.  “Boston parents have a choice of several Boston public schools, including all schools within their geographic zone, all magnet schools, and many pilot schools.  Yet, to date, schools are poorly trained and equipped to convey their message to potential ‘customers’,” Grogan noted.  “This innovative program will address that issue, and if it develops effective techniques, there is likelihood that they will be replicated system-wide.”

Jumpstart, a highly effective Boston nonprofit that places college students in yearlong paid residencies in early education programs working with children who are at highest risk for school failure, received a grant of $100,000.  Jumpstart’s goal is to dramatically expand its program in order to reach every child in need of its services, beginning with a single neighborhood in Roxbury, and eventually covering all children in need in the entire city.  In Roxbury alone, there are approximately 700 4-year olds in preschool, and Jumpstart expects that fully half of them will need its services.

A $70,000 grant to Lesley University will continue a new program designed to help elementary school teachers use technology, including the Internet, to teach core reading and writing skills, as well as to communicate with parents about student progress.  This program was developed in partnership with the AOL-Time Warner Foundation, and is a good model for leveraging support from high technology companies for public education priorities.

In the area of community safety, a $50,000 grant to Harvard University will be used by The Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management (PCJ) to continue its research partnership with the Boston Police Department to develop new crime reduction strategies in the Grove Hall area.  Last year, with Boston Foundation support, Harvard researchers partnered with the Boston Police Department to conduct a preliminary analysis of violence in Grove Hall, with primary emphasis on a small number of ‘impact players’ and highly dysfunctional families living in the area.  This analysis serves as the core of a strategy for addressing this intergenerational transmission of problems.  This project is also researching the Boston Re-Entry Initiative, a Boston Police Department effort to reintegrate former violent offenders back into the community through the formation of mentoring, vocational and social service entrepreneurships.  The evaluation will study the effects of the BRI on recidivism.

A $65,000 grant to the Boston Ten-Point Coalition will be used to support and build the organization following its hiring of a new executive director, Chris Sumner, in June.  “The Coalition provides a critical link to engage Boston churches in social action and it has been highly effective in reaching out to, serving, and advocating for the needs of high-risk youth,” said Grogan.  “With this new leadership in place, a business plan and a new alliance with the Black Ministerial Alliance to support and build the organization’s financial infrastructure, Ten Point is on track to reposition itself for new growth.”

The Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) received a grant of $40,000 for its Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) project, which addresses the adverse civil problems that emerged when criminal records are distributed without information about how to interpret them and without recourse for individuals to challenge incorrect or incomplete records.  Currently, MLRI is one of the few organizations in the state to address the legal implications of the CORI laws, and their work is seen as an important part of assisting ex-offenders to successfully return to productive lives.

In the area of housing, a $25,000 grant to Northeastern University’s Center for Urban & Regional Policy continues the Foundation’s commitment to the Commonwealth Housing Task Force and Chapter 40R, the Smart Growth Zoning and Housing Production Act.  A grant of $40,000 to the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance will be used to support the development of affordable housing in the suburbs, starting in Needham, where they just passed a Community Preservation Act.  The Covenant Housing Initiative received a grant of $50,000 to strengthen its capacity to develop significant housing in suburban communities, as well as in Boston.

In the arts, a $50,000 grant to the Boston LINC (Leveraging Investments in Creativity) Artist Initiative will be used to provide technical assistance to artists and developers, advocate for public policies (e.g. tax credit policy, zoning regulations) that foster the creation of artists’ space, raise public awareness, and maintain current information about developments in the field.  “A number of recent studies have shown that affordable studio and live/work space in Boston is in short supply and poses a barrier to artistic and cultural economic development in Massachusetts,” said Terry Lane, Vice President for Program at the Boston Foundation.  “Boston LINC Artists Initiative is a new program that leverages national and local funding to support working artists with technical assistance and other tools that will help them build productive lives and artistic practices.”

The Museum of Afro-American History received a grant of $50,000 to support its capacity building activities in preparation for its Abolitionist Exhibit in 2005 and the Museum’s Bicentennial Celebration in 2006. This support will be used to strengthen the organization’s community connections and to continue to build an institution that not only preserves and interprets the past, but also forges links to contemporary discussions.

In the area of civic engagement, the Foundation made a grant of $100,000 to Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) for support of its campaign to secure accessible public transportation services for disabled persons in Greater Boston.  In surveys of the disabled, transportation is always among the top concerns, and the MBTA is notoriously inaccessible to the disabled.  The Foundation sees the work of GBLS to fulfill the promise of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act as critical to the establishment of a permanent mechanism whereby representatives of the disabled consumers can oversee the implementation of the Act and have continuous input into the T.

The Boston Center for Independent Living received a grant of $50,000 for its community organizing project, which was launched last year, to increase the number of consumers involved in advocating for better housing, healthcare and transportation options for the disabled.  Special attention will be paid to Mattapan and Roxbury to involve more disabled people of color in the advocacy campaigns, and there will be a focus on polling place accessibility in Boston where 85% of polling places are not handicap accessible.

A grant of $25,000 will be used to support the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee of Massachusetts (ADC-MA) as it expands its Legal Capacity Initiative.  Established twenty years ago to support the Arab community, the ACD-MA has expanded its reach in response to the dramatic increase in hate crimes in the aftermath of September 11th.  With civil rights issues in the Muslim community at a particular high right now, ADC-MA is seen as being well positioned to serve the needs of the region’s significant Muslim population, and it has developed a strong core network of volunteer lawyers and organizers to advocate for the rights of Arabs, Muslim Americans, and others in what it terms ‘brown’ populations.

The Foundation made a grant of $50,000 to the Nonprofit Finance Fund for support of its Capacity Building for Massachusetts Nonprofits program.  This program is aimed at enabling more nonprofits achieve their missions by enhancing their quality of financial understanding and improving the level and structure of capitalization for individual nonprofits in keeping with their mission and programs.  Another grant of $50,000 to Third Sector New England will help reposition the Massachusetts Nonprofit Sector to reflect its social relevance and its growing economic power.

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The Boston Foundation, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations, has an endowment of almost $650 million, made grants of  $48 million to nonprofit organizations, and received gifts of $38 million 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 grant making, 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 $4,165,180 in discretionary grants made this quarter:

ARTS AND CULTURE – 12  grants totaling $340,000

ArtsBoston, Inc. - $30,000
Bank of America Celebrity Series - $25,000
Boston Children’s Chorus, Inc. - $20,000
Boston Cyberarts, Inc. - $25,000
Boston LINC Working Group - $50,000
Ford Hall Forum - $30,000
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Inc. - $20,000
Madison Park Development Corporation - $40,000
Museum of Afro-American History, Inc. - $50,000
New Repertory Theatre, Inc. - $10,000
Theater Offensive, Inc. - $30,000
World Music, Inc. - $10,000

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT – 14 grants totaling $630,000

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Research Institute - $25,000
Boston Center for Independent Living, Inc. - $50,000
City Year, Inc.  - $100,000
Committee for Boston Public Housing, Inc.- $40,000
Commonwealth Legislative Seminar and Network - $45,000
East Boston Ecumenical Community Council - $25,000
Federated Dorchester Neighborhood Houses, Inc. - $50,000
Greater Boston Legal Services, Inc. - $100,000
Hyams Foundation/Immigrant and Refugee Leadership Development Initiative - $50,000
Massachusetts Literacy Foundation, Inc. - $15,000
Massachusetts Voter Education Network - $25,000
Metropolitan Area Planning Council - $70,000
OISTE - $25,000
University of Massachusetts Center on Media and Society - $10,000

EDUCATION – 11 grants totaling $730,000
Boston Full Service Schools Roundtable - $50,000
The Bottom Line - $25,000
Countdown to Kindergarten - $50,000
Jumpstart for Young Children, Inc. - $100,000
Lesley University - $70,000
Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, Inc. - $25,000
Massachusetts Charter School Association, Inc. - $100,000
MathPower - $20,000
Strategies for Children, Inc. - $40,000
WriteBoston - $50,000
YMCA of Greater Boston - $200,000

URBAN ENVIRONMENT – 4 grants totaling $110,000

Artery Business Committee - $25,000
Charles River Conservancy, Inc. - $20,000
Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, Inc. - $40,000
Trust for Public Land, New England - $25,000

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES – 21 grants totaling $780,000

Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence, Inc. - $15,000
Beacon Hill Village, Inc. - $15,000
Boston Medical Center Corporation - $50,000
Boston Public Health Commission - $50,000
Boston Urban Asthma Coalition - $40,000
Dotwell (formerly Health Services Partnership of Dorchester, Inc.) - $50,000
Haitian Multi Service Center - $35,000
Health Care for All, Inc. - $30,000
Health Law Advocates, Inc. - $40,000
La Alianza Hispana - $75,000
MAB Community Services, Inc. - $35,000
Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery - $25,000
Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children - $30,000
The Network/La Red - $25,000
Perkins School for the Blind - $40,000
Project Bread-The Walk for Hunger, Inc. - $50,000
Rogerson Communities - $35,000
South Boston Neighborhood House, Inc. - $50,000
United South End Settlements - $25,000
University of Massachusetts-Boston  Gerontology Institute - $40,000
YWCA of Boston - $25,000

HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT – 9 grants totaling $345,000

AIDS Housing Corporation - $40,000
Boston Affordable Housing Coalition, Inc. - $25,000
Boston Earned Income Tax Credit Action Coalition - $15,000
Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association, Inc. - $50,000
Covenant Housing Initiative, Inc. - $50,000
Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, Inc. - $40,000
Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations - $40,000
Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations - $60,000
Northeastern University-Center for Urban & Regional Policy - $25,000

NONPROFIT SECTOR – 4 grants totaling $210,000

Emmanuel Gospel Center - $50,000
MassINC. - $60,000
Nonprofit Finance Fund - $50,000
Third Sector New England - $50,000

OUT OF SCHOOL TIME – 13 grants totaling $445,000

Achieve Boston - $50,000
Bethel A.M.E. Church - $25,000
Big Sister Association - $25,000
Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston, Inc. - $65,000
Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, Inc. - $10,000
Children’s Services of Roxbury - $25,000
Colonel Daniel Marr Boys and Girls Club - $30,000
Massachusetts School-Age Coalition, Inc. - $40,000
The Medical Foundation, Inc. - $25,000
MYTOWN - $20,000
Parents United for Child Care, Inc. - $75,000

South End/Lower Roxbury Youth Worker’s Alliance - $15,000
YMCA of Greater Boston/Roxbury Branch - $40,000

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT – 3 grants totaling $180,000

American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay - $40,000
English for New Bostonians - $100,000
Massachusetts Workforce Alliance - $40,000



COMMUNITY SAFETY INITIATIVE – 7 grants totaling $280,000

Boston Foundation/Community Safety Forums - $50,000
Boston Ten Point Coalition, Inc. - $65,000
Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government - $50,000
Massachusetts Law Reform Institute - $40,000
Project R.I.G.H.T., Inc. - $25,000
Roxbury Youthworks - $25,000
Straight Ahead Ministries, Inc. - $25,000

OUT OF THE BLUE GRANT – 1 grant totaling $75,000

Committee to End Elder Homelessness - $75,000

CURTIS INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL FUND - 3 grants totaling $40,180

Brandeis University - $12,500
World Education, Inc. - $17,000
WorldBoston - $10,680