Boston Foundation Gives $585,000 To Support Boston Schools

June 16, 2004

Boston – At the June 17th meeting of the Boston Foundation Board of Directors, the Foundation awarded more than half a million dollars to support Boston schools, with an emphasis on improving school performance for urban and minority students. The $585,000 in grants were given to Boston schools directly, to organizations that promote systemic reform and best practices, and to programs aimed at increasing parent and community involvement in the schools.

“There is no question that students today face an increasingly demanding and competitive environment, and our schools are working hard to meet their needs by implementing an ambitious, standards-based reform,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “By supporting innovative school models and practices, advocacy, and parent networks, the Foundation hopes to stimulate better practices system-wide and to give Boston parents, students, faculties and school administrators a wide range of options so that every student can be successful.”

Overall, the Boston Foundation authorized $3,615,000 in discretionary grants to support the work of nonprofit organizations in the Greater Boston community. In addition, the Foundation awarded $7,525,078 to nonprofits through Donor Advised Funds held by the Foundation, and $4,583,365 in designated fund grants to nonprofit organizations in Boston and throughout the country.

As a part of the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to promote systemic reform in Boston public schools, a grant of $100,000 to the Center for Collaborative Education (CCE) will be used to support the increasing number of pilot schools in Boston. There is increasing evidence that Pilot schools performance is superior to that of district schools, and that the ideas developed in the Pilot schools are having a system-wide effect. CCE will continue to monitor and measure the Pilot schools’ results, and help bring their innovations to scale.

A $125,000 grant to the Boston Parent Organizing Network (BPON), a citywide initiative to support and advocate for the improvement of Boston Public Schools, will provide well-deserved resources for this group’s very effective work. BPON has waged successful campaigns to protect the schools from excessive budget cuts, and has amassed sufficient influence to meet regularly with the Mayor and Superintendent. A grant of $40,000 to Teen Empowerment will help engage youth and teachers in planning and implementing new small high schools that will replace several large comprehensive high schools. Converting high schools into smaller learning communities is a cutting-edge educational reform in Boston, representing a major change, challenge and opportunity, and the Teen Empowerment model has already demonstrated great promise for smoothing the transition.

This quarter, six charter schools in the Boston area also received grants from the Foundation, which has been funding both individual charter schools and the agencies that serve them over the past three years. Grants of $15,000 went to Boston Day and Evening Academy, Boston Renaissance Charter School, City on a Hill Charter School, and Edward W. Brooke Charter School; grants of $10,000 went to Media and Technology Charter High School and Roxbury Preparatory Charter School.

Because of the financial constraints forcing the Boston Archdiocese to end its support for its four high schools, the Boston Foundation is providing $100,000 to assist in the transition of these inner-city high schools to independent Catholic schools. The four schools – Cathedral in Boston, Matignon and North Cambridge in Cambridge, and Pope John XXIII in Everett – collectively serve over 1,200 low and moderate income students, with impressive results: over 90% of their graduates attend college; the number is 98% in Cathedral and Pope John. Ensuring that this transition is successful is critical for the large numbers of students affected. Similarly, a $15,000 grant to the Steppingstone Foundation will be used to expand its program to prepare inner-city youth for entrance and success in Boston’s examination schools and independent schools.

Also in this funding cycle, the Foundation approved a grant of $200,000 for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) for its Campaign for Communities, a project to raise and invest $33 million for affordable housing, commercial development and revitalization, leadership development and the strengthening of community development organizations in Greater Boston. The Campaign is expected to produce 1,000 new and affordable homes, as well as to leverage significant new national funding for affordable housing and to expand their neighborhood revitalization efforts throughout the Greater Boston area.

“The Boston office of LISC continues to demonstrate an outstanding level of accomplishment as one of the most innovative LISC sites in the country,” said Terry Lane, Vice President for Program. “LISC is one of the key contributing factors why community development corporations in the Boston area are considered the best in the country in terms of housing production, program innovation, and quality of staffing and board leadership. They have been and continue to be a strategic partner for the Foundation in addressing Boston’s affordable housing crisis, one of the most critical issues facing our community today.”

A community-based development organization also received a grant from the Foundation, the Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation. Housing-related grants went to a consortium of Waltham organizations led by the Waltham Alliance to Create Housing to develop a plan to redevelop the 19-acre Fernald school as affordable housing, open and recreational space; to the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance for developing new strategies and models to overcome the barriers that prevent homeless individuals from accessing permanent housing; and to Combined Jewish Philanthropies to stimulate production of housing for people with disabilities.

The Foundation selected STRIVE/Boston Employment Service and Project R.I.G.H.T. to each receive a $75,000 ‘Out of the Blue’ grant. STRIVE, a job training program that assists hard-to-employ adults, many of whom are coming out of prison or transitioning off welfare, has an outstanding record of partnering strategically with community organizations and employers. Project R.I.G.H.T., a Grove Hall community-based collaborative that came together to prevent crime and violence, has demonstrated ‘outstanding organizational leadership, results and impact in the Grove Hall community.’

The Foundation’s longstanding interest in supporting strategies that help people become more fully engaged in civic and community life is the framework for nine grants in the civic engagement sector. These grants generally fall into four areas: community organizing, leadership development and advocacy, and voter registration. Grants went to the Chelsea Human Services Collaborative for the Chelsea Latino Coalition, a citywide organization of 200 Chelsea Latino leaders to address youth gangs and youth violence, civic engagement, and quality of life issues affecting Latinos; City Life/Vida Urbana for support of the Tenant Organizing Initiative, a multi-neighborhood, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual effort to rebuild an active grassroots tenant movement in Boston; and Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition to support the Massachusetts Legalization Coalition.

In the health sector, the Foundation is supporting expanded access to prescription medications for low-income, uninsured community health center clients through a Medication Assistance Program being run by the Center for Community Health, Education Research and Services (CCHERS). Issues surrounding access to prescription medication are at the center of the health care debate, and this program will help health centers work more closely with patients on medication adherence strategies, especially for those with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and asthma.

In the areas of access to services for the elderly and disabled, funding to the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership and Mystic Valley Elder Services will help identify vulnerable, home-bound elderly and disabled tenants and homeowners in need of the services that will help them remain in their homes and improve the quality of their lives. Grants to Partners for Youth with Disabilities and to Emerson College will advance access after-school activities for school-age disabled youth and provide access to screening and services to young children with hearing, speech and other communication disorders.

As the state’s financial condition begins to improve, the advocacy agenda in the human service sector moves from forestalling funding cuts to restoring cuts made over the past four fiscal years. Grants to the Massachusetts Human Services Coalition, the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, Rosie’s Place, the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance, Horizons for Homeless Children, and Ethos will be used for advocacy work. Organizational capacity building grants went to the Children’s League of Massachusetts, the Disability Policy Consortium, the Public Policy Institute, the Committee to End Elder Homelessness, Julie’s Family Learning Center, and the Pine Street Inn.

Arts and culture sector funding helps a number of organizations, including the Huntington Theatre, the Central Square Theater, Raw Art Works, the Fort Point Cultural Coalition, and the New England Aquarium, address various facility related planning and marketing issues. Additional grants deal with the strategic and business planning needs of organizations including the American Composers Forum New England, the Boston Center for the Arts, and Opera Unlimited. A grant to First Night will support the activities of neighborhood youth and adults in hands-on art making activities that are showcased in the Grand Procession and throughout the event, and a grant to Massachusetts Advocates for the Arts, Sciences and Humanities (MAASH) will support the work of the entire sector by advocating on its behalf with the legislature and general public.

The need to provide Boston area youth with a way to make good use of their out-of-school time is being addressed by a number of grants this quarter. Funding to support the Boys & Girls Club of Boston’s efforts to develop an ‘artist in residence’ program will support activities across all of its five sites. Support for Citizens Schools, the B.E.L.L. Foundation, and Artists for Humanity will also provide resources to organizations that expand opportunities for Boston youth. First-time support went to the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University to expand its Urban Youth Sports program to two new neighborhoods, and a grant also went to Lead to Opportunities for Youth, a collaboration that provides technical assistance to organizations to provide inclusive programming.

In the workforce development sector, a grant to Greater Boston Interfaith Organization will be used to support the Nursing Home Care Initiative, a project which organizes low-wage Haitian nursing home workers, families of nursing home residents, and concerned members of Greater Boston’s diverse faith communities to improve quality of care and working conditions in area nursing homes.

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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 $3,615,000 in discretionary grants made this quarter:

ARTS AND CULTURE – 10 grants totaling $430,000
American Composers Forum-Boston Area Chapter - $15,000

Boston Center for the Arts, Inc. - $50,000

Central Square Theater - $40,000

First Night, Inc. - $50,000

Fort Point Cultural Coalition - $25,000

Huntington Theatre Company, Inc. - $50,000

Massachusetts Advocates for Arts, Sciences and Humanities - $50,000

New England Aquarium Corporation - $75,000

Opera Unlimited - $40,000

Raw Art Works, Inc. - $35,000

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT – 9 grants totaling $365,000
Boston Foundation/Civic Engagement Initiative - $100,000

Cambridge Eviction Free Zone - $20,000

Chelsea Human Services Collaborative, Inc. - $25,000

City Life/Vida Urbana - $20,000

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders - $20,000

John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, Inc. - $75,000

Easter Seals Massachusetts, Inc. - $15,000

Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, Inc. - $75,000

University of Massachusetts College of Management - $15,000

EDUCATION – 9 grants totaling $505,000
Boston Child Care Alliance - $40,000

Boston Parent Organizing Network - $125,000

Catholic Schools Foundation, Inc. - $100,000

Center for Collaborative Education - $100,000

Center for Teen Empowerment, Inc. - $40,000

Foundation for Excellent Schools, Inc. - $20,000

Massachusetts Advocates for Children - $40,000

Steppingstone Foundation, Inc. - $15,000

United Way of Massachusetts Bay, Inc. - $25,000

EDUCATION-CHARTER SCHOOLS – 6 grants totaling $80,000
Boston Day and Evening Academy - $15,000

Boston Renaissance Charter School, Inc. - $15,000

City on a Hill Charter School - $15,000

Edward W. Brooke Charter School - $15,000

Media and Technology Charter High School - $10,000

Roxbury Preparatory Charter School - $10,000

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES – 18 grants totaling $630,000
Center for Community Health Education, Research, and Services, Inc. - $40,000

Children’s League of Massachusetts - $50,000

Committee to End Elder Homelessness, Inc. - $50,000

Disability Policy Consortium, Inc. - $50,000

Emerson College for support of its Speech, Language and Hearing
Center’s Clinical Practice and Outreach Initiative - $30,000

Ethos - $25,000

Harvard School of Public Health - $50,000

Horizons Initiative, Inc. - $15,000

Julie’s Family Learning Program - $40,000

Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, Inc. - $25,000

Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance - $40,000

Massachusetts Human Services Coalition, Inc. - $25,000

Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership - $60,000

Mystic Valley Elder Services - $20,000

Partners for Youth with Disabilities, Inc. - $20,000

Pine Street Inn, Inc. - $50,000

Public Policy Institute - $25,000

Rosie’s Place, Inc. - $15,000

HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT – 5 grants totaling $325,000
Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, Inc. - $50,000

Local Initiatives Support Corporation - $200,000

Mattapan Community Development Corporation - $25,000

Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation - $25,000

Waltham Alliance to Create Housing Community Development Corp. - $25,000

NONPROFIT SECTOR – 5 grants totaling $230,000
Associated Grant Makers - $10,000

Boston College Social Welfare Research Institute - $70,000

Centro Latino de Chelsea, Inc. - $25,000

Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion, Inc. - $25,000

Management Consulting Services, Inc. - $100,000

OUT OF SCHOOL TIME - 15 grants totaling $615,000
Artists for Humanity, Inc. - $35,000

BELL Foundation, Inc. - $45,000

Boston Public Schools - $50,000

Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, Inc. - $45,000

Center for the Study of Sport in Society/Northeastern University - $45,000

Citizen Schools, Inc. - $45,000

City School, Inc. - $20,000

Fund for Parks and Recreation in Boston - $75,000

The Girls’ Coalition of Greater Boston - $25,000

Lead to Opportunities for Youth with Disabilities - $100,000

New England SCORES - $25,000

St. James Educational Center, Inc. - $25,000

Salesian Boys and Girls Club, Incorporated - $35,000

West End House Boys and Girls Club - $20,000

Youth Enrichment Services, Inc. - $25,000

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT – 5 grants totaling $120,000
Boston Employment Service/STRIVE - $40,000

Breaking Barriers, Inc. - $20,000

Business Collaborative - $15,000

Greater Boston Interfaith Organization - $30,000

Jobs for Massachusetts, Inc. - $15,000


COMMUNITY SAFETY INITIATIVE – 1 grant totaling $165,000
Boston Police Department - $165,000

OUT OF THE BLUE GRANTS – 2 grants totaling $150,000
STRIVE/Boston Employment Service, Inc. - $75,000

Project R.I.G.H.T., Inc. - $75,000