Boston Foundation December grants target education, housing, strategic planning for the healthcare sector

December 15, 2005

Boston – The Boston Foundation Board of Directors announced almost $13 million in new grants for area nonprofits at its meeting on December 15. This includes grants across a broad spectrum of organizations that serve Greater Boston, with a special emphasis on three areas that have a major impact on the lives of area residents: education, housing and workforce development. In addition, strategic grants address the overall wellbeing of the region. These include a grant of $100,000 to the New England Healthcare Institute that will serve to create a new, ongoing evaluation of the regional healthcare economy and identify strategies to sustain the world-class quality of this sector, which continues to be a critical factor in the sustained prosperity of the region.

The resulting “report card” will, in Phase I, identify critical opportunities and threats to the sector. This information will be used to design a Prescription for Progress, a set of feasible long-term strategies that will be executed in Phase II. To guide the project, NEHI will build a team of experts in the field.

“In an increasingly competitive world, it is critical for us to identify our greatest economic assets and work together to secure them for the future,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “Today, Greater Boston’s Healthcare industry sets a global gold standard. This project provides a strategic tool to help ensure that it will continue to thrive and expand.”

Each quarter, the Boston Foundation makes an Out of the Blue grant of $75,000—unsolicited and unrestricted—to an area nonprofit. This quarter, the grant was made to Health Care For All, which engages in public advocacy, community organizing and training to create a health care system that can respond to the needs of all people. This organization, established in 1985 with lead funding by the Boston Foundation has used a successful, incremental strategy over the course of two decades to achieve significant progress in creating such a health care system.

Education grants include $200,000 to the YMCA of Greater Boston to continue to fund the Y/BPS program, a partnership of the office of Mayor Thomas M. Menino, the Boston Public Schools and the YMCA, to make Boston parents better informed about the public school system and to encourage them to consider it as an opportunity for their children. The Foundation has also provided a grant of $100,000 to the Massachusetts Charter School Association, which was established in 2000 to establish charter schools as an integral part of education reform in the Commonwealth. The grant will be used to strengthen and continue the Association’s public relations and legislative advocacy efforts.

A number of current grants address the issue of affordable housing and homelessness in the region. These include $50,000 to the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, which provides homebuyer’s classes and advocacy to increase the stock of affordable housing. Also, a grant of $60,000 to the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance will promote policies that encourage smart growth housing designed to reduce sprawl, make better use of regional public transportation and increase the stock of affordable single- and multi-family housing units in suburban communities in the region. The Boston Foundation’s Homelessness Prevention Initiative also received a grant of $700,000, which will be redistributed to 18 separate grantee organizations. This initiative represents a collaboration of the Boston Foundation with other area and national foundations to support a wide range of strategies to reduce homelessness in the Commonwealth.

A grant of $50,000 was made to ArtistLink, which will support the creation of affordable housing for artists, who have been squeezed out by high housing prices.

An additional grant of $50,000 was made to the Allston-Brighton Community Development Corporation to promote collaboration among residents of the community, Harvard University and Boston College during a time when both universities are planning major expansion in the area.

“The cost of housing continues to pose a very serious threat to the wellbeing of Greater Boston,” said Grogan. “Recent passage of crucial legislation that encourages smart growth housing is good news, but we continue to look for ways to improve the situation for residents who are being squeezed out by high prices.”

Workforce development is another critical issue for the region, as the high cost of housing encourages young skilled workers to move to other parts of the country. That has left a tight employment market, in which companies—including those in the important knowledge industries—struggle to fill jobs. A grant of $75,000 to the Boston Private Industry Council will be used to support the Growing Our Own: Boston’s Talent Pipeline Project, which works to prepare youth and adults from Boston for high-demand occupations in knowledge-based industries. This includes a particular focus on students in 10th, 11th and 12th grades in the Boston public school system.

In an unusual year, the Foundation reached far beyond the Greater Boston region to respond to the extraordinary need created by the hurricanes that devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. A grant of $50,000 was made to the Greater New Orleans Foundation, a sister organization to the Boston Foundation, to be used to increase the New Orleans Foundation’s capacity to help to rebuild its city. Closer to home, a grant of $25,000 was made to the Black Ministerial Alliance to support its work with displaced residents of the Gulf Coast, who were brought to Massachusetts after the storms.

“What happened in the Gulf Coast was a national tragedy, compelling all of us to respond,” said Grogan. “In particular, we needed to lend a hand to the Greater New Orleans Foundation, a sister organization to the Boston Foundation. We know what a vital role a community foundation can play in the planning and reconstruction of a city in distress, and we did what we could to strengthen the Greater New Orleans Foundation for the work ahead.”

A one-time bridge grant of $50,000 was made to D.E.A.F. Inc., which serves the metropolitan community, to maintain essential programs and infrastructure. This was designed to help close a budget gap that occurred for the organization when the United Way’s new funding priorities led to a decision to stop funding D.E.A.F. Inc.

Another grant targeted to a specific population was $40,000 to the University of Massachusetts/Boston Gerontology Institute, to be used to support the Elder Economic Security Standard for Boston. This grant addresses the aging of the area population, and will result in an objective standard or scorecard that measures the income seniors need to remain self-sufficient in Boston and in the Commonwealth.

A number of grants recognize the critical importance of the nonprofit sector to the lives of area residents and to the economy of the region and the state. These include a grant of $75,000 to the Museum of Fine Arts to be used for market research. A grant of $65,000 to the Black Ministerial Alliance will be used to develop a collaborative strategy to improve needed services to high-risk youth in the city. And a grant of $85,000 was made to the Massachusetts Nonprofit Sector Working Group of New England, which is working with nonprofit organizations across the state to create a common agenda.

The Foundation continues its efforts to work for a more equitable and effective strategy to address criminal and social justice issue. A grant of $65,000 to Community Resources for Justice will be used to drive forward work underway to reform the Criminal Offender Record Information system in Massachusetts. The goal is to create new guidelines that will increase employment opportunities for men and women with non-violent criminal histories to reduce the current high rate of recidivism.

A grant to the organization Save the Harbor/Save the Bay is designed to help knit together waterfront resources from around the region. A total of $50,000 will support the Share the Harbor Initiative, to work with the Boston Harbor Beaches Commission to create a comprehensive transportation policy and to advocate for greater state investment in the region’s beaches from Nantasket, in Hull, to Lynn.


In addition to $5,885,900 in grants from Discretionary Funds, the Foundation also distributed $1,419,486 in grants from Designated Funds and $5,516,203 in Donor Advised Funds.

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 residents across a broad range on 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 wish to support. Designated grants are made from Funds established by donors to support one or more of their favorite nonprofit organizations in perpetuity.


The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation, with an endowment of $686 million.  In 2005, the Foundation and its donors made a record-breaking $63 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of $53 million.  The Foundation is made up of some 850 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes.  The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener, and sponsor of special initiatives designed to address the community’s and region’s most pressing challenges.  For more information about the Boston Foundation, visit or call 617-338-1700.


The following is a complete list of the Boston Foundation’s Discretionary Grants approved by the Board of Directors on December 15, 2005, which totaled $5,885,900.

Artist Link - $50,000
Bank of America Celebrity Series - $25,000
Boston Children’s Chorus - $25,000
Boston Dance Alliance - $30,000
Central Square Theater - $75,000
Fenway Alliance - $25,000
Grantmakers in the Arts - $30,000
Greater Boston Youth Symphony - $25,000
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum - $20,000
The Museum of Fine Arts - $75,000
Theater Offensive, Inc., - $30,000
New England Foundation for the Arts - $25,000
Zumix - $50,000

Brandeis University, Institute for Assets and Social Policy - $40,000
The Boston Foundation, President’s Initiative Fund - $30,000
Boston Ten Point Coalition - $60,000
Cambridge Eviction Free Zone - $25,000
City Year - $150,000
Commonwealth Legislative Seminar and Network - $45,000
Greater Four Corners Action Coalition - $30,000
MassINC - $75,000
Massachusetts Jobs with Justice - $25,000
The Women’s Center - $15,000

Artery Business Committee - $50,000
Boston University Entrepreneurial Management Institute - $30,000
Hyde Park Arts Initiative - $20,000
New England Health Care Institute - $100,000

Bessie Tartt Wilson Children’s Foundation - $50,000
Big Sister Association - $25,000
Black Ministerial Alliance - $65,000
Boston Full Service Schools Roundtable - $60,000
Boston Public Schools - $50,000
Bottom Line - $35,000
Citywide Board of Boston Community Centers/Boston Centers for Youth and Families - $50,000
Foundation for Excellent Schools - $20,000
Freedom House - $25,000
Jumpstart for Young Children - $100,000
Massachusetts Charter School Association - $100,000
Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership - $25,000
The Medical Foundation - $25,000
Northeastern University - $45,000
Northeastern University Center for the Study of Sport in Society - $45,000
Presentation School Foundation - $25,000
Sportsmen’s Tennis Club - $35,000
Strategies for Children - $40,000
Urban Ecology Institute - $30,000
Women Express - $25,000
YMCA of Greater Boston - $200,000
Young Peoples Project - $30,000
Youth and Families - $50,000

Black Ministerial Alliance - $25,000
The Boston Foundation - $160,000
Center for Community Health Education Research & Services - $40,000
DEAF Inc. - $50,000
Dimock Community Health Center - $50,000
Emerson College - $25,000
Federated Dorchester Neighborhood Houses - $150,000
Friends of the Shattuck Shelter - $40,000
Kenneth B. Schwartz Center - $20,000
Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers - $45,000
Massachusetts Public Health Association - $40,000
Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children - $30,000
PACT Project - $40,000
Parent Professional Advocacy League - $40,000
Rosie’s Place - $25,000
Tobacco Free Massachusetts - $30,000
United South End Settlements - $25,000
University of Massachusetts-Boston’s Gerontology Institute - $40,000
University of Massachusetts-Lowell’s Environmental health Initiative - $40,000

Allston-Brighton Community Development Corporation - $50,000
B’nai B’rith Housing New England - $40,000
The Boston Foundation - $700,000
Boston Tenant Coalition - $35,000
Community Resources for Justice - $65,000
Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly - $50,000
Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance - $50,000
Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations - $60,000
Massachusetts Law Reform Institute - $45,000
Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance - $60,000
Neighborhood of Affordable Housing - $50,000
Neighborhood Funders Group - $5,000
New Ecology - $25,000
Nuestra Communidad Development Corporation - $25,000
Roxbury Youth Works - $25,000
Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development - $25,000

Greater New Orleans Community Foundation - $50,000
Nonprofit Finance Fund - $100,000
Northeastern University - $76,000
Third Sector New England (Nonprofit Sector Working Group) - $85,000
Third Sector New England (Diversity Initiative) - $30,000
Various institutional memberships - $113,000

Boston Natural Areas Network - $80,000
Charles River Watershed Association - $75,000
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay - $50,000
Trustees of Reservations - $40,000
WalkBoston - $50,000

Boston Education and Skills Training Corporation - $40,000
The Boston Foundation - $President’s Initiative Fund - $14,000
Boston Private Industry Council - $75,000
Centro Latino de Chelsea - $50,000
English for New Bostonians - $100,000
Grants from the Polaroid Fund - $182,000
My Turn - $40,000

Health Care for All - $75,000