Boston Foundation December grants address importance of education, impact of housing, workforce development

December 14, 2006

Boston – The Boston Foundation’s Board of Directors announced more than $17 million in new grants for area nonprofits at its meeting on December 14. This includes grants across a broad spectrum of organizations that serve Greater Boston, with a strategic focus on the sectors of education, housing and workforce development, which have emerged as priorities for the Foundation because of the critical impact they have on the lives of area residents and on the region’s ability to compete in an increasingly global economy.

“We are committed to programs and organizations that enrich and strengthen the quality of life for residents across Greater Boston,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “At the same time, we know that the best way to serve the whole community is by focusing on the strategic issues that enable it to thrive and move forward. An education system that achieves excellence for every child; a workforce that fits the true needs of the new global knowledge economy, providing family-sustaining wages and making it possible for companies to flourish in Massachusetts; and strategies that address the housing crisis which is driving away young people with short supply and high prices.”

Within education, grants were made to strengthen after-school programs, to reflect the increased need for enrichment and to engage young people in safe and constructive activities. This includes a $60,000 grant to the Boston Public Schools for Bridging the Gap, to align after-school programs with the learning goals of the schools; a $25,000 grant to Freedom House to provide academic coaching to Boston school students; and $25,000 to launch a sports program in local schools. The Boston Foundation continues in its commitment to Pilot Schools, with a grant of $50,000 to Mass Insight Education to strengthen support for math and English at Boston Community Leadership Academy, Boston’s only Pilot high school.

Other grants that reflect the strategic focus of the Foundation include grants to Y/BPS, the program designed to make a broader range of Boston residents aware of programs within the Boston Public School system that offer excellent education opportunities to children in families who might otherwise move to the suburbs or shift their children into private schools. A grant to the Boston Private Industry Council will underwrite research into college graduation rates for Boston Public School graduates, as part of the Foundation’s support of a pipeline strategy that encourages excellence at every level, from pre-kindergarten through higher education.

Housing and community development grants included a focus on the critical need to increase the affordability of housing for low-income and vulnerable populations. Among the grants made in this sector are a series designed to bring into alignment the public policy efforts of regional affordable housing organizations, including the Boston Affordable Housing Coalition, the Beverly Affordable Housing Coalition, and the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, among others. A grant to the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance is designed to build on the Foundation’s legislative success with the passage of Chapters 40R and 40S, which encourage communities to develop affordable housing in town centers, on existing transportation networks and on reclaimed industrial sites.

In workforce development, significant grants were made to help meet the large and growing need for English language programs for area residents who lack the language skills required by the new knowledge economy. This includes $45,000 for the Welcome Back-TOEFL program at Bunker Hill Community College, which helps men and women who have qualified as nurses in another countries attain the necessary medical skills, credentials and English language training to enable them to practice in Greater Boston.

A grant to English for New Bostonians addresses the need to bring immigrants to the region into the regional economy, reflecting the fact that they offer one important source of growth as population has moved out of the Commonwealth. Adult education skills and English proficiency have been identified as barriers to career advancement for many, creating shortages in critical sectors of the regional economy, as well.

An additional grant of $15,000 to the Boston Foundation will provide for a consultant to work with the Foundation to help develop a new campaign that is focused on adult literacy. Adult education and English proficiency have been identified as core priority areas within its workforce development initiative.

In addition to grants in the three strategic areas and across the full spectrum of issues that affect regional life, the Boston Foundation makes an Out of the Blue grant each quarter of $75,000, which is unsolicited and unrestricted.

This quarter, it was awarded to the Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston, a faith-based membership organization with more than 80 members that serves as a conduit, leveraging the resources and networks of more than 20,000 area residents for the benefit of the communities it serves. Its core programs are designed to improve educational achievement, and the lives of young people and their families. It also includes the Boston Capacity Tank, which makes grants and provides technical assistance to strengthen the capacity of faith and community-based organizations.

“This is a recognition of the critical work the BMA accomplishes at the grassroots, and a recognition of the remarkable leadership of Harold Sparrow,” said Grogan. “The BMA has brought $3 million in federal dollars for model programs serving high-risk youth, emerged as a go-to source for leadership coordinating service for evacuees from Hurricane Katrina, and raised the bar for scores of community organizations that have a significant impact on the lives of Bostonians.”

Highlights of the December grants in arts and culture include a cluster of grants including $75,000 to the Central Square Theater in Cambridge; $65,000 to the New Repertory Theatre, which is housed at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown; and $30,000 to Boston Theatre Works in Boston’s South End, all designed to strengthen theater in the region.

In addition, a $20,000 grant to the Boston Foundation was distributed in the form of individual funds worth $1,000 to 20 young emerging leaders, who were provided the opportunity to contribute them to local nonprofits of their choice. The idea behind that set of grants, which was unveiled at the Boston Foundation’s Annual Meeting, was to model philanthropy for a rising generation and to honor the relationship between established leaders and young men and women they have selected to mentor.


In addition to $6,484,350 in Discretionary Funds, the Foundation also distributed $2,291,109 in grants from Designated Funds and $8,489,061 from Donor Advised Funds.

Discretionary Grants are made from the 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 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 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 assets of over $770 million.  In 2005, the Foundation and its donors made more than $60 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of more than $70 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 14, 2006, which totaled $6,484,350.

Artist Link - $50,000
ArtsBoston - $50,000
Boston Theatre Works, Inc. - $30,000
Central Square Theater/Underground Railway Theater - $75,000
Franklin Park Coalition - $20,000
Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras - $25,000
Hyde Park Arts Initiative - $25,000
Madison Park Development Corporation/ACT Roxbury - $50,000
New Repertory Theatre - $65,000
Zumix - $50,000

American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee - $25,000
Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders - $20,000
Hyde Square Task Force - $35,000
Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition - $10,000
Massachusetts Institute of Technology - $20,000
Massachusetts Jobs with Justice - $25,000
Massachusetts Voter Education Network - $50,000
Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians - $25,000
Metropolitan Interfaith Congregations Acting for Hope - $20,000
Social Capital, Inc. - $20,000
South Africa Partners - $10,000
University of Massachusetts/Boston - $15,000
University of Massachusetts/Boston College of Public & Community Service - $17,500
World Education - $17,500
City Year - $150,000
National Black College Alliance - $35,000
OISTE - $75,000
John F. Kennedy Library Foundation - $75,000

Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce/Initiative for a New Economy - $100,000
Innercity Entrepreneurs - $30,000
The Massachusetts Association for Community Action - $55,000
Museum of Science Boston Wireless Initiative - $100,000
The Boston Foundation - $20,000

Boston Digital Bridge Foundation - $50,000
Boston Educational Development Foundation - $15,000
Center for Law and Education - $50,000
Massachusetts Charter Public School Association - $75,000
Northeastern University - $20,000
YMCA of Greater Boston – Y/BPS - $200,000
Boston Foundation – Y/BPS Evaluation - $25,000
Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education - $40,000
Mass Insight Education and Research Institute - $50,000
Boston Private Industry Council - $135,000
Bottom Line - $40,000

Big Brothers of Massachusetts Bay - $35,000
Build the Out of School Time Network (BostoNet) - $50,000
Freedom House, Inc. - $25,000
Northeastern University Center for the Study of Sport in Society - $35,000
Partners for Youth with Disabilities - $40,000
Presentation School Foundation - $50,000
South End/Lower Roxbury Youth Workers Alliance - $20,000
Sportsmen’s Tennis Club - $25,000
Sports4Kids - $25,000
Tenacity - $30,000
Boston Public Schools - $60,000
Roca - $50,000
Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership - $35,000
YMCA of Greater Boston - $50,000

Associated Early Care and Education - $45,000
Boston Black Women’s Health Institute - $45,000
Boston Public Health Commission - $100,000
Boston Urban Asthma Coalition - $40,000
D.E.A.F., Inc. - $35,000
Greater Boston Interfaith Organization - $50,000
Greater Boston Legal Services - $100,000
Health Care For All - $75,000
Massachusetts Asians & Pacific Islanders for Health - $40,000
New England Eye Institute - $40,000
Boston Center for Independent Living - $50,000
The Boston Foundation Homelessness Prevention Initiative - $700,000
Center for Public Representation, Inc. - $40,000
Ellis Memorial and Eldredge House - $50,000
Family Service of Greater Boston - $50,000
Fenway Community Health - $50,000
Foundation for Home Health - $30,000
The Home for Little Wanderers - $30,000
Pathways to Wellness, Inc. - $30,000
Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project - $25,000

Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association - $60,000
Massachusetts Association of Community Development - $75,000
Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance - $60,000
Action for Regional Equity - $50,000
Beverly Affordable Housing Coalition - $20,000
Boston Affordable Housing Coalition - $25,000
Homes for Families - $30,000
Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly - $50,000
Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance - $50,000
Allston-Brighton Community Development Corporation - $50,000
Boston Tenant Coalition, Inc. - $35,000
Cambridge Eviction Free Zone - $25,000
B’nai B’rith Housing New England - $50,000
Salem Harbor Community Development Corporation - $50,000

The Boston Foundation/Nonprofit Sector Support - $15,000
Third Sector New England - $100,000
Black Ministerial Alliance (Out of the Blue grant) - $75,000
The Boston Foundation/National and Regional Memberships - $150,000
The Bridgespan Group/Bridgestar Initiative - $100,000
Common Impact - $75,000
The Greenlight Fund, Inc. - $100,000
The Partnership, Inc. - $70,000

Boston Natural Areas Network, Inc. - $75.000
Charles River Conservancy - $45,000
Chelsea Creek Restoration Partnership - $60,000
WalkBoston - $50,000
New England Aquarium Corporation - $100,000

Crittenton Women’s Union - $50,000
Massachusetts Workforce Alliance - $25,000
Paraprofessional healthcare Institute - $100,000
Urban league of Eastern Massachusetts - $50,000
Boston Private Industry Council, Inc. - $75,000
Massachusetts Law Reform Institute - $45,000
Bunker Hill Community College - $45,000
Centro Latino de Chelsea - $50,000
English for New Bostonians - $150,000
Operation Bootstrap - $25,000
St. Mark Community Education Program - $20,000
The Boston Foundation - $15,000