Boston Foundation, United Way, other funders join to strengthen summer programs for city teens

May 3, 2006

Boston – At a time when youth violence appears to be on the rise, The Boston Foundation and United Way of Massachusetts Bay are announcing a $330,000 Summer Safety Funding Collaborative to give high-risk Boston youth more constructive and safer activities during the summer months. The Boston Foundation and United Way of Massachusetts Bay, through its Today’s Girls … Tomorrow’s Leaders Initiative, has also committed $100,000 to the effort.  Additional contributions have been made by the Barr Foundation, the Hyams Foundation, The Foundation to be Named Later, the Klarman Family Foundation, the Clipper Ship Foundation, the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation and the Lenny Zakim Fund.

“When school ends, it is important to provide constructive programs that serve Boston teen-agers,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “This summer it is more important than ever for us to support and expand these programs because of the increase in violence in recent months. We must provide our young people with opportunities that keep them safe.”

“We’ve been watching with heightened concern the increased involvement of girls in the juvenile justice system,” said Milton J. Little, Jr., President and CEO of United Way of Massachusetts Bay. “Poverty, violence and negative societal pressures exert a particular influence on girls, resulting for many in a less than optimal confidence, leadership skills and healthy behavior.  We hope these new resources and collaborative spirit will result in reduced incidents of youth violence in Boston.”

This funding has been announced together with a Request for Proposals from nonprofit organizations that plan to apply for support. Funding will be provided for either of two strategies: extended hours grants that will make it possible to expand existing programs, or innovative new ideas to engage and serve high-risk youth. Organizations that apply for support will be encouraged to collaborate with one another to extend their abilities to serve youth, especially girls, and to build capacity in communities that have been designated as hot spots by the Boston Police Department. The funding partners expect to continue to look for additional support.

“We all need to work together to keep young people in Boston safe and secure this summer, and good summer programs in the neighborhoods are an important part of the solution,” said Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “I want to thank the Boston Foundation, United Way and the other foundations for answering the City of Boston’s call to action on this.  This will help the city serve as many young people as possible, and we know that we all win when we take care of our children.

The Request for Proposals is available on the website of the Boston Foundation.

In 2005, Boston suffered the highest number of murders and incidents involving guns in a decade. Many neighborhoods have been affected by this spike in violence, and while many excellent programs are already in place to serve youth and teen-agers after the school term ends, this RFP is designed to address concerns that not enough young people can be served—and that in some cases youth most at risk of being involved in violence are not being reached.

Within the funding provided through the current RFP, a special focus is included on girls in the city. This includes the contribution made by United Way, which is funding its share of the summer safety RFP through its Today’s Girls … Tomorrow’s Leaders Initiative. Other funders are also expected to earmark a part of their contribution for programming directed at girls.


The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation, with an endowment of over $730 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.


United Way of Massachusetts Bay (UWMB), a nonprofit organization with a proven track record for mitigating risk factors contributing to early childhood, adolescent and adult problems is the largest United Way in New England.  Unmatched in expertise and understanding of the ingredients for successful management in community service organizations, UWMB raises and guides the investment of close to $40 million dollars annually, in a portfolio of community based organizations that strive to create positive impact for individuals across the Greater Boston area. For more information, please visit .