Boston Foundation fall grants address housing issues, strengthen diversity, support ICA visitor services

September 28, 2006

Boston –The Boston Foundation Board of Directors announced almost $12 million in new grants for area nonprofits at its meeting on September 28. This includes grants to address the region’s need for more workforce housing, strengthen diversity in philanthropy, and support the new Institute of Contemporary Art in the Seaport District. The Early Education for All Campaign was also a recipients of Foundation support.

“The high cost of housing remains Greater Boston’s top economic issue, and we look for opportunities to improve our situation,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation.

A grant of $125,000 was made to CLF Ventures, Inc., a nonprofit affiliate of the Conservation Law Foundation that works with business and environmental stakeholders to develop projects that address goals that both of those communities share. The grant will enable CLFV and its two national partners, Economic Innovation International, Inc. and Strategic Development Solutions to execute a feasibility study to explore the creation of Workforce Housing Fund to provide private equity capital and technical expertise to for-profit and not-for-profit real estate developers seeking to construct workforce housing.

Hispanics In Philanthropy (HIP) was created in 1983 to promote a better connection between organized philanthropy and the Latino community. HIP includes representatives from across the philanthropic sector in the U.S. and the Americas and sponsors regional, national and international conferences and briefings, research, publications and referrals for foundations seeking either Hispanic staff, trustees or consultants, or exchanges with Latin American foundations.

The grant of $100,000 for each of the next three years to support a capacity building program designed to strengthen Latino nonprofit organizations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Activities will include fundraising and site committee meetings, coaching and training sessions and convenings of all grantees at the local and the national level. The grant will be released in the two subsequent years based on review of project performance by the Boston Foundation.

The new Institute of Contemporary Art, scheduled to open in the fall of 2006 in its new building on Fan Pier in Boston’s Seaport District. In its new location he ICA expects to increase attendance more than 100 percent, to serve 200,000 people in 2007. It is the recipient of a grant from the Boston Foundation of $75,000 to build the capacity of its visitor service operation as it moves and prepares for an expanded attendance. The grant will support an expanded staff, training and the purchase and installation of a new software system to support the effort. The goal of the project is to ensure a high-quality museum experience, to expand membership, and to serve the long-term sustainability of the new museum.

Additional funding totaling $50,000 for the arts will make it possible to update the Boston data from the 2003 Comparative Arts Funding Study and to examine how the environment for arts and culture has changed since 1999-2004. This study will focus on Greater Boston to provide a more extensive understanding of the local context for arts and culture.

In education, a grant of $25,000 to EdVestors will support the Payzant “Schools on the Move” award, named for outgoing Boston School Superintendent Thomas Payzant, and designed to highlight “turn-around schools” and to provide an incentive to other school communities to continue and accelerate their efforts to strengthen student performance.

Each quarter the Boston Foundation awards an Out of the Blue grant of $75,000, a significant unrestricted and unsolicited award, to an exceptional organization serving Greater Boston. The current award has been made to Strategies for Children, Inc., the sponsor of the Early Education for All Campaign, a long-term endeavor to make free, high quality, early childhood education and full-day public school kindergarten available to all Massachusetts children.

Early Education for All has put the idea of early childhood education in the public eye and on the public policy map in the Commonwealth. Director Margaret Blood has provided an effective example of the cross-sector, public-private partnership that is required to have a significant impact on an important and long-term issue.

In addition to $582,500 in grants from Discretionary Funds, the Foundation also distributed $1,777,200 in grants from Designated Funds and $8,860,876 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 over $730 million.  In 2005, the Foundation and its donors made more than $60 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of $73 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 listing of the Boston Foundation’s $582,500 in Discretionary grants made in this quarter:

The Boston Foundation - $20,000
The Boston Foundation - $30,000
The Institute of Contemporary Art - $75,000

EdVestors - $25,000
Patrick O’Hearn School - $15,000

Children’s Hospital Corporation - $40,000
Victory programs, Inc. - $7,500

CLF Ventures/Conservation Law Foundation - $125,000

The Boston Foundation - $25,000
Hispanics in Philanthropy - $300,000

Boston Society of Architects - $5,000

The Boston Foundation - $15,000

Strategies for Children - $75,000