The Boston Foundation grants focus on strategic development in arts, education: Board announces $27,620,824 in grants to area nonprofit organizations

June 21, 2007

Boston – The Boston Foundation Board of Directors today announced almost $28 million in new grants for a wide range of nonprofit organizations serving Greater Boston—including a major grant to address the need to help strengthen and renew a major regional arts organization, as well as grants that build on the Foundation’s commitment to excellence in education. Young residents and the city’s elderly population were included in the June grants, as well as programs that build on recent reports issued by the Foundation on critical issues in physical health and the health care sector in the region.

And the Charles River Conservancy, renowned for achieving one of the region’s great environmental success stories, was a recipient of an Out of the Blue Grant, which provides funding unasked for and with no strings attached to one notable local organization four times a year.

The largest single grant, for $225,000, was awarded to the Citi Performing Arts Center—formerly known as the Wang Center for the performing Arts. This follows the announcement in late 2006 of a 15-year partnership between the high-profile Boston arts center which serves one million-plus people annually and the world’s second largest bank. The Boston Foundation grant will be used to pursue and implement strategic alliances locally with smaller organizations. The goal is to create organizational efficiencies, build audiences, and introduce a more strategic approach to aligning the performing arts and current and potential audiences in Greater Boston.

A focus on education
A number of grants underscore the importance of education as a strategic priority for the Boston Foundation. These include $125,000 to expand Smart from the Start, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s initiative. This is a joint project with the Family Nurturing Center, Boston Centers for Youth and Families and the Boston Housing Authority. It is designed to prepare Boston’s lowest-income children and their families for success in school. Oversight will be provided by the office of Mayor Thomas Menino, and the focus of the work will be in three sites: Mattapan, Roslindale and South Boston.

“Every single child in Boston needs a successful education to thrive in the 21st century economy, and we know that preparation before school begins is critical to that success,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “We are committed to a radical vision of schools that are truly excellent, and pre-K programs are one integral part of that vision.”

Two other grants dedicated to building and strengthening diverse strategies for educational excellence were also announced. The Center for Collaborative Education, which created and operates the Boston Pilot Schools Network, received a grant for $125,000, and the Massachusetts Center for Charter Public School Excellence received a grant of $75,000 to continue its work of stimulating the creation of high quality charter public schools.

A $60,000 grant to the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology will continue to expand a dual-enrollment program, working with Boston students who take classes both ion their high schools and at the Franklin Institute. This strategy prepares them for staying in and succeeding at college. The goal of the program is to expand to include as many as 200 BPS students annually and to increase the number of high schools taking part in the program to 10. The program has proven effective, with five high school partnerships already underway. This grant serves a number of Boston Foundation objectives, increasing college participation for urban students, providing college skills and mentoring, with a focus on the technical and scientific fields where there is a growing demand for workers.

A $30,000 grant to the Patriots Trail Girl Scout Council is designed to strengthen the Scouting program’s outreach efforts to increase diversity by expanding existing programs and tailoring them to the needs and interests of girls in Boston, Chelsea and Somerville. Plans by the Council include expanding into three new community centers, increasing enrolment and establishing new troops in Chelsea. It is working in collaboration with the African Community Economic Development of New England and the Urban League.

Health care
A grant to Fitness Forward is designed to address growing youth obesity through a school-based health and wellness program in the Boston public schools. This effort is in alignment with the conclusions of original research by the New England Healthcare Institute and released at an Understanding Boston Report and Forum sponsored by the Boston Foundation earlier this month which identified a rising tide of preventable chronic disease that results from unhealthy weight—such as diabetes and heart disease—and called for greater emphasis on promoting changes in behavior that can foster better health. Fitness Forward, which was piloted in Durham, North Carolina, is a “best practices” strategy that creates a system of rewards to encourage children and their families to lead healthier lifestyles, including greater physical activity, consuming less sugar-added beverages, eating fruits and vegetables, and limiting TV and video game time.

Housing and Community Development
Housing, another key priority area for the Foundation, was the focus of grants that continue to build on recent accomplishments of the Foundation. A grant of $100,000 to the Northeastern University Center for Urban and Regional Policy continues the Foundations support of the Commonwealth Housing Task Force. This group, convened by the Foundation, made possible chapters 40S/40R smart growth housing legislation, creating new zoning strategies to encourage the creation of affordable housing clusters in town centers and along exiting transportation routes.

An additional grant of $100,000 to the Fairmount/Indigo Line CDC Collaborative will promote a major smart growth housing project within Boston, which will upgrade the existing nine-mile-long Fairmount commuter line to promote the creation of housing and commercial development while the line itself is transformed into a rapid transit service with more stops and better services for low and moderate-income neighborhoods in the city. This effort represents the collaboration of four CDCs—Dorchester Bay Economic development Corporation, Codman Square Housing Development Corporation, Mattapan Community Development Corporation and the Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation.

Workforce development
The third strategic priority area for the Foundation—along with Education and Housing—is Workforce Development. Grants in this sector included some long-established programs, such as $50,000 to Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries to help create the Human Services Employment Ladder Program, a new job training program that introduces low-income local residents to the human services field, trains them for entry-level direct-care positions, and provides a year of post-placement support. This reflects the Foundations strong interest in so-called pipeline strategies that use training and support to create career ladders that can move people into new levels of professional opportunity while serving a current and increasing need for trained workers.

New strategies that have proven effective in preparing young adults for meaningful employment in the new knowledge economy also received grants, including Year Up, which uses training, mentoring and career counseling and services to bring young, disadvantaged people into careers in technology.

A grant of $50,000 was made to St. Francis House, Inc., a nonsectarian daytime shelter that provides basic services and rehabilitation to very low-income and homeless men. The grant will support the HirePower Program at St. Francis which is a new employment program for a growing population of ex-offenders. The goal of the program is to enable ex-offenders with criminal records to gain meaningful employment through partnerships with local businesses. The program provides mentors and develops long-term relationships between St. Francis House and the businesses. The goal is to enable up to 70 clients to gain exposure to professionals in their chosen career fields, with the expectation that 25 percent of those who take part in the program will find permanent employment.

The Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education received a grant for $50,000 to support the Adult basic Education Public policy project. The goal of the project is to increase awareness in the public and in the business community, specifically, about the role and importance of Adult Basic Education. MCAE is considered a national leader in funding support for adult basic education—at a time educated and skilled workers are increasingly needed by the knowledge economy, and fully one-third of Massachusetts adult residents are considered to lack basic skills.

Economic development
In the Economic Development sector, a $100,000 grant to MIT will provide resources to the FutureBoston project at the MIT Laboratory for Mobile Learning to explore and teach how major issues in technology, energy and city design will affect the metropolitan Boston region. The project uses major regional media as well as town meeting-style convenings to raise awareness and increase civic collaboration among business, educational and civic leaders and residents of the region.

Out of the Blue Grant
Each quarter, the Boston Foundation presents a $75,000 Out of the Blue Grant, a significant unrestricted and unsolicited grant to an organization doing consistently excellent and critically important work. This quarter, the grant was made to the Charles River Conservancy, which was founded in 2000 to advocate for greater citizen and government support for the renovation, maintenance and enjoyment and the Charles River from the Boston Harbor to the Watertown Dam. The conservancy has played a dual role, engaging area residents in the life of the river and the efforts underway to reclaim, and restore it as a major regional recreational and environmental asset, and to bring a wider range of recreational opportunities to the Charles River Basin—including the construction of a major skate park in east Cambridge near the Zakim Bridge.


In addition to $6,547,038 in grants from Discretionary Funds, the Foundation also distributed $5,240,437 in grants from Designated Funds and $15,833,349 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 assets of over $830 million.  In 2006, the Foundation and its donors made more than $70 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of $71 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 June19, 2007, which totaled $6,547,038.

Arsenal Center for the Arts – $50,000
Boston center for the Arts, Inc. – $75,000
Citi Performing Arts Center – $225,000
First Night, Inc. – $100,000
Freedom Trail Foundation, Inc. – $35,000
Huntington Theatre Company, Inc. – $100,000
Jose Mateo’s Ballet Theatre of Boston – $40,000
Museum of African American History – $50,000
Opera Boston – $40,000

Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health, Inc. – $30,000
Organizing and leadership training Center – $40,000
The Boston Foundation – $25,000
Boston Indicators Project (The Boston Foundation) – $30,000
Centro Presente, Inc – $50,000
Chinese Progressive Association – $35,000
Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, Inc. – $50,000
Massachusetts Senior Action Council, Inc. – $75,000
Associates Grant makers – $30,000
Public Policy Institute – $50,000

IDEAS Boston/Massachusetts Institute for a new Commonwealth – $50,000
Massachusetts Institute of Technology – $100,000

Bessie Tartt Wilson Children’s Foundation, Inc. – $75,000
Family Nurturing Center – $125,000
The Boston Foundation – $10,000
Center for Collaborative Education – $125,000
Harvard Law School – $100,000
Massachusetts Center for Charter Public School Excellence – $75,000
Boston Parent Organizing Network – $125,000
Efficacy Institute Incorporated – $150,000
Massachusetts Advocates For Children – $30,000
Mass Insight Education and Research Institute – $75,000
ACCESS – $70,000
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology – $60,000
Boston Higher Education Partnership – $35,000

Boston After School and Beyond – $30,000
Building Educated leaders for Life (B.E.L.L.) – $50,000
Citizen Schools – $50,000
Girls’ Leap Self Defense, Inc. – $35,000
Patriots’ Trail Girl Scout Council – $30,000
TechMission, Inc. – $30,000
West End House Boys & Girls Club – $50,000
Young people’s project, Inc. – $38,000
Artists For Humanity – $35,000
Fund For Parks and Recreation In the City of Boston Youth Fund – $50,000
Mass Mentoring Partnership, Inc. – $35,000
MissionSafe: A New Beginning, Inc. – $35,000

Alzheimer’s Association, Massachusetts Chapter – $50,000
ARC Massachusetts – $60,000
Project Bread – The Walk for Hunger, Inc. – $50,000
AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, Inc. – $50,000
Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence, Inc. – $30,000
Boston Partnership for Older Adults – $50,000
Boston University – $50,000
Ethos – $45,000
Fitness Forward – $40,000
Greater Boston Food Bank, Inc. – $50,000
Julie’s Family Learning Program, Inc. – $44,000
Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project – $50,000
La Alianza Hispana, Inc. – $100,000
Massachusetts Association of Older Americans – $40,000
Massachusetts Public Health Association – $40,000
Partners In Health – $40,000
Rogerson Communities – $50,000
SCM Community Transportation Inc. – $35,000
University of Massachusetts Lowell Center for Sustainable production – $40,000

Northeastern University – Center for Urban and Regional Policy Commonwealth Housing Task Force – $100,000
AIDS Housing Corporation – $40,000
Fairmont/Indigo Line CDC Collaborative – $100,000
Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation – $100,000
New Ecology, Inc. – $40,000
Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants – $55,000
Somerville Community Corporation – $30,000
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) – $200,000
The Boston Police Department – $15,538
Boston Police Department – $165,000
Center for Teen Empowerment, Inc. – $40,000
Massachusetts Communities Action network – $30,000
Project R.I.G.H.T, Inc. – $75,000

The Boston Foundation – $20,000
Executive Service Corps of New England, Inc. – $100,000
Nonprofit Finance Fund – $100,000

Island Alliance, Inc. – $65,000
Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, Inc. – $125,000
Conservation law Foundation – $50,000
Historic Boston Incorporated – $50,000
Save The Harbor, Save The Bay, Inc. – $100,000

Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation – $50,000
Community Work Services – $50,000
Morgan memorial Goodwill Industries, Inc. – $50,000
Year Up, Inc. – $75,000
My Turn, Inc. – $50,000
St. Francis House, Inc. – $50,000
STRIVE/Boston Employment Service, Inc. – $50,000
Boston Adult Literacy Fund, Inc. – $32,500
Educational Development Group – $30,000
Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education – $50,000
YMCA of Greater Boston Education and Training Branch – $40,000

Charles River Conservancy – $75,000