The Boston Foundation June grants address issues in housing, education, workforce development: $23.M in grants includes media partnerships, civic engagement strategies

June 19, 2008

Boston –The Boston Foundation Board of Directors today announced almost $24 million in grants to a range of nonprofits serving residents of Greater Boston. That broad distribution contained a strategic focus on sectors that are closely related to the region’s ability to continue to thrive and to be economically competitive—including education, workforce development and the nonprofit sector.  Housing remained an important sector for grants, as well, with a new focus on the recent foreclosure crisis.


Grants in education are directed towards strategies that promote proven ideas for innovation within the school system to better serve urban youth, with a particular interest in students of color. A grant of $75,000 to the Massachusetts Center for Charter Public School Excellence seeks to create more charter schools. A grant of $125,000 to the Center for Collaborative Education will strengthen an organization dedicated to identifying and sharing best practices, with a particular interest in expanding the number of pilot schools in Boston.

And this quarter’s Out of the Blue Grant, which provides $75,000 in funding unasked for and with no strings attached to an organization with a proven record of innovation and impact, was awarded to ACCESS, a Boston organization that provides financial aid advising and advocacy and need-based scholarships to Boston’s public school students.

Workforce Development

The Foundation’s strategy in Workforce Development includes building opportunities for area residents in low-skill, low-income jobs to get onto career ladders that offer the opportunity for professional development and wages that can sustain families. The current docket includes a grant of $50,000 to Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries, Inc., to support its Human Services Employment Ladder program. This job training program introduces low-income residents to the human services field, trains them for entry-level, direct-care positions, and offers post-placement support for one year to help each program graduate to advance professionally.

Housing and the Foreclosure Crisis

A grant of $200,000 to Boston Community Capital addresses the current housing foreclosure crisis. Boston Community Capital is a community development financial intermediary dedicated to creating and preserving healthy communities where low-income people live and work. The current grant will support BCC’s neighborhood stabilization program, which is focused on six Massachusetts cities with the highest concentrations of foreclosures—Boston, Lawrence, New Bedford, Brockton, Worcester and Springfield. The program recognizes the unprecedented complexity of the current housing crisis, with large-scale securitization of mortgages. The goal of the program is to develop an effective, high-impact strategy for responding to the needs of renters and homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes, seeking to end the cycle of foreclosure and vacancy and the damage that inflicts on entire neighborhoods.

In addition, two grants, one for $60,000 to Metropolitan Housing Partnership and one for $50,000 to City Life/Vida Urbana, will help tenants of foreclosed properties facing evictions.

Media Partnerships

A cluster of grants addresses important changes underway in the media and the delivery of vital information to local communities. A grant of $200,000 to MassINC provides first-year funding for a three-year effort to expand and deepen the impact of CommonWealth Magazine, published by MassINC, a nonpartisan think tank and civic organization. The funding will be used to build online resources and to add in-depth investigative reporting on key issues.

The participation of young people in a changing media landscape, using new technologies and embracing the increasingly personalized nature of communications systems is the focus of a $40,000 grant to the Boston Neighborhood Network. BNN was founded in 1983 to provide residents of Boston and local organizations with training and access to production facilities as well as cable channels to share culture, news and perspectives. The current grant will support the expansion of BNN’s Teen TV program year-round capacity, enabling it to hire a full-time youth program coordinator to strengthen the role of Boston’s youth in local broadcasting.

A grant of $25,000 to the third annual Boston Business Journal Corporate Philanthropy Summit will continue the work of the Boston Business Journal to raise awareness about the importance of philanthropy in the region and the role of local corporations, and to continue to build a credible body of information about corporate philanthropy at a time when business consolidation has raised concerns about commitment to local issues by companies doing business here.

In a related grant, WBUR Radio 90.9 will receive $50,000 to support a multi-part news series that will air during Morning Edition. The programming will be focused on advances in public education and the issue of the “achievement gap;” the changing face of Boston; the impact of urban development on the city; and the challenges for residents in attaining and sustaining middle class life in Boston.

Building Diverse Audiences for the Arts

A theme that runs through grants for the Arts and Cultural Sector is support for building diverse and inclusive audiences—strengthening programs that have broad appeal, and supporting strategic efforts by established institutions seeking to draw a more diverse audience. BalletRox is a diverse dance company and school founded in 1999 that uses dance as a catalyst to break down racial barriers and enrich artistic experiences in the urban community. A grant of $25,000 will support the creation of a new ballet set in 1930s Harlem.

A grant of $125,000 to the Museum of Fine Arts will support the work of the MFA to develop a broad and diverse audience. The MFA, widely considered to be one of the most important art museums in the country, with more than one million visitors each year, has broken ground for a major new American Wing with new galleries, a conservation lab and a new auditorium. However, research indicates that many area residents who care about the arts do not visit the museum. In addition, the MFA seeks to build a more diverse audience, tapping the growing regional population of color. The grant will be used to develop marketing research to understand better how to build a multicultural audience.

Health and Human Services

A grant of $85,000 to Project HEALTH will help enable a pilot program at Upham’s Corner health center to serve the Grove Hall and Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhoods. The goal is to train a corps of college student volunteers and pro bono legal staff to operate a Family Help Desk in the health center, who can help connect local residents to community resources and provide legal advocacy.

A number of grants within the sector, reflect the Foundation’s long-established interest in addressing health care gaps and disparities among different populations. A grant of $60,000 to Arc Massachusetts will enable data collection on disparities that affect people with cognitive or intellectual disabilities. And a grant of $50,000 to the Massachusetts Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association will support that organization’s Health Disparities Project, which seeks to reach out to Latinos and African Americans, who are at disproportionate risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Civic Engagement

The growth of the region’s immigrant population remains an important asset. A grant to the Metrowest Immigrant Workers Center connects the Foundation’s interest in Workforce Development with its deep-rooted interest in promoting civic engagement. The grant, for $40,000, to the worker’s center will support its efforts to address the legal and safety needs of the region’s immigrant population. The Worker’s Center is a coalition of labor, faith-based and immigrant advocacy groups that helps to provide support for a range of issues. Its goal is to increase the workplace safety and income for area residents.

A grant to the Boston University School of Management builds on the recent report, entitled Passion & Purpose: Raising the Fiscal Fitness Bar for Massachusetts Nonprofits, which examined the impact and the economic significance of the nonprofit sector within the regional economy. The $75,000 grant will help support the launch of the Institute for Nonprofit Leadership and Management, which is designed to strengthen the management skills of nonprofit leaders. The program, which completed a successful pilot program last year, will launch in 2008 as a full-year program with 40 leaders. That will increase to total of 80 participants per year by 2010.

In addition to $5,868,099 in grants from Discretionary Funds, the Foundation also distributed $5,636,625 in grants from Designated Funds and $12,183,236 in Donor Advised Funds.

Discretionary grants are made from the Boston Foundation’s Permanent Fund for Boston, a collection of unrestricted gifts made to the Foundation to be disbursed 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 organization 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 $964 million.  In 2007, the Foundation and its donors made more than $92 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of more than $155 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 June 19.


Ballet Rox - $25,000

Berklee College of Music - $50,000

Boston Children’s Museum - $100,000

Boston Landmarks Orchestra - $50,000

Franklin Park Coalition - $20,000

Huntington Theatre Company - $75,000

Madison Park Development Corporation - $50,000

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - $125,000

New Center for Arts and Culture - $55,000

Opera Boston - $40,000

Paul Revere Memorial Association - $25,000



Building Impact - $40,000

Boston Center for Community and Justice - $40,000

Centro Presente, Inc. - $50,000

City to City Boston - $25,000

Family Equality Council - $15,000

Hyde Square Task Force, Inc. - $50,000

IDEAS Boston - $50,000

Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and health - $30,000

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice - $25,000

MassINC - $200,000

Metrowest Immigrant Workers Center - $40,000

Public Policy Institute - $50,000

Sociedad Latina, Inc. - $25,000

WBUR - $50,000



Boston Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition­ - $40,000

InnerCity Entrepreneurs - $50,000

Massachusetts College of Art and design - $50,000



ACCESS - $100,000

Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology - $80,000

The Boston Foundation’s Achieving the Dream Initiative - $200,000

Boston Schoolyard Funders Collaborative - $50,000

Center for Collaborative Education - $125,000

Efficacy Institute - $60,000

Family Nurturing Center of Massachusetts - $125,000

Harvard Law School, The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute - $85,000

Massachusetts 2020 - $60,000

Massachusetts Center for Charter Public School Excellence - $75,000

University of Massachusetts, the Gaston Institute - $41,826

Union of Minority Neighborhoods - $150,000



America SCORES New England - $25,000

Artists for Humanity - $35,000

Boston Neighborhood Network - $40,000

Boston Public Library Foundation, Inc. - $35,000

Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston - $50,000

Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL) - $40,000

Camp Harbor View - $75,000

Citizen Schools, Inc. - $40,000

Girls’ Leap Self defense, Inc. - $25,000

MissionSAFE: A New Beginning - $35,000

Partners for Youth With Disabilities - $40,000

Sports4Kids - $25,000

West End House Boys & Girls Club - $50,000

Young People’s Project - $35,000

Youth Enrichment Services, Inc. - $25,000



AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts - $40,000

Alzheimer’s Association, Massachusetts Chapter - $50,000

Arc Massachusetts - $60,000

The Center for Community Health Education, Research and Service, Inc. - $38,500

Community Partners, Inc - $20,000

Ethos - $45,000

Julie’s Family Learning program - $40,000

Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project - $40,000

LGBT Aging Project - $25,000

Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance - $40,000

Partners in Health - $40,000

Project Health - $85,000

SCM Community Transportation - $45,000

Somerville Mental Health Association - $55,000

Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College - $50,000

Women’s Lunch Place, Inc. - $25,000



Action for Regional Equity - $50,000

Boston Community Capital - $200,000

Center for Teen Empowerment - $40,000

Chinese Progressive Association - $35,000

Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association, Inc. - $25,000

City Life/Vida Urbana - $50,000

Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston - $35,000

Harvard University - $14,473

Home Funders - $50,000

Local Initiatives Support Corporation - $200,000

Massachusetts Communities Action Network - $30,000

Massachusetts Housing Partnership Fund - $25,000

Massachusetts Senior Action Council - $75,000

Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership - $60,000

Northeastern University, Center for Urban and Regional Policy, Commonwealth Housing Pine Street Inn, Inc. - $50,000

Project R.I.G.H.T., Inc. - $75,000

Task Force - $75,000

(Boston) Ten Point Coalition - $45,000

Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development - $35,000



Boston Area Nonprofits Study - $18,000

Boston Foundation for support of Boston Business Journal Corporate Philanthropy Summit - $25,000

Boston Foundation for event sponsorship - $25,000

Boston Foundation Employee Matching Gift Program - $15,000

Boston University School of Management - $75,000

FSG Social Impact Advisors - $25,000

University of Massachusetts-Boston - $25,000



Conservation Law Foundation - $40,000

Foster’s Pond Corporation - $5,300

Greater Four Corners Action Coalition - $30,000

Historic Boston Incorporated - $50,000

Island Alliance - $60,000

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy - $125,000



Educational Development Group, Inc. - $30,000

Massachusetts Alliance for Adult Literacy - $25,000

Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education - $50,000

Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition - $35,000

MissionWorks - $20,000

Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries - $50,000

Union of Minority Neighborhoods - $25,000



ACCESS - $75,000