Boston Foundation quarterly grants include support in education, health issues and the arts: $22.6 million distributed to regional nonprofit organizations

October 8, 2009

Boston –The Boston Foundation has announced its quarterly grants, providing support to a wide range of organizations and programs serving the needs of Greater Boston residents, including a new program offering support to area artists supported by a notable gift made by an artist who sought to create a fund to help his fellow artists.

Grants in education reflect the Foundation’s commitment to developing a robust educational pipeline that focuses on serving children continuing from pre-school through college, including a focus on job training needed by adults seeking to advance their careers. These include grants in the Early Education segment to the Boston Alliance for Early Education, to Jumpstart and to Strategies for Children, Inc., all of which will support programs that provide early childhood education and preparation for children to better equip them to thrive in school. Innovative strategies to increase educational options for area families in the kindergarten through high school segment also were funded, including the Campaign for Catholic Schools, a campaign by the Archdiocese of Boston to revitalize Catholic schools, with a particular focus on the new multiple campus Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy in Dorchester and Mattapan.

The Foundation continues its strong support for charter schools with a grant to the Boston Charter Alliance to enable that organization to hire a parent organizer to advocate for school options and to help maintain state funding for charter schools.

In the area of health and health care, grants went to Body by Brandy 4 Kidz, an innovative organization based in Roxbury that offers a fitness program designed to teach young people the benefits of healthy lifestyles. Fitness Forward Foundation also received a grant to support Drive2Fitness, its signature program that uses education and web tracking tools to encourage children and their families to lead healthier lives.
A grant to the national Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts, Inc., will help to build the capacity of that organization and to support a particular focus on the area Latino community.

A grant to the Tufts University/Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service will support the Goldberg Civic Engagement Initiative, a forum for developing practical recommendations to improve the health of immigrant populations, specifically for its work focused on nutrition and obesity prevention.

New support for artists
Also as part of this quarter’s grants, the Foundation has announced the first-ever Brother Thomas Fellowships, a set of eight unrestricted grants to area artists, made possible by the extraordinary legacy of Brother Thomas Bezanson, a Benedictine lay brother and a ceramic artist of international renown, who left the art works remaining in his estate when he died to support a fund to help “struggling” artists. Following a thorough process of invitation and review of the work of 62 artists, eight were selected: Filmmaker and playwright John Oluwole ADEkoje, composer Kati Agóc, poet Richard Hoffman, poet Barbara Helfgott Hyett, video artist Brian Knep, filmmaker Alla Kovgan, documentary filmmaker Tracy Heather Strain and Heather White, who makes wearable art. Each received a grant of $15,000 in the biennial awards program. The eight artists will be honored at an event at the Boston Foundation on Tuesday evening, October 13.

Civic Engagement
Several grants will go to support efforts to improve civil rights for members of the LGBT community. A grant to the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition will support a group dedicated to ending discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. The grant will contribute to a program to raise public awareness and educate policy makers about the needs of the transgender community.  A separate grant to the MassEquality Education Fund will support efforts to promote equal rights and protections for the LGBT community and raise awareness of issues facing the community through grassroots fieldwork and through partnerships with other organizations.

Among several grants in the Housing area, the Foundation made a grant to the Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) to support advocacy by that organization on behalf of those in need of affordable housing in the state.  Residents of privately-owned, HUD subsidized housing units are the focus of a grant to the Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants. The funding will be used to organize and preserve housing targeted as “expiring mortgage” buildings threatening the future of almost 1,000 units of housing subsidized to serve low-income residents of Greater Boston.

Workforce development
Grants to a wide range of organizations are designed to increase access to training and to help area residents gain a foothold on career ladders that can provide jobs with family-sustaining wages. A grant to MAB Community Services, Inc. focuses on adults and adolescents with disabilities; a grant to the Boston Education Skills and Training Corp. will offer workforce training to unionized hospitality workers for the African American Hospitality Initiative to provide entry to the industry; and a grant to the Mother Caroline Academy and Education Center  will support the family-centered educational institution for financially disadvantaged girls, youth and adults from the Grove Hall community and for an adult education program that offers English language training, preparation for the GED exam and counseling services.

In addition to $4,308,000 in grants from Discretionary Funds, the Foundation also distributed $ 2,397,861 in grants from Designated Funds and $15,870,657 in Donor Advised Funds.

Discretionary grants are made from the Boston Foundation’s Community Fund, a collection of unrestricted gifts to the Permanent Fund for Boston 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 $695 million.  In Fiscal Year 2009, the Foundation and its donors made $86 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of over $72 million. The Foundation is made up of some 900 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 Discretionary grants made in this quarter:

Boston Book Festival, Inc. - $25,000 to support a first-ever annual book festival.
Boston Children’s Chorus, Inc. - $75,000 to provide general operating support.
Boston Foundation - $50,000 for arts advocacy.
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Inc. - $25,000 in a challenge grant matched by audience contributions.
Museum of African American History, Inc. - $50,000 for general operations.
Nonprofit Finance Fund - $25,000 to provide technical assistance to the Museum of African American History.
National Arts & Learning Collaborative - $40,000 to support capacity building efforts to strengthen the organization’s ability to advocate for arts education.
Theater Offensive - $50,000 for a capacity-building initiative to train core staff.

Boston Foundation - $25,000 to support research at the Edward J. Collins Jr. Center for Public Management at UMass Boston.
Boston Foundation - $165,000 to support a series of monthly public affairs TV programs on NECN.
Boston Global Bridge Institute - $25,000 for general support.
CEOs for Cities - $20,000 for general support.
Commonwealth Seminar - $30,000 for general operating support.
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition - $25,000 for continued support of advocacy and education.
MassEquality Education Fund - $25,000 for the Equality Agenda, a strategic campaign to promote understanding of issues facing the LGBT community.
University of Massachusetts Boston - $50,000 for the Commonwealth Compact project.

Accion USA, Inc. - $50,000 to expand its micro lender program.
Initiative for a New Economy - $100,000 for general support.
Massachusetts Transportation Investment Coalition - $70,000 to support the organization’s advocacy for programs and policies to fund the state’s transportation system.

Boston Alliance for Early Education - $50,000 to promote universally accessible high quality early education care for all families in Boston.
Boston Charter Alliance - $25,000 to help hire a parent organizer.
Boston Full Service Schools Roundtable - $50,000 to expand Boston’s full-service school initiatives.
Campaign for Catholic Schools - $100,000 to support teacher development at Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy in Dorchester and Mattapan.
Jumpstart - $60,000 to support its School Readiness for All program.
Strategies for Children, Inc. - $40,000 for its advocacy fr the early Education for All campaign.
Teach for America, Inc. - $50,000 to support an alumni effort.
Stand for Children Leadership Center - $75,000 to establish a Boston office.
Teach Plus, Incorporated - $70,000 to increase retention of effective teachers.
University of Massachusetts Foundation, Inc. - $18,000 to cover costs associated with the Success Boston Initiative.
WriteBoston - $15,000 to support the 12-session Summer Writing program.

Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, Inc. - $75,000 support expansion of its Mentoring Academy.
Boston After School and Beyond - $100,000 for support of capacity building.
Boston Debate League - $50,000 to build organizational capacity.
Boston Learning Center, Inc. - $25,000 to support a new staff development plan.
Generation Excel - $30,000 to expand the Do the Write Thing program for high-risk girls.
ROCA, Inc. - $75,000 for the High Risk Youth Intervention project.

Body by Brandy 4 Kidz - $75,000 for general operating support.
Boston Foundation - $50,000 for the Boston Community AIDS Partnership.
Boston Public Health Commission - $125,000 for Breaking the Cycle, a violence-prevention program.
Chelsea Jewish Foundation - $75,000 to develop training and procedures at the Leonard Florence center for the Living Green House nursing facility.
Children’s Hospital Corporation - $45,000 for the Children’s Mental Health Campaign.
Fitness Forward Foundation - $40,000 to promote healthy living to children and their families.
Greater Lynn Senior Services, Inc. - $30,000 for a pilot of the Elder Mobile Mental Health Project.
hopeFound - $50,000 for its Rapid Exit Model of Emergency shelter.
Justice Resource Institute, Inc. - $60,000 for an integrated strategy to address the needs of LGBT youth.
Massachusetts Association of Older Americans - $40,000 to create greater economic security for elders living in Greater Boston.
Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children - $30,000 for the Boston site of the Connecting Families program.
Mystic Valley Elder Services, Inc. - $40,000 to increase access to transportation.
National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts, Inc. - $30,000 to build capacity.
Project Bread, The Walk for Hunger, Inc. - $50,000 for its Latino Hunger Prevention Campaign.
Project Health, Inc. - $85,000 to help break the link between poverty and ill health.
Rosie’s Place, Inc. - $20,000 for a public policy campaign.
SCM Community Transportation, Inc. - $35,000 to support a part-time financial manager position.
South Boston Neighborhood House, Inc. - $30,000 for capacity building.
Tufts University/Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service - $45,000 to support the Goldberg Initiative, a forum for developing strategies for improving the quality of life in Boston.

Chinese Progressive Association - $35,000 for the Campaign to Protect Chinatown.
Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association, Inc. - $60,000 for housing advocacy.
Hearth, Inc. - $100,000 to help eliminate elder homelessness.
Mass. Alliance of HUD Tenants - $50,000
Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations - $25,000 for the Mel King Institute for community building.
Massachusetts Union of Housing Tenants, Inc. - $55,000  to train public housing tenants and develop leadership capacity.
Northeastern University Center for Urban and Regional Policy - $35,000 for the 2009 Greater Boston Housing Report Card report.
University of Massachusetts Boston - $100,000 for the Reshaping Poverty Policy project.
Urban Edge - $15,000 to explore a possible strategic alliance with the Lena Park Community Development Corporation.

Be The Change, Inc. - $20,000 to promote active citizenship.
Boston Foundation - $150,000 for the Foundation’s Impact Project.
Massachusetts Nonprofit Network - $125,000 to increase public awareness of and advocacy for the Massachusetts nonprofit sector.
United South End Settlements - $40,000 to continue support for the Efforts to Outcomes project.

A Better City - $50,000 to launch the Sustainability Leadership Initiative to address energy efficiency and reduce waste.

Boston Education Skills and Training Corp. - $30,000 for a pre-employment training and placement program.
Community Resources for Justice, Inc. - $60,000 to support the Massachusetts Criminal Justice System Reform project.
MAB Community Services, Inc. - $50,000 for the Vocational Education Program.
Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, Inc. - $40,000 to build on past efforts at CORI reform to expand employment opportunities for ex-offenders.
Metro South/West Regional Employment Board, Inc. - $30,000 for the Health Care Learning Network to support health career development.
Mother Caroline Academy and Education Center - $25,000 for the Adult Education program.
My Turn, Inc. - $50,000 to provide academic support, case management and placement services to 50 low-income, out-of-school youth.
Saint Francis House, Inc. - $50,000 to support a vocational and social rehabilitation program.
Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, Inc. - $50,000 to align the agency’s job training programs with its strategic plan.
X-Cel, Inc. - $40,000 for the College Prep Program.
YMCA of Greater Boston - $40,000 for its English language and job training program for new immigrants.