Boston Foundation announces $2.1 million in quarterly grants with broad support for arts, social initiatives

April 2, 2012

Boston – The Boston Foundation announced its quarterly discretionary grants today following the March 29 meeting of the Board of Directors. The Board approved $2,083,000 in single and multi-year discretionary grants to be paid out beginning in the quarter beginning April 1. Of the 11 grantees for the quarter, seven are receiving multi-year grant support.

In addition, the Board acknowledged more than $22.9 million in grant payments disbursed since the December meeting of the Board through the Foundation’s Donor Advised Funds, and more than $1.8 million in other grants released through various Boston Foundation-sponsored initiatives.

"This latest round of discretionary grants touches a number of critical areas for Greater Boston,with an emphasis on education, job training, health, housing and the expansion of programs that connect the city’s residents with some of our best arts and cultural institutions," said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. "Our grants for this quarter both complement and supplement the ongoing work being done in every quarter of the city with our support."

Grogan also noted the release earlier this month of the 2012 report of the Boston Indicators Project, called  City of Ideas: Reinventing Boston’s Innovation Economy . "The data surfaced by this Indicators report and the Indicators Project’s ongoing work will continue to inform and enhance our grantmaking strategies in the coming months," said Grogan.

Elevating Arts and Culture

The largest share of the discretionary grants approved for this quarter focus on building the capacity of three organizations that seek to bring culturally relevant arts and culture programs to Boston neighborhoods. The Boston Children’s Museum will use its 4-year, $365,000 grant to expand its engagement with and participation fromaudiences in Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan through the development of new partnerships and collaborations.

The Theater Offensive plans to use much of its 4-year, $350,000 grant to deepen its impact in city neighborhoods through the expansion of a number of initiatives that connect to neighborhood organizations and strengthen organizational structures that support the organization’s role in communities around Boston.

And the Jose Mateo Ballet Theater will use its 4-year, $365,000 grant to expand its service footprint to Roxbury and Dorchester and provide greater access to culturally relevant programming as strengthens its fundraising and community partnerships.

Quality opportunities for Boston children

The Foundation is continuing its ongoing support of quality school options for children in the Boston Public Schools. A one-year, $183,000 grant to the Boston Plan for Excellence will provide general support for the newly-approved Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School, as well as support and training for 75 new teachers as part of the Boston Teacher Residency Program and support and training for teachers in up to six turnaround schools.

The Foundation is also enhancing its efforts to bring physical activity to children in the city with a 3-year, $150,000 grant to BOKS (Build Our Kids’ Success). The grant will expand the scope of impact for the before-school activity program to 40 Boston elementary schools in the next three years, and allow for a multi-year evaluation of the relationship between physical activity, academics and behavior with the National Institute of Out of School Time (NIOST).

From homelessness to the workforce

The Boston Foundation is pleased to continue its discretionary support of the Moving Ahead Program at Saint Francis House. A 3-year, $225,000 grant will allow Saint Francis to expand the Moving Ahead Program, which has given more than1,100 formerly homeless individuals, many of them recovering from drug and alcohol abuse, the social and job skills to secure jobs. The grant will help Saint Francis to double the capacity of the Moving Ahead Program.

A list of discretionary grants approved by the Board of Directors follows (listed by strategy):

    Strategy: Accelerate structural reform and promote innovation in public schools in Boston.

    Boston Plan for Excellence: A $183,000/1-year grant for general support for the opening of theDudley Street Neighborhood Charter School, partnership with up to three schools to support the Boston Teacher Residency Program, intensive turnaround supports at up to six BPS schools, and to advance the planning for and identify the timeline for establishing a network of four autonomous schools in Boston.

    Strategy: Increase the 2- and 4-year college graduation rate for low-income minority and first-generation college students from public schools in Boston.

    National Black College Alliance: A $35,000/1-year grant to support college transition programming for approximately 50 Boston students

    Strategy: Promote the career advancement and economic security of low-income individuals.

   Moving Ahead Program at Saint Francis House: A $225,000/3-year grant for continued support of the Moving Ahead Program (MAP) to support critical programmatic and infrastructure changes as Saint Francis House moves into its next phase in its effort to double the capacity of the MAP. 

    STRIVE/Boston Employment Services, Inc.: A $75,000/2-year grant to increase organizational capacity to provide attitudinal adjustment training, job readiness skills training, GEDtraining, job placement and post-placement support for the general population, ex-offenders and high-risk youth.

    Strategy: Increase Greater Boston’s competitiveness, prosperity, and efficiency, and create vibrant urban neighborhoods with opportunities for all residents.

   A Better City: A $50,000/1-year grant to support the development of comprehensive indicators that summarize an assessment of the infrastructure condition in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the trends over time. The Infrastructure Report will identify the location, significance and extent of the infrastructure deficiencies inMassachusetts and highlight priorities where investment may be most necessary and create the greatest economic benefit.

    Strategy: Encourage healthy behaviors among Boston residents and increase access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity.

    BOKS (Build Our Kids’ Success):  A $150,000/3-year grant to expand the scope of impact of the BOKS program to more Boston elementary schools, specifically in Dorchester, Mattapan and East Boston, with additional trainers and equipment, and to conduct a multi-year evaluation with the National Institute of Out of School Time (NIOST).

    Strategy: Increase neighborhood stability and the production and preservation of affordable housing for vulnerable populations.

    Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants: A $150,000/3-year grant to support the Boston Resident Training Institute (BRTI) to build public housing tenant organization capacity to engage in public housing governance and management, with particular focus on expanding access to employment on public contracts and accessing family support, family self-sufficiency, and education programming available to low-income families.

    Strategy: Strengthen and celebrate Boston through audience engagement and the elevation of culture.

    Boston Children’s Museum: A $365,000/4-year grant to support the Boston Children’s Museum’s focus on expanding engagement in arts and culture and participation from audiences in Roxbury,Dorchester, and Mattapan trough the development of culturally-relevant outreach and programs.

    The Theater Offensive: A $350,000/4-year grant to support strategic efforts to deepen The Theater Offensive’s impact by constructing sustainable financial and organizational structures, expanding Board leadership, and expanding their audience participation through creative organizing work that seeks to build safer, inclusive and thriving neighborhoods.

    The Jose Mateo Ballet Theater: A $365,000/4-year grant to ensure the long-term vitality of an organization that seeks todeeply impact audiences and participants through dance by seeking equitableinclusion, cultural relevance, individual transformation and a robust network. The grant will provide general operating support to expand its service footprint to Roxbury and Dorchester, and provide greater access to culturally-relevant programming.

    Cross-Strategy and Special Opportunity Grants

   Massachusetts Nonprofit Network: A $125,000/1-year grant to provide general operating support for MNN, a membership organization of nonprofit organizations across Massachusetts focused on promoting, strengthening and building the capacity of the Massachusetts nonprofit sector and its organizations.

    Associated Grant Makers (The Summer Fund): A $50,000/1-year grant to support the 2012 Summer Fund, a donor collaborative that leverages the collective philanthropy of individual donors and foundations to provide support and technical assistance to organizations that serve tens of thousands of youth across Greater Boston. 


The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of $850 million.  In 2011, the Foundation and its donors made almost $78 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of $81 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.