Boston Foundation announces $20 million in grants

December 20, 2012

Arts, health, workforce innovations among key investments for $1.9 million in discretionary grantmaking

Boston – The Boston Foundation announced its quarterly discretionary grants after a meeting of the Foundation Board of Directors today. The Board approved $1,870,000 in single and multi-year discretionary grants to be paid out beginning in the quarter beginning January 1, 2013. Of the 17 grantees for the quarter, seven are receiving multi-year grant support.

In addition, the Board acknowledged nearly $15.1 million in grant payments disbursed since the September meeting of the Board through the Foundation’s Donor Advised Funds, and nearly $3.0 million in other grants released through various Boston Foundation-sponsored initiatives, for a total of just under $20 million in investments for the quarter.

“The diverse array of organizations on this quarter’s grant docket demonstrates the creativity and innovation at the heart of so many efforts to solve Greater Boston’s most challenging problems,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “Our investments in workforce development and operational support of key community organizations will have a measurable impact on the people they serve.”

Healthy People/Healthy Economy

The Boston Foundation is continuing its support for NEHI, a health policy research organization whose evidence-based research has provided key underpinnings for the Foundation’s Healthy People/Healthy Economy Initiative. A $250,000, two-year grant will support NEHI’s continuing work to stimulate policy changes that improve community health and wellness.

Creating new businesses

The Foundation is pleased to support a number of innovative efforts to create jobs and inspire new business development. A $100,000, one-year grant to the Urban Food Initiative will provide critical support for a nonprofit, community-based retail store offering healthy prepared foods and jobs for local residents with pricing designed to be affordable for neighborhood shoppers.

A $100,000, two-year grant to the Center for Women and Enterprise, Inc., will empower residents living along the 9-mile Fairmount Corridor by providing financial literacy and business skills training for women looking to start and grow businesses and strengthen the local economy.

The Foundation is pleased to provide the world-renowned MassChallenge program with a $50,000, one-year grant to expand its scale and impact for hundreds of early start-up businesses and entrepreneurs.

And a $150,000, two-year grant to the Asian American Civic Association will provide critical support for the AACA’s workforce development efforts, including the expansion of the Workforce Development Center.

Expanding Arts in Boston neighborhoods

The Foundation continues its support of a broad range of organizations that provide arts and cultural opportunities for young people in Boston neighborhoods.

The Foundation is awarding $230,000, three-year grants to two organizations make a deep investment in history, culture and the arts in Boston neighborhoods. Discover Roxbury leverages the historic, cultural and artistic resources of Roxbury to generate economic opportunity for the neighborhood. The Urbano Project works in Boston neighborhoods to empower urban teens and professional artists to effect social change through participatory works of contemporary art and performance.

And the Foundation is supporting research into greater sustainability for arts and cultural organizations in Greater Boston and the nation, through a $100,000, three-year grant to the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University, to support the Initiative for Sustainable Arts in America.

Pine Street Inn

The Boston Foundation is also pleased to support Greater Boston’s leading provider of housing, shelter, street outreach and job training to the homeless. A $225,000, three-year grant to the Pine Street Inn will support Pine Street’s multi-year organizational change effort to shift from a focus from emergency shelter to a stronger emphasis on permanent supportive housing.

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

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

Posse Foundation: A $75,000/1-year grant to Posse Foundation, fiscal sponsor of Posse Boston, a cohort-based college success program for underrepresented students, to support the Boston program, providing 300 Boston scholars with transition and success supports on 6 campuses, along with 60 Posse finalists, through the Posse Access platform. 

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

Asian American Civic Association, Inc.: A $150,000/2-year grant to the Asian American Civic Association, an innovator in Boston's workforce development community, offering high quality training and employment services leading to promising careers, to support the expansion of its Workforce Development Center. 

Strategy: Invest in initiatives that create, retain and attract workers and jobs in high-growth sectors, especially in inner-city neighborhoods.

Center for Women and Enterprise, Inc.: A $100,000/2-year grant to empower residents living along the Fairmount/Indigo line to become financially self-sufficient and to prosper through business and entrepreneurship and help participants gain the financial literacy and practical business skills to start and grow small businesses. 

MassChallenge: A $50,000/1-year grant to MassChallenge, a start-up accelerator and business competition program devoted to the mission of supporting high impact, early stage entrepreneurs and helping them to succeed, to expand its scale and impact. 

The Urban Food Initiative: A $100,000/1-year general operating support grant for the Urban Food Initiative a nonprofit, community-based retail store offering healthy prepared foods and jobs for local residents. 

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

NEHI: A $250,000/2-year grant to NEHI, a health policy research organization that conducts evidence-based research and stimulates policy change to improve the quality and value of health care, to support the continued work of the Healthy People/Healthy Economy Initiative through 2014. 

Strategy: Reduce the incidence of violence in Boston neighborhoods, especially among youth.

Boston Medical Center Corporation: A $30,000/1-year grant to Boston Medical Center Corporation, an academic medical center and safety net hospital, for the Violence Intervention Advocate Program, a trauma response and intervention program run out of the Emergency Department. 

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

Pine Street Inn, Inc.: A $225,000/3-year grant to Pine Street Inn, a leading provider of housing, shelter, street outreach and job training to homeless men and women in Greater Boston, to support the permanent housing program through Transforming Pine Street Inn: From Homelessness to Housing, a five-year organizational change effort to shift from a focus on emergency shelter to an emphasis on permanent supportive housing.

Strategy: Strengthen and celebrate the region’s diverse audiences, artists and nonprofit cultural organizations.

Company One, Inc.: A $65,000/1-year capacity building grant to Company ONE, an award-winning nonprofit theatre company in residence at the Boston Center for the Arts that provides economic and workforce development opportunities for communities and artists of color, to support strategic planning that will be used as a map for the improvement of its financial positioning and the strengthening of its business model. 

Discover Roxbury: A $230,000/3-year general operating support grant to Discover Roxbury, a neighborhood-based organization that leverages history, culture and artists as assets to generate economic opportunity for the neighborhood of Roxbury, to expand their scope of impact, improve their financial position and implement their new strategic plan. 

Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organization: A $100,000/3-year grant to the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University, to support the Initiative for Sustainable Arts in America, a three-year research, convening and publication effort to strengthen the nation's and Boston's arts and culture infrastructure and cultural vitality.
Urbano Project, Inc.: A $230,000/3-year general operating support grant to Urbano Project, a neighborhood-based contemporary arts organization serving a diverse cross section of youth from across the city of Boston that supports their development  as active citizens and skill-development as citizen artists, to expand its scope of impact, improve its financial position and implement its new strategic plan. 

Cross-Strategy and Special Opportunity Grants

CLF Ventures, Inc.: A $40,000/1-year grant to CLF Ventures, a nonprofit strategy consulting organization that bridges the public and private sectors to advance innovative, market-based solutions to create a thriving economy, for its Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund. 

Ellis Memorial & Eldredge House, Inc.: A $50,000/1-year grant to Ellis Memorial & Eldredge House, Inc., Boston's first settlement house, which offers high quality educational, social and health support services to children, disabled adults, elders, and families in Boston's South End for its Strategic Early Education program, which will support the consolidation and integration of all early childhood education programs at the newly developed Ellis Early Learning Center at 58 Berkeley Street, which was recently acquired as a result of a successful capital campaign.

Harvard Law School/Houston Institute: A $75,000/1-year grant to the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, which addresses contemporary racial justice challenges by facilitating a continuous dialogue between legal practitioners and scholars, for the Community Justice Project. 

John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, Inc.: A $50,000/1-year grant to provide general operating support for the Foundation’s programming in 2012-13. 

Wheelock College: A $50,000/1-year grant to support Wheelock’s partnership with the Mattahunt Community Center, which seeks to create a strong network of resources, with the goal of increasing and expanding access to high quality educational, youth leadership and development, health and wellness programs and services in the Mattapan community.


The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of more than $800 million.  In 2012, the Foundation and its donors made $88 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of close to $60 million. The Foundation is a partner in philanthropy, with 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 that address the region’s most pressing challenges.  The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), an operating unit of the Foundation, designs and implements custom philanthropic strategies for families, foundations and corporations around the globe. Through its consulting and field-advancing efforts, TPI has influenced billions of dollars in giving worldwide.  For more information about the Boston Foundation and TPI, visit or call 617-338-1700.