Boston Foundation announces more than $25 million in quarterly grant activity

June 20, 2013

Board approves first round of grants from Equality Fund to support the LGBTQ community

Boston – The Boston Foundation announced its quarterly discretionary grants after a meeting of the Foundation Board of Directors today. The Board approved $1,855,000 in single and multi-year discretionary grants to be paid out beginning in July 2013. Of the 31 grantees for the quarter, five are receiving multi-year grant support.

The grantee list included the first-ever grants from the Equality Fund, established at the Boston Foundation last year as a permanent, committee-advised, Field of Interest fund with a mission to provide ongoing support to advance the equitable treatment of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people and their families in Greater Boston, and improve their quality of life over the long term. The Board approved 12 grants totaling $75,000 from the Equality Fund.

In addition, the Board acknowledged more than $21.4 million in grant payments disbursed since the March meeting of the Board through the Foundation’s Donor Advised Funds, and more than $2.3 million in other payments released through various Boston Foundation-sponsored initiatives, for a total of $25.6 million in investments for the quarter. The Board also recognized the generosity of donor-advised fund holders who together with the Foundation donated more than $900,000 to One Fund Boston to help victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. The Boston Foundation committed $100,000 to the Fund, supplemented by donations from the Boston Foundation’s donor-advised funds.

“The latest round of grants represents a commitment to both new and continuing initiatives,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “We are particularly excited by the first grants from the Equality Fund, made possible by early commitments from a number of funders even as we continue to build a robust endowment to ensure future grantmaking to address the needs of the LGBTQ community.”

“In addition, the new grants list highlights our continuing investments in jobs and workforce development along the Fairmount Corridor, which can bring much-needed innovation and economic impact,” said Grogan.

Historic first for the Equality Fund

The grants docket featured a historic first in the city of Boston – the first grants from the Equality Fund at the Boston Foundation, a permanent, endowed fund established last year for the benefit of members of the Greater Boston LGBTQ community and their families. The Board approved 12 grants totaling $75,000 – ranging in size from $3,500 to $10,000. The funding for this round of grants was made possible by the commitment of funds from BNY Mellon, Northern Trust and Eastern Bank and individual donors to provide initial grants while the Equality Fund endowment is being built.

The grants were recommended by a 12-person advisory committee representing a cross-section of the LGBTQ community, and formally approved by the Boston Foundation Board as part of the grants docket. 

“We are pleased to be able to make these initial investments, knowing that they are just the beginning of a long-term commitment for the Fund to support the continuing needs of LGBTQ people and their families,” said Catherine D’Amato, co-chair of the Equality Fund advisory committee and vice chair of the Boston Foundation Board of Directors.

A full description of the Equality Fund grants approved by the Boston Foundation board today can be found at the end of this release.

Continuing focus on opportunities for Fairmount Corridor

A number of Boston Foundation grants for the quarter illustrate the Foundation’s continuing commitment to improving outcomes and lives along the Fairmount Line, the 9.2 mile rail line running from Hyde Park to South Station, which runs through some of Boston’s most economically challenged neighborhoods.

A $100,000, one-year grant to the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation will help defray some of the costs associated with the redevelopment of the former Pearl Meats facility on Quincy St. in Dorchester, and its repurposing as an incubator for food-based start-up businesses. The project will expand the opportunities for new businesses and provide much-needed space for many of the city’s food truck operators, with the potential of creating hundreds of jobs in a part of the city that currently has some of its highest rates of poverty and unemployment. An additional $50,000/1-year grant to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will support a popular business plan competition for entrepreneurs from the Fairmount Corridor, and $10,000, one-year grants to Main Street Partners and Boston University’s Urban Business Accelerator will also provide support for small business and entrepreneurship.

Summer jobs, career ladders through Youthworks

The Foundation is making a two-year, $100,000 grant to the Commonwealth Corporation for an expansion of the YouthWorks summer jobs program that would create improved longer-term employment opportunities for young workers. The YouthWorks Plus program will make summer employment for low-income youth part of a broader career development plan that can open pathways to future employment and education opportunities.

Affordable housing for vulnerable populations

The Foundation is providing a number of grants to provide housing and social services for a number of vulnerable populations. A $150,000, two-year grant to Hearth, Inc. targets men and women over 50 at risk of becoming homeless, giving them needed resources and providing affordable housing. In addition, a $50,000, one-year grant to Harborlight Community Partners will strengthen that organization’s elder services.

And a second grant to LISC, for $75,000, will provide continued funding of the Resilient Communities/Resilient Families program, which works with residents of three Boston neighborhoods to identify and address community priorities.

Funding for critical research

The Foundation is pleased to launch a critical research project for Greater Boston’s Latino community. A $100,000, one-year grant will support research in partnership with the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University to better understand the barriers and opportunities for Latino young men in Boston in an effort to increase college completion rates.

In addition, the Foundation is making a $75,000 one-year grant to the Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center at Northeastern to support its work on the Commonwealth Housing Task Force and the annual Greater Boston Housing Report Card. Now in its eleventh year, the report card has tracked the rise and fall of the Greater Boston housing market and policies related to housing that can strengthen housing availability and affordability throughout the Commonwealth.

Extending partnerships

The Boston Foundation is pleased to extend its support of two partnerships that are having substantive impacts on education and workforce development in Greater Boston and beyond. The Foundation is providing a two-year, $400,000 grant to SkillWorks to support Phase III of the program, which seeks to help low- and moderate-income people in the Boston area advance toward economic independence while connecting businesses and skilled workers. The Boston Foundation was a founding funder of the SkillWorks initiative, which operates out of the Boston Foundation offices.

The Foundation is also extending its commitment to the Boston Opportunity Agenda with a two-year, $150,000 grant. The public-private partnership among the city of Boston, the Boston Public Schools, and a number of public charities and foundations is designed to ensure that all Boston residents have access to needed education throughout their lives to be upwardly mobile, civically engaged and productive citizens.

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

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

Wheelock College: A $75,000/1-year grant to the Aspire Institute at Wheelock College, fiscal sponsor for the Boston Charter, Parochial, District School Compact’s work to close the achievement gap and improve outcomes for all students, especially young men of color.

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

Boston Foundation/Opportunity Agenda: A $150,000/2-year grant for the Boston Opportunity Agenda, a public-private partnership among the City of Boston, the Boston Public Schools, public charities and foundations to ensure that all Boston residents have access to the education necessary for upward economic mobility, civic engagement and lifelong learning for themselves and their families, to support the administrative costs of the partnership and to represent the Boston Foundation's member contribution to the Boston Opportunity Agenda.

Boston Foundation/Center for Labor Market Studies: A $100,000/1-year grant to support research in partnership with the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University to better understand the vulnerable subpopulation of Latino young men, the barriers they face, and opportunities to increase college completion rates for this population in Boston.

Single Stop USA: A $75,000/1-year grant to Single Stop USA, an organization that helps community college students access benefits such as supplemental nutritional assistance, and that offers free tax preparation, legal assistance, and financial counseling, to support its work with Success Boston partner Bunker Hill Community College and its expansion to an additional community college in Greater Boston.

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

SkillWorks: A $400,000/2-year grant for support of Phase III of the SkillWorks program, which seeks to help low- to moderate-income, underserved individuals in the Boston area advance toward economic independence and to help businesses find and retain skilled workers.

Commonwealth Corp.: A $100,000/2-year grant to the Commonwealth Corporation, an organization that designs workforce programs in partnership with businesses, educators and training providers throughout the state, to support the design, development, and testing of YouthWorks Plus, an effort to transform the state’s summer jobs program for low-income youth into a multi-year sequence of work experience that will help ensure that participating youth are employable.

X-Cel, Inc.: A $100,000/2-year grant for general support of its efforts to make high school completion and post-secondary education more accessible to low-income out-of-school youth and adults in Greater Boston through ABE/Pre-GED, GED Prep, and College Prep classes. 

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

Boston Univ. Urban Business Accelerator: A $10,000/1-year grant for the Boston University Urban Business Accelerator, an organization providing a free 10-week one-on-one financial literacy program to small businesses in economically disadvantaged communities by matching businesses with groups of MBA and undergraduate students from Boston University. Specifically, this grant will support Urban Business Accelerator’s Inner-City Entrepreneurial Initiative, focused on the Fairmount Corridor.  

Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation: A $100,000/1-year grant to Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation, an organization that seeks to create jobs through commercial and industrial projects as well as small business loans and technical support, to support soft costs associated with the development of the Bornstein and Pearl Food Production Small Business Incubator.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation: A $50,000/1-year grant for for support of the Business Plan Competition for entrepreneurs from Fairmount neighborhoods.

Main St. Partners: A $10,000/1-year grant payable to Third Sector New England, Inc., fiscal sponsor for Main Street Partners, an organization that works to empower, improve, and support the urban small businesses that create jobs and provide financial security and independence for families in low income areas.

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

Massachusetts Department of Public Health: A $100,000/1-year grant payable to Health Resources in Action, Inc. for the Mass in Motion Municipal Wellness and Leadership grant program, an initiative designed to build capacity at the municipal level to create a sustained approach for healthy eating and active living. Half of the funds are allocated to the initiative’s work in Dorchester.

Sportsmen’s Tennis and Enrichment Center: A $50,000/1-year grant payable to Sportsmen’s Tennis Club, Inc. a nonprofit tennis club providing tennis, academic, and social enrichment programs with a focus on youth in Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan, with the goal of hiring a Chief Development Officer responsible for creating a cohesive, long-term fundraising strategy to support their strategic plan and continued growth trajectory.

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

Harborlight Community Partners, Inc.: A $50,000/1-year grant for general support of its efforts to create, preserve and provide housing for low-income people in communities north of Boston, with a focus on services benefitting the elderly. 
Hearth, Inc.: A $150,000/2-year grant to provide general support for its efforts to provide housing and social services to men and women over the age of 50 who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, to support the increase in the supply of affordable, permanent elder housing, the placement of homeless elders in this housing, promote the sustainability of the Hearth model, and advocate for policies affecting elder homelessness. 

Local Initiatives Support Corporation: A $75,000/1-year grant for support of LISC’s Resilient Communities/Resilient Families program, an initiative that uses organizing techniques and one-on-one interviews to support community members in three neighborhoods, Warren Street Corridor in Roxbury, Codman Square in Dorchester, and Mattapan, in developing community contracts that identify priorities and clear strategies to address those priorities. 

Northeastern Univ. Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Planning: A $75,000/1-year grant to Northeastern University for the Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, an interdisciplinary research program of the University's School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs focused on identifying and implementing solutions to the critical challenges facing urban areas throughout Greater Boston, the Commonwealth, and the nation, for support of its work on the Commonwealth Housing Task Force and the Housing Report Card. 

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

Massachusetts College of Art and Design: A $60,000/1-year grant to support the College’s long-term viability as an institution through the integration of the Center for Art and Community Partnership into the College-wide strategic planning process.  

Cross-Strategy and Special Opportunity Grants

One Fund Boston: $100,000 for general support of the One Fund Boston, Inc., the fund established to provide direct assistance to victims of the 2013 Marathon bombings.

Innovation Network for Communities: A $25,000/1-year grant payable to Innovation Network for Communities, fiscal sponsor for the Green Ribbon Commission, a collaborative initiative that convenes CEOs from Boston's key sectors to create sector specific action plans to achieve the greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals in the City's Climate Action Plan. 

The Equality Fund at the Boston Foundation

The Board of Directors approved the following grants from the Equality Fund for distribution (all grants are one year in duration):

AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, Inc.: $7,500 for its Transgender Access to Care project, which seeks to ensure equitable access to coverage for transgender-related care.

Boston LGBT Film Festival: $4,500 payable to Smith Foundation to support programming at the Boston LGBT Film Festival, geared toward the Latino LGBT community.

Boston Pride Committee: $3,500 payable to New Boston Pride Committee, Inc., to support costs associated with hiring a strategic planning consultant to develop the agency’s first-ever strategic plan.

Ethos: $5,000 payable to Southwest Boston Senior Services, Inc. to support the Out2Brunch and Out4Supper dining programs to help reduce isolation among LGBT seniors.

Fenway Institute: $10,000 payable to Fenway Community Health Center, Inc. to support a program to ensure cultural competency in LGBT elder home care.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders: $10,000 payable to Park Square Advocates, Inc. for support of the Policy Advocacy for Young Transgender Children program, which will seek to protect the legal rights of young transgender children.

GLBTQ Domestic Violence Project: $4,000 payable to Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project to support a redesign of its volunteer training and stewardship program.

Greater Boston PFLAG: $10,000 payable to Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Inc. for support of its Family Acceptance Project, which will train parents and caregivers directly, as well as healthcare professionals, educators and religious leaders who come into daily contact with parents, caregivers and LGBTQ youth, by offering support and education.

Hispanic Black Gay Coalition: $7,500 payable to Multi-Cultural AIDS Coalition, Inc. to support the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition’s New Leaders Institute, which will provide training to up to 30 young people to develop their skills so they can go on to develop school-wide or community-wide projects, events and campaigns.

LGBT Aging Project: $5,000 payable to Fenway Community Health Center, Inc. for the LGBT Aging Project’s “Bringing LGBT Aging Out of the Closet” program, to raise awareness of LGBT issues in the fields of aging, health care, long-term care, social work, and other fields.

Massachusetts Asians and Pacific Islanders for Health: $4,500 payable to Massachusetts Asian AIDS Prevention Project, Inc. to develop a strategic outreach initiative for its M-Spot men’s health program addressing issues of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted illnesses, and the Asian Pride program, which provides a safe space for LGBTQ youth to seek support and health counseling.

Sociedad Latina, Inc.: $3,500 for support of its Cultural arts programming to support positive identity development for Latino LGBTQ youth of color.


The Boston Foundation, 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.