Boston Foundation announces $1.7 million in grants to Greater Boston organizations

October 9, 2013

Boston Foundation and its donors pay out more than $21 million in grants during the July-September quarter

The Boston Foundation announced its quarterly discretionary grants after a quarterly meeting of the Foundation Board of Directors. The Board approved $1,705,000 in single and multi-year discretionary grants to be paid out beginning in October 2013. Of the 10 grantees for the quarter, six are receiving multi-year grant support.

In addition, the Foundation is pleased to recognize nearly $21.4 million in grant payments disbursed during the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2014, running from July 1 to September 30, 2013. That total includes $14.2 million disbursed through the Boston Foundation’s Donor Advised Funds.

“With this round of grants we are making a continuing investment in a great success story in Playworks, as well as working with a number of organizations that are working to improve the lives of youth and young adults in Boston and across the Commonwealth.”


The grants docket includes a $450,000, three-year investment in Playworks, which has demonstrated success in Greater Boston and across the country in providing structured recess activities for students that not only improve children’s health, but have been shown to strengthen student academics and reduce bullying. The funding will be used to sustain and expand Playworks programming in Boston Public Schools, while strengthening connections to families and out-of-school time activities.

Tackling the achievement gap

The Boston Foundation seeks to expand the opportunities for youth in some of Greater Boston’s most underserved neighborhoods to succeed in education with a pair of general operating support grants. A one-year, $100,000 grant to Families United in Educational Leadership (FUEL), will support its mission of helping families and children access higher education through saving circles and other family-centered saving opportunities. In addition, a one-year, $100,000 grant to Smart from the Start, Inc. will provide general operating support to its efforts to use family, community and school-level interventions to erase the achievement gap among children living in Boston’s most underserved communities.

Preparing new leaders

Two grants highlight the opportunity to lift up new voices into leadership roles in critical sectors. A two-year, $125,000 grant to Boston University will provide general operating support for the Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership, which seeks to educate and prepare the next generation of nonprofit leaders through coursework, mentoring and experience-building activities. Similarly, the Foundation’s one-year, $135,000 grant to the Lynch Leadership Academy at Boston College will support the Aspiring Principal Program, which trains new school leaders to open and operate autonomous schools.

Supporting a new model for change

The Boston Foundation is also supporting social innovation financing with a three-year, $300,000 grant to Youth Services, Inc., a supporting organization to Third Sector Capital Partners, to launch and provide implementation support to the Massachusetts Juvenile Justice Social Innovation Financing Project. The project will use a pay-for-success model to reduce the incarceration rates among high-risk young men who were formerly involved in the justice system.

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.

Boston College Lynch Leadership Academy:  A $135,000/one-year grant payable to Boston College Trustees for support of the Aspiring Principal Program, an initiative seeking to train new school leaders to open and operate autonomous schools.

Massachusetts 2020: A $75,000/one-year grant payable to National Center on Time and Learning for general operating support to promote the growth of expanded learning time schools in Boston and Salem through the organization’s TIME Collaborative, as well as their efforts among level three and four “high support” schools in Boston and their continued work with Massachusetts ELT and i3 schools in the Greater Boston area.

Stand for Children Leadership Center: A $150,000/two-year grant to support the Project to Increase School Choice and Autonomy, an effort in collaboration with the Race to the Top Coalition to educate the public about legislation that will increase access to charter schools, provide targeted interventions to Level 3 schools in underperforming districts, and extend the authorities granted to turnaround schools and districts, expand Stand’s membership base in Boston and increase and leverage the teacher voice to demand excellent schools for students in Boston.

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

Families United in Educational Leadership, Inc. (FUEL): A $100,000/one-year grant to provide general operating support to FUEL, an organization that helps families and children access higher education through saving circles, savings accounts and financial incentives, to support its expansion to serve more families in Boston, Chelsea and Lynn.

Smart from the Start, Inc.: A $100,000/one-year grant to provide general operating support for this family support, community engagement and school readiness program whose mission is to erase the academic achievement gap among children living in Boston’s most underserved communities.

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

Commonwealth Corporation Foundation: A $150,000/three-year grant to Commonwealth Corporation in its role as fiscal sponsor for the Executive Office of Labor & Workforce Development, to support statewide systems integration, evaluation and capacity building for the Massachusetts Career Readiness System pilot.

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

Playworks: A $450,000/three-year grant to be paid in equal annual installments of $150,000 for general operating support for its efforts to improve the health and well-being of children by increasing opportunities for safe, meaningful play, to sustain its programming in the Boston Public Schools, as well as deepen its programming with families and in the out-of–school-time space.

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

Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association, Inc.: A $120,000/two-year grant for its work on affordable housing and community development issues in Massachusetts.

Strategy: Enhance the long-term vitality of the Massachusetts nonprofit sector

Boston University Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership: A $125,000/two-year grant to provide general operating support for the Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership, which seeks to educate and prepare the next generation of nonprofit managers and leaders through a blend of coursework, experiential learning, mentoring and peer support.

Cross-Strategy and Special Opportunity Grants

Youth Services, Inc.: A $300,000/three-year grant to be paid to Youth Services, Inc., a supporting organization to Third Sector Capital Partners that promotes and implements Pay for Success (PFS) projects, to close, launch, and provide implementation support for the nation’s first state-level PFS project, the Massachusetts Juvenile Justice PFS Project.  

The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of nearly $900 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.