Boston – The Boston Foundation announced its quarterly discretionary grants after a meeting of the Foundation’s Board of Directors today. The Board approved $1,565,000 in single and multi-year discretionary grants to be paid out beginning in December of 2014.
A major commitment of $3.1 million was made to support the transition of the Boston Foundation’s special initiative StreetSafe Boston into the City of Boston’s Violence Interrupters Program. StreetSafe Boston was founded in 2009 as a five-year violence-reduction initiative focused on the city’s most active gangs in neighborhoods disproportionately affected by violence, including South End/Lower Roxbury, Dudley Square, Grove Hall, Bowdoin/Geneva and the Morton/Norfolk area of Mattapan and south Dorchester. The data-driven and highly collaborative private/public partnership was developed by the Boston Foundation in conjunction with the Boston Police Department and multiple community, civic and faith-based partners.
Through street-level violence interruption and conflict mediation by trained streetworkers, and provision of neighborhood based services, StreetSafe Boston is focused on building relationships with proven-risk youth – or known violent offenders – in order to guide them away from violence and toward positive alternatives. The initiative restores a sense of safety and improves the future outlook for its targeted communities.
“StreetSafe Boston has worked closely with the City of Boston since its inception, so this is the best possible result we could have imagined,” said Paul S. Grogan, President & CEO of the Boston Foundation. “StreetSafe was not designed to be a permanent program and was slated to close after five years at the end of this year, but instead it has a new life. This goes to the heart of building safe and vibrant neighborhoods in Boston, which is a major goal of the Boston Foundation.”
Major grants also went to the area of K-12 public education, with an emphasis on recruiting and supporting excellent teachers. A commitment of $600,000 over three years went to the Boston Public Schools’ Human Capital Initiative, which plans to increase the number of highly effective teachers in the city’s schools by restructuring the teacher evaluation process, improving recruitment efforts to attract talented teachers and developing other ways to strengthen the work of teachers in the years to come.
In addition, a $100,000 one-year grant was designed to support a partnership among five cities near Boston to improve instruction and academic achievement. The five cities are Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Revere and Winthrop.
“Teachers are by far most important ingredient when it comes to providing our state’s children with the very best in education,” said Mr. Grogan. “We are honored to support Interim Superintendent John McDonough’s efforts to recruit talented and outstanding teachers for the Boston Public Schools. We are also proud to support the efforts of smaller cities surrounding Boston to improve their instructional resources.” Another major grant in the education arena was a $150,000 one-year grant for UP Education Network to strengthen its efforts to rapidly transform chronically underperforming district schools into schools that sustain high achievement over time.
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.
Boston Public Schools: A $600,000 three-year grant for the Boston Public Schools (BPS) Human Capital Initiative, which seeks to increase the number of effective teachers in the BPS by: restructuring the teacher evaluation process; developing resources and materials to improve recruitment efforts to attract high-quality teacher candidates; restructuring and open-posting positions; and transitioning underperforming tenured teachers into auxiliary roles.
The 5 District Partnership Chelsea Public Schools: A $100,000 one-year grant for the 5 District Partnership Chelsea Public Schools, a joint organizational effort among the Massachusetts districts of Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Revere and Winthrop to improve instruction and academic achievement.
UP Education Network: A $150,000 one-year grant for UP Education Network, a nonprofit school management organization whose mission is to rapidly transform chronically underperforming district schools into schools that sustain high achievement over time.
Strategy: Promote the career advancement and economic security of low-income individuals.
Jewish Vocational Service, Inc.: A $75,000 one-year grant to Jewish Vocational Services, Inc., a nonprofit organization that seeks to empower individuals from diverse communities to find employment and build careers, and to partner with employers to hire, develop, and retain productive workforces, to support its efforts to implement the nation's first Adult Basic Education Pay for Success initiative.
Massachusetts Communities Action Network: A $20,000 one-year grant payable to Organizing and Leadership Training Center, Inc. to support Massachusetts Communities Action Network’s efforts to implement the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Pre-Apprentice Training Program, which will create a pipeline for qualified young adults of color in building trade unions to move into full-time apprentice jobs.
Strategy: Encourage healthy behaviors among Boston residents and increase access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity.
NEHI: A $100,000 one-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, specifically the research and drafting of the Healthy People/Healthy Economy Report Card.
Strategy: Increase neighborhood stability and the production and preservation of affordable housing for vulnerable populations.
Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, Inc.: A $130,000 one-year grant to the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, an organization that empowers Dudley residents to organize, plan for, create and control a vibrant, diverse and high-quality neighborhood in collaboration with community partners, to continue its Fair Chance for Family Success asset-building initiative.
Greater Four Corners Action Coalition, Inc.: A $60,000 one-year grant to the Four Corners Action Coalition, an organization that promotes neighborhood stabilization in the Four Corners neighborhood of Dorchester through resident organizing, positive youth development opportunities, economic development and collaborating with others, to support its efforts to pursue a transit equity and anti-displacement agenda.
Boston’s Higher Ground: A $30,000 one-year grant to provide general operating support for Boston’s Higher Ground, an organization that seeks to connect children, youth and families in Boston's underserved communities to existing solutions and services that improve, empower and transform lives by engaging community-based organizations and key stakeholders in an effective and efficient service delivery model.
D.E.A.F., Inc.: A $50,000 one-year grant to D.E.A.F., Inc., an organization that responds to the linguistic and cultural needs of deaf people and the deaf community, for its Deaf-Accessible Medical Case Management and Health Education program, which will promote improved health access and health outcomes for its client population.
Greater Boston Food Bank, Inc.: A $50,000 one-year grant to the Greater Boston Food Bank, an organization that seeks to end hunger in the region, for research on Elder Food Security issues which will inform the Boston Foundation’s thinking as it explores potential strategic uses of the Foundation’s elder-focused field of interest funds.
Health Starts at Home Grant Competition: A commitment of $50,000 for this multi-year initiative that will bring health and housing organizations together to propose and implement models for improving health outcomes by stabilizing children in their housing.
John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, Inc.: A $100,000 one-year grant to the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, an organization that provides financial support, staffing and creative resources for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, to support the 2015 Kennedy Library Forums, including a joint forum with the Boston Foundation.
Massachusetts Advocates for Children, Inc.: A $25,000 one-year grant to Massachusetts Advocates for Children, Inc., an organization that provides an independent and effective voice for children who face significant barriers to equal educational and life opportunities, for its Boston Special Education Transition Project, which seeks to increase employment, career, and independent living opportunities for Boston's youth with disabilities.
Partners for Youth with Disabilities, Inc.: A $75,000one-year grant to Partners for Youth with Disabilities, Inc., an organization that empowers youth with disabilities to reach their full potential by providing transformative mentoring programs, youth development opportunities and inclusion expertise, to support the school-based expansion of its Inclusive Fitness for Youth Initiative, which seeks to increase access to fitness and recreation programs for youth with physical disabilities.
StreetSafe Boston: A commitment of $3.1 million over three years for the City of Boston’s combined streetworker program.
The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of some $1 billion. In 2014, the Foundation and its donors made more than $112 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of nearly $112 million. In celebration of its Centennial in 2015, the Boston Foundation has launched the Campaign for Boston to strengthen the Permanent Fund for Boston, the only endowment fund focused on the most pressing needs of Greater Boston. The Foundation is proud to be a partner in philanthropy, with more than 1,000 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, think tank and advocacy organization, commissioning research into the most critical issues of our time and helping to shape public policy designed to advance opportunity for everyone in Greater Boston. The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), an operating unit of the Foundation, designs and implements customized philanthropic strategies for families, foundations and corporations around the globe. For more information about the Boston Foundation and TPI, visit tbf.org or call 617-338-1700.