Boston Foundation announces $2.2 million in grants to Greater Boston organizations

March 28, 2014

Boston Foundation and its donors pay out
$50 million in grants in first half of 2014 fiscal year 

BostonThe Boston Foundation announced its quarterly discretionary grants after a meeting of the Foundation Board of Directors today. The Board approved $1,309,000 in single and multi-year discretionary grants to be paid out beginning in April 2014. Of the 11 grantees for the quarter, three are receiving multi-year grant support.

In addition, the Board approved grants totaling $925,000 for partners in the Success Boston initiative, an innovative collaborative effort with the City of Boston, Boston Public Schools, Boston Private Industry Council and dozens of other colleges and organizations to improve the college completion rate for Boston Public Schools graduates.

“With this round of grants, the Boston Foundation continues its commitment to the promising work of Success Boston, and strengthens our investments in public schools, community health and the overall strengthening of the nonprofit sector in Greater Boston,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation.

New figures presented at the March meeting show donors continued to step up their giving in the last three months of the 2013 calendar year. The Foundation distributed $28.0 million in grants and scholarships in the October-December quarter, including $22.4 million from the Foundation’s donor advised funds. Overall, the Foundation and its donors gave $50 million in grants and scholarships in the first half of the 2014 Fiscal Year.

Investments in research, development of healthy youth strategies

The largest grant on the March docket is a two-year, $300,000 grant to the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University for the expansion of the ChildObesity180 initiative and its efforts to bring its Active Schools Acceleration Project to every elementary school in the Boston Public Schools district. The Project is seeking to replicate its success in Boston using the “100 Mile Club,” a program that inspires elementary school students to walk, jog or run 100 miles during the course of the school year.

The Foundation is also providing a $50,000, one-year grant for operating support for the Massachusetts Public Health Association to support its advocacy, public education, community organizing and coalition building efforts. The MPHA’s Act FRESH campaign seeks to build healthier communities by improving access to healthy foods and be more physically active through investments that improve healthy food access in schools and neighborhoods and create a built environment that includes open spaces for physical activity and safe streets for biking and walking.

Success Boston

The Boston Foundation Board of Directors also approved a series of investments with partners in the Success Boston college completion initiative. Success Boston is a cross-sector collaboration among the City of Boston, the Boston Foundation, the Boston Public Schools, nonprofit organizations, and local institutions of higher education dedicated to increasing the number of Boston Public Schools graduates who complete post-secondary education ready to enter the workforce. Success Boston seeks to increase the six-year college completion rate to 52% for the BPS class of 2009 and to 70% for the BPS class of 2011.

The Foundation is making seven grants, totaling $925,000, to organizations that provide coaching and other supports to about 250 students from each Boston Public Schools graduating class who make up the Success Boston cohort. Research on the program has found students in Success Boston are significantly more likely to remain in school working toward their degrees than their peers.

Grants ranging from $75,000 to $200,000 were made to American Student Assistance Corporation, the Boston Private Industry Council, Bottom Line, Freedom House, Hyde Square Task Force, uAspire and West End House.

Investments in the Nonprofit Sector

The Boston Foundation continues its investments in a healthy nonprofit sector with a $275,000, three-year matching grant investment in the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, Inc., an organization that provides advocacy, public awareness, and capacity building to the nonprofit sector in Massachusetts.

Investments in workforce development

The Foundation is also making a series of investments in developing and strengthening the Greater Boston workforce and creating opportunities for all residents.

A $125,000, one-year investment in English for New Bostonians continues the Boston Foundation support for this critical program, supporting ESOL programs and providing technical assistance to organizations that help non-English speakers learn language and other skills critical to success in the local workforce.

The Foundation is also adding to its founding investment in the New Americans Integration Institute, with a one-year, $50,000 grant supporting the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition in developing the initiative to help immigrants find their social, civic and economic voice by supporting immigrant entrepreneurs and recertification of immigrant professionals.

A previously-announced $150,000, three-year investment will support the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and Boston Community Capital in the Working Cities Challenge, a pilot effort to develop opportunity and prosperity for all residents in Massachusetts’ smaller cities. 

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 Plan for Excellence in the Public Schools FoundationA $184,000/one-year general operating support grant to the Boston Plan for Excellence, an organization that strives for exceptional outcomes for all students by: creating a Pre K – 12 pathway of innovative, high quality autonomous Teaching Academy schools in Boston’s Circle of Promise; preparing outstanding teachers to deliver ambitious instruction in Boston public schools through the Boston Teacher Residency; and sharing the lessons it learns to catalyze reform across the city and beyond.

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

Massachusetts Community Colleges Executive Office: A $50,000/one-year grant, for a regional workforce coordinator position to strengthen workforce development partnerships between industry and community colleges throughout the Commonwealth.

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

English for New Bostonians: A $125,000/one-year grant for English for New Bostonians, which provides grants and technical assistance to organizations offering ESOL programs, and which serves as an advocacy voice for the sector, to execute the recommendations from its strategic plan, continue current programs, and augment existing initiatives.

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

Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy: A $300,000/two-year grant for ChildObesity 180, an initiative to bring to scale evidence-based initiatives to increase quality physical activity in our nation’s schools, for the Active Schools Acceleration Project’s two-year expansion of the 100 Mile Club to achieve district-wide presence in public schools in Boston. 

Massachusetts Public Health Association: A $50,000/one-year grant to provide general operating support for the Massachusetts Public Health Association, a statewide membership organization  that promotes a healthy Massachusetts through advocacy, public education, community organizing and coalition building, to support its efforts to advance and sustain policies and programs that promote health equity.

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

Coalition for Occupied Homes in Foreclosure: A $50,000/one-year grant for the Coalition for Occupied Homes in Foreclosure, a coalition of 25 tenant, community, government, nonprofit and for-profit organizations with the mission to support family and neighborhood stability by reducing displacement of homeowners and tenants during and after the foreclosure process, to provide general support for year three of the Greater Four Corners Community Stabilization Pilot Project.

Cross-Strategy and Special Opportunity Grants

Associated Grant Makers: A $50,000/one-year grant to the Summer Fund, which enables camps to offer free, reduced, and/or sliding scale fees to low-income and underserved families, to ensure that all underserved and at-risk youth have access to quality summer enrichment opportunities regardless of race, ethnic or socio-economic background.

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston/Boston Community Capital: A $150,000/three-year grant for the Working Cities Challenge, a pilot effort designed to ensure that smaller cities in Massachusetts are places of opportunity and prosperity for all residents.

Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition: A $50,000/one-year grant for general operating support to support continued development of the New Americans Integration Institute, an initiative that focuses on helping immigrants find their social, civic and economic voice by supporting immigrant  entrepreneurship and the recertification of immigrant professionals.

Massachusetts Nonprofit Network: A $275,000/three-year dollar-for-dollar matching grant to provide general operating support for the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, a membership organization that strengthens nonprofits through advocacy, public awareness and capacity building.

Wheelock College Aspire Institute: A $25,000/one-year planning grant to develop The Professional School, a reduced tuition/tuition-free professional studies program that will prepare post-secondary students for high need middle-skills-level careers in life sciences, education, healthcare and technology.

Success Boston grants: The Boston Foundation Board also approved $925,000 in grants for partners in the Success Boston college completion initiative. All grants support the grantee’s continued participation in Success Boston, including an evaluation of Success Boston’s coaching intervention for students.  Release of the funds in all cases is conditional on the organization meeting data tracking and reporting deadlines.

All grants are one year in duration.

American Student Assistance Corporation


Boston Private Industry Council


Bottom Line, Inc.


Freedom House, Inc.


Hyde Square Task Force, Inc.




West End House Boys and Girls Club



The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of close to $900 million.  Founded in 1915, the Foundation is approaching its 100th Anniversary.  In 2013, the Foundation and its donors made nearly $98 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of $130 million. The Foundation is a partner in philanthropy, with some 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, 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 customized 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.