Boston Foundation announces more than $1.6 million in grants to Greater Boston organizations

October 21, 2014

Five-year investment in First 1,000 Days health study highlights health, education investments

Boston – The Boston Foundation announced its quarterly discretionary grants after a meeting of the Foundation Board of Directors today. The Board approved $1,628,000 in single and multi-year discretionary grants to be paid out beginning in October 2014. Of the 15 grantees for the quarter, two health-related grantees are receiving multi-year grants in support of what promises to be a landmark study of the role early childhood interventions can play in reducing obesity and overweight risk in mothers and children.

The First 1,000 Days Study will develop, implement and support an intervention that leverages early life systems and community resources and addresses individual and family social and contextual factors to improve outcomes among vulnerable family units in the "First 1,000 Days" (conception through 24 months of age). The intervention will bring together OB/GYN, and pediatric medical practitioners with the WIC federal grant program and community health programs in a collective effort to improve health and behavioral outcomes for both the mothers and their children.

The Foundation is pleased to make a five-year, $625,000 grant to Massachusetts General Hospital in support of the launch and implementation of the First 1,000 Days Study, along with a three-year, $300,000 grant to the Kraft Center for Community Health, which will fund the design of the intervention program by a diverse group of Greater Boston stakeholders, and its implementation with an expected focus on families in Boston, Chelsea and Revere.

In June 2014, the Chief of Pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Dr. Elsie M. Taveras, was the keynote speaker at the release of the 4th annual Healthy People/Healthy Economy Report Card, an annual examination of indicators of health and wellness that this year for the first time included a closer examination of early childhood health.

“Early data demonstrate that a focus on early childhood education, health care and other services can be an effective means of tackling some of the most intransigent problems facing youth today,” sais Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “The First 1,000 Days Study has the opportunity to create an entirely new coordinated strategy for changing the lifelong health and wellness trajectory for our youngest residents, setting the course for gains in education and other critical areas later in life. We are pleased to be able to support it.”

At the Board meeting, the Foundation also officially welcomed Linda A. Mason, the chairman and co-founder of Bright Horizons, the largest worldwide provider of worksite child care and early education, to the Board of Directors for a five-year term ending June 30, 2019. She replaces Binkley C. Shorts, who stepped down from the Board in June because of term limits.

The Boston Foundation also released its grants and gifts totals for the 2014 fiscal year. For the Fiscal Year ending June 30, the Boston Foundation distributed $112 million in grants and scholarships, including $87 million from the Foundation’s donor advised funds. Donors also continued a strong pace of contributions – with $112 million in gifts in FY 2014, $99 million of which were deposited to donor advised funds.

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.

FUEL Education: A $100,000/one-year grant to FUEL Education, an organization that helps families access higher education through savings circles, savings accounts, and financial incentives, to support its expansion to serve more families in Boston, Chelsea, and Lynn, by engaging families of younger children to begin saving earlier, as well as the continued growth of its college access curriculum.

Higher Education Resource Center: A $43,000/one-year grant for the Higher Education Resource Center, an organization that works to increase access to higher education among disadvantaged youth, to support the “Passport to College” college preparatory program based in Boston public high schools.

Massachusetts Department of Higher Education: An $80,000/one-year grant to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, which oversees public colleges and universities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, to support the Vision Project, a strategy to bring transparency, accountability and reinvestment to the state's public higher education system, and to support the state's annual reporting on outcomes for students attending public institutions of higher education.

Northeastern University: A $50,000/one-year grant to Northeastern University for Foundation Year, a twelve-month program launched by the university in response to Success Boston that seeks to provide Boston Public Schools graduates with the skills and academic preparation to continue on to a degree program. Grant funds will support post-program advising for students who complete Foundation Year and enroll in college.

Sociedad Latina, Inc.: A $50,000/one-year grant to Sociedad Latina, an organization that works in partnership with Latino youth and families to increase educational and professional opportunities, to support its postsecondary coaching for first-generation college students.

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

Future Boston Alliance: A $35,000/one-year grant payable for the Future Boston Alliance, working to make Boston a vibrant 21st century city through the creation of an innovative culture movement and by building creative economies throughout the city, with its ASSEMBLE! Boston, Accelerate Boston and Activate Boston programs.

YouthBuild Boston, Inc.: A $35,000/one-year grant to YouthBuild Boston, a youth and workforce development organization providing innovative skills-based programming to help young adults break free of the cycle of poverty through formal education, development of social competencies, career training and acquisition of industry-aligned credentials.

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

Kraft Center for Community Health: A $300,000/three-year grant to Partners Healthcare System, Inc. as fiscal sponsor for the Kraft Center for Community Health, a program working to develop a new generation of physician-leaders committed to tackling the challenge of health inequality at the policy, management, and research levels, for its partnership with the First 1,000 Days Study.

Massachusetts General Hospital: A $625,000/five-year grant for support of the First 1,000 Days Study, an effort to reduce obesity risk and related racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities among vulnerable families by implementing and testing the First 1,000 Days intervention, which focuses on the first 1,000 days after conception for both the mother and child.

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

Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at
Harvard Law School:  A
$25,000/one-year grant to the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, an institute of Harvard Law School that bridges research, policy and law, and brings together critical players from many spheres to devise and implement research-based solutions for a multi-racial society, for two sessions of the Houston Labs initiative that will focus on aligning education and juvenile justice.

Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, Inc.: A $35,000/one-year grant to the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance to support the creation of the Common App for the Commonwealth which will assist low- and moderate-income homebuyers in submitting one mortgage application (the Common App for the Commonwealth) to multiple lenders in order to receive offers reflecting the most affordable mortgage products.

Cross-Strategy and Special Opportunity Grants

The BASE, Inc.: A $125,000/one-year grant to The BASE (Boston Astros Baseball Club, Incorporated), an organization that leverages young people’s interest in baseball to provide opportunity, training, encouragement, and educational programming to young people primarily in Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan. 
Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children: A $50,000/one-year grant payable to provide general operating support for the Initiative’s efforts to drive systems change in early education in Massachusetts in order to promote greater access and quality of care for children in low-income households.

Boston Earned Income Tax Credit Action Coalition: A $50,000/one-year grant for the Boston Earned Income Tax Credit Action Coalition, a cross sector collaborative effort that provides low- to moderate-income taxpayers with free tax preparation and asset building services, to support its Disability Initiative, an expanded integration of taxpayers with disabilities into all aspects of the campaign.

MassINC: A $25,000/one-year grant payable to Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth, Inc. to support the development of the School Finder tool for Boston parents, a website that will engage Boston parents by allowing them to select criteria important to them and display the schools that excel in these areas.


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, Greater Boston’s only endowment fund supporting organizations focused on the most pressing needs of Greater Boston.  The Foundation is proud to be a partner in philanthropy, with nearly 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 serious 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. For more information about the Boston Foundation and TPI, visit or call 617-338-1700.