Boston Foundation announces $150,000 grant to Boston Public Schools

December 17, 2015

Grant is part of $2.38 million in quarterly funding

Boston – The Boston Foundation announced its quarterly discretionary grants after a meeting of the Foundation Board of Directors on Thursday. The Board approved $2,382,500 in single and multi-year discretionary grants to be paid out beginning in December 2015. Of the 24 grantees for the quarter, three are receiving multi-year funding support. Four grants each were issued in the Arts and Culture and Education-Structural Reform categories. Five grants were issued in the Jobs and Economic Development category. Three were issued in Neighborhoods and Housing. And eight grants fell into the Cross-Strategy and Special Opportunity Grants category.

In keeping with its consistent support of Boston Public Schools, the Boston Foundation awarded a $150,000 one-year grant for support to BPS to help the BPS Office of Innovation advance its priority projects, including high school redesign, implementation of a common enrollment system with District and Charter Schools, implementation of a new accountability process for autonomous schools, and development of a strategy for personalized learning in the BPS.

“Among the many programs and institutions that the Boston Foundation calls partners, we are both grateful for and proud of our continued ability to support the Boston Public Schools, our region’s largest public school district,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “Over the last five fiscal years, the Boston Foundation has granted more than two-thirds of its discretionary education funds either directly to the BPS, or to nonprofits working with BPS students and families.”

Accelerating Structural Reform and Promoting Innovation in public schools in Boston

In the realm of education and structural reform, the board also approved new funding to the 5 District Partnership-Chelsea Public Schools, Massachusetts 2020, and the Boston Foundation itself, to support its investment in the Opportunity Agenda public-private partnership.

5 District Partnership was issued a one-year $55,000 grant for project support. The 5 District Partnership is a joint effort among the Massachusetts districts of Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Revere and Winthrop to improve instruction and academic achievement.

Massachusetts 2020 was awarded a one-year $50,000 grant to support its policy work and advocacy efforts, which include seeking a performance-based funding allotment in the Chapter 70 funding formula and for continued promotion of Expanded Learning Time.

The Boston Foundation was approved for a two-year $75,000 grant to provide general operating support for the Boston Opportunity Agenda, a public/private partnership that seeks to improve the educational pipeline from cradle to career so that all Boston residents have access to the education necessary for upward economic mobility, civic engagement and lifelong learning for themselves and their families.

Promoting the career advancement and economic security of low-income individuals

In the area of jobs and economic development, the Foundation’s board approved a $60,000 one-year grant to BEST Corp Hospitality Training Center to help bolster its data collection and to enable BEST Corp to synchronize its programming with industry expansion.
BREAD, which offers programs to empower young community members to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors, received a one-year $50,000 grant for general operating support. BREAD’s programming goal is to encourage individual and collective economic self-sufficiency.

Center for Women & Enterprises, Inc., a national provider of entrepreneurship education training, counseling, and business assistance for burgeoning entrepreneurs, was awarded a one-year $50,000 grant to support its Community Classrooms, which is designed to support inner city entrepreneurs who lack the social capital to access mentors and technical assistance.
SkillWorks: Partners for a Productive Workforce, received a $400,000 one-year grant for general operating support. SkillWorks is a multiyear public-private partnership led by the Foundation to substantially improve workforce development services for both disadvantaged job and skill seekers and business, to support Phase III of the initiative in Greater Boston and all of Massachusetts.
Skylab, a Roxbury-based technology and business incubator, received a one-year $50,000 grant for general operating support for its efforts to develop technology education programming in partnership with the Boston Public Schools.

Increasing neighborhood stability and the production and preservation of affordable housing for vulnerable populations

Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, Inc., was approved for a one-year $130,000 project support grant to continue its Fair Chance for Family Success Initiative. DSNI works to empower Dudley residents to organize, plan for, create and control a vibrant diverse and high quality neighborhood in collaboration with community partners. The Fair Chance initiative supports families in their efforts to set and achieve goals for family success, including “traditional” goals such as achieving financial stability and improving their overall economic well-being.

Greater Four Corners Action Coalition, Inc., received a one-year $75,000 grant for general operating support. The Coalition promotes neighborhood stabilization in the Four Corners neighborhood of Dorchester.

Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations received a one-year general operating support grant. MACDC is a membership organization that acts as the advocacy and technical assistance provider for the Massachusetts community development movement, to provide technical assistance support to CDCs, specifically involving the Imiagine Boston 2030 process and to continue MACDS’s advocacy, policy, organizing and education work. The Boston Foundation will receive a Community Investment Tax Credit for $25,000, as a result of this grant.

Strengthening and celebrating the region’s diverse audiences, artists and nonprofit cultural organizations

In the area of arts and culture, ArtsBoston, Inc., was awarded a $62,500 one-year grant for general operating support, as the organization observes its 40th anniversary and continues to serve 750,000 arts consumers and 170 member arts organizations in Greater Boston. ArtsBoston offers an online cultural calendar, BosTix discount ticketing, marketing services, and an audience building initiative that helps organizations identigy gaps through the use of aggregated audience data.

Boston Children’s Chorus, Inc., received a $50,000 one-year grant for general operating support. The BCC enhances Boston’s identity as an arts and youth development leader and provides high quality arts education programming to a diverse group of young people across Boston. The Chorus is in its first year under new artistic and executive leadership and is preparing a new capital campaign to support a move into a new, larger space in Dorchester.

MASSCreative, Inc., an organization that works to engage and build the political strength of Masschusetts’ arts and cultural sector, received a $100,000 three-year grant, to be paid in equal annual installments, for general operating support. The grant will help MASSCreative in its efforts to organize a broad-based action network that will advocate for increased investment in arts and cultural activities by federal, state and local leaders.

Urbano Project, Inc., an arts education organization that operates a professional exhibition and studio space in Jamaica Plain, received a one-year $50,000 grant for general operating support. The Urbano Project serves a diverse group of high school-aged Boston youth who are guided to form working partnerships with adult professional artists to produce large-scale works of contemporary art, media and performance.

Cross-strategy and Special Opportunity Grants

In the areas of cross-strategy and special opportunities, the Boston Foundation awarded continued its commitment to close the inequality gap through early childhood development programs, with a $100,000 one-year general operating support grant to the Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children. The Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children is an organization that drives systems change in early education and care in Massachusetts that leads to greater access and quality of care for children in low-income households.

The Boston Home, Inc., a provider of specialized clinical care for adults with progressive neurological diseases, received a one-year $100,000 grant to support its E-Pro 55 Plus program, a workplace analysis of individuals age 55 and up who are currently employed in low-wage jobs, to examine potential career paths that could provide more meaningful, less physically demanding work and a better retirement outlook than their current positions.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester, a youth development organization that offers a wide variety of after school programming, received a $50,000 one-year grant to support the Project B.I.N.D. inclusion program for youth with disabilities.

Corporation for Supportive Housing, an organization that advances solutions that use housing as a platform to deliver services, improve lives and maximize public resources, received a three-year $150,000 grant for project support, that will be paid in annual equal installments.  The grant will allow the CSH to provide technical assistance to the City of Boston for Boston’s plan to end veteran and chronic homelessness.

Dare Family Services, Inc., received a one-year project support grant for $50,000. Dare, a social services agency that serves severely abused and neglected children in foster care, developmentally disabled adults, pregnant and parenting teens, and at-risk families, will use the grant to support the Boston expansion of the Pathways to Progress program for former foster youth in their transition, as they age out of the foster care system.

D.E.A.F., Inc., an organization that builds bridges across communities by increasing communication access and awareness, received a $50,000 one-year grant to support Project HOPE, a program that offers deaf adults accessible, age-appropriate health information to ensure healthy aging and healthy lifestyles.

MassINC, an independent think tank whose mission is to stimulate nonpartisan debate, shape policy, and advance a public agenda that supports the growth of the middle class, received a one-year $100,000 grant to support its Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, which works to reduce the reliance on incarceration as a strategy for crime reduction and enhanced public safety.

And Save the Harbor, Save the Bay, Inc., received a $75,000 one-year grant for general operating support. Save the Harbor, Save the Bay, is a public interest environmental organization whose mission is to restore and protect Boston Harbor and Massachusetts Bay and share them with the public.


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.