The Boston Foundation to receive record $50 million gift from Curriculum Associates

Gift from Billerica, MA-based education firm is largest in 102-year history

September 13, 2017

BostonThe Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, today announced it will receive the largest gift in its history - $50 million – as part of the transfer of a majority investment in Billerica, Massachusetts-based education company Curriculum Associates. The gift, sent via the Iowa State University Foundation, increased substantially from the initial amount announced in January due to the company’s rapid growth in the months before the transaction was finalized.

“This is a transformative gift in the history of the Boston Foundation,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “We are deeply honored to have been selected by Curriculum Associates as the recipient of this gift, which will be put to work in efforts to solve some of the Boston area’s biggest problems.”

“As a company founded with a deep commitment to service, we are thrilled to give back to our community in such an historic way through this gift to the Boston Foundation,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “This organization works tirelessly to improve the community in which we operate and the lives of the students we serve, and we are proud to support their philanthropic work.”

A substantial portion of the gift will be used to grow the Boston Foundation’s Permanent Fund for Boston, the foundation’s endowment for strategic grant making, alongside the creation of a corporate Donor Advised Fund and targeted additional investments.

“The Permanent Fund for Boston is what has allowed us to be “There at the Beginning” for some of Boston’s most iconic organizations,” said Grogan. “It is a lasting legacy of our generous donors, allowing the Foundation to address critical needs, invest in innovative solutions and play a civic leadership role now and into the future.”

Specific allocations for the gift will be finalized upon completion of the sale.

The gift to the Foundation also highlights the ability of the Foundation to accept and assist in the disposition of complex assets, in this case restricted shares of a business. The Foundation has in its history been able to accept a wide range of gifts, ranging from a share of ownership in a cruise ship, the Paul Gauguin (which valued at over $31 million was the previous record for single largest gift), to a vast collection of pottery from world-renowned ceramic artist Brother Thomas Bezanson.

“Many donors aren’t aware that The Boston Foundation is well-versed at quickly and effectively handling complex assets,” said Kate Guedj, Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer at the Boston Foundation. “It provides a level of confidence knowing from the beginning of the gift conversation that the assets being used will be handled efficiently and properly, letting the donor and advisor focus on what really matters – ensuring the funds can be used to best meet the donor’s charitable goals.”

In focus: largest gifts in Boston Foundation history:

  • $50 million – 2017 – Curriculum Associates – proceeds resulting from sale of donated majority stake in Curriculum Associates.
  • $31.6 million – 2011 – An affiliate of Grand Circle Travel – proceeds resulting from sale of donated ownership share in cruise ship Paul Gauguin.
  • $25 million – 1994 – Anonymous – proceeds resulting from sale of shares in a family-owned business.
    $20 million – 2017 – Anonymous – cash from sale of a business venture.
  • $19 million – 1997 – Polaroid Corporation – gift of land where company then operated.


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 2016, the Foundation and its donors paid $100 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of more than $107 million. 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), a distinct operating unit of the Foundation, designs and implements customized philanthropic strategies for families, foundations and corporations both here and around the globe. For more information about the Boston Foundation or TPI, visit or call 617.338.1700.