Boston Foundation announces $2.4 million in grants to Greater Boston organizations

April 10, 2018

Boston – The Boston Foundation announced its quarterly discretionary grants after a meeting of the Foundation’s Board of Directors this week. The Board approved $1,460,000 in single and multi-year discretionary grants to 14 nonprofits to be paid out beginning in April 2018. Of the 25 grants, six provide multi-year support. In addition, the Board approved another $525,000 in single-year Open Door grants to 23 additional Boston-area nonprofits, and $400,560 in between-cycles discretionary small grants through other programs of the Foundation.

“With this round of grants, the Boston Foundation continues our efforts to support and strengthen the Boston Public Schools and education for children and adults in the city and region,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “We are also pleased to see the continued interest and strength of our Open Door Grants program, providing funding to dozens of organizations working across the spectrum to improve opportunity and justice for all people in Greater Boston.”

The three largest grants in the quarterly list are education-related. The largest, given to the Boston Public Schools through the Boston Educational Development Foundation, Inc., is a two-year, $240,000 grant to support a partnership with the University of Virginia’s Darden-Curry Partnership for Leadership in Education to support professional development for current and aspiring principals, and to conduct a survey of the district’s principals to help BPS better understand the supports and conditions principals need to succeed with students.

In addition, the Foundation is making a two-year, $200,000 grant to The Education Trust to support its coalition-building and advocacy efforts in Massachusetts, and a one-year, $185,000 grant to the Boston Plan for Excellence, to support greater school autonomy and prepare outstanding teachers through the BPE’s Teaching Academies and Boston Teacher Residency programs.

The Boston Foundation is also making a two-year, $150,000 grant to continue its leadership role in the Boston Opportunity Agenda partnership, which strives to improve educational outcomes from early education into postsecondary and adult education.

And the Foundation is pleased to announce new funding for no fewer than five other organizations for which we were “There at the Beginning” in the education, housing, and workforce sectors, including a one-year, $100,000 grant to support critical adult education efforts by English for New Bostonians and a one-year, $50,000 grant to Smarter in the City, a high-tech business incubator in Roxbury seeking to support and uplift startups and entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities. The Foundation also continues its role with the region’s community development corporations with a one-year, $125,000 grant to support the continuing efforts of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations to support housing production in Greater Boston in an effort to alleviate the region’s critical affordable and middle-class housing shortage.

Open Door Grants

Designed as a means for organizations that have missions which may not align with the five key strategy areas of the Foundation, Open Door Grants are one-year general operating support or project support grants for organizations doing important work throughout Greater Boston.

23 grantees received grants ranging from $15,000 to $50,000. Grantees are eligible to apply for grants for two consecutive years.

The Open Door Grants program is innovative, too, in that it enlists support from staff throughout the organization to assist in the review process. Open Door grantees come from across the region, and work on issues from homelessness, to community health, to immigrant and LGBTQ rights and much more. Some sample grantees this quarter:

  • The Irish International Immigrant Center: $25,000 to support its Immigration Legal Services program, which represents immigrants from around the world in their efforts for due process as they integrate into American society.
  • GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD): $20,000 to support the Transgender Public Education Project, a public awareness campaign and intervention regarding the lives and extensive discrimination that transgender people face.
  • Boston Tax Help Coalition: $50,000 to support the Coalition’s efforts to provide tax help to deaf and hard-of-hearing taxpayers in Greater Boston through the ASL Tax and Asset Building Expansion project.

The full list of discretionary and Open Door grantees is below, along with selected other grants targeting grassroots or capacity-building work, or grants made through a number of special initiatives.


Education: College Completion

Boston University- College Advising Corps: A $50,000/one-year grant for general support of the College Advising Corps, which provides college advising services that increase college enrollment and completion among low-income, first- generation college students from Boston.

Margarita Muñiz Academy:  A $100,000/two-year project support grant for the Margarita Muñiz Academy, a Boston Public Schools innovation school and the only dual-language public high school in New England, to support a post-graduation success coach who will support the school's alumni into and through college.

Education: Structural Reform

Boston Compact: A $25,000/one-year general operating support grant in support of the Boston Compact, a partnership which brings together educators from Boston Public Schools, Commonwealth Charters and Catholic schools to foster cross-sector collaborations and shared problem-solving that will increase school quality across the city.

Boston Opportunity Agenda: A $150,000/two-year general operating support grant 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.

Boston Plan for Excellence: A $185,000/one-year general operating support grant to the Boston Plan for Excellence in the Public Schools Foundation, whose mission is to drive exceptional outcomes for all students by developing great teachers and great schools, to use school autonomies to provide Boston Public School (BPS) students with a high-quality education and to prepare outstanding BPS teachers through Teaching Academies and the Boston Teacher Residency.

Boston Public Schools: A $240,000/two-year project support grant for the Boston Public Schools, to support a partnership with the University of Virginia's Darden-Curry Partnership for Leadership in Education to identify, train and develop turnaround school leaders and to conduct a principal survey to better understand what supports and conditions they need for success.

Citizen Schools, Inc.: A $50,000/one-year project support grant to Citizen Schools, Inc., which works to close achievement and opportunity gaps for low-income students through project-based apprenticeship-style learning, to support the second year of its pilot Catalyst co- teaching model seeking to embed project-based learning in the classroom.

The Education Trust: A $100,000/two-year project support grant to The Education Trust, which seeks to promote high academic achievement for all students at all levels, to support their coalition-building and advocacy efforts in favor of education equity in Massachusetts.

Education: Early Childhood

University of Massachusetts-Institute for Early Education Leadership & Innovation: A $100,000/one-year project support grant for The Institute for Early Education Leadership & Innovation, whose mission is to close the opportunity gap for young children across America by mobilizing entrepreneurial leadership within the early care and education workforce, for its to efforts to train and support innovative, entrepreneurial, and skilled early educators to drive transformative change so that all young children and their families have access to high quality early learning opportunities.

Jobs and Economic Development

BREAD: A $35,000/one-year general operating support grant payable for BREAD, an organization that seeks to empower young community members to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors and to encourage economic self-sufficiency individually and collectively.

English for New Bostonians: A $100,000/one-year grant to English for New Bostonians, Inc., an organization that increases access to high-quality English learning opportunities for immigrants by providing grants and technical assistance to organizations offering ESOL programs and serves as an advocacy voice for the sector.

Smarter in the City: A $50,000/one-year general operating support grant to Smarter in the City, Inc., a high-tech startup business accelerator in Roxbury that supports local entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities advance their technology-focused businesses.

Neighborhoods and Housing

Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations: A $125,000/one-year general operating support grant to Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations for its work to organize suburban members and help them advocate for more housing production by finding effective tools to work with local government, with the goal of accelerating housing development across the region.

Nonprofit Effectiveness

Social Innovation Forum: A $50,000/one-year general operating support grant to Social Innovation Forum, an organization that connects individuals from the nonprofit, philanthropy, government to create positive social change in Greater Boston.

OPEN DOOR GRANTS (all grants are one-year in duration):

Asian Community Development Corporation: A $15,000 grant for service expansion for Asian American youth in Malden.

Boston Harbor Now: A $30,000 grant for support of its Boston Harbor Neighborhood Access Tours, which will build a constituency to engage in accessing and developing the harbor, waterfront, and islands.

Boston Tax Help Coalition: A $50,000 grant for support its ASL Tax and Asset Building Expansion project.

Cambridge College: A $30,000 grant for the College Bridge program to increase college matriculation for Spanish and Mandarin speaking ELL students at Charlestown High School.

Community Day Center of Waltham: A $15,000 grant for its project to support the chronically homeless of Boston's MetroWest.

Discovering Justice-James D. St. Clair Court Education Project: A $25,000 grant for general operating support.

Friends of the Children-Boston: A $25,000 grant for its One Child at a Time Expansion Project to expand the number of children served per year from 111 to 145 by FY2020.

GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD): A $20,000 grant for support of the Transgender Public Education Project, a public awareness campaign and intervention regarding the lives and extensive discrimination that transgender people face.

Hawthorne Youth and Community Center: A $25,000 grant for capacity building efforts.

Health Law Advocates, Inc.: A $30,000 grant for its Protecting the Health of Kids with Disabilities Project.

Irish International Immigrant Center, Inc.: A $25,000 grant for its Immigration Legal Services program.

Jumpstart for Young Children, Inc.: A $15,000 grant to support its Early Education in Boston Public Housing Communities program.

Level Ground Mixed Martial Arts, Inc.: A $20,000 grant to provide support for the Student Trainer program, which aims to increase career pathway opportunities for high- risk youth to become fitness professionals.

Museum of African American History: A $15,000 grant for its Museum-based Education Programs for Students and Teachers.

Mystic River Watershed Association: A $20,000 grant for the Mystic River Herring Migration Education Project.

On the Rise, Inc.: A $40,000 grant to support the expansion of the Keep the Keys program, which provides ongoing support to recently housed women and aids in their overall stabilization and housing retention.

Rogerson Communities: A $25,000 grant for general operating support.

Silent Rhythms, Inc.: A $10,000 grant for general operating support.

Summer Search: A $15,000 grant for general operating support.

Tenacity, Inc.: A $15,000 grant for support of its Summer Tennis and Reading Program for underserved Boston youth.

The Polus Center for Social and Economic Development, Inc.: A $20,000 grant for support of its Project WORK workplace training program.

United South End Settlements: A $25,000 grant to United South End Settlements for its evaluation and capacity building efforts.

WBUR-FM: A $15,000 grant for the CitySpace Programming Fund, which will support the creation of diverse event programming to attract and enable community participation in WBUR's array of opportunities for civic discourse and cultural exchange.


These grants come from funds set aside by the Board for specific purposes and are presented to the Board of Directors as part of the quarterly consent agenda.

Boston Foundation Grassroots Fund:

A small grants program that supports program activities that might include, but are not limited to, community events and celebrations, pilot or demonstration projects, conferences and convenings, and small programs that mirror those funded by discretionary grants, but which lack sufficient scale to be eligible or competitive.

Asian American Resource Workshop, Inc.

$5,000: For the Boston-Lowell Asian American Film Series

Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston, Inc.

$10,000: For fiscal sponsorship of Collaborative Parent Leadership Action Network

Boston Education Development Foundation, Inc.

$10,000: For BPS Office of External Affairs' Building a Street Team project

Data for Black Lives

$8,750: For sponsorship of the Data for Black Lives Conference 2017

Health Resources in Action, Inc.

$10,000: For fiscal sponsorship of Collaborative Parent Leadership Action Network

The Institute for Pan African Cultural Education, Inc.

$5,000: For Helping Ourselves Push to Excel (HOPE) Academy

Jeremiah Program

$4,000: For sponsorship of the Voices Rising event

Louis D. Browne Peace Institute

$1,500: For Peace Boston's Hip Hop 911: Black Spots on My Soul program

Massachusetts Voter Education Network, Inc.

$10,000: For general operating support

Momentum Academy

$1,700: For POC Momentum Participant Sponsorship

Project 351

$10,000: For support of the Launch and Service Day

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church

$8,250: As fiscal sponsor for Boston Mothers Care - Puerto Rico Relief Trip

Strong Women, Strong Girls, Inc.

$5,000: For training to help the organization build a culture of diversity and inclusion

Transformative Culture Project

$7,500: For support of the Puerto Rico Relief Effort

Trinity Boston Foundation

$1,000: For sponsorship of the Sole Train's 'Sole Train 5K'

Selected other general grants:

Echoing Green, Inc.

$15,000: For Boston Area Neighborhood Fellows and Community Leaders to attend 30th Anniversary Summit

Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, Inc.

$10,000: For general operating support

Innovation Network for Communities

$25,000: For the Boston Green Ribbon Commission for the Climate Ready Boston initiative

Boston Tenant Coalition
For racial equity and the City of Boston's Assessment of Fair Housing

Local Initiatives Support Corp.
To provide support for the Fairmount Indigo Network

Trinity Boston Foundation
For the Racial Equity Leaders Learning Circle


The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of more than $1 billion. In 2017, the Foundation and its donors paid $130 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of more than $194 million. The Foundation is a close partner in philanthropy with its donors, with more than 1,000 separate charitable funds established either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. It 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 around the globe. For more information about the Boston Foundation and TPI, visit or call 617-338-1700.