Boston Foundation announces $4.3 million in grants to Greater Boston organizations

June 12, 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 $2,160,375 in single and multi-year discretionary grants to 19 nonprofits to be paid out beginning in April 2018. Of the 19 grants, four provide multi-year support. In addition, the Board approved another $541,500 in single-year Open Door grants to 25 additional Boston-area nonprofits, and it acknowledged $1,615,356 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 organizations that expand opportunities to new groups in Greater Boston,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “At a time when the tight job market opens doors for people with the right training to access our 21st century economy, many these grants are an investment in ensuring everyone in Boston has ways to access these opportunities.”

The quarterly grants docket highlights a number of grants in the jobs and economic development strategy. The largest, a three-year, $300,000 commitment to Per Scholas, will provide critical general operating support to bring this nationally-renowned workforce training program into Boston. The Foundation is also committing a $100,000, one-year grant to Social Finance, Inc., to support the Veterans CARE (Coordinated Approach to Recovery and Employment) Pay for Success project, which seeks to connect returning veterans with both employment and mental health services, connecting them with jobs and critical support.

The Boston Foundation is also making a $100,000 commitment to support Growth Fund for Business Equity, a Field of Interest Fund created to provide an alternative financing source for Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) in Greater Boston. The Fund, established as part of the Foundation’s supporting role in Eastern Bank’s Business Equity initiative, increases access to capital for MBEs that are frequently constrained by conventional financing practices and methodologies that make growth and operational financing harder to come by.

In education, the Foundation is continuing its efforts to promote innovation and ensure the best possible education is available to all Boston students. The Foundation is making a $400,000, three-year grant to provide general operating support to the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association to support their ongoing efforts in support of ensuring all Massachusetts children have equitable access to high-quality public schools. The Foundation is also continuing a long-standing commitment to arts education in the Boston Public Schools with a three-year, $300,000 grant to EdVestors to support Phase IV of the BPS Arts Expansion Initiative.

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.

25 grantees received grants ranging from $10,000 to $47,000. Grantees are eligible to apply for grants for two consecutive years.

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:

  • Immigrant Family Services Institute: $30,000 in general operating support for its work reducing barriers to access for immigrants in need of services, particularly youth and adults in the Haitian community effected by federal changes to Temporary Protected Status (TPS), through direct support services, referrals, education and leadership training.
  • United Teen Equality Center: $40,000 to support youth-led efforts to advance policy and legislation related to young adults who have been involved with the justice system.
  • University of Massachusetts Foundation: $47,000 to support the Massachusetts Prisoner Pre-Release Re-Entry Mediation Pilot Extension, which seeks to ensure appropriate, individualized pre-release planning for incarcerated people within their communities with the goal of reducing recidivism and homelessness.

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.


Arts and Culture

EdVestors, Inc.: A $300,000/three-year grant to support Phase IV of the BPS Arts Expansion Initiative, an effort delivering dramatically improved educational outcomes for all students in Boston.

Institute of Contemporary Art: A $20,000/one-year grant to support its outdoor/indoor performing arts programming in FY 18/19.

Education: College Completion

The BASE: A $125,000/one-year grant to The BASE (Boston Astros Baseball Club, Incorporated), an organization that engages youth in baseball to empower them with the skills and resources for success in school and career, for their Academic and Career Institute programming to increase students' college success.

Bellwether Education Partners:  A $135,000/one-year, project support grant to develop a financial sustainability plan that ensures the long-term viability of the Success Boston college transition coaching program for Boston Public Schools students.

Inversant: A $50,000/one-year general grant to support, promote, and advance their Children’s Savings Accounts (CSA) program in Suffolk County and deepen its partnerships in Boston.

Posse Foundation: A $25,000/one-year grant to support their work with 300 Boston scholars and over 560 local alumni, and to support the improvement and expansion of their programming related to Scholars’ GPAs and career success.

Education: Structural Reform

Bellwether Education Partners: A $100,375/one-year project support grant to Bellwether Education Partners, Inc., to produce a report that assesses Boston Public Schools’ progress on its reform agenda and compare its student achievement trends to other urban districts at similar reform stages.

Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, Inc.: A $400,000/three-year grant to advocate for the creation of the conditions that enable the public charter sector to thrive, so that the charter sector contributes toward the goal of all Massachusetts children having equitable access to high-quality public schools.

Health and Wellness

Health Care for All, Inc.: A $100,000/one-year grant to assess and promote meaningful collaboration between MassHealth Accountable Care Organizations and local community-based organizations.

Reebok Foundation: A $100,000/two-year grant to The Reebok Foundation to support BOKS (Build Our Kids' Success), a before school physical activity program for elementary and middle school students in the Boston Public Schools for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years.

Uphams Corner Health Center: A $15,000/one-year grant to install a farmers market in summer 2018 to address food insecurity in the North Dorchester Community.

Urban Food Initiative (The Daily Table): A $30,000/one-year grant to the Daily Table, to host free community workshops on nutrition and healthy eating through the Teaching Kitchen.

Jobs and Economic Development

Growth Fund for Business Equity (The Boston Foundation): A $100,000/one-year grant, to the Growth Fund for Business Equity, a Field of Interest Fund created to provide an alternative financing source and access to capital for Minority Business Enterprises that are frequently constrained by conventional financing practices and methodologies restricting their ability to obtain financing for growth and operational purposes.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation: A $100,000/one-year grant for New Energy Model Organization (NEMO), a new organization that seeks to assist community residents in urban and rural areas of the US to transform distressed neighborhoods into healthy and sustainable communities. As an intermediary, NEMO's role in Boston will be generating Green Energy project demand and helping the inclusive economy community to grow, scale and achieve major economic gains in the energy sector for low and moderate-income people and communities of color.

Per Scholas, Inc.: A $300,000/three-year grant to Per Scholas, an organization which provides accelerated, full-time training in IT support and a full-time, tuition-free opportunity leading to CompTIA A+ and Net+ professional certifications for adults from overlooked communities.

Social Finance, Inc.: A $100,000/one-year project support grant to Social Finance, Inc., an organization dedicated to mobilizing capital to drive social progress. Funds will support the Veterans CARE (Coordinated Approach to Recovery and Employment) Pay for Success project to improve employment outcomes for 480 post-9/11 veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Project R.I.G.H.T.: A $50,000/one-year grant to carry out youth organizing efforts in the greater Grove Hall community related to and in support of improvements in ridership to the Fairmount Indigo Line.

Other areas:

Cardinal Cushing Centers, Inc.: A $100,000 one-year grant to Cardinal Cushing Centers Inc., to provide support for the Vocational Inclusion Pathways (VIP) Program, which helps individuals with intellectual disabilities obtain and retain long-term employment in meaningful, paid jobs in their community.

Conservation Law Foundation: A $60,000 one-year grant to the Conservation Law Foundation, Inc. to structure and take to market a Pay for Success Environmental Impact Bond, which would fund the repair of the gas pipeline distribution infrastructure in Boston, which in turn would reduce the amount of methane gas leaks and lower the rate payer burden.

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

Cambridge Public Library: A $15,000 grant to support the Cambridge Public Library, a public library that seeks to educate, inspire and respond to the needs of the Cambridge community.

Caribbean Integration Community Development: A $25,000 grant to the Caribbean Integration Community Development, an organization that creates affordable housing in Boston's neighborhoods with large numbers of people of Caribbean descent, for continued capacity building work as the organization develops its infrastructure.

Caritas Communities, Inc.: A $25,000 grant to the Caritas Communities, Inc., an organization that provides very low income people with permanent housing, support and a sense of community, for support of its services for adult residents to help them retain their housing.

Centerboard, Inc.: A $12,100 grant for Centerboard, Inc., an organization that that supports families and young people through housing, access to employment and education, and financial empowerment, in support of Marissa's Hope, a commercial sexual exploitation outreach program that seeks to prevent sexual exploitation and provides emergency intervention for victims.

CERO Cooperative, Inc.: A $18,900 grant for the CERO Cooperative, Inc., a worker-owned social venture with a mission to create good jobs in sustainable businesses, for support of the CERO Cooperative's project to process recovered food waste to create clean energy, agricultural products and jobs, while building the local renewable resources infrastructure.

Charles River Conservancy, Inc.: A $25,000 grant to Charles River Conservancy, Inc., a leader in urban parklands improvement and animation that seeks to make the Charles River parklands more active, attractive and accessible to all, for its Charles River Swim Park project, which seeks to bring public swimming back to the Charles River.

Courageous Sailing Center of Boston, Inc.: A $30,000 grant to Courageous Sailing Center of Boston, Inc., an organization that uses the sport of sailing to foster unity and life skills in children of all economic and ethnic backgrounds, for its Reach Initiative, which engages youth through free, high-quality, long-term learning experiences.

Cristo Rey Boston High School: A $15,000 grant to Cristo Rey Boston High School, a Catholic high school serving families of limited means, for its nonprofit jobs placement program, which places students in internships with nonprofit organizations.

Ella J. Baker House/William J. Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies: A $15,000 grant for support of its King Summer Academic Program, which will develop high-need students as independent engaged learners and bolster the academic skills of 45 rising 5th graders at the Holmes Innovation School.

Grameen America, Inc.: A $20,000 grant to Grameen America, Inc., a nonprofit community development financial institution dedicated to helping women living in poverty to build small businesses and create better lives for their families, for general support of the work of the Boston Branch.

Hands to Heart Center: A $20,000 grant to Hands to Heart Center, an organization that shares the healing practice of yoga with people living with poverty, trauma and substance abuse/addiction.

Immigrant Family Services Institute: A $30,000 grant to Immigrant Family Services Institute (IFSI-USA), an organization that seeks to reduce barriers to accessing services for immigrants through direct support services, referrals, education, and leadership training.

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND): A $20,000 grant to Kids in Need of Defense, an organization that seeks to provide protection for children who enter the US immigration system alone and strives to ensure that these children have representation in immigration court hearings.

Marilyn Rodman Theater for Kids, Inc.: A $10,000 grant to Marilyn Rodman Theater for Kids, Inc., a program that seeks to broaden the horizons of at-risk youth and foster a lifelong appreciation for the performing arts by exposing kids to live, professional theater.

Metrowest Legal Services: A $20,500 grant for Metro West Legal Services, which provides free legal advocacy in civil cases to protect the rights of the poor, the elderly, the disabled and the homeless, for its Senior Citizens Legal Project, which provides legal representation to elderly clients.

NeedyMeds, Inc.: A $23,000 grant to NeedyMeds, Inc., for its Community Representative Program, which will work with councils on aging to help elders save money on healthcare and prescription drug costs.

OptiNeeds, Inc.: A $15,000 grant to OptiNeeds, Inc., an organization that seeks to provide prescription athletic eyewear and related products to the special needs community, for its Special Goggles for Special Needs Boston program.

Parenting Journey/The Family Center, Inc.: A $20,000 grant for Parenting Journey/The Family Center, Inc., an organization that seeks to create safer, more resilient families by supporting them in developing the inner strengths and networks of resources they need to succeed.

Quincy Asian Resources: A $20,000 grant to Quincy Asian Resources, Inc., an organization that seeks to foster and improve the social, cultural, economic and civic lives of Asian Americans and their families, to focus on supporting elder members of the community.

Transformative Culture Project: A $20,000 grant to Transformative Culture Project, an organization that uses media and arts to create a more equitable future, to support Beyond Creative, a full-service youth employed creative media agency.

Tunefoolery Music, Inc.: A $10,000 grant to Tunefoolery Music, Inc., an organization that uses music making and community building to support individuals in mental health recovery and eliminate stigma associated with mental illness through dialogue, education and modeling the talents and strengths of people with mental health conditions.

United Nations Association of Greater Boston: A $25,000 grant to United Nations Association of Greater Boston, an organization that seeks to develop a network of globally aware citizens in the Greater Boston area, for support of its Model UN in Underserved Communities program.

United Teen Equality Center: A $40,000 grant to United Teen Equality Center (UTEC), which ignites and nurtures the ambition of disengaged young people to trade violence and poverty for social and economic success, to support efforts to advance policy/legislation related to the Young Adult Reentry Population.

University of Massachusetts Foundation, Inc.: A $47,000 grant for support of the Massachusetts Prisoner Pre-Release Re- Entry Mediation Pilot Extension, which seeks to ensure appropriate pre-release planning for prisoners with their community connections takes place and realistic, workable agreements are developed with the goal of reducing recidivism and homelessness.

Waltham Boys and Girls Club, Inc.: A $20,000 grant to Waltham Boys and Girls Club, Inc., a youth development organization serving Waltham-area youth, to support the development of an action plan to be based on its recently-completed strategic plan.


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. Grants included:

Boston University: $2,500 for the Boston-Lowell Asian American Film Series

Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, Inc.: $5,000 for support of the Mattapan Teen Center

Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Inc.: $10,000 for support of Racial Reconciliation and Healing at Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center

New Democracy Coalition: $15,000 for the nonpartisan Boston Voter Education Project and the Mountain Top Collaborative

United South End Settlements: $10,000 for the Change Maker Series: Honoring the legacy of Harriet Tubman 

Selected other general grants:

Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston, Inc.: $25,000 for capacity building for My Brother’s Keeper

The Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color: $10,000 for general support and organizational development consulting

CEOs for Cities: $25,000 for general operating support

Harlem Lacrosse and Leadership: $15,000 for general support of Boston-based programs

Irish International Immigrant Center, Inc.: $20,000 for work on DACA and Temporary Protected Status cases

MetroLacrosse, Inc.: $7,500 for the second iteration of the Enhancing, Monitoring and Evaluation Initiative

Mothers for Justice and Equality, Inc.: $15,000 for the Second Chance program

The Neighborhood Developers: $30,000 for a partnership with Nuestra Comunidad for a new CDC operating model

New Sector Alliance, Inc.: $20,000 for strategic planning efforts



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.