The Boston Foundation celebrates a “$1 billion decade of philanthropy”

Preliminary grants total for FY2018 estimated at $130 million; vast majority of grant funds go to Massachusetts organizations

September 24, 2018

Boston The Boston Foundation today announced that the Foundation and its donors had given more than $129 million to nonprofits in the 2018 fiscal year, which closed June 30. As a result, the Foundation is pleased to note that grant making over the past 10 years has topped $1 billion.

“We are truly fortunate as a foundation to be able to reach this remarkable milestone,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “It is a testament to the trust our thousands of donors have placed in us to use our unparalleled expertise to address Greater Boston’s needs, through the Permanent Fund for Boston and in partnership with us through donor advised funds and other vehicles.”

Preliminary figures show that from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2018, the Foundation had awarded $1.05 billion in grants and awards, while receiving just over $1.1 billion in gifts. The total grants made for the past 10 years eclipse the total amount in grants issued in the first 92 years of the Foundation combined.

“While the economy has had ups and downs, we are pleased to note the steady increase in grants we have been able to make in partnership with donors who are able to focus on a mix of local, national, and global giving,” said Kate Guedj, Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer. “From our ability to handle non-cash gifts, to our direct work with donors to find organizations that match their philanthropic goals – we will continue to use our strengths to give donors unparalleled service, and ensure even more dollars flow to nonprofits.

Grants by Year chart

As a community foundation, the Boston Foundation is able to work in partnership with donors to find and support local nonprofit organizations, building connections between the donor community and a network of organizations working to solve Greater Boston’s biggest challenges. Approximately 70% of donor advised fund grants, and over 75% of overall grant dollars have gone to nonprofit organizations in the state of Massachusetts.

In all, 17 of the top 20 recipients of grant funds from the Boston Foundation over the course of the decade have been Massachusetts-based. The others include 2 education institutions that received large gifts from individual donors and one charitable gift fund.

Top 15 MA Nonprofits by TBF Support (FY09-FY18)

Number in parentheses is overall ranking

  1. United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley (1)
  2. New England Conservatory (2)
  3. Boston Ballet (3)
  4. Combined Jewish Philanthropies (4)
  5. Boston Plan for Excellence in the Public Schools Foundation (5)
  6. Harvard University (6)
  7. Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston (7)
  8. Massachusetts General Hospital (8)
  9. Museum of Science (10)
  10. Museum of Fine Arts (11)
  11. City Year (12)
  12. New Profit (13)
  13. Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston (15)
  14. Year Up (16)
  15. Boston Symphony Orchestra (17)

The list of grantees also includes thousands of other organizations of all sizes, from small neighborhood organizations to other major philanthropic institutions. “We are proud not just of the magnitude of the gifts to Massachusetts nonprofits from our donors, but of the breadth of those gifts as well,” added Grogan. “We are fortunate to partner with donors and philanthropic advisors to create a two-way conversation that helps them solve the issues they see as most important, with both familiar and innovative new organizations, in Greater Boston, in Massachusetts, and around the world.”

To learn more about the ways the Boston Foundation can help donors achieve their philanthropic goals, visit the Donors section of our website.


The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of more than $1.2 billion. 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.