Boston Foundation announces $3 million in grants to Greater Boston organizations

April 10, 2019

Boston – The Boston Foundation today its quarterly discretionary grants after a meeting of the Foundation’s Board of Directors earlier this week. The Board approved $2,198,000 in single and multi-year discretionary grants to 22 organizations, and also acknowledged $802,000 in grants paid out between-cycles through other discretionary programs of the Foundation.

“This quarter’s grantmaking docket highlights a number of longstanding partners who continue to do remarkable work across education, health, housing and workforce development,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “For many of these organizations, the Boston Foundation is a committed partner who was ‘There at the Beginning,’ and we are proud to continue our support to these grantees for their ongoing work.”

Grants focused on the housing and neighborhoods program area make up the largest segment of the quarterly docket. A two-year, $180,000 grant to MetroFuture, Inc., will serve to further its development of initiatives to fight displacement at the state and local levels, and assist the Metropolitan Mayors Coalition Regional Housing Task Force as it adopts more detailed regional affordable housing production and preservation targets.

The two largest grants in the docket include a three-year, $300,000 grant to the Massachusetts Public Health Association for its continued pursuit of policies that eliminate health inequities and improve the health of people across the Commonwealth. The Foundation also is continuing its support of organizations and programs helping those with disabilities, making a three-year, $300,000 grant to Community Servings, Inc. to support the Medically Tailored Meal Program for the mobility-impaired and those with chronic illnesses, addressing a critical need by ensuring their clients adequate access to nutrition.

Other notable grants include a one-year, $100,000 grant to Mass Insight Education and Research Institute for its work connecting and strengthening the Grove Hall Alliance, a network of five Boston Public Schools in serving students in the Grove Hall Neighborhood from early education through high school. The Foundation also continued its ongoing support for English for New Bostonians, with a one-year, $100,000 general operating support grant to continue its efforts to provide high-quality English learning opportunities for Greater Boston’s immigrant population, and made a two-year, $130,000 grant to the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, for support of their work to create a long-term program with the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance that will enable 1,000 low- and moderate-income tenants to become first-time homeowners in Boston over the a five-year period.

A full list of quarterly discretionary grants is below, separated by strategy area.


Education: Structural Reform

Boston Public Schools: A $50,000, one-year program support grant for the BPS Office of Human Capital, an agency whose mission is to close the opportunity and achievement gaps in Boston Public Schools by empowering every child with a team of adults who reflect the racial, cultural, and linguistic diversity of BPS students, and who have what they need to serve BPS students, for Strategic and Effective Leadership Teams.

Boston Plan for Excellence: A $178,000, one-year general operating support grant to use school autonomies to provide BPS students with high-quality education through two autonomous Teaching Academies, and to prepare outstanding BPS teachers through the Boston Teacher Residency.

Empower Schools: A $25,000, one-year project support grant to complete the Boston Opportunity Zone initiative, that will include completing and releasing a Zone study for Boston, engaging the community and catalyzing a Zone in Boston.

Mass Insight Education and Research Institute: A $100,000, one-year project support grant for its work with the Grove Hall Alliance, a partnership of schools in the Grove Hall neighborhood of Boston.

Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education: A $25,000, one-year project support grant for the Credentials for Success initiative to expand access for high school students to earn industry-recognized credentials in high-wage, high-demand fields in our state's fastest growing sectors.

Education: College Completion

Boston University – College Advising Corps: A $50,000, one-year general operating support grant to provide college advising services that increase college enrollment and completion among low-income, first-generation college students from Boston.

Health and Wellness

Boston University School of Public Health:  A $110,000, two-year project support grant to support the Activist Lab, a program that works with local partners to identify public health problems and advocate for change, to convene two community committees that will work to curate stories that illustrate community health concerns.

Center for Science in the Public Interest:  A $70,000, one-year grant to support the establishment of a healthy SNAP workgroup in Massachusetts, where 1 in 10 residents are food insecure.

Massachusetts Public Health Association, Inc: A $300,000, three-year grant to support its strategic planning and to pursue its health equity policy agenda.

Project Bread – The Walk for Hunger:  A $40,000, one-year grant to examine the history of food insecurity in Massachusetts, with a particular focus on the impact of race and ethnicity.

Jobs and Economic Development

English for New Bostonians: A $100,000, one-year general operating support grant to increase access to high-quality English learning opportunities for immigrants by providing grants and technical assistance to organizations that offer ESOL programs and to serve as an advocacy voice for the sector

Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation: A $30,000, one-year project support grant to support The Contractors of Color Success Lab, an intensive pilot project to test and measure strategies for improving the capacity, stability, and bottom lines of small minority-owned construction firms in Boston.

Smarter in the City: A $50,000, one-year general operating support grant to support the growth of small businesses in underrepresented communities, and help local entrepreneurs launch and grow new businesses and advance their technology-focused businesses.

Neighborhoods and Housing

Greater Boston Interfaith Organization: A $130,000, two-year general operating support grant for support of their work to create a long-term, three-year affordable homeownership campaign, in collaboration with Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, that will enable 1,000 low-to-moderate income tenants to become first-time homeowners in the City of Boston over a five-year period..

Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants: A $55,000, one-year general operating support grant for their work organizing and supporting HUD and MassHousing tenant groups in privately-owned, government-subsidized multifamily housing, with the goal of revitalizing toxic buildings and improving outcomes for public housing tenants whose units are undergoing privatization.

Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations: A $125,000, one-year general operating support grant for its work with its members and allies to expand housing opportunities in Greater Boston, by advocating for land use, zoning and development policies in the City of Boston that will spur sufficient housing development, and to organize their suburban members and help them to advocate for more housing production by finding effective tools to work with local government.

Metro Housing | Boston: An $100,000, one-year grant to Metro Housing|Boston, an organization that seeks to connect low- to moderate-income Greater Boston residents with safe, maintained homes they can afford, for their work to create an electronic case management system with a data warehouse to bridge required tracking systems, with the goal of better tracking the impact of its services and the changes that occur for the participants.

MetroFuture, Inc.: An $180,000, two-year project support grant for its work publishing anti-displacement research with the goal of developing at least one new anti-displacement measure at the local or state level. In addition, MetroFuture Inc. expects that over the next year the Metropolitan Mayors Coalition Regional Housing Task Force will have adopted more detailed regional production or preservation targets for affordable, family, senior and accessible units.


Nonprofit Effectiveness

Social Innovation Forum: A $55,000, one-year general operating support grant to Social Innovation Forum, Inc. (SIF), an organization that connects individuals from nonprofits, philanthropy and government to create positive social change in Greater Boston.

Other/Unaligned Grants

Community Servings, Inc.: A $300,000, three-year grant to support the Medically Tailored Meal Program for Mobility-Impaired Individuals and Families Affected by Illness.

Ellis Memorial & Eldredge House, Inc.: A $75,000, one-year emergency project support grant to support the replacement of the heating system at the Early Education Center located at 58 Berkeley Street, Boston.

GreenLight Fund: A $50,000, one-year project support grant to support the Boston program's 12th and 13th investment cycles and community needs assessments.

Selected other grants of over $5,000:

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 released in the past quarter totaled $335,000. Selected grants over $3,000 included:

Asian American Resource Workshop, Inc.
$5,000: For the Boston Asian American Film Festival

Autism Sprinter, Inc.
$7,500: For general operating support

Black Economic Justice Institute
$30,000: For general operating support, events support and support of Black Market Dudley

Brazilian Worker Center, Inc.
$10,000: For general support to expand capacity to assist families

Caribbean Youth Club, Inc.
$5,000: For the Haitian Youth Initiative

Centro Presente, Inc.
$10,000: For general support to expand capacity to assist families

$10,000: For Leadership Development support

Data for Black Lives
$10,000: For the Data for Black Lives conference

John P. Holland Community Council, Inc.
$9,000: For the Kappa Leadership Institute Boston program

Massachusetts Voter Education
$7,500: For Civic Participation and Engagement in Early Voting

Math Talk
$5,000: For Mathscapes "Mathematizing the Port"

United for a Fair Economy, Inc.
$10,000: For support of Healing the Racial Divide training

Urban Farming Institute
$10,000: For Supplementary Farmer Training Assistance

Violence in Boston
$7,500: As fiscal sponsor to provide support for BMEN Foundation

We Are Better Together: Warren Daniel Hairston Project Inc.
$10,000: For support of the We Are Better Together launch

Other between-cycles and special fund grants acknowledged by the Board included:

$25,000: As fiscal sponsor for the Latina Circle for its PowerUp Latinx Business Initiative

BamsFest, Inc.
$5,000: For BamsFest 2019

Boston University
$35,000: For support of programming at WBUR CitySpace 

Boston Educational Development Foundation
$10,400: to create an interactive online tool for the BPS budget 

Coalition for Occupied Homes in Foreclosure, Inc.
$15,000: For a project consultant for a Community Land Trust

College Bound Dorchester
$25,000: for Boston Uncornered

Emmanuel Gospel Center, Inc.
$5,000: For the Boston Collaborative, Common Good Initiative

Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc.
$20,000: for general operating support

Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, Inc.
$25,000: For the Inner City Capital Connections program

Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce
$15,000: For support of the Public Launch

Philanthropy Massachusetts
$50,000: For support of the Massachusetts Census Equity Fund 2020

Teach Plus, Inc.
$50,000: For a survey of students, families, and community organizations regarding qualities they seek in a BPS superintendent


Grants previously shared publicly in Boston Foundation-sponsored announcements:

The Board of Directors also acknowledged a number of grants paid out during the quarter that were previously announced by the Foundation in other grant announcements, including:

Latino Legacy Fund grants: $126,000
Live Arts Boston grants: $44,000