The Boston Foundation announces $4.1 million in grants to Greater Boston organizations

Grants include a $1 million investment in early childhood-related efforts, $1 million in Open Door Grants

December 13, 2019

Boston – The Boston Foundation is pleased to announce its quarterly discretionary grants after a meeting of the Foundation’s Board of Directors last week. The Board approved $1,826,000 in single and multi-year discretionary grants to 11 organizations, as well as $1,000,000 in grants to 43 organizations through the Boston Foundation Open Door Grants program. In addition, the Board also acknowledged another $1,274,198 paid out between cycles through other discretionary programs of the Foundation.

"This quarter’s grants include a significant commitment of resources to early childhood health and education,” said Paul S. Grogan, “and a new round of grants through the Open Door Grants program that highlights the program’s inherent abilities to respond to critical needs in the community on issues such as immigration.” More than a third of the $1 million in Open Door Grants funding approved in this cycle is awarded to organizations that solely or predominantly provide services to immigrants and refugees, a reflection of a growth in demand and a compelling case for support for immigration-related issues being made by applicants.

A major investment in early childhood

Just over $1 million of the quarterly grants total is dedicated to organizations that serve the health and development needs of young children. Two of those grants will support expanding the HealthySteps program in Greater Boston – a two-year grant of $621,000 to Massachusetts General Hospital’s Chelsea HealthCare Center and a two-year, $250,000 grant to ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families. The evidence-based, interdisciplinary pediatric primary care program that promotes positive parenting and healthy development for babies and toddlers, with an emphasis on families living in low-income communities. 

HealthySteps integrates a child development professional into the pediatric team to provide families with a tiered level of supports and services, including mental and behavioral health supports. The program will provide services to parents of all new babies born at MGH Chelsea, with an emphasis on supporting first-time parents and families having their first child in the United States.

In addition, the Foundation’s Education to Career and Health and Wellness teams are co-sponsoring a $200,000, two-year grant to Health Care for All, Inc. (HCFA). HCFA will use the funding to advocate for policy changes that result in sustainable funding for integrated pediatric behavioral health care in primary care settings. By increasing coordination of care, providers will be able to connect families to behavioral health services in a more seamless and timely manner, and facilitate referrals to other services and programs that support the behavioral, social and emotional health and well-being of children.

“These investments are a significant planned expansion of our commitment to improving the lives of families with young children in Greater Boston,” said Orlando Watkins, Vice President for Programs at the Boston Foundation. “Our research and past grantmaking have underscored the impact that providing education, health and wellness supports to our youngest community members and their parents help them develop physically, mentally and emotionally and prepare them to succeed in school and beyond.”

Other significant investments on the docket include a number of renewed commitments to organizations for whom the Foundation was “There at the Beginning,” providing important early stage investments. This quarter, the Foundation notes a $100,000, one-year grant to Boston After School and Beyond, a public-private partnership that not only provides summer opportunities to thousands of Boston Public Schools students, but also supports programming to help prepare young people for college and beyond throughout the school year.

A $100,000, one-year grant to Commonwealth Kitchen will provide needed funds for the organization to reflect on its remarkable success and growth as it embarks on a new strategic plan to ensure its continued support of dozens of food entrepreneurs, the vast majority of whom are women and entrepreneurs of color.

Lastly, the Boston Foundation is proud to stand with a number of funding partners in our continuing support of the Greater Boston Immigrant Defense Fund. A one-year, $50,000 grant to the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation helps ensure that immigrants in Greater Boston have greater access to legal services during status and deportation hearings for which they are entitled by law to due process. Since 2017, the Greater Boston Immigrant Defense Fund has supported work on behalf of hundreds of immigrants and refugees. It is supported by a number of local foundations in collaboration with the City of Boston.

A full list of quarterly grants is below, followed by the list of Open Door Grants.


Education: Early Childhood:

Health Care for All, Inc.: A two-year, $200,000 Project to Health Care for All, Inc., an advocacy and policy organization that seeks to ensure that everyone in Massachusetts has the equitable, affordable, and comprehensive care they need to be healthy, for support of Expanding Successful Pediatric Behavioral Health Programs. Note: This grant is supported equally by the Foundation’s Education to Career and Health and Wellness strategic programs.

Massachusetts General Hospital – Chelsea HealthCare Center: A two-year, $621,000 project support grant payable to Partners Healthcare System, Inc. for Massachusetts General Hospital Chelsea HealthCare Center, an agency which provides healthcare services to Chelsea’s young children and their families for HealthySteps: Expansion in Boston.

ZERO TO THREE: A two-year, $250,000 project support grant to ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families for HealthySteps, an innovative evidence-based pediatric primary care program committed to healthy early childhood development and effective parenting so that all children are ready for kindergarten and success in life.

Education: Structural Reform:

Boston After School and Beyond, Inc.: A one-year, $100,000 general operating support grant for Boston After School & Beyond, a public-private partnership that seeks to ensure that every child in Boston has the opportunity to develop his or her full potential, for its multifaceted efforts to strengthen the youth development sector and connect it to the citywide college readiness agenda.

Eliot K-8 Innovation School: A one-year, $125,000 project support grant payable to Friends of the Eliot School, Inc. for the Eliot K-8 Innovation School, an innovation school in Boston Public Schools, to lead a cohort of schools through the process of school improvement and redesign and develop structures, schedules, culture, and climate that foster and support play-based experiential learning.

Health and Wellness:

Health Care for All: (See listing under Education: Early Childhood)

Jobs and Economic Development:

Center for Women and Enterprise, Inc.: A one-year, $30,000 project support grant to Center for Women & Enterprise, Inc., an agency that provides opportunities through education, training, technical assistance, access to markets, and paths to funding, for women entrepreneurs and women in business to increase professional success, personal growth, and financial independence, to provide support for their Community Classrooms initiative.

Commonwealth Kitchen: A one-year $100,000 general operating support grant to support the implementation of a strategic plan for Commonwealth Kitchen, an agency that promotes equity, opportunity and community resilience through the universal power of food, by providing incubator/accelerator space and wrap-around business services to food entrepreneurs.

Nonprofit Effectiveness:

College for Social Innovation, Inc.: A two-year, $150,000 general operating support grant to College for Social Innovation, an organization that seeks educate and inspire the next generation of social sector leaders.

Trinity Boston Connects: A two-year, $100,000 project support grant to Trinity Boston Connects, an organization that builds communities that: affirm, inspire, and empower youth and their families; offer holistic support for physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing; and strengthen community health and cohesion across Boston, for their Racial Equity Leaders Learning Circle and Emergent Leaders Circle.


Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation: A one-year, $50,000 project support grant to Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, an organization that provides leadership and support to improve civil legal services to low-income people in Massachusetts through collaboration with the legal services community, the public, the bar, and the legislature, to support the Greater Boston Immigrant Defense Fund, which will seek to strengthen the Greater Boston area's capacity to protect and defend its many immigrant communities, refugees, and temporary status holders by increasing education and access to legal services.

Other and Unaligned Grants:

Social Innovation Forum: A one-year, $100,000 project support grant to the Social Innovation Forum, an organization that connects individuals from the nonprofit sector, philanthropy, and government to create positive social change in Greater Boston, to provide support for their 2020 Social Innovation Accelerator Program, Social Issue Track "Supporting and Advancing Health of People with Disabilities, their Families, and Caregivers.”

Open Door Grants

Each year, the Boston Foundation distributes a portion of its resources via its Open Door Grants program, which responds to expressed opportunities and needs in the communities we serve. Open Door Grants are awarded twice each year through an open RFP. All grants are one-year in duration, but organizations can receive grants for up to two consecutive years.

In this cycle, the Foundation has awarded $1 million to 43 organizations.

African Bridge Network: A $20,000 general operating support grant to African Bridge Network, a non-profit organization with the mission to create a supportive community that enables African and skilled immigrants in Massachusetts to leverage their qualifications and experience to maximize their potential through orientation workshops, career advising, professional mentoring, professional networking events and webinars.

Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith: A $10,000 project support grant to Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, an organization founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry and today a leading anti-hate organization that seeks to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all, for its A World of Difference peer training program.

Arc of the South Shore, Inc.: A $26,000 project support grant to Arc of the South Shore, Inc., an organization committed to empowering families and individuals of all ages with disabilities to reach their fullest potential by providing high quality, individualized services and opportunities that foster independence, community inclusion, and advocacy, for interpreter services for its early intervention program for families that do not speak English.

Artists for Humanity, Inc.: A $25,000 general operating support grant to Artists for Humanity, Inc., an organization that seeks to provide under-resourced urban youth with the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in art and design.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: A $34,000 project support grant to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for support of the Center for Violence Prevention and Recovery's Sanctuary Project, which serves undocumented immigrants seeking immigration remedies that will provide legal status to allow them to remain in the United States.

Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, Inc.: A $10,000 general operating support to Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, a nonprofit that ignites girls’ passion and power to succeed through positive mentoring relationships with women and enrichment programs that support girls’ healthy development.

Bikes Not Bombs, Inc.: A $20,000 project support grant to Bikes Not Bombs, Inc., an organization that uses the bicycle as a vehicle for social change through programs that provide skill development, jobs, and sustainable transportation and which mobilize youth and adults to be leaders in community transformation, for its Bike School for Excluded Youth program.

Boston Debate League: A $10,000 general operating support grant to Boston Debate League, an organization that seeks to integrate argumentation and competitive debate into public schools to develop critical thinkers ready for college, career, and participation with the world around them.

Boston Medical Center Corporation: A $25,000 project support grant to Boston Medical Center Corporation for its Child Witness program, which provides counseling services to children and their families affected by domestic or community violence and is a nationally recognized clinical intervention and outreach program that has had a significant impact on the landscape of services for child victims of violence in Massachusetts and nationwide.

Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Inc.: A $15,000 project support grant to Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Inc., an organization that seeks to provide effective services to runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth that help youth avoid a lifetime of dependency on social services, guide youth towards self-sufficiency, and enable youth to transform their lives, for support of the Welcome Center, which provides safe, age-appropriate overnight accommodations to homeless youth, ages 16-24, living on the streets in the City of Boston.

Center to Support Immigrant Organizing: A $30,000 project support grant to Center to Support Immigrant Organizing, an organization that builds the capacity of immigrant leaders, organizations and communities to develop grassroots leadership to improve communities and create a more just society, to advance its Youth Ubuntu Project.

Centro Presente, Inc.: A $15,000 general operating support grant to Centro Presente, Inc., a Latin American immigrant organization dedicated to the self-determination and self-sufficiency of the Latino immigrant community of Massachusetts.

City School, Inc.: A $26,000 project support grant to City School, Inc., an organization that seeks to develop and strengthen youth to become effective leaders for social justice, for efforts to expand and strengthen its Summer Leadership and Pathways to Change programs.

Codman Square Health Center, Inc.: A $42,000 project support grant to Codman Square Health Center, Inc., a community-based health center and Patient-Centered Medical Home in Dorchester seeking to serve as a resource for improving the physical, mental and social well-being of the community, for its outreach and enrollment program, which will focus on the uninsured and under-insured.

Community Health Network Area 17 (CHNA 17): A $11,000 project support grant to Community Health Network Area 17, a regional health coalition that works with hospitals and partner organizations to promote racial equity and mental health in the communities of Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Somerville, Watertown and Waltham.

Company One, Inc.: A $25,000 project support grant to Company One, Inc., a theatre company that seeks to build community at the intersection of art and social change in service to its vision of a Boston defined by justice, equity, and artistic innovation, for support of its Company One Theatre Residency, which will take place at the Strand Theatre.

East Somerville Main Streets: A $10,000 general operating support grant to East Somerville Main Streets, an organization whose mission is to improve the life of its East Somerville community by building investment, connection and pride in its main street, with a focus on programming to assist low-income entrepreneurs of color through restructuring of its Small Business Technical Assistance program.

Emerge, Inc.: A $35,000 general operating support grant to Emerge, Inc., a counseling program whose mission is to educate individual men and women who abuse intimate partners, improve their parenting, prevent young people from learning to accept violence in their relationships, improve institutional responses to domestic violence, and increase public awareness about domestic violence.

Emerson College: A $20,000 project support grant to Emerson College, whose mission is educating and preparing students to assume positions of leadership and responsibility in communications and the arts, and to advance scholarship and creative work that brings innovation, depth, and diversity to these disciplines, for support the Emerson Prison Initiative which seeks to enroll a greater number of students at the Massachusetts Correctional Institute in Concord, to shorten the time to completion for an Emerson Bachelor of the Arts degree, and to facilitate a more successful reentry process.

Girls L.E.A.P.: A $22,000 general operating support grant to Girls L.E.A.P., a youth-serving nonprofit organization delivering self-defense and social-emotional skills training to girls with the mission to empower girls and young women to value and champion their own safety and well-being.

Hearth, Inc.: A $20,000 project support grant to Hearth, Inc., an organization dedicated to the elimination of homelessness among the elderly, to support its Homelessness Prevention Outreach Program, which offers short term financial assistance for back rent, relocation costs and eviction prevention.

Jeremiah Program: A $25,000 general operating support grant to Jeremiah Program, an organization whose mission is to end the cycle of poverty for single mothers and their children, two generations at a time.

LEAP for Education: A $20,000 general operating support grant to LEAP for Education, an organization that empowers underserved and first-generation-to-college students to succeed in education, career, and life by teaching students academic and life-skills needed to perform at higher levels in middle school and high school.

Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly: A $40,000 general operating support grant to Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly, a network of non-profit volunteer-based organizations committed to relieving isolation and loneliness among the elderly by offering to people of goodwill the opportunity to join the elderly in friendship and celebration of life.

Lynn Youth Street Outreach Advocacy (LYSOA): A $20,000 general operating support grant to Lynn Youth Street Outreach Advocacy (LYSOA), an organization that empowers high risk youth in their community to reach a positive purpose in life.

MAB Community Services: A $24,000 project support grant to MAB Community Services, an organization which provides services to individuals who are blind or visually impaired, for its Greater Boston Healthy Aging & Living Initiative for Seniors with Sight Loss.

Massachusetts Communities Action Network: A $20,000 general operating support grant to Massachusetts Communities Action Network, an organization that develops local leadership and power in low-income communities to win racial and economic justice, improve the laws and structures that bind our society together, and advance public values of equity and justice.

Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, Inc.: A $20,000 general operating support grant to Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, Inc., an organization that works in coalition across New England to promote the rights and integration of immigrants and refugees.

Matahari Women Workers’ Center: A $20,000 general operating support grant to Matahari Women Workers' Center, a Greater Boston community organization of women and families working to end gender violence and exploitation.

Maverick Landing Community Services, Inc.: A $20,000 project support grant to Maverick Landing Community Services, a multi-service organization with a primary focus on helping children, youth, and adults to build 21st-century skills and enhancing the lives of the culturally and economically diverse residents of Maverick Landing, East Boston, and surrounding communities, to support its MLCS: Makerspace Capacity Building for Youth Job Creation and Revenue Generation program.

Mother Caroline Academy and Education Center: A $35,000 project support grant to Mother Caroline Academy and Education Center, a private, independent, tuition-free school for girls in grades 4-8 from limited financial means, for its Student Health and Wellness at Mother Caroline Academy program.

Mujeres Unidas Avanzando: A $25,000 project support to Mujeres Unidas Avanzando, an organization that seeks to provide low-income Latinas with the tools needed to empower themselves and effect liberating changes in their lives, the lives of their families, and in society at large, for its Carreras de Salud para el Futuro/Healthcare Careers for the Future program.

Mystic Valley Elder Services, Inc.: A $25,000 general operating support grant to Mystic Valley Elder Services, Inc., an organization whose mission is to support the right of elders and adults living with disabilities to live independently with dignity in a setting of their own choice by providing them and their caregivers, with information, advice, and access to quality services and resources.

National Organization of Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault: A $30,000 project support grant to National Organization of Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault, an organization dedicated to working with communities to create a just society in which Women of Color are able to live healthy lives free of violence, for its Network for Addressing Sexual Assault program.

Piers Park Sailing Center, Inc.: A $20,000 project support grant to Piers Park Sailing Center, Inc., a community sailing center for people of all ages and abilities on Boston Harbor, for the Inclusive Youth Development program.

Prisoners’ Legal Services: A $40,000 general operating support grant to Prisoners Legal Services (Massachusetts Correctional Legal Services), a nonprofit legal services office that provides civil legal assistance to people incarcerated in Massachusetts state prisons and county jails and houses of correction, for its Immigrant Detention Conditions Project.

Save the Harbor, Save the Bay, Inc.: A $50,000 general operating support grant to Save the Harbor, Save the Bay, Inc., a non-profit, public interest Boston Harbor advocacy organization and the region's leading voice for clean water and continued public investment in Boston Harbor, the region's public beaches, and the Boston Harbor Islands.

Silent Rhythms, Inc.: A $10,000 project support grant to Silent Rhythms, Inc., an organization dedicated to making the arts accessible to all populations, to support a project focused on increasing accessibility and inclusion in dance for people with disabilities.

Union Capital Boston, Inc.: A $15,000 project support grant to Union Capital Boston, Inc., to transform social capital into opportunity by rewarding community engagement, for support of its program to increase the 2020 Census count for community benefit.

Veterans Legal Services: A $25,000 general operating support grant to Veterans Legal Services, an organization that promotes self-sufficiency, stability and financial security of low-income, homeless and at-risk veterans through free and accessible legal services.

Women Survivors of Homicide Movement, Inc.: A $20,000 project support grant to Women Survivors of Homicide Movement, Inc., an organization that seeks to empower and support women of color as they advocate for their loved one's unsolved murder, for its Trauma Spa program, a pilot that is designed to address PTSD in women and men who are survivors of homicide of their family members.

YMCA of Greater Boston: A $25,000 project support grant to YMCA of Greater Boston, an organization dedicated to improving the health of mind, body and spirit of individuals and families in its communities, to support health and wellness programs for seniors at its Wang YMCA facility in Chinatown.

Youth Guidance: A $20,000 project support grant to Youth Guidance, an organization that creates and implements school-based programs that enable at-risk children to overcome obstacles, focus on their education and, ultimately, succeed in school and in life, for the growth of its Becoming a Man (BAM) program in Boston.

Selected other grants:

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 $151,500, including $75,000 in grants recommended by the 2019-2021 Class of Boston Neighborhood Fellows. Selected grants over $3,000 included:

Asian American Resource Workshop, Inc.
: For Collaborate Boston technical assistance support

Boston Police Athletic League, Inc.
: For the B-3 annual Community Harbor Cruise

Boston Ujima Project
: For general operating support

City Awake
: For Fierce Urgency of Now: Energizing Millennials of Color to Unlock Boston's Promise festival

Health Resources in Action, Inc.
: As fiscal sponsor to provide general support for the Collaborative Parent Leadership Action Network

Lewis Family Foundation
: For sponsorship of “A Conversation with Bryan Stevenson

Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers, Inc.
: For the Supreme Team Cookout

Mattapan's Finest Back to School Free Cut
: For the free Cut and Curl Back to School Event

The following organizations were awarded general operating support grants on the recommendation of the Boston Neighborhood Fellows:

Abilities Dance, Inc.: $2,500

City School, Inc. (in support of Young Abolitionists): $2,500

Creative Impact for Change Corporation: $7,500

Friends of 20 Arlington Street, Inc. (in support of Agora Cultural Architects): $7,500

Haley House: $2,500

John P. Holland Community Council, Inc.: $7,500

Keshet: $2,500

MassVOTE: $7,500

Muslim Justice League, Inc.: $7,500

Social Good Fund (in support of Kavod): $7,500

Student Immigrant Movement: $2,500

Transgender Emergency Fund of Massachusetts: $10,000

Union Capital Boston, Inc.: $7,500

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

BAMS Fest, Inc.
For the development of a business plan

The Bridgespan Group
To provide the Achieving Strategic Clarity Program to eight nonprofit organizations

Camp Harbor View
For general operating support

Innovation Network for Communities
: For general support of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission and the Climate Ready Boston Initiative

Museum of Fine Arts
: For exhibit support: Toulouse-Lautrec and the Stars of Paris

WalkBoston, Inc.
For the Walking-Around Money Fund

Strategies for Children, Inc.
For the Massachusetts Partnership for Infants and Toddlers

United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, Inc.
For work with the BPS to establish early warning indicators for off-track students

Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, Inc.
For support of the Massachusetts Black Expo

Latina Circle, Inc.
: for Amplify Latinx, for the PowerUp 2.0 Summit: Latinx Business Growth as Jet Fuel for the Massachusetts Economy

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:

My Summer in the City Fund: $132,500

Public Realm Initiative Fund: $120,000

Social Innovation Fund Grant Fund: $333,702

SkillWorks Fund: $70,000

Museum of African American History Stone Book Prize Fund: $30,000