The Boston Foundation announces $2 million in grants to Greater Boston organizations

Grants include funding to strengthen the nonprofit sector, investments in health access and equity

April 23, 2020

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 $1,970,000 in single and multi-year discretionary grants to 24 organizations. In addition, the Board also acknowledged another $2,023,850 paid out between cycles through other discretionary programs of the Foundation.

“In these unprecedented times where COVID-19 and the effects of the pandemic are garnering attention, we are pleased to be able to add our quarterly grants docket to the tens of millions of dollars going out to nonprofits through both our COVID-19 Response Fund and numerous grants made by hundreds of our donors,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “Greater Boston’s nonprofits across the spectrum need support from donors to both navigate the current crisis and provide their much-needed services in the months to come.”

With that in mind, the largest grant on the docket is a two-year grant totaling
$225,000 to the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, which provides critical advocacy and support for the needs of the nonprofit sector. MNN has played a key role during the COVID-19 crisis, and will continue to work closely with nonprofits and the funding community to ensure that Massachusetts nonprofits are represented in conversations about the needs and plans for the state’s communities.

The grants docket also focuses on a number of health-related grants, many of which target improving access for quality care, especially for families with young children. A $200,000 grant to Massachusetts General Hospital will provide support for “community health navigators” who will work with pregnant women and families with young children to better track referrals and outcomes through the use of technology. Other health and wellness grants focus on a range of issues, including access to health care, community disparities in health outcomes, and the continuing opioid epidemic in Massachusetts.

The Foundation is also continuing a long-standing commitment to support seniors and people with disabilities with a series of grants this cycle, including those to the Boston Housing Authority ($100,000), Massachusetts Senior Action Council, Inc. ($100,000), City of Boston Age Strong Commission ($50,000), as well as a $50,000 grant to the City of Boston Mayor’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities.


Education: College Completion

Boston Opportunity Agenda: A one-year, $75,000 general operating support grant to the Boston Opportunity Agenda, a public/private partnership that seeks to increase dramatically the pace and scale of change in education for all children in Boston so that they have access to the education necessary for upward economic mobility, civic engagement and lifelong learning for themselves and their families.
Note: Boston Opportunity Agenda funds are held at the Boston Foundation.

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


Education: Structural Reform

BPE, Inc.: A one-year, $165,000 general operating support grant to BPE, Inc., whose mission is to drive exceptional outcomes for all students by developing great teachers and great schools, to continue to leverage school autonomies that provide BPS students with high-quality education through two autonomous Teaching Academies and prepare outstanding BPS teachers through the Boston Teacher Residency.    


Health and Wellness

Health Care Without Harm: A one-year, $50,000 project support grant to Health Care Without Harm, an organization that seeks to transform health care worldwide so that it reduces its environmental footprint, becomes a community anchor for sustainability and a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice, to support the New England Food Processors Collective project.

Health Leads: A one-year, $75,000 project support grant for Health Leads, Inc., an organization that works to catalyze multi-sector partnerships and community-centered innovation to collaborate seamlessly to address the social determinants of health, for its Reducing Racial Disparities in Maternal & Infant Health Outcomes in Boston project.

Massachusetts General Hospital: A one-year, $200,000 project support grant payable to Partners Healthcare System, Inc. for Massachusetts General Hospital to support two community health navigators for pregnant women and families with children from Birth to Age 5 and the implementation of the IRIS system which will allow them to track referrals and outcomes more efficiently.  Up to 300 families will be supported.

Playworks New England: A one-year, $75,000 project support grant payable to Playworks Education Energized, for Playworks, an organization whose mission is to improve the health and well-being of children while enhancing their education by increasing opportunities for physical activity and safe, meaningful play, to sustain and expand school-based physical activity programs and partner with schools to re-imagine play in the Boston Public Schools, Boston charters, and nearby school districts.

RIZE Massachusetts Foundation, Inc.: A one-year, $50,000 general operating support grant to RIZE Massachusetts Foundation, Inc., an organization that works to address the crisis of opioid use disorder and lower the number of opioid-related overdoses and deaths, to support research to identify systems and behavior changes that lead to long-term solutions to the opioid crisis in the Commonwealth. 

Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center: A one-year, $40,000 project support grant payable to Brigham and Women's Hospital, Inc. as fiscal sponsor for Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center, an organization that provides quality care to all patients regardless of their identity, to support the Racial Reconciliation and Healing project. 


Jobs and Economic Development

Business Equity Fund: A one-year, $150,000 project support grant to the Boston Foundation for general support of the Business Equity Fund's operations and the capacity to provide growth capital to Black and Latinx companies in Greater Boston.

English for New Bostonians: A one-year, $100,000 project support grant to English for New Bostonians, Inc. to infuse English instruction into Boston’s workforce ecosystem through customized ESOL programming serving entrepreneurs, jobseekers, parents, workers and employers.

Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation: A one-year, $30,000 project support grant to Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, to support its Small Contractor Success Initiative, a program that provides technical assistance, access to bids, and other support to small construction companies owned by people of color and women.

Lawyers for Civil Rights: A one-year, $25,000 project support grant to Lawyers for Civil Rights, Inc., an organization that fosters equal opportunity and fights discrimination on behalf of people of color and immigrants, to support its BizGrow initiative, a program that provides free legal support and technical assistance to over 500 small businesses of color annually.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation: A one-year, $50,000 grant to Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), to support its Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development strategy area, a program that supports small businesses owned by women and people of color, through offering economic empowerment and small business support services that focus on financial coaching and building credit, access to financing opportunities, building digital strength, and supporting the overall business ecosystem through convening and networking.

MassChallenge: A one-year, $50,000 general operating support grant to MassChallenge, an agency that is committed to strengthening the global innovation ecosystem by supporting high-potential startups across all industries, through running zero-equity startup accelerators.

Neighborhoods and Housing

Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative:
A one-year, $25,000 general operating support grant to Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, an organization that seeks to empower Dudley residents to organize, plan for, create and control a vibrant, diverse and high-quality neighborhood in collaboration with community partners.

Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations: A one-year, $150,000 general operating support grant to the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations for its work with its members and allies to expand housing opportunities in Greater Boston, including advocating for land use, zoning and development policies and pursuing a systems change agenda at both the state and municipal level, with a special focus on the City of Boston.


Nonprofit Effectiveness

Massachusetts Nonprofit Network: A two-year, $225,000 general operating support grant to Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, Inc., an organization that supports the nonprofit sector through advocacy, public awareness and capacity building. 

Social Innovation Forum: A one-year, $25,000 general operating support grant to Social Innovation Forum, Inc. (SIF), an organization that connects individuals from the nonprofit and philanthropy sectors as well as government to create positive social change in Greater Boston.  


Other/Unaligned Grants

Boston Housing Authority: A one-year, $100,000 Boston Public Housing Corporation for the Boston Housing Authority, an agency that provides stable, quality affordable housing for low-and-moderate-income persons, for general support of its work to benefit BHA's seniors and persons with disabilities.

City of Boston Age Strong Commission: A one-year, $50,000 grant to City of Boston Age Strong Commission, an agency that is committed to enhancing the lives of older adults in Boston with meaningful programs, resources and connections so together they can live and age strong in Boston, for general support of its work  benefiting Boston’s older adults.

City of Boston Mayor’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities: A one-year, $50,000 general operating support grant to City of Boston Mayor’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities, an agency that is committed to increasing opportunities for people with disabilities by facilitating full and equal participation in all aspects of life within the City of Boston.

Massachusetts Senior Action Council, Inc.: A one-year, $100,000 general operating support grant to the Massachusetts Senior Action Council, a statewide, grassroots, senior-led organization that empowers its members to address key public policy and community issues impacting senior citizens and those living with disabilities.

Mission Grammar School: A one-year, $60,000 general operating support grant payable to Boston Society of Redemptorist Fathers for Mission Grammar School, to support its merger with Saint Patrick’s, which provides a rigorous faith-based pre-k through grade six education. Students leaving the sixth grade have the option to attend the Cathedral 7-12 High School, which offers a pathway from pre-k through college graduation support.


Selected other grants:
The Boston Foundation Board of Directors also acknowledged more than $2 million in payments or requests for payment made by special funds at the Foundation in accordance with the specific terms of each fund. These special funds have advisors/advisory committees that make recommendations for the re-granting of these funds. Other grants included:

Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico
Grants to aid in the relief and reconstruction of Puerto Rico and to support Puerto Ricans arriving in Boston and the Commonwealth as a result of the destruction left in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Centro de Periodismo Investigativo
$7,000: For general support of efforts to increase transparency and access to public information

Foundation for Puerto Rico, Inc.
$50,000: For support of the Bottom Up Destination Recovery Initiative

Hispanic Federation, Inc.
$300,000: As fiscal sponsor for Fundacion Banco Popular to be awarded as follows: 
$100,000 for Caras con Causa; 
$100,000 for CMTAS Yauco; 
$100,000 for Inter-American University of Barranquitas Campus

Puerto Rico Community Foundation, Inc.
$100,000: For housing rehabilitation work in Loiza

Food and Fuel Fund

A grants program to support populations that are particularly vulnerable during the winter months, including the elderly and those with physical disabilities, by meeting basic needs in food, fuel and housing.
National Consumer Law Center, Inc.
$15,000: For support of project Stay Connected

Quincy Community Action Program
$10,000: For the Fuel Assistance Program

Victory Programs, Inc.
$22,000: For the Nutrition and Meals Program for Individuals with HIV/AIDS

Women's Lunch Place, Inc.
$10,000: For general operating support for nutritious meals for women

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
$51,500. Selected grants over $3,000 included:

$5,000: For general support of capacity building efforts

Strong Women, Strong Girls, Inc.
$10,000: For general support of capacity building efforts

Other between-cycles and special fund grants over $5,000 that were acknowledged by the Board included:

Boston Children's Hospital
$5,000: For the Palfrey Child Health Advocacy Scholars Fund

City of Boston
$15,000: For the 2019 Boston Civic Leaders Summit

Dimock Center
$10,000: For sponsorship support of Steppin' Out 2019

Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
$10,000: For 2019 City to City Los Angeles

Museum of African American History, Inc.
$24,600: For the second annual MAAH Stone Book Prize

New England Aquarium
$50,000: For sponsorship support for the 50th Anniversary Gala

Philanthropy Massachusetts
$25,000: For Strategic Planning and Giving Massachusetts Reports support

Sociedad Latina, Inc.
$20,000: For sponsorship support for the 50th Anniversary Gala

United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, Inc.
$5,000: For the Thanksgiving Project

Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, Inc.
$10,000: For sponsorship support for the Celebrate the Centennial event

Year Up, Inc.
$37,500: For expanded alumni advancement and employment placement services for current and past participants

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:

Success Boston Fund: $410,000
Shout Syndicate Fund: $200,000
Next Steps for Boston Dance Fund: $40,150
Brother Thomas Fund: $180,000