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The Boston Foundation announces grants, including latest round in Open Door Grants Program

January 12, 2021

Boston – The Boston Foundation today announced its latest round of quarterly grants, along with the grant awards for the latest cycle of the Open Door Grants program. The Foundation Board of Directors approved $810,000 in single and multi-year discretionary grants to 13 organizations in this cycle, along with $1.43 million in Open Door grants to 43 organizations, and acknowledged $2.2 million in grants paid out between cycles through other discretionary programs of the Foundation. 

“The Open Door Grants program continues to be a strong, effective way for the Boston Foundation to connect with, support and empower leaders and organizations from across Greater Boston that are collectively taking on issues of justice and equity across a number of areas,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “We thank all those who applied, and those community members, particularly our current Boston Neighborhood Fellows and alumni, who have been able to play a role in the review process and made this truly community-wide effort to support impactful organizations.”

Open Door Grants

Recognizing the need for nonprofits to have the ability to plan and count on funding, the Boston Foundation is now awarding many of our Open Door Grants as a two-year, $50,000 commitment to nonprofit partners, rather than as renewable one-year grants. In this cycle, 18 of the 43 grantees are receiving two-year, $50,000 commitments. Other grantees are receiving a second-year renewal of their 2020 Open Door Grant, while a third group is receiving a one-year award.

In addition, all Open Door Grants will now be for general operating support – giving nonprofit partners greater flexibility to use the support in the most effective fashion.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has only reaffirmed that offering two-year grants can provide a greater sense of stable funding, especially to smaller organizations feeling the strain of increased demand for their resources,” said Lauren McDermott, Manager of the Open Door Grants program. “In addition, by making these grants entirely general operating support, we hope to send a message to these important organizations that they should do their work as they see fit. Their proximity is a critical part of their power.”

Many of the other grants announced today focus on strengthening schools and school leaders at an unprecedented time for education in Greater Boston. A $100,000 grant to the Boston Public Schools through the Boston Educational Development Foundation will underwrite BPS’ ongoing efforts to provide supports for current and future school leaders. A $75,000 grant to MassINC will support strengthening connections between community colleges and the workforce through new research and advocacy to facilitate access to connected education and labor market data; and a $100,000 grant to the Rennie Center for Education Research will support Campuses Without Walls, an initiative that leverages technology to promote equity, access, and opportunity for high‐quality learning. 

Other grants will help critical organizations that provide access to needed resources and will empower organizations that advocate and improve equity in the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. For example, a $75,000 grant to the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers supports a network of centers at the core of our region’s health equity, and a $100,000 grant to Commonwealth Kitchen furthers the Foundation’s “There at the Beginning” investment in building and sustaining an ecosystem of food businesses, the vast majority of which are led by women or entrepreneurs of color.

DISCRETIONARY GRANTS:

Education: Structural Reform

Boston Public Schools: A $100,000, one-year general operating support grant to Boston Educational Development Foundation for the Boston Public Schools, to strengthen school leadership by supporting turnaround principals, developing principals and principal supervisors to develop the breakthrough leadership skills needed to build the systems thinking, data‐driven decision‐ making processes, and systems and structures that fuel successful school transformation. 

MassINC: A $75,000 one‐year project support grant to Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth, Inc., to support the continuation of research on community college graduates’ labor market outcomes and stakeholder engagement that facilitates access to connected state education and labor market data systems. 

Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education: A $50,000 one‐year general operating support grant to Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, Inc., an organization that advocates for educational reforms so that students can enter the workforce prepared. 

Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy: A $100,000 one‐year project support grant to support the pilot launch of Campuses Without Walls, an initiative that responds to the COVID school closure crisis by leveraging technology to promote equity, access and opportunity for high‐quality learning. 


Education: Early Childhood

Massachusetts Early Childhood Funder Collaborative: A $50,000 two‐year general operating support grant to Philanthropy Massachusetts for the Massachusetts Early Childhood Funder Collaborative (MA ECFC), a new partnership effort working to ensure that all young children in Massachusetts have the opportunities and supports they need to thrive.

United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley: A $75,000 one‐year project support grant for its Shared Services of Massachusetts, which will support home‐ and center‐based child-care programs. 

Health and Wellness

Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers: A $75,000 one‐year project support grant to Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers to support a community health workers project that will increase access to healthcare and improve racial equity.  


Jobs and Economic Development

Center for Women & Enterprise: A $30,000 one‐year general operating support grant to Center for Women and Enterprise, Inc., an agency that is dedicated to helping people start and grow their businesses, to support the growth of its programming in Eastern Massachusetts. 

CommonWealth Kitchen: A $100,000 one‐year general operating support grant to CommonWealth Kitchen, an agency that aims to build a new food economy grounded in racial, social and economic justice. 


Neighborhoods & Housing

Action for Equity: A $45,000 one‐year general operating support grant to Action for Equity, an agency that is working for all people to have quality housing, good jobs and job access, environmental quality, and transportation access, among other things as steps to achieve the society we want. 
 
Homes for Families: A $25,000 one‐year general operating support grant to Homes for Families, a statewide advocacy organization committed to ending family homelessness through permanent and emergency solutions. 

Project Hope: A $45,000 one‐year general operating support grant payable Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Services of MA for Project Hope, an agency that works in partnership with women and families in the Dorchester and Roxbury neighborhoods of Boston as they move up and out of poverty. 


Social Justice Ecology

Community Labor United/New England United for Justice: A $15,000 one‐year general operating support grant payable to Community Labor United Incorporated as fiscal sponsor to New England United for Justice, a grassroots organization that believes in the power of direct organizing and leadership building as a tool for residents who want to participate in improving their local neighborhoods. 

Massachusetts Community Foundation Partnership: A $25,000 one‐year project support grant to Philanthropy Massachusetts for the Massachusetts Community Foundation Partnership, a program that seeks to connect and strengthen community foundations for greater impact and to lead on critical and common issues facing our communities and Massachusetts by centering the work with equity and racial justice at the forefront. 


OPEN DOOR GRANTS:

Grantees and the amounts of their grants are listed below. Open Door Grants are reviewed by a cross-departmental team of Boston Foundation staff. In addition, each cycle includes grants reviewed by members of the two most recent cohorts of the Boston Neighborhood Fellows program, whose lived experience and understanding of the issues facing organizations and individuals provided invaluable insights. 

All two-year, $50,000 grants are to be paid in annual $25,000 installments. All grants are general operating support.

African Bridge Network: A one-year, $25,000 grant to African Bridge Network, an organization that seeks to create a supportive community that enables African and skilled immigrants in Massachusetts to leverage their qualifications and experience to maximize their potential.  

Arc of the South Shore, Inc.: A one-year, $25,000 grant to the Arc of the South Shore, Inc., an organization that is committed to empowering families and individuals of all ages with disabilities to reach their fullest potential.

Artists for Humanity, Inc.: A one-year, $25,000 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. 

Asian American Civic Association, Inc.: A one-year, $14,000 grant to Asian American Civic Association, Inc., an organization that provides education, occupational training and social services to limited English speaking and economically disadvantaged people enabling them to achieve lasting economic self-sufficiency.

Asian American Resource Workshop, Inc.: A two-year, $50,000 grant to Asian American Resource Workshop, Inc., a member-led organization committed to building grassroots power through political education, creative expression, and issue-based and neighborhood organizing. 

Asian American Service Association Inc.: A two-year, $50,000 grant to Asian American Service Association’s Wollaston Senior Center, an organization that serves Asian seniors and retired persons living in the Quincy and South Shore areas by providing information, referral and various social and educational activities. 

Ballet Rox: A two-year, $50,000 grant to Ballet Rox, an organization that provides young people opportunity to learn and perform dance, and to take an active leadership role in the design and development of their own youth programming, in a warmly accepting and diverse community. 

Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, Inc.: A one-year, $14,000 grant to Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, Inc., an organization that ignites girls' passion and power to succeed through positive mentoring relationships with women and enrichment programs that support girls' healthy development.

Black and Pink Massachusetts: A two-year, $50,000 grant to Black and Pink Massachusetts, an organization that seeks to abolish the criminal punishment system and liberate LGBTQIA2S+ people and people living with HIV/AIDS who are affected by that system through advocacy, support, and organizing. 

Boston Debate League: A one-year, $14,000 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.

Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Inc.: A one-year, $25,000 grant to Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Inc., an organization that seeks to provide effective services to runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth that help guide youth towards self-sufficiency and enable youth to transform their lives.

Building Audacity: A two-year, $50,000 grant to Building Audacity, an organization that supports youth-led changemaking and envisions freedom and power for the most marginalized individuals and communities. 

Building Bridges Through Music, Inc.: A two-year, $50,000 grant to Building Bridges Through Music Inc., an organization that seeks to bring together diverse neighboring communities for the purpose of increasing cultural awareness and racial harmony by using music, dance, and dramatic presentation as a multicultural educational tool. 

Chica Project: A one-year, $25,000 grant to Chica Project, an organization that seeks to close the opportunity divide for Latinas and other Women of Color by empowering them with the skills, confidence, and networks necessary to thrive personally and professionally.

Children's Services of Roxbury, Inc.: A two-year, $50,000 grant to Children's Services of Roxbury, Inc., an organization that seeks to bring peace of mind to children and families across Massachusetts. 

Community Music Center of Boston: A one-year, $14,000 grant to Community Music Center of Boston, an arts education nonprofit who seeks to transform lives by providing equitable access to excellent music education and arts experiences.

Company One, Inc.: A one-year, $25,000 grant to Company One, Inc., an organization that builds community at the intersection of art and social change and is working towards a Boston defined by justice, equity, and artistic innovation.

Eastie Farm: A two-year, $50,000 grant to Eastie Farm, an organization dedicated to improving food access and community resilience through the development of interactive urban agricultural spaces, where residents of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to learn and take part in the production of healthy, locally grown, and culturally relevant foods. 

Emerge, Inc.: A one-year, $25,000 grant to Emerge, Inc., an organization that seeks to eliminate violence toward women by educating 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. 

Enroot, Inc.: A two-year, $50,000 grant to Enroot, Inc., an organization that seeks to empower immigrant youth to achieve academic, career, and personal success through inspiring out-of-school experiences.

FriendshipWorks: A two-year, $50,000 grant to FriendshipWorks, an organization that seeks to reduce social isolation, enhance quality of life and preserve the dignity of older adults in the Greater Boston area. 

Girls' L.E.A.P.: A one-year, $25,000 grant to Girls' L.E.A.P., an organization that seeks to empower girls and young women to value and champion their own safety and well-being.

Greater Boston Legal Services, Inc.: A two-year, $50,000 grant to Greater Boston Legal Services, Inc., an organization that provides free civil legal aid to help families and individuals achieve justice and meet their basic needs through legal representation and advocacy. 

InnerCity Weightlifting, Inc.: A one-year, $14,000 grant to InnerCity Weightlifting, Inc., an organization that seeks to reduce youth violence by connecting proven-risk young people with new networks and opportunities, including meaningful career tracks in and beyond personal training.

Jeremiah Program: A one-year, $25,000 grant to Jeremiah Program, an organization that aims to disrupt the cycle of poverty for single mothers and their children, two generations at a time. 

Latino STEM Alliance: A two-year, $50,000 grant to Latino STEM Alliance, an organization that seeks to provide meaningful and engaging STEM learning opportunities to underserved youth K-12 in schools and community organizations throughout Greater Boston and the Merrimack Valley.

LEAP for Education, Inc.: A one-year, $25,000 grant to LEAP for Education, Inc., an organization that empowers underserved and first-generation college students to succeed in education, career, and life.

Lionheart Foundation, Inc.: A one-year, $14,000 grant to Lionheart Foundation, Inc., an organization that empowers some of the nation’s most vulnerable and underserved people including incarcerated citizens, trauma-impacted youth, and staff serving system-involved children and adolescents through the development of transformative programming.

Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly: A one-year, $25,000 grant to Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly, an organization committed to relieving isolation and loneliness among the elderly.

Mass Leap: A one-year, $25,000 grant to Mass Leap, an organization dedicated to building spaces for youth to experience the transformative power of their own voices.

Massachusetts Advocates for Children, Inc.: A one-year, $25,000 grant to Massachusetts Advocates for Children, Inc., an organization that seeks to remove barriers to educational and life opportunities for children and youth by advocating for and partnering with students and families; transforming school cultures to be inclusive, safe and supportive; and creating systemic change so all children and youth can learn, reach their potential, and thrive.

Matahari Women Workers' Center: A one-year, $25,000 grant to Matahari Women Workers' Center, a community organization of women and families working to end gender violence and exploitation.

Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) Inc.: A two-year, $50,000 grant to Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity Inc., an organization that enrolls Boston students of color into predominantly white suburban public schools, breaking down barriers to educational opportunities and creating rich, racially diverse learning environments for students of all backgrounds. 

Mother Caroline Academy and Education Center: A one-year, $25,000 grant to Mother Caroline Academy and Education Center, a private, independent, tuition-free school for girls in grades 4-8 from limited financial means. The mission of the school is to provide a high quality education that develops the individual gifts of each student and prepares her for success in competitive secondary schools and college.

Mujeres Unidas Avanzando: A one-year , $25,000 grant to Mujeres Unidas Avanzando, an organization that seeks to provide low-income Latinas the tools needed to empower themselves and effect liberating changes in their lives; those of their families; and society at large.

National Organization of Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault: A one-year, $25,000 grant to National Organization of Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault, an organization dedicated to working with our communities to create a just society in which Women of Color are able to live healthy lives free of violence.

New England Innocence Project: A two-year, $50,000 grant to New England Innocence Project, an organization that seeks to identify innocent people in prison, challenge their wrongful convictions, and fight for their release. 

Prisoners' Legal Services: A one-year, $25,000 grant to Prisoners' 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.

Save the Harbor, Save the Bay, Inc.: A one-year, $14,000 grant to Save the Harbor, Save the Bay, Inc., an organization that seeks to restore and protect Boston Harbor, Massachusetts Bay and the marine environment and share them with the public for everyone to enjoy.

Somali Development Center, Inc.: A two-year, $50,000 grant to Somali Development Center, Inc., an organization that has been the lifeline to vital educational and social services for Boston’s growing Somali refugee and immigrant community.

Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation: A two-year, $50,000 grant to Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation, an organization that works to build and sustain a thriving, economically diverse community in the neighborhoods of Hyde Park and Roslindale. 

The Every Voice Coalition: A two-year, $50,000 grant to the Every Voice Coalition, an organization that seeks to stop sexual violence by empowering those most impacted to join the legislative process through organizing and advocacy. 

Women's Educational Center: A two-year, $50,000 grant to Women's Educational Center d.b.a. Cambridge Women's Center, an organization that seeks to provide a supportive community space for all women by offering opportunities for empowerment, learning, healing, trauma support, and understanding. 


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. Examples of these grants included: 

Mass Insight Education and Research Institute, Inc. 
$40,000: For the Grove Hall Alliance 

Boston Educational Development Foundation, Inc. 
$10,000: For support of College Month 2020 

Boston Private Industry Council, Inc. 
$86,250: To provide support for PIC Success Boston coaching 

Bottom Line, Inc. 
$65,000: To provide support for Boston Success Program 

Hyde Square Task Force, Inc. 
$48,750: To provide support for the Hyde Square Task Force College Success Program 

Sociedad Latina, Inc. 
$25,000: To provide support for the Academy for Latinos Achieving Success 

West End House, Inc. 
$50,000: To provide support for the College Success Program 

Lenny Zakim Fund
$25,000: For sponsorship for the Annual No Show Ball: 25th Anniversary
 
Year Up, Inc.
$25,000: To provide sponsorship support for the 20th Anniversary Gala - Powering the Movement 

Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc. 

$25,000: To support the Mass Council on Gaming & Health Research & Program Development Study: Assessing Links Between Video Gaming and Gambling Among Youth 

Circle of Nations
$10,000: As fiscal sponsor for Dunk the Vote (DTV) 2020 Civic Engagement Leadership Lab 

Massachusetts Women's Forum, Inc. 
$25,000: For support of the Wage Project

The acknowledgements also included a number of other grants announced previously in other Boston Foundation communications, including:

COVID-19 Response Fund: $215,000
Free for All Fund: $200,000
Live Arts Boston: $43,123
Public Realm Initiative: $200,000
Success Boston: $285,000
Capacity Building Fund: $75,000
Grassroots Fund: $70,000
Boston Opportunity Agenda Fund: $145,000
Museum of African American History – Sone Book Prize Award: $35,000
Latino Legacy Fund: $25,000