The Boston Foundation announces nearly $1.3 million in grants

New docket emphasizes general operating support as Foundation rolls out a new strategic vision, “Our New Pathway”

April 19, 2022

Boston – The Boston Foundation today announced $1,266,000 in grants to 17 organizations as part of the Foundation’s quarterly grants docket. As part of the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to the practice, 14 of the 17 grants are general operating support grants, providing the nonprofit partners with the greatest possible flexibility in how to use the funds effectively.

The grants announcement comes just one week after the Foundation announced Our New Pathway,” a new strategic vision for the Foundation that includes a commitment to providing greater flexibility and trust for the nonprofit organizations with whom we partner.

“Our New Pathway builds upon our recognition that the most powerful ways to create a more equitable Boston involve putting the full weight of our support and trust behind those who are working closest to the issues at hand,” said M. Lee Pelton, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “As we continue to shape our vision in partnership with communities around Boston, that commitment to collaboration and shared leadership will not waver.”

More information on the new strategic vision is available at

The largest grant in the docket, a two-year, $250,000 commitment to the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, continues a long-standing investment in MNN’s role advancing and informing the nonprofit sector, through information sharing, programming, advocacy and capacity building.

Other notable grants include a $156,000 grant to BPE to support its work with a pathway of K-12 public schools in Roxbury that also serve as a lab for improving teacher training and overall excellence. Most recently, the BPE’s Dearborn STEM Academy partnered with the Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute for Technology to extend the pipeline to college, by offering Dearborn STEM graduates free tuition to BFIT.

And the foundation is providing $220,000 in grants to five neighborhood-based organizations to provide critical summer programming and jobs to young people in Boston. In addition to providing jobs and income, the programs at Building Audacity, Caribbean Youth Club, Center for Teen Empowerment, Student Immigrant Movement and Urban Guild will provide avenues for young people to develop skills and recover from the trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The full docket is listed below:


BPE: A one-year, $156,000 general operating support grant to BPE, Inc. (formerly the Boston Plan for Excellence), an organization that works to achieve successful student outcomes through the operation of high quality, autonomous, neighborhood-based, public schools in the Dudley neighborhood of Roxbury, which also serve as teacher training academies that recruit a diverse and well-prepared teacher corps. BPE expects to achieve the following outcomes in the coming year: Refine the Boston Teacher Residency as a student-centered teacher education program preparing diverse and highly effective teachers for Boston’s schools, and provide approximately 900 BPS students with an outstanding, autonomous, neighborhood-based educational pathway in grades Pre-K-12.

Education – College Completion:

Boston University College Advising Corps: A one-year, $75,000 general operating support grant payable 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.

Massachusetts Alliance for Early College: A one-year $50,000 general operating support grant for the Massachusetts Alliance for Early College, a cross-sector coalition that works to dramatically increase the number of students with access to high-quality Early College in Massachusetts, to support its policy, community engagement, and capacity building activities. This work will advance a proven evidence-based model at a critical time for both the state and Boston Public Schools, ensuring that it scales while maintaining quality and advocating for robust funding and supportive policy conditions.

Health and Wellness:

Sportsmen’s Tennis and Enrichment Center: A one-year $75,000 general operating support grant to Sportsmen's Tennis & Enrichment Center (STEC), an organization whose mission is to build leaders on the tennis court, in the classroom and in the greater community by providing academic, wellness and social development programs alongside recreational and competitive tennis instruction for youth and adults from Boston's Blue Hill Corridor and Greater Boston. This grant will support school year and summer programming, including tennis, mentoring, academic supports, and health and wellness programs for up to 400 students from Boston.

Jobs and Economic Development:

Lawyers for Civil Rights: A one-year $40,000 general operating support grant to Lawyers for Civil Rights, an organization that works with communities of color and immigrants to fight discrimination and foster equity through legal advocacy, education, and economic empowerment, to support the BizGrow initiative, which provides free legal services to small business owners, mostly from BIPOC and immigrant communities. Funds will support staff capacity so that more entrepreneurs can be served over the next year.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation: A one-year $75,000 general operating support grant to Local Initiatives Support Corporation, an agency that provides technical assistance, access to capital, and other services to entrepreneurs, mostly from underserved communities. LISC also serves as a convener of organizations and partners to advance equitable entrepreneurship in Greater Boston.

Neighborhoods and Housing:

BSA Foundation: A one-year $15,000 project support grant to the BSA Foundation, an organization that is committed to improving the quality of life for everyone through architecture and design, for the Housing Innovation Design Fellowship, which is committed to designing, conducting, and evaluating pilot projects with the potential to significantly improve the quality and quantity of affordable housing in Boston.

Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action, Inc.: A one-year $15,000 project support grant to Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action, an organization that is devoted to engaging the community in promoting civil rights, protecting civil liberties and achieving social, economic, environmental, and racial justice. This grant will support a curriculum to educate a variety of audiences on the history of housing discrimination and how it shapes our current housing ecosystem.

Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations: A one-year $150,000 general operating support grant to Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations, an organization that seeks to build and sustain a high performing and adaptive community development sector that is supported by private and public investment and sound public policies.

Project HOPE: A one-year $45,000 general operating support grant payable to Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Services of MA for Project Hope, an organization that seeks to move families up and out of poverty by being a catalyst for change in the lives of families, developing and providing programs and family support solutions to alleviate poverty and homelessness, and lead to improved economic, social and health outcomes for the community. This grant will support their homelessness prevention and housing support and placement services, especially their small landlord network program.

Social Justice Ecology:

Building Audacity: A one-year, $40,000 general operating support grant to Building Audacity's Summer youth programming efforts. Following up on work from the previous year, Building Audacity will strengthen the work with Youth Organizers to grow and sustain the "Civically Speaking" video and podcast series featuring interviews, questions, and think-pieces of the newly elected Boston city council members, from the youth's own and unique perspective. The program has now grown to serve more than 100 youth organizers who will continue to sustain the Hydroponics and Food Delivery Center to provide food security/sovereignty to over 900 BIPOC families in Lynn and the Greater Boston Area. In addition, as a new development for 2022, Building Audacity will implement the Youth Rising Program, which prioritizes selfcare, access to quality mental health services, and peer-to-peer focus groups aiming to dismantle the pain and trauma of the past two years while repairing the harms inflicted on youth ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Caribbean Youth Club, Inc.: A one-year, $50,000 general operating support grant to Caribbean Youth Project's Dreamer's Youth Fellowship. This Fellowship will engage a network of 350 undocumented immigrant and refugee youth ages 14-24 through work readiness training, social development/life skills enrichment, culturally responsive mentoring and civic leadership opportunities. The focus population for this effort is low-income, Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury youth ages 14-24 (majority ages 13-18) who represent diverse cultural backgrounds, primarily those of Haitian, Jamaican, Latinx, and Afro- Caribbean descent in response to the influx of newly arrived young folks from the recent migrant crisis of 2021.

Center for Teen Empowerment, Inc.: A one-year, $40,000 general operating support grant to Center for Teen Empowerment to support summer programming efforts. Teen Empowerment will hire 40 Boston youth (14-19) to work. 20/hrs per week at $15 per hour. Youth will continue to focus on increasing racial equity, involving youth as leaders of community change efforts, and using the arts and other creative means to bring youth voice into the public policy debate and engage youth in meaningful and disruptive social change. In addition, twelve members of the Boston Community Action Team (18-23) will focus on voter registration and education around the gubernatorial race. TE is also working with King Boston to plan an event for Juneteenth and additional programming for in-person community events throughout the summer, including a basketball tournament, open mic nights, and a film screening produced and created by the youth at Teen Empowerment.

Student Immigrant Movement: A one-year, $40,000 general operating support grant payable to Resist, Inc. for Student Immigrant Movement's Summer Leadership Program and Rebel Fellowship, providing skills-based training and political education to undocumented/immigrant youth. The program curriculum includes self-care/healing techniques and allows for culture building and bonding. The youth also develop strategies and plan the organizing work for the remainder of the school year. With additional support from The Boston Foundation, SIM will recruit between 25-30 fellows and student leaders, positioned to catalyze social change and movement building work across College Campuses and immigrant gateway cities in Eastern Massachusetts.

Urban Guild, Inc.: A one-year, $50,000 general operating support grant to Urban Guild's Summer Youth Fellows program. This organizing work will be reimplemented after the challenges of the COVID- 19 pandemic. Youth will undergo a series of comprehensive, intergenerational, healing justice practices that center themselves, their ancestors, and the communities they represent to undo the harm and generational trauma that has been inflicted upon them. Through effective community organizing and leadership skill-building, Youth Fellows will also work to start the creation and implementation of the Urban Food Forest, a community-led garden that will provide added food security, healthy food education, and wellness for young people and adults in the Dorchester area.

Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, Inc.: A two-year $250,000 general operating support grant to Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, an organization that supports the nonprofit sector through advocacy, public awareness, and capacity building.


Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester, Inc.: A one-year $100,000 grant to Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester, an organization that seeks to inspire and enable young people from diverse circumstances to realize their full potential by providing opportunities for personal growth to become contributing, caring and responsible members of the community, to support their efforts to build a new facility that is accessible to communities with physical disabilities.

Food and Fuel Fund

The Board also acknowledged $190,000 in grants made to Greater Boston nonprofits through the Food and Fuel Fund, which supports populations that are particularly vulnerable, including the elderly and those with physical disabilities, by meeting basic needs for food, clothing and shelter. Grantees included:

Building Audacity: $25,000
Friends of the Children – Boston: $25,000
Healthy Waltham: $20,000
Interfaith Social Services, Inc.: $20,000
Latinos Unidos en Massachusetts: $25,000
National Consumer Law Center, Inc.: $25,000
Victory Programs, Inc.: $25,000
Vietnamese American Initiative for Development, Inc. (VietAID): $25,000

Lastly, the Board recognized a number of grants during the quarter by the Foundation and its initiatives, including several that were announced previously in Foundation press releases. Among the funds involved:

Boston Opportunity Agenda Fund: $59,400
Brother Thomas Fellowship Fund: $225,000
Chelsea 2021 Fund: $825,000
King Boston: $3,009,000
COVID-19 Response Fund: $575,000