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Success Boston Leadership Council
Above: Members of the Success Boston Student Leadership Council; Jean Dolin is second from right.

Success Boston a Decade Later
Coaching Students to Follow Their Dreams

Staying the Course cover
Watch the Staying the Course forum and download the report and forum slides.  

“Some of the youth out there struggle to find a path. Some struggle to discover if there even is a path out there to follow their dreams—and some don’t even know they are allowed to dream.” These were the powerful words of a young college graduate named Jean Dolin at the 2017 graduation celebration for Success Boston—our city’s college completion initiative.

Dolin, who was born in Haiti, explained that he had struggled with immigration and money issues, but with the help of his Success Boston coach he had prevailed. Now he believes passionately that “we can only hope for a better future if we invest in our young people,” and plans to dedicate his life to doing everything he can to make that hope a reality.

Supporting, motivating and mentoring students as they follow their dreams is at the heart of Success Boston’s coaching model. 

Read more... 

 Water Taxi

The Transportation Dividend

Transportation Forum  

Watch The Transportation Dividend forum and download the report and forum slides.


The situation was not acceptable,” Governor Charlie Baker said in late February when a Red Line derailment that stranded thousands of passengers seemed to put the cherry on top of a season of signal problems, disabled cars and aggravating delays on Greater Boston’s public transit system.

Unacceptable as the current state may be, our region is in a better position than most regarding public transportation. At a February forum at the Boston Foundation, a report by A Better City on the state and future of our public transit systems was presented and discussed by a panel of stakeholders and influencers. 


Closing the “Capacity Gap” on the Ground in Haiti

  Pierre Noel  
  Pierre Noel in front of a painting by Haitian artist Pierre Jonelson, at the Boston Foundation.   

Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, the Boston Foundation and its donors responded swiftly by establishing The Haiti Fund, a five-year effort to support human rights and reconstruction efforts in Haiti. The Fund made 140 grants totaling more than $2 million in Haiti and Greater Boston—home to the country’s third-largest Haitian community—and supported advocacy work for and in Haiti. 

After five years, so many lessons had been learned about the power of working with locals in Haiti that a permanent organization, the Haiti Development Institute (HDI), was formed as a special initiative of the Boston Foundation to expand and deepen the work.

Today, HDI is at an important crossroads, reports Executive Director Pierre-Andre Noel, just back from a month in Haiti. 


MLK March

 “The time is always right to do right.”
                                                               - Martin Luther King Jr.

MLK Boston

Between 1980 and 2000, Boston native Paul English would have watched Liz Walker delivering the news on WBZ-TV; now the two of them are making news together as co-chairs of MLK Boston, a nonprofit housed at the Boston Foundation. MLK Boston is dedicated to creating a major Boston memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King to honor and perpetuate their work and ideals in the city where they met.

English, founder of travel companies Kayak and Lola as well as other ventures, and Reverend Walker, now senior pastor of Roxbury Presbyterian Church, were introduced by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh. All three understood how fitting a King memorial would be for Boston, and in fact, how essential.


60 x 60 Success
Pledge 1% Meets an Ambitious Goal

Diana Akelman    

Diana Akelman hashed out the early development of Petpocketbook.com in the dog-friendly lobby of the W Hotel in Boston – often accompanied by her dog Remington. 


Diana Akelman usually goes at things at 110 percent. But recently she’s found something appealing about 1 percent. Pledge 1% Boston, that is. Akelman was part of a wave of new members to the movement during Pledge 1% Boston’s ambitious “60 x 60” campaign at the end of 2017: to double its membership from 30 to 60 in 60 days.

Pledge 1% Boston is the regional arm of the global Pledge 1% movement, which rallies founders and companies—especially, but not exclusively, new or young ones—to pledge early in their organization’s life to give 1% of equity and other resources for social change. 


Welcoming Vanessa Calderón-Rosado
Our Newest Board Member

  Vanessa Calderón-Rosado  

The newest member of the Boston Foundation’s Board of Directors, Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, has led Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA) for 15 years. A 50-year-old nonprofit community development corporation, IBA grew out of a grassroots effort by the Puerto Rican community in Boston’s South End to fight the displacement of low-income families through “urban development.” The Boston Foundation was “there at the beginning” with early funding for IBA.

Today IBA aims to empower individuals to improve their lives through housing, education and arts programs. It also controls a portfolio of 521 affordable housing units in its South End Villa Victoria development, as well as in Roxbury and Mattapan.

IBA is the largest Latino-led nonprofit in Greater Boston, but things weren’t always so rosy. Early on, Calderón-Rosado was the interim executive director, having inherited an organization that was more than struggling. “IBA was in a very distressed financial and programmatic position,” she recalls, thinking back to her first interaction with the Boston Foundation. “The Foundation asked the right—and very tough—questions of us, but supported us through our challenges and transition. So my first interaction was both difficult and great!”

Calderón-Rosado was born in Puerto Rico, where she spent her early years, graduating from University High School in San Juan. 


From left: Ellise Patterson, photo by Kyle Davi; Abilities Kecosa Collective, photo by Madalena Kozolg and Madhvi Venkatesh, photo by Alex Aguilar. 

Live Arts Boston
A Second Cycle of Grants Announced

As part of the Boston Foundation’s efforts to support the performing arts—a vital component of the vibrant cultural scene in our city—the Boston Foundation and Barr Foundation have just announced the second cycle of grants made through Live Arts Boston (LAB). The first round of grants in March of 2017 totaled $750,000; this year’s total is even higher at $785,501. The program supports individuals and small performing arts groups—a first in Boston.

The results of the 2016 grants cycle show the remarkable reach of the funding. 

Read more and view slideshows of the LAB grantees...


THERE AT THE BEGINNING  New England Center for Arts and Technology

Social Finance connects private capital, nonprofits, foundations, governments and financial institutions to structure and manage innovative financing for local programs to improve the lives of people in need. This includes Pay for Success, which brings nonprofit and investment funds to projects with promising outcomes. When those outcomes yield measurable, positive results, government entities take on the funding and investors (and society) gain a return.


Boston Foundation Forums 
Upcoming Forums
 EdTalks18   7th Annual Boston EdTalks

The Boston EdTalks is an evening of celebration, conversation, and learning. This annual event is a wonderful chance for audience members to experience firsthand the innovative ways teachers and educators are meeting challenges and supporting students. Honor great educators and teaching by celebrating with us! 

May 10, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Learn more and register.

 Supporting post secondary success  

Supporting Postsecondary Success

Please join us for the release of a new report from the UMass Donahue Institute about Boston's college access and success landscape. The report includes an overview of the full range of resources, programs, services and opportunities available to support students' college access, persistence and success. 

May 17, 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Learn more and register.

 Equality and Equity   Equality & Equity
Advancing the  LGBT Community in Massachusetts

Please join us for the release of a report authored by Boston Indicators and the Fenway Institute that features new research about our state's LGBT community.  Following a presentation of the report's findings, there will be a series of discussions on the inequities facing today's diverse LGBT community and ways to address them and other challenges going forward. 

May 24, 8:30 - 11:00 a.m.

Learn more and register.

Recent Forums 
 Staying the Course   Staying the Course
College Enrollment and Completion for BPS Class of 2011 Graduates

A new Success Boston report from the Boston Private Industry Council about the college enrollment and completion experiences of high school graduates of the Boston Public Schools was released at a Boston Foundation forum on April 11, 2018. The report includes an updated six-year college completion rate for the BPS Class of 2011, as well as new analyses on the types of degrees they earned and the fields of study they selected.

Watch the forum and download the report and forum slides. 

 Race to Lead  

Race to Lead
The Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap in Massachusetts

This Forum dug deeper into the data Building Movement Project gathered from Massachusetts reflecting the racial leadership gap within the nonprofit sector.

Watch the forum and download the report.

 Transportation forum  

The Transportation Dividend
Transit Investments & the Massachusetts Economy

At this forum panelists discussed the findings of recent report which concludes that investments in Greater Boston’s legacy public transit system remain the best option for the continued growth of the Greater Boston economy. The forum participants also addressed the economic benefits and value of the current Greater Boston transit system, and the report's three-part proposal for investments in the 20 “inner core” communities and regional transit spokes that can further enhance the Massachusetts economy.

Watch the forum and download the report and forum slides.


Visit the Events section to learn about recent and upcoming events... 

    Board of Directors
Zamawa Arenas
Andrew J. Arnott
Vanessa Calderon-Rosado
Brian Conway
Sandra Edgerley, Chair
Michael R. Eisenson
Grace Fey

Paul C. Gannon
Rev. Gregory G. Groover
Paul W. Lee
Linda Mason, Vice Chair
Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan
J. Keith Motley

Peter Nessen
Ronald P. O’Hanley
Greg Shell
Scott Squillace, Esq.
C.A. Webb
Paul S. Grogan, ex officio

Senior Staff

Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO

Stephen Chan
Vice President for Strategy and Operations

Orlando Watkins
Vice President for Programs

Kate R. Guedj
Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer

Alfred F. Van Ranst Jr.
Chief Financial Officer

Keith A. Mahoney
Vice Presidentof Communications and Public Affairs

George Wilson
Chief Investment Officer

 TBF News (c) The Boston Foundation
75 Arlington Street, Boston Massachusetts 02116 

Editors/Barbara Hindley and Sandy Kendall
Designer/Katherine Canfield
Primary Photographer/Richard Howard


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