The Problem Solvers

The 2017 Boston Foundation Annual Meeting

The Black Philanthropy Fund at the Boston Foundation was featured in the Annual Report for its groundbreaking Boston Basics initiative. 
Learn more about Boston Basics

A capacity crowd of more than 350 of the Boston Foundation’s closest friends attended the 2017 Annual Meeting on November 16 at the Foundation’s new Edgerley Center for Civic Leadership. The event featured the release of the 2017 Annual Report. Titled The Problem Solvers: How a Group of Unusually Creative Philanthropists Are Helping to Solve Boston’s Big Problems, it tells the stories of Boston Foundation donors who are doing far more than giving. They are launching nonprofits, serving on boards, volunteering their time and engaging in cutting-edge investment strategies.

“This was a year when we strengthened our partnerships with our donors immeasurably,” said Boston Foundation President and CEO Paul S. Grogan at the meeting. “A major part of this foundation’s mission is to expand philanthropic capital in this city. We have learned that when we do that, tremendous things happen.”

Sandy Edgerley
Board Chair Sandra Edgerley
Orlando Watkins
Orlando Watkins
Paul Grogan
Paul S. Grogan

In addition to the Black Philanthropy Fund, three of the nine stories in the report include: Niraj and Jill Shah, who support the Foundation’s Civic Leadership Fund; the entrepreneur Paul English, who is a champion of Pledge 1% Boston, a partnership of the Boston Foundation and TUGG that enlists startups to pledge 1% of their equity and other resources to support communities; and the Giving Circle on Women and Girls, a program of New England International Donors (NEID).

Boston Neighborhood Fellows
Boston Neighborhood Fellows honored (from left): Manuel Monteiro, Catherine Morris, Darrin Howell, Bwanda Gerome, Torli Krua, Ronald Odom, Fabienne Eliacin, Benjamin Echevarria, Susan Chinsen and Mason Dunn.

At the Annual Meeting, Boston Neighborhood Fellows were recognized for their important work in the community. For 26 years, the Boston Neighborhood Fellows Program was run by The Philanthropic Initiative, which now is a distinct operating unit of the Boston Foundation. “Over the years, the program has recognized more than 150 grassroots leaders—people doing the hard, quiet, on-the-ground work that helps lift our communities and all of us,” said Boston Foundation Vice President for Programs Orlando Watkins. Now under the direction of Natanja Craig, the Foundation’s Director of Grassroots Programs, the Program recognizes a group of creative, visionary people who are helping to build our entire community from the ground up. 

Catherine Zamawa
BAMS Fest Executive Director Catherine Morris was introduced by board member Zamawa Arenas.
Monteiro Mason
Success Boston coach Manuel Monteiro was introduced by board member Linda Mason.
Union organizer Darrin Howell was introduced by board member Rev. Gregory Groover.
Mason Peter
Mason Dunn, who spoke about the challenges facing the transgender community, was introduced by board member Peter Nessen.

Conversations with the Problem Solvers

Black Philanthropy Fund
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Linda Mason and Roger Brown
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Paul English
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Jennifer Gilbert
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Emily Nielsen Jones
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Dwight Poler
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Mark and Etta Rosen
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Niraj and Jill Shah
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Wendy Shattuck
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