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.”
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).
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.