Boston Foundation Receives Major Gift | City of Ideas

Posted 01/11/2017 by James Burnett, Director of Public Relations & Social Media


Our most recent donor is Curriculum Associates, a Billerica-based education firm.

The company announced today that it will give the foundation a donation that is expected to be about $28 million, among the largest single donations ever made to the Foundation.

The gift, via the Iowa State University Foundation, is one of only four recorded at $20 million or more in Boston Foundation history, including a $31.6 million gift in 2011. Since its inception, the Boston Foundation has issued $1.5 billion in grants to nonprofits, $1 billion of that in just the past decade.

“A portion of this incredibly generous and transformative gift will be used to grow the Boston Foundation’s Permanent Fund for Boston, the principal charitable resource for the many nonprofits working on our region’s greatest challenges,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “The Boston Foundation shares the passion Curriculum Associates has for creating opportunities for students and educators in our region.”  

As a result of the gift, a Donor Advised Fund will also be created and additional resources will be invested in strategic grant making, especially in support of education-themed work. “The importance of this gift and the grant-making and civic leadership work it will support cannot be overstated,” added Grogan. “The Boston Foundation will be forever grateful to the rest of the Curriculum Associates family for its generosity.”

The Boston Foundation’s announcement comes as Iowa State University announces that majority ownership of Curriculum Associates has been transferred to the Iowa State University Foundation.

The gift to the Iowa State foundation is currently valued at approximately $93 million, making it one of the largest in the university’s history. The majority interest is being donated under a structure similar to nonvoting shares of stock.  It is expected that the equity interest will be sold through a management-led sale of the company that will be directed by Curriculum Associates’ second largest equity holder, CEO Rob Waldron. The final valuation of this tremendous gift will depend on market considerations at the time the sale occurs. The Boston Foundation will receive a percentage of the value of the gift—again, expected to be some $28 million.

“We are delighted to support the great work of the Boston Foundation with this gift,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “I have long admired this remarkable organization, and in my years as CEO of Jumpstart was fortunate to be the recipient of their support. We at Curriculum Associates are committed to giving back to our Greater Boston community, and this gift will directly impact many local organizations that support the students we serve.”

 According to Boston Foundation records, this gift will be the largest source of growth for the Permanent Fund for Boston since the bequest financier Albert Stone made to the Foundation in October 1959, a sum that started as $17 million but grew to nearly $20 million by the time the transaction was completed and transformed the work of the Foundation at the time.

“Curriculum Associates’ gift makes a major statement about the importance of the nonprofit sector,” Grogan said. “The fact that it contributes resources to the Permanent Fund for Boston is a tremendous validation of the need for flexible community resources that can seed innovation and respond deftly to the needs of our times. This gift has great value today, but it will be felt for many years to come.”

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