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The Boston Foundation Blog

4 Reasons Greater Boston is Primed to Tackle Its Housing Challenges

Posted 12/01/2017 by Paul Grogan, President and CEO

Earlier this week, we released the 15th annual Greater Boston Housing Report Card in a packed event at the Edgerley Center for Civic Leadership.

Once again, Barry Bluestone and his team did yeoman’s work, pulling together state and local data on sales, rentals, permits and the general state of our economy - and laid out a possible plan for a new type of development that could meet the needs for the city’s growing millennial and senior populations - a 21st century village of smaller, but mixed units designed to feature and provide elements that create and support community.


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Voices of Success: Meet Oscar and Juanita

Posted 10/04/2017 by tbfadmin


Over the course of the coming academic year, we will be sharing the insights of students and coaches from Success Boston, Boston’s citywide college completion initiative. Together, the Boston Foundation, the Boston Public Schools (BPS), the City of Boston, Boston Private Industry Council, and 37 area institutions of higher education led by UMass Boston and Bunker Hill Community College join with local nonprofit partners in an effort to double the number of BPS graduates completing college. 

This week, we meet Oscar Torres, a student at UMass Boston and Juanita Tabb, a Success Counselor with Bottom Line.

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Corporate Social Responsibility and the Innovation Economy

Posted 01/23/2017 by Tim Smith, Director of Innovation Partnerships & Pledge 1%, The Boston Foundation

Two weeks ago, I had the great opportunity to give a talk at The Annenberg Foundation in Los Angeles around corporate social responsibility and the innovation economy. TBF was honored to participate in AnnenbergTech’s thought leadership series, an initiative focused on engaging the burgeoning tech industry in Silicon Beach and broader Los Angeles with supporting nonprofits and their communities. Executives and senior leaders from LA’s tech sector were in attendance, including Snap Inc., Riot Games, Headspace, Omaze and YouTube.

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2016 Housing Report Card: Lessons From The Past

Posted 12/08/2016 by Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO, The Boston Foundation

The Boston Foundation's 2016 Greater Boston Housing Report Card was released last week and taught us that while the economy in Massachusetts is booming the dearth of affordable housing is worsening, particularly for our region's poor. The news, while concerning, reminded me that as we seek solutions, some of our most important lessons for the next several years may have been taught and learned in the past.

This year marks the 30th birthday of the
Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), a federal tax incentive that spurs development of low income housing. The LIHTC was first passed in 1986, as part of a landmark tax bill. And I had the privilege of working with other allies on the design and enactment of this housing credit when I was the president of LISC, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation.

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2016 Greater Boston Housing Report Card - Further Reflection

Posted 12/01/2016 by Lucy Ellis, Program Associate, Neighborhoods & Housing

So we shared with you a few days ago the release of The Boston Foundation’s 2016 Greater Boston Housing Report Card: The Trouble with Growth – How Unbalanced Economic Expansion Affects Housing, along with some highlights of the report card. Now that we’ve all had a few days to digest the report, we have a few more thoughts on the impact a lack of affordable housing has on our region’s poverty rate. Please take this to heart.

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Pledge 1% Allstars!

Posted 09/22/2016 by James Burnett

Two weeks ago we shared with you the big news that Pledge 1%, the global movement of 1,000 companies in more than 30 countries that have pledged one percent of their businesses' equity for philanthropy and social change, is coming to Boston.

Well, time flies, and we're just six days away from the launch of Pledge 1% Boston. So we thought it was time you heard from a couple of people whose company was the first in Boston to make the pledge: Adam Martel and Rich Palmer, co-founders of Gravyty.

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The Boston Foundation & the Arts Community: A Match Made in the Hub

Posted 09/06/2016 by James Burnett

We have so many exciting initiatives in the works at the Boston Foundation that will, hopefully, benefit the greater arts community in Boston in the coming weeks and months, not the least of which is our alliance with Futurecity, which we shared in this recent blog post.

But sometimes, as we work toward the future it can be easy (for you and us!) to forget our past. So periodically, we're going to share with you our "There at the Beginning" stories about the 100-plus Greater Boston organizations for whom the Boston Foundation was there at the start with seed money, logistical or operational support, or all of the above.

With arts work on the mind, we thought in this post we'd share a quick origin story for the American Repertory Theater, an organization we helped find its way out of the starting gates.

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Greater Boston affordable housing solutions under way; much more work to do yet

Posted 06/10/2016 by Rebecca Koepnick

On an almost daily basis we hear or see in news media about the increasing unaffordability of housing in Greater Boston and in coastal cities and towns across the U.S.

In many ways, these municipalities are lucky. Increasing housing costs are driven by new people coming to our region to take advantage of the growing economy and job opportunities.

BUT...the result is thousands of families unable to afford both rent and food as the supply of housing is squeezed.

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Boston EdTalks hits it out of the park

Posted 05/24/2016 by James Burnett

 If you're not familiar with Boston EdTalks but are familiar with Ted Talks or TedX, think Ted Talks with a focus on primary education and with a slate of speakers exclusively comprised of grade school, middle school and high school teachers, and you'll understand EdTalks.

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(Welcome) Back to the Future, Boston

Posted 05/17/2016 by James Burnett

Hi there, Boston!

It has been a while since we brought you a blog post, but that doesn't mean the Boston Foundation has been sitting on its collective hands.

On the contrary, since that last post, among other things we have:

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Donor Advised Funds: Adding community to community foundations

Posted 12/19/2013 by Paul S. Grogan

When you work at a community foundation, there are two things you can always guarantee in December. Finance and fund administration gets busy with year-end giving, and communications gets busy with reporters calling to ask about year-end giving.

We don't mind either problem. Last year, a busy December led to a record year for donations to our Donor Advised Funds, which means likely another record year for donations to the community in 2013-14. And the year-end giving stories are appearing as well. One of them, titled "Where Charity Goes to Wait", focused on the donor advised funds being operated by large, otherwise for profit investment firms like Fidelity and Schwab, and ran in the Boston Globe Ideas section right after Thansgiving. It posited that billions of dollars invested in donor advised funds each year were sitting on the sidelines when they would have otherwise gone to nonprofits. 

It's not an argument with which we concur, but it did raise interesting points about donor advised funds, and the difference between those funds at a foundation like TBF and elsewhere.

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Sparking conversation - City to City

Posted 12/17/2013 by Paul S. Grogan

As we head closer to the inauguration of incoming Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, there are more and more people giving their suggestions as long-time Bostonians for how the new mayor should do his job. Indeed, the Boston Foundation will share our ideas for the new mayor as well over the coming weeks.

It makes sense - a city like ours is a complex entity, and we are fortunate to have a wealth of people and organizations who work on the challenges we face each day.

We're so blessed by this intelligence, that it is easy to forget another fundamental truth.

We don't know everything.

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Getting that college degree - and bearing the cost

Posted 11/07/2013 by Paul S. Grogan

We know the long term benefits of higher education are more critical now than ever before - how do we ensure students can successfully make the investment?

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18 years, 88 playgrounds, and a spirit of cooperation

Posted 10/16/2013 by Paul S. Grogan

This morning, I had the opportunity to take part in a milestone event at the Higginson-Lewis K-8 School in Roxbury – a wonderous example of what can happen when adults cooperate for the sake of a city’s children.

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18 years, 88 playgrounds, and a spirit of cooperation

Posted 10/16/2013 by Paul S. Grogan

This morning, I had the opportunity to take part in a milestone event at the Higginson-Lewis K-8 School in Roxbury – a wonderous example of what can happen when adults cooperate for the sake of a city’s children.

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18 years, 88 playgrounds, and a spirit of cooperation

Posted 10/16/2013 by Paul S. Grogan

This morning, I had the opportunity to take part in a milestone event at the Higginson-Lewis K-8 School in Roxbury – a wonderous example of what can happen when adults cooperate for the sake of a city’s children.

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Five realities of college success: Observations from Success Boston

Posted 09/12/2013 by Paul S. Grogan

This fall, thousands of Massachusetts students enter a new chapter in their education - they head to college. But getting there is just half the battle.

That was the message this past week as more than 100 Boston Public Schools students descended on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Boston for the fifth annual Success Boston kickoff. Sitting and talking with these students - all of whom graduated from Boston Public Schools, all of whom enter the school year motivated, inspired and ready to learn, I couldn't help but think of a number of truths we face as we set them on a path to higher education.

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Charter schools: A decade later, it's still about the kids

Posted 08/19/2013 by Paul S. Grogan

A colleague handed me a piece of paper in my office today. It was almost a decade old, but it could have been written this morning.

“When you strip away the rhetoric about charter public schools, the issue really comes down to one thing: choice. Choice that acts as an equalizer for parents who are trapped in substandard school districts and can’t buy their way out with a nice home in the suburbs or an exclusive private school…”

When I first wrote those words in a newspaper column in 2004, we already had demonstrated evidence that charter schools were working in Boston and across Massachusetts.

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