As we entered the final quarter of the first year review process for our Open Door Grants program, I find myself reflecting back at what a tremendous experience it’s been. As a Foundation, we’ve had the opportunity to connect with organizations we’ve never worked with before, and reconnect with organizations that we haven’t worked with since establishing our impact areas in 2009. We’ve supported pilot efforts as well as long-standing programs and organizations with decades of success under their belts. And, given the recent shifts in the federal landscape, I am especially proud that we were able to show up for and support organizations that work to protect and support immigrants and other marginalized communities.
--My 4 year-old, Audrey, referring to her little sister: “Eleanor just poked my eyeball!!”
--Me: “You’re okay sweetheart, just use your other one.”
--Audrey: “But I need them BOTH!!”
My parenting tactics aside, boy is Audrey right! I cannot recall a time when we needed both of our eyes more than we do now.
The Boston Foundation announced Tuesday that 24 nonprofit organizations – the first recipients of the Foundation’s newest grantmaking program – would receive one-year grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 in size. Ten of the recipients are established nonprofits; seven are building organizational capacity, and another seven are in an innovative stage of development.
“The Open Door Grants program is unique and in many ways a throwback,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “As its name suggests, it is an open process and responds to the expressed needs of the community. We continue to maintain and grow a robust grantmaking program in our major impact areas. But the Open Door Grants program is an excellent way for us to also help those whose work is focused on other areas.”
Per Grogan's comment, while the Open Door Grants program is relatively new the concept bucks a national trend among charitable foundations, which are increasingly staying away from grantmaking ideas generated by grassroots organizations whose work is “outside the box.”
Think about that for a minute - "outside the box."
If you are not familiar with the intricacies and jargon of the homelessness system, don’t worry! It is complicated, but we’ve provided an overview below to get you up to speed.
What’s more important than teaching STEM in schools? Taking STEM students out.
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.
This week, the staff and Board of Directors of the Boston Foundation will throw open our doors to hundreds of our closest friends, welcoming them to our Annual Meeting.
But we’ll welcome them to a very different space than we had a year ago.
Today the Boston Foundation released the 14th annual Greater Boston Housing Report Card. The theme of this year’s report is “The trouble with growth.” And indeed the challenge of creating enough housing to accommodate all the individuals and families who live in the area and who are drawn here by the strong economy, has never been greater.
As has been chronicled in previous Report Cards and by other organizations like MAPC and MHP, we simply do not have enough housing to house all the workers in Eastern Massachusetts, which pushes purchase prices and rents higher and higher.
Often I'm asked, "where do you guys get 'all' that money," or something to that effect.
But no, the question usually isn't about what the Boston Foundation has, but rather what it gives away.
And the answer? For funds coming in or going out of the foundation, it's the same: Individuals, families, and businesses who want to give, to give back, folks who want to see communities built and opportunities blossom for advanced education and stable careers.
It's because of these people the foundation -the first such organization in the United States to give financial grants to nonprofits- is able to issue $100 million-plus in grants each year.
Last Tuesday, November 28, nonprofits and donors around the world, including many of you, generously celebrated #GivingTuesday, a day dedicated to uplifting volunteerism and giving. Launched in 2012 as an antidote to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration that, this year, resulted in $247 million in donations to nonprofits, the highest yet for this annual event.
But what should you take from that, as a donor or a nonprofit?