A group of people stand in a curved line on the sidewalk outside Downtown Crossing in Boston. The photo is a happy candid moment with some people smiling, others dancing, and with their arms up.

The Boston FOundation Strategic Vision

Our New Pathway

The core strategies and underlying commitments that will guide the Foundation's work as we strive to work in partnership with our many communities to create a more equitable city and region. 

Seizing This Moment

On April 4th, Boston Foundation President and CEO, M. Lee Pelton, announced a new strategic vision for TBF—the result of in-depth meetings with people throughout our region and our board and staff over the last 10 months. 

Our New Pathway was inspired by the triple pandemic of COVID-19, the economic devastation it caused, and the very public exposure of the racial disparities that have long plagued our country. It reminded us that there are two Bostons, one prosperous and well off—the other struggling to make ends meet in one of the most unequal cities in America.

It also revealed the devastating effects of systemic and structural racism, which intersect with class, economic, gender and ethnic forms of injustice from which many communities suffer—Black, Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islanders, Indigenous, LGBTQA+, immigrants, migrant workers and those living in low-income, under-served communities. And it exposed religious intolerance and hate, such as anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

President and CEO Lee Pelton explains "Our New Pathway"

 Our New Pathway: Core Strategies

  • Amplify the impact of the Boston Foundation’s civic leadership to create opportunity and equity.
  • Repair the harm caused by systemic and structural economic, social, gender and racial disparities across all dimensions in our society.
  • Build and nourish ideas and programs that contribute to an equitable and just society for marginalized communities.
  • Commit to closing racial wealth gaps.
  • Inspire and collaborate with our donors and partners to mobilize impactful philanthropy aligned with the Foundation’s strategic vision and core strategies.
GotVax conversation

Equity. Repair. Build.

Our New Pathway places equity at the heart of everything the Boston Foundation hopes to achieve. We do this with the knowledge that inequities are systemic, structural and commonplace. Any attempt to dismantle them will require extraordinary patience—and we will never declare a simple victory. Our other major priorities are to repair our threadbare social fabric and to build—by encouraging new ideas, supporting promising enterprises, and contributing to the common good in any way we can.

Civic Leadership

We believe that civic leadership is the most powerful way to advance equity in Greater Boston. It is built on collecting data and commissioning research, convening conversations, and using our shared knowledge to work with others to advocate for systems change. Our partners in this work are all of those who toil every day to create a more equitable Boston.

“We approach this work with deep humility, hope and promise—and with the knowledge that it is possible both to lead and partner simultaneously. We believe deeply that new structures, programs and policies are built in league with community, not for community.”

— M. Lee Pelton, President and CEO

Our Approach to Leadership

Across all of our strategic goals, we are making a series of underlying commitments that we must uphold if we are to lead and partner simultaneously, with humility and the understanding that we are only at our best when we create new structures, programs, and policies in league with communities, not for them.
Lily Huang photo

Our Underlying Commitments

  • Place equity at the center of our work, both conceptually and in reality.
  • Lead in partnership with humility, generosity and authenticity.
  • Value representative voices, lived experiences and diverse opinions.
  • Unapologetically face challenging issues.
  • Bring truth to our history—deepen a shared understanding of how systemic and structural disparities have plagued Boston and the Commonwealth.
  • Value data measurement and analysis as essential guides in our learning, decision making and performance measurement.