Girls with windmill

Impact Areas 

Our work aims to encourage and nurture thriving people and vibrant places throughout our region.

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Discretionary grant making represents about 18 percent of the Foundation’s overall giving; the remainder is directed by our donors through established funds. Since 2009, the Boston Foundation has invested the bulk of its discretionary grant-making resources in partners and programs focused on five Impact Areas informed by research we have commissioned and by our Civic Leadership work in general. 

In addition, discretionary grantmaking supports programs within our Social Justice Ecology framework. Through this work, our goal is to help inform and strengthen the conditions that allow social justice to thrive in Greater Boston by providing access to resources and support for people, movements and nonprofits working to disrupt persistent structural and institutional racism and encourage racial equity and justice. We remain responsive to community and nonprofit needs beyond our strategic focus areas through our application-driven Open Door Grants program, which responds to expressed opportunities and needs in the communities we serve.

For more details, explore our Nonprofits section of the website.

Arts and Culture
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Arts + Culture

We seek to build a creative culture that honors all voices and artistic expressions, and gives all Bostonians the opportunity to experience diverse art.

Arts Strategy Overview
Education
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Education

We seek to ensure that all Greater Boston residents can access the education and training they will need to succeed in our regional economy.

Education Strategy Overview
Middle Schoolers row at CRI
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Health + Wellness

We seek to promote and advance health equity, where everyone has the opportunity to attain their best health regardless of their identity or socioeconomic status.

Health Strategy Overview
Neighborhoods
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Neighborhoods + Housing

We seek to ensure that all residents of Greater Boston have a safe, affordable and decent home in healthy, thriving neighborhoods.

Neighborhoods and Housing Overview
Jobs and economic development
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Jobs + Economic Development

We seek to give all residents access to family-sustaining careers and stimulate the growth of generational wealth within historically marginalized populations. 

Jobs and Economic Development Overview
YW Boston session banner image for SJE page
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Social Justice Ecology

In addition to Open Door Grants, the Social Justice Ecology framework guides our work to support the conditions for social justice to thrive in Greater Boston by providing access to resources and support for people, movements and nonprofit organizations working to disrupt persistent structural and institutional inequity.  It includes our grantmaking and other programs to create space and provide resources for social justice leaders, support resident-led movements to amass and sustain power, and build equity and effectiveness in Greater Boston's nonprofit sector.

Social Justice Ecology Overview