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Who We Are

Our Mission

We are committed to closing the gaps on this region’s greatest disparities. Through our resources and relationships we work to open pathways to opportunity and build and sustain vital, prosperous and equitable communities.

Our Story

The Boston Foundation is one of the nation’s first and most impactful community foundations. We exist to close the gap on this region’s greatest disparities, and to help build a better Boston. The systemic and structural inequities that drive disparities cannot be dismantled without extraordinary perseverance and collaboration among visionary and courageous partners, including donors who are committed to making philanthropy an effective vehicle for social change. Together we can improve lives and strengthen communities.

We believe that civic leadership and civic engagement are the most powerful ways to advance economic justice and equity in Greater Boston. We are a hub of partnerships and networks that work with and answer to the communities we serve. We collect data, commission research, share knowledge, develop dynamic programs, and fuel new ideas. Our work informs public policy, catalyzes conversations and advocates not only for change, but for repair of the historical harms of inequity. Ultimately, we aim to support, contribute and create well-being and opportunity within our communities.

Our Founding

The Boston Foundation was launched in 1915 as the Permanent Charity Fund for Boston. Its earliest priorities are eerily familiar to Boston of the 2020s—dealing with a pandemic’s fallout and the social ills that flow from systemic inequalities. Over generations, priorities and approaches to the work evolved. Our Centennial history, The Boston Foundation in the City of Ideas, 1915-2015, captures the responsive evolution of TBF in its first century.

Today the Foundation is eager to make new history. More clear-eyed than ever about the entrenched nature of some of our region’s challenges, we want to build on past successes and amend past missteps. We hope you will join us to shape future history for the good.

Our Commitments

As part of Our New Pathway, the strategic vision upon which our work today is built, we made 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.

We commit to:

  • 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.

Our people

The Boston Foundation is made up of more than 130 employees, working each day to advance our mission of equity. Meet our senior leaders and our Board of Directors here.

Our Financials

Founded in 1915, the Boston Foundation is one of the largest—and highest impact—community foundations in the nation, with net assets of some $1.9 billion. The Foundation is proud to be a partner in philanthropy, with nearly 1,000 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes.

The Foundation also partners thoughtfully with investors to manage its funds for maximal support of our mission.

Valuing transparency, the Foundation makes available its most recent tax returns and financial statements, including investment pool performance, through links in this section.

Financial Links

Disclosure forms and other financial information, including annual tax forms.

The Boston Foundation has been here for more than a century, but we know there is much more work to be done. Change takes change, and we are here to power progress, improve lives, and build a better Boston.