Boston Foundation announces $1.6 million in grants, new work with MassChallenge

Three-year partnership with MassChallenge highlights grant docket featuring entrepreneurship and career initiatives

Boston – The Boston Foundation announced its quarterly discretionary grants after a meeting of the Foundation Board of Directors today. The Board approved $1,550,600 in single and multi-year discretionary grants to be paid out beginning in June 2014. Of the 16 grantees for the quarter, three are receiving multi-year grant support.


The largest grant, a three-year, $450,000 grant to MassChallenge, will provide general operating support to the internationally-recognized startup accelerator and competition as it looks to expand its efforts to bring women and underrepresented minorities into Boston’s innovation economy.


“Our partnership with MassChallenge provides support to one of Boston’s most prominent entrepreneurial brands, and an opportunity to bring the benefits of the innovation economy to entrepreneurs in parts of Boston that need and deserve the opportunity to tap into tools and resources of the world’s largest startup accelerator,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “We are excited to work with MassChallenge to invest in social entrepreneurs and urban innovators who can benefit greatly from the unique MassChallenge combination of support, access, and mentorship.”


The Boston Foundation also released its grants and gifts totals for the first nine months of the 2014 fiscal year. As of March 31, 2014, the Boston Foundation had distributed $74 million in grants and scholarships, including $56.3 million from the Foundation’s donor advised funds. Donors also continued a strong pace of contributions – with $86.9 million in gifts through the first nine months of the 2014 Fiscal Year, $77.3 million of which were deposited to donor advised funds


MassChallenge gift highlights investments in careers, entrepreneurship


In addition to the MassChallenge grant, the Board of Directors approved a number of other grants to create and strengthen career pathways, especially in the neighborhoods along the Fairmount Corridor. A $50,000/one-year grant to the Center for Women and Enterprise, Inc., will support the Center’s Community Classrooms initiative for entrepreneurs along the Fairmount Corridor, and a $50,000/one-year grant to Local Initiatives Support Corporation will support the Resilient Communities/Resilient Families Entrepreneurship and Small Business Program. An additional $75,000/one-year grant to Single Stop USA targets higher education, allowing Single Stop to expand work at Bunker Hill and Roxbury Community Colleges in support of student needs from nutrition to legal and financial services that make it possible for students to stay in school.


Connecting Veterans with Technology Jobs


The Foundation is also pleased to announce a three-year, $150,000 grant to the Massachusetts High Technology Council to support the New England Tech Veterans’ Employment and Wellness Initiative, a community-based solution is designed to support Veteran reintegration into the civilian workforce, build resiliency, and connect veterans more efficiently with employers throughout New England, using a variety of tools and support strategies.


Continuing support for health, wellness and the arts


The Foundation has also extended general operating and project support for a number of nonprofits across Greater Boston, including a $150,000/two-year grant to Sportsmen’s Tennis and Enrichment Center, which provides academic, wellness and social development programs alongside tennis instruction in an effort to expand physical activity opportunities for thousands of people in their Dorchester neighborhood. A $100,000/one-year grant will support the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in continuing its nationally-recognized Mass In Motion municipal wellness program in Greater Boston communities, including funds specifically allocated to the initiative’s work in Dorchester.


The Boston Foundation also continues its focus on providing general operating support for a number of organizations, including many for whom we were “There at the Beginning,” such as the Boston Children’s Chorus. A $100,000/one-year grant to the Chorus will support the nationally-reknowned chorus in its continuing efforts to bring high-quality arts opportunities to youth throughout Greater Boston, as well as broadening and deepening audience engagement.


In all, more than 60 percent of the grants in the Boston Foundation’s discretionary grant portfolio are for general operating support, dollars which nonprofits often cite as their most valuable type of support, and among the most challenging dollars to raise.


A full list of discretionary grant approved by the Board of Directors follows (listed by strategy):


Strategy: Promote the career advancement and economic security of low-income individuals.


Center for Women & Enterprise, Inc.: A $50,000/one-year grant

to support the Community Classrooms Initiative for entrepreneurs along the Fairmount Corridor at this model program for training, counseling, business assistance, and innovative approaches in small business finance targeting early-stage entrepreneurs.


Local Initiatives Support Corporation: A $50,000/one-year grant to LISC, an organization that provides loans, grants and technical assistance to community development corporations for the development of affordable housing and promotion of economic development in underserved communities, to support the Resilient Communities/Resilient Families Entrepreneurship & Small Business Program.


MassChallenge: A $450,000/three-year general operating support grant to MassChallenge, a nonprofit organization that runs the world's largest startup accelerator and competition program for high-impact and early stage entrepreneurs, to support their efforts to bring more women and underrepresented minorities from low-income, urban neighborhoods into Boston's innovation economy and entrepreneurial ecosystem.


Single Stop USA: A $75,000/one-year grant to Single Stop USA, an organization that helps community college students access benefits such as supplemental nutritional assistance, and that offers free tax preparation, legal assistance, and financial counseling, to support their work with Success Boston partner Bunker Hill Community College and their expansion at Roxbury Community College.


Boston Foundation-Opportunity Youth (formerly Adult Opportunity Network): A $75,000 one-year grant to support efforts, working closely with Adult Basic Education (ABE) providers, local community colleges, and the nonprofit provider community, to create career and post-secondary pathways for Opportunity Youth ages 16-24 who are out of school and out of work. 


Strategy: Encourage healthy behaviors among Boston residents and increase access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity.


Massachusetts Department of Public Health: A $100,000/one-year grant to Health Resources in Action as fiscal agent for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, for the Mass in Motion Municipal Wellness and Leadership Grant Program, an initiative designed to build capacity at the municipal level to create a sustained approach for healthy eating and active living.  $50,000 of the grant is to be specifically allocated to the initiative’s work in Dorchester and the remaining $50,000 to be used to support other Mass in Motion communities within the Foundation’s catchment area.


Sportsmen’s Tennis and Enrichment Center: A $150,000/two-year grant to Sportsmen’s Tennis and Enrichment Center, an agency that works to build leaders by providing academic, wellness and social development programs alongside recreational and competitive tennis instruction for youth and adults, for its work to expand physical activity opportunities for Boston youth.

Strategy: Increase neighborhood stability and the production and preservation of affordable housing for vulnerable populations.


Local Initiatives Support Corporation: A $50,000 one-year general operating support grant to LISC, an organization that provides loans, grants and technical assistance to community development corporations for the development of affordable housing and promotion of economic development in underserved communities. 


Northeastern University-Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy: A $75,000 one-year grant to the Dukakis Center, an organization that undertakes academic research, for: the Greater Boston Housing Report Card, which keeps the region apprised of housing production, preservation, affordability; and for staffing of the Commonwealth Housing Taskforce, a leading advocate on 40R/40S legislation and a key force for rezoning to enable the production of new housing in smart growth communities.


Somerville Community Corporation: A $75,000/one-year general operating support grant to Somerville Community Corporation, a membership organization that develops and preserves affordable housing, offers services and programs, and builds a collective voice through community organizing and planning in order to realize a stable, diverse, and affordable community.


Strategy: Strengthen and celebrate the region’s diverse audiences, artists and nonprofit cultural organizations.


Boston Children’s Chorus, Inc.: A $100,000/one-year grant for general operating support for Boston Children's Chorus, an organization that broadens and deepens audience engagement, enhances Boston's identity as an arts and youth development leader, and provides high artistic quality programs.


Cultural Data Project: A $50,000/one-year grant for the Massachusetts work of the Cultural Data Project, a national arts and culture service provider supporting cultural organizations, grantmakers, advocates, researchers and policymakers through a robust, reliable and longitudinal data set supported by education, training and coalition building efforts.


Cross-Strategy and Special Opportunity Grants


Boston Home, Inc.: A $25,000/one-year grant to The Boston Home, an organization that provides specialized clinical care and residential services for adults with progressive neurological diseases as well as programs and services to those living with disabilities, to support the Requipment durable medical equipment reuse pilot program. 


Camp Harbor View Foundation: A $50,000/one-year grant to provide general operating support for Camp Harborview, a summer camp that provides enrichment and support to almost 900 students each summer.


Massachusetts High Technology Council: A $150,000, three-year grant payable to Heritage Plantation of Sandwich, Inc. fiscal sponsor for Massachusetts High Technology Council, an organization that advocates for public policies and programs to create and maintain a healthy and competitive business climate and workforce/talent development pipeline for the technology industry in Massachusetts, to support the New England Tech Veterans' Employment and Wellness Initiative. 


Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children: A $25,600/one-year grant to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, an agency dedicated to protecting and promoting the rights and well-being of children and families, for the PATHWAYS program, which implements evidence-based and trauma-informed mental interventions aimed at increasing school engagement and success, reducing suspension and truancy rates, and decreasing psychosocial difficulties that interfere with successful academic performance at Urban Sciences Academy and West Roxbury Academy.





The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of close to $900 million.  Founded in 1915, the Foundation is approaching its 100th Anniversary.  In 2013, the Foundation and its donors made nearly $98 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of $130 million. The Foundation is a partner in philanthropy, with some 1,000 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. 


The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener and sponsor of special initiatives that address the region’s most pressing challenges.  The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), an operating unit of the Foundation, designs and implements customized philanthropic strategies for families, foundations and corporations around the globe. Through its consulting and field-advancing efforts, TPI has influenced billions of dollars in giving worldwide.  For more information about the Boston Foundation and TPI, visit or call 617-338-1700.



Quick facts

$450,000, three-year MassChallenge grant seeks to bring women and underrepresented minorities into Boston’s innovation economy
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TBF and its donors have distributed $74 million in grants and scholarships since 7/1/13
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Grant to Mass Technology Council supports tech job opportunities for returning vets
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