Grant Details

The Boston Foundation (TBF) (Boston, Massachusetts)

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    Funder Type

    Private Foundation

    IT Classification

    C - Funds little to no technology


    The Boston Foundation


    As Greater Boston's community foundation, the Boston Foundation devotes its resources to building and sustaining a vital, prosperous city and region, where justice and opportunity are extended to everyone.

    The Program Department is committed to making a profound and measurable impact in the Greater Boston community as exhibited in our grant making through the departments five impact areas, two crosscutting strategies and the Open Door Grants program. 

    Focus Areas:

    • Arts and Culture: Enhancing civic and cultural vitality in Greater Boston. The Arts and Culture impact area works in concert with the City of Bostons cultural plan, Boston Creates, to drive investment, innovation, collaboration and inclusiveness across all levels of Greater Bostons arts ecosystem.
    • Education: Strengthening the education-to-career pipeline and pathways from early childhood through postsecondary completion. We work to ensure that all Greater Boston residents can access the education and training they will need to remain in our region and succeed in their careers. 
    • Health and Wellness: Focusing on prevention and long-term health. The Health + Wellness impact area strives to lower rates of overweight and obesity in Boston and Massachusetts, and to reduce health-care costs through a focus on prevention.
    • Neighborhoods and Housing: The Neighborhoods strategy supports communities adjacent to Bostons Fairmount Indigo Commuter Rail Line to build their collective capacity to advocate for equitable development policies and become a political force recognized by state and local policymakers. We achieve this primarily through advancing the development of the Fairmount Indigo Network.
    • Jobs and Economic Development: Our workforce development efforts focus on increasing the number of people receiving training for low-, middle- and high-skilled jobs and careers in sectors like hospitality, culinary arts and IT. One of our key partners in helping to build job skills for Greater Boston residents is SkillWorks.

    The foundation will focus its competitive grantmaking on these objectives and strategies: Objective 1: Increase the livability, affordability and safety of Greater Boston neighborhoods. Strategies: 1) Increase neighborhood stability and the production and preservation of affordable housing for vulnerable populations; 2) Reduce the incidence of violence in Boston neighborhoods, especially among youth; and 3) Grow local businesses and increase job growth. Objective 2: Enhance civic and cultural vitality in Greater Boston. Strategy: Strengthen and celebrate Bostons cultural diversity through full participation, strong cultural organizations, and the elevation of culture.

    The foundation will focus its competitive grantmaking on these objectives and strategies: Goal: Greater Boston residents are successful and thriving. Objective 1: Improve outcomes for Bostons residents across the education pipeline. Strategies: 1) Accelerate structural reform and promote autonomies in public schools in Boston; 2) Increase the 2- and 4-year college graduation rate for low-income, minority and first-generation college students from Bostons public schools; and 3) Promote the career advancement and economic security of low-income individuals. Objective 2: Increase the health and wellness of Greater Boston residents. Strategy: Encourage healthy behaviors among Boston residents and increase access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity.

    Open Door Grants

    Open Door Grants are especially focused on organizations serving and building power in communities historically excluded from institutional philanthropy and whose leadership reflects the communities they serve. Examples include, but are not limited to: communities of color; the LGBTQIA community; immigrants and refugees; people with disabilities; poor or low-income people; youth and seniors. Organizations that work on behalf of seniors or individuals with physical disabilities are especially encouraged to apply for an Open Door Grant as the Foundation has funding specifically designated for these purposes.


    History of Funding

    Previous grantees can be seen at

    Additional Information

    The Boston Foundation does not make grants for capital construction costs, endowments, medical or academic research, scholarships, sectarian or religious purposes, or to support candidates for political office. Private non-operating foundations, 501(c)(4) organizations, and Section 501(a)(3) Type III Non-functionally Integrated organizations are not eligible to apply. In addition, grants are not made to individual persons or individual schools. Schools must apply through their school districts and districts may submit one application every 12 months.

    The Arts & Culture impact area does not currently support the following areas:

    • Arts education and youth arts, except through our support of Edvestors BPS Arts Expansion initiative.
    • Capital grants or requests
    • Elder arts
    • Fashion arts
    • Film projects, film making or film festivals
    • Literature/literary arts


    The Boston Foundation Staff

    The Boston Foundation Staff
    75 Arlington Street, 3rd Floor
    Boston, MA 02116
    (617) 338-1700

  • Eligibility Details

    Eligible applicants are Massachusetts nonprofit organizations.

    Deadline Details

    Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Board meetings occur in March, June, September, and December. Applications for Open door grants are accepted twice per year. Applications for 2018 are to be submitted by August 1, 2018 and February 1, 2019.

    Award Details

    Award amounts vary. Awards are up to $500,000. Most awards are less than $5,000. Open door grants range from $10,000 to $50,000.

    Related Webcasts Use the links below to view the recorded playback of these webcasts

    • Funding Classroom Technology to Empower Students and Teachers - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Maximizing Technology-friendly Workforce Development Grants - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Funding Data-driven Workforce Development Projects - Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available


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