Boston Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Boston Foundation is a community foundation that supports the Greater Boston area in the fields of arts and culture, education, health and wellness, neighborhoods, jobs and economic development, grassroots, and nonprofit effectiveness.

FOCUS AREAS: Arts and culture, education, health and wellness, neighborhoods, jobs and economic development, grassroots, nonprofit effectiveness  

IP TAKE: The Boston Foundation should be on the radar of every nonprofit in the city. The focus areas are broad, the dollar amounts are high, and the competition is almost exclusively between neighbors.

PROFILE: Established in 1915, The Boston Foundation (TBF) is the community foundation for the Boston region of Massachusetts. It is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the U.S. and often gives over $200 million in grants annually. Grantmaking areas of interest are arts and culture, education, health and wellness, neighborhoods, jobs and economic development, grassroots, and nonprofit effectiveness.

The five current impact areas are education, health and wellness, jobs and economic development, neighborhoods and housing, and arts and culture. Its crosscutting strategies are nonprofit effectiveness and grassroots funding. Starting in 2016, the foundation began awarding Open Door grants which fund efforts for organizational capacity building and testing new innovative ideas.Partnerships and collaboration also play a key role in the foundation's grantmaking, particularly in its special initiative areas. These grants often are made along with funding partners, and they're often dynamic collaborations around a common issue area. For instance, Success Boston was a key collaboration that sought to help Boston Public School graduates plan, prepare for, and complete post-secondary education.

The Boston Foundation distributes over $16 million in grants each year. Learn more about past support by viewing the foundation’s Meet Our Grantees page. Grantmaking is focused on the city of Boston and surrounding communities of the Greater Boston region.

TBF accepts unsolicited grant applications for some of its programs and lists current opportunities on its website. The grant application process is conducted online, and each program has its own deadlines. Direct general questions to the foundation staff at 617-338-1700 or grantsinfo@tbf.org.

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