Calderwood Foundation: Boston Area Grants

OVERVIEW: One thing to keep in mind: Calderwood is in the process of spending down its assets over the next few years, but it has been providing major support for many organizations. In the past, the foundation provided a grant of more than $10 million to Boston's Huntington Theater Company and other large gives to Harvard University and Boston's Museum of Fine Arts.







IP TAKE: There are plenty of opportunities for fine arts organizations to hone in on grants from Calderwood. Its grants are few and far between, but they are large for a foundation of its size.

PROFILE: The Calderwood Foundation isn't a Boston-area grant rainmaker, unless of course you're talking about its $10 million grant to Boston's Huntington Theater. At the end of a recent year, the foundation reported over $21 million in assets and more than $6.5 million in giving. For comparison, the previous year it reported over $27.5 million in assets and over $4.7 million in total giving. However, this money was only spread across about 10 to 12 grants both years. This means that the gifts were quite substantial in size. Unfortunately, the foundation doesn't have a website, so information isn't as readily accessible on Calderwood as it is for other Boston funders.

Calderwood's main areas of grantmaking interests are performing arts, artists' colonies, and higher education, which is evidenced in its grantmaking. Large past grants include $2.5 million to Harvard, $2.35 million to the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum, and $1 million to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. Artists' colonies don't typically get as much attention from Calderwood. Generally only one artists' colony is awarded a Calderwood grant annually. Those grants tend to be around $250,000.

The law firm of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP has run the operations of the foundation, and there doesn't seem to be a foundation staff on hand to contact. Calderwood was established back in 1968 from the successes of Stanford M. Calderwood, the arts patron who brought the Masterpiece Theater to American public television. Before that, he gained recognition and wealth at the Polaroid Corporation and as president of the Public Broadcasting Service in Boston. Since Stanford passed away in 2003, it doesn't seem that his family has taken the reins on his philanthropic pursuits.

Almost all Calderwood grants are made in the Boston area, where Stanford lived and died. The Chestnut Hill and Wesley Hills area of Massachusetts, as well as a few parts of New Hampshire, are considered for funding as well. Academic libraries, theaters, orchestras, and operas fare especially well with the foundation. Calderwood usually makes only 10 to 15 grants each year, but those grants are pretty impressive in size. The trustees listed below have been associated with the Calderwood Foundation, but the phone number listed with the Foundation Center, 617-248-4760, is linked to Patrick J. Lavoie, CPA.


  • Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only.)