Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation: Grants for Boston

OVERVIEW: The Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation provides grants for arts and culture, education, health and hospitals, Jewish causes, and social welfare in the Greater Boston area.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts and culture, education, health and hospitals, Jewish causes, social welfare

IP TAKE: Pitch a program that gets underprivileged children with disabilities involved in the Boston community. If the children are Jewish, that is an added bonus.

PROFILE: Established in 1961, the Shapiro Family Foundation is a pillar in Boston area grantmaking. Carl Shapiro was a businessman who founded Kay Windsor, Inc. in 1939, a company that manufactured and imported women’s clothing. Today, the foundation focuses its giving on arts and culture, education, health and hospitals, Jewish causes, and social welfare.

The foundation’s disability inclusion initiative aims to give disabled individuals a better quality of life through the development and implementation of new assistive technologies. This program also awards grants to organizations that repair and redistribute assistive and adaptive equipment. Recent grantees include Massachusetts Advocates for Children and the Disability Law Center. Youth in arts grants focus on developing the artistic skills of at-risk youth in middle and high school. Past grantees are the Boston Children's Chorus and EdVestors for its Boston Public Schools Arts Expansion Initiative. Access to opportunity grants focus on adult and postsecondary youth education and pre-vocational training. Past grantees include English for New Bostonians and Future Chefs.

Foundation grants are often between $10,000 and $50,000 each. View lists of past grants on teach of the funder’s initiative pages. Although the foundation does award a few grants to Florida-based organizations, the great majority of its $40 million or so in annual grantmaking benefits the Greater Boston area.

This foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals for funding. Direct general questions to the foundation staff at


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