Germeshausen Foundation: Boston Grants

OVERVIEW: This funder got its start with arts and culture grants in Boston. Today, its focus has expanded to ethics and the environment, religion and ecology, youth and higher education, advocacy through film and video productions, and alternative and conservation medicine.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts & culture, ethics and the environment, ecology, youth and higher education, advocacy through film and video productions 

IP TAKE: This is a great funder to know for small local groups with an entrepreneurial spirit. There are some rare opportunities here for imaginative media projects on current issues and projects that draw connections between environmental and ecological values.

PROFILE: The Germeshausen Foundation is a private family funder that likes to support emerging leaders and new ideas. Kenneth and Pauline Germeshausen established the foundation in 1967 to channel their philanthropic giving. Kenneth was a scientist, inventor and entrepreneur in the electronics and engineering industries. Major arts and cultural institutions in Boston were the primary focus of the foundation in its early years. However, under its current leadership, the foundation supports small organization that are keeping the entrepreneurial spirit alive.

A big part of GF grantmaking is about serving young people through education, leadership development, and mentoring. You can find a list of major grants awarded on the foundation’s website in the categories of innovative organizations, children’s programing in arts and culture, development of future leaders, national media, and documentaries. Some newer fields of interest at the foundation include alternative medicine, religion and ecology, spirituality, and conservation medicine.

Interconnectedness and interdependence are at the heart of Germeshausen grantmaking.  “People and nature are very much interconnected in today's world," says the foundation. "Meeting challenges and solving tough problems means understanding that and acting accordingly.”

The foundation accepts letters of inquiry from organizations that have new ideas within the trustees’ fields of interest. Boston was very important to the founders and remains a center of grantmaking today, especially toward children’s programing within arts & cultural institutions. Check the Letters of Inquiry Submission page for the most up-to-date information on open LOI submission periods.

Since 2001, Kenneth and Pauline’s daughter, Nancy Klavans, has led the foundation as its president and trustee. Nancy’s daughters, Sarah and Alyssa Klavans, also serve as trustees of the foundation today. The trustees meet throughout the year to review letters of inquiry and decide on new grantees to support. The best way to get in touch with the Klavans is by email at


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