Klarman Family Foundation: Grants for Boston

OVERVIEW: The Klarman Family Foundation awards grants in four main areas: advancing understanding of the biological basis of health and illness, supporting the global Jewish community and the State of Israel, expanding access to vital services and enrichment opportunities in Greater Boston, and ensuring a healthy democracy.

FOCUS AREAS: Health, Jewish community, access to services and enrichment, democracy

IP TAKE: The Klarman Foundation is more about program than location. For Bostonians, this means that a research, music, or Jewish cause must align with the foundation's goals. Klarman supports eating disorder causes both inside and outside the city.

PROFILE: Established in 1990, the Klarman Family Foundation is the foundation of financial investor Seth Klarman. He and his wife, Beth Klarman, have shared that they intend to give away most of their wealth during their lifetimes. The foundation aims to “identify areas of unmet need and to advance solutions to addressing them. We believe passionately in the promise and importance of creative thinking, strategic leadership and strong organizations to help bring about change.” Grantmaking areas of interest are health, Jewish community, access to services and enrichment, and democracy.

The Klarman Family Foundation has emerged as a top arts and culture funder in the city of Boston, thanks to a high-profile partnership with the Barr Foundation and other local funders. The Barr-Klarman Arts Capacity Building Initiative, for example, has made multi-year, nonrestrictive operating support grants to groups based on budget size and that focus on youth arts. The Klarmans also gave millions of dollars to the Broad Institute to establish the Klarman Cell Observatory. The foundation awards grants to Jewish community projects and has been a big supporter of preventing and treating eating disorders.

Foundation grantmaking tends to be at approximately $25 million per year. View the funder’s tax records to learn more about local giving. Arts and culture giving and basic needs giving are focused on the Greater Boston area, while health, Jewish, and democracy giving has a broader geographic reach and to support nationwide causes and Israel.

The foundation does not accept unsolicited applications and reviews on an invitation-only basis. Historically, the foundation has offered three grant review meetings annually in February, May, and November. Nonprofits can contact the staff directly at info@klarmanfoundation.org or 617-236-7909 with general inquiries. 

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