Lewis Family Foundation

OVERVIEW:  This is a big youth funder in Boston. Grant programs focus on preparing young people for college and expanding their access to college. Applications are online and due in the spring and fall.

FUNDING AREAS: Youth, college access and readiness

IP TAKE: It’s all about youth and college for this funder when it comes to Boston giving, so don’t bother approaching it with other programs. Grants aren’t huge, but they are very locally focused.

PROFILE: The Lewis Family Foundation was established by Alan and Harriet Lewis. Alan Lewis runs the Grand Circle Corporation and its subsidiary, Grand Circle Travel. His travel company was launched in 1958, primarily to serve AARP members, and it still focuses on international travel for older Americans today.

The couple’s foundation focuses giving on Boston and on Kensington, New Hampshire, the family's hometowns. This foundation currently works on six different initiatives: Bigger Than My Block, College Works, the Grand Circle Foundation, Pinnacle Leadership, the Farm at Eastman’s Corner, and Alnoba. The first two in this list are focused on the Boston area.

CollegeWorks was launched to double the four-year college graduation rate for young people from Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan by 2020. In a recent year, LFF and its partners served 7,078 young people from these counties with this program through community service projects and grants to community partners. Interested grantseekers can complete the application for this initiative here. Grants are typically awarded between $1,000 and $10,000 and due in the spring and fall.

Bigger Than My Block is a platform for reaching young people to give them a voice and the resources they need to succeed in college. As you can see, there is a theme here, with local giving centered on youth, and college access and readiness. The initiative website features conversations with young people from Boston on their college experience and highlights a variety of local events.

Community partners in Boston include BottomLine, uAspire, City on a Hill Charter School, the Boston Collegiate Charter School, BUILD, West End House, CollegeBound Dorchester Artists for Humanity, and others. The foundation has a locally focused Associates Fund Grant Program, which supports community-based organizations serving young people in the Boston neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan. With this funding, LFF looks to help improve college expectations, grade-to-grade progression, college completion, and global citizenship. These grant applications are typically due in spring and fall.

Another charitable entity that the Lewis couple is affiliated with is the Grand Circle Foundation. This foundation has a broader geographic focus and has given to educational, humanitarian, and cultural organizations around the world.

General questions can be directed to the LFF staff at 855-533-9335 or via email at info@lff.org.

PEOPLE:

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