Linde Family Foundation: Boston Area Grants

OVERVIEW: The Linde Foundation was built upon the fortune of Edward Linde's Boston Properties real estate investment firm. Today, the foundation awards grants to art, education, and youth services programs in the Boston metropolitan area.

FUNDING AREAS: Children's services, education, art

IP TAKE: To reach the Linde Foundation, pitch a program that gets the youth of Boston interested in the arts. You'll have to get in touch with the foundation's philanthropic advisor at Mott Philanthropic to get the ball rolling.

PROFILE: If you take a walk around downtown Boston, you won't be hard pressed to see the legacy of Edward Linde. Edward Linde made his fortune in the real estate investment market with Boston Properties, and he was responsible for developing the city's Prudential Center, One Boston Place, and 28 State Street properties.

Linde and his business partner redeveloped the East Cambridge area, which was transformed into the technology hub of Harvard and MIT. During his lifetime, Linde split his spare time between art, employment, and medical charitable causes. He started his own philanthropy, the Linde Family Foundation, in 2000 to keep his donations flowing on a regular basis. Since his death in 2010, his wife, Joyce, has been managing the foundation's grant awards, with a focus on children's services, education, and the arts.

After a $12.5 million donation to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, a contemporary art wing was named after the wealthy couple. Joyce has served on the boards of the Museum of Fine Arts, as well as the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the DeCordova Sculpture Park & Museum. Despite Edward's involvement in the medical and technological fields, foundation money doesn't regularly make its way to these types of organizations.

Instead, youth groups, arts groups, and schools are the regular recipients of Linde funds. Most Linde grants are between $2,000 and $750,000, so the multi-million dollar grants making news are pretty few and far between. Past Linde grants in the Boston area include $552,50 to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, $550,000 to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and $300,000 to the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston.

At the end of a past year, the foundation reported over $136 milllion in assets and more than $8.8 million total giving. For comparison, the previous year saw $133 million in assets and over $10 million in total giving.

Almost all Linde grants stay in Massachusetts, and preferential treatment is given to the Boston metropolitan area. Linde awards grants for everything from annual campaigns to capital campaigns, building renovations, scholarships, endowments, curriculum development, and program support. However, the foundation does not consider giving grants to individuals and it doesn't accept unsolicited requests for funds. Like many smaller, family-based foundations, Linde uses a philanthropic advisor service to carry out the day-to-day operations. Linde works with Mott Philanthropic, LLC to decide where to invest the family fortune and what organizations' goals are worthy.

The Linde Foundation doesn't have a website and it doesn't publish grantmaking guidelines to make life easier for non-profit organizations. If you'd like to get involved with the Lindes, your best bet is to reach out to Mott Philanthropic. You should start with a very basic letter of inquiry to get the ball rolling, and contact Mott at info@mottphilanthropic.com or 617-927-5710. Since the application process isn't clearly spelled out for you, the competition may not be as stiff, which is huge for youth organizations around the city.

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