Paul and Phyllis Fireman Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Paul & Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation is a leader in funding homeless relief programs. It aims to end family homelessness in Massachusetts and assist the communities where Fireman family members live and work.

FOCUS AREAS: Homelessness, health, education, arts, human rights, and causes

IP TAKE: If a nonprofit is going to attempt a discussion about anything besides homelessness with this funder, make it about education or health.

PROFILE: Established in 1985, the Paul & Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation is the foundation of Paul Fireman, the former CEO of Reebok International and his wife, Phyllis. Fireman created this foundation after Reebok became a public company in 1985. The foundation revisited its program areas but is still focused on ending homelessness in Massachusetts. Other interest areas are health, education, arts, human rights, and Jewish causes.

Tackling homelessness is a major fundamental goal of the Fireman Charitable Foundation, which has a growing interest in supporting organizations with antipoverty strategies. Homelessness and poverty are just a few aspects of grantmaking at Fireman, however. Other focused giving areas have been health care, Jewish charities, and performing arts programs in the past. However, the foundation is looking at efforts to strength families and promote international human rights in the future. One Family Inc., a nonprofit created by the Firemans to advance this vision, operates a scholarship program for formerly homeless and at-risk women and conducts a major campaign to end family homelessness in Massachusetts. 

In the past, Fireman has provided grants of roughly $6 million annually to organizations primarily in the Greater Boston area. Some of the largest gifts have gone to Be the Change ($200,000), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ($371,000) and Lawrence Community Works ($200,000). View a list of key partnerships and initiatives here. The Boston area is the primary region of focus for this funder.

At this time, the foundation is not accepting unsolicited proposals. Fireman only funds pre-selected organizations. Direct all general inquiries to the foundation staff at  


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