NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Pegasystems
FUNDING AREAS: Community Health & Wellness, Education & Youth Development
OVERVIEW: Established in 1997 by Pamela and Alan Trefler, the Trefler Foundation’s mission is to improve the opportunities for young people from urban neighborhoods to develop the skills, knowledge, and values they need to lead productive lives.
BACKGROUND: Born in Massachusetts, Alan Trefler graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in economics and computer science in 1977. In 1983, he founded Pegasystems, a Cambridge-based company that specializes in developing software for customer relationship management and business process management.
COMMUNITY HEALTH & WELLNESS: In recent years, the Trefler Foundation has focused on issues of health and wellness, particularly in Boston’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Grants have focused on healthy food access in schools and low-income communities, encouraging physical fitness, and developing an “understanding of agriculture and the food economy.”
Grantees have included The Healthy Chelsea Coalition, which works with Chelsea High School and Future Chefs.
EDUCATION & YOUTH DEVELOPMENT: Trefler’s education efforts have long been focused on high school reform in Boston Public Schools. The Foundation’s signature work was at Dorchester High School, which partnered with UMass Boston to undertake a comprehensive restructuring program. More recently, the foundation has supported places like ReServe Greater Boston, which works with Chelsea public school students, and The Youth Violence Prevention Funders Learning Collaborative. It’s worth noting that Pam Trefler, bearing a master’s degree in education from Harvard, was a founding board member of YearUp and sits on several other education and youth-related boards.
OTHER: Trefler’s grantmaking also involves special trustee initiatives. Grantmaking has focused on outfits like Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.
The foundation also sponsors Union & Fifth, a nonprofit Pam cofounded that turns clothing donations into money for charities.
LOOKING FORWARD: Expect this couple to stick with their select interest areas for now. Perhaps down the line the Treflers will expand their interests in health and education to a more national level.