A Few Things to Know About the John W. Henry Family Foundation’s Boston Giving

photo:  Marcio Jose Bastos Silva/shutterstock

photo:  Marcio Jose Bastos Silva/shutterstock

The John W. Henry Family Foundation has a Boca Raton, Florida mailing address, but don't let that fool you. While Southeast Florida organizations do see some of this funder’s support, groups in Boston and throughout Massachusetts are a top priority. The founder is the chairman of John W. Henry and Company, a global investment management firm, and principal owner of Fenway Sports Group, which has the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool Football Club, and Roush Fenway Racing in its portfolio. Henry is also the owner and publisher of STAT and the Boston Globe, having purchased the Globe and its affiliated news businesses in 2013. 

In this article, we highlight three key things to know about the John W. Henry Family Foundation.

1. There Are Four Giving Areas.

Much of the foundation’s giving is focused on healthcare, and that extends to research, teaching, and clinical applications. Henry and his wife, Linda Pizzuti Henry, have supported lots of organizations working to improve healthcare in recent years. There’s also been a big push for integrating mind/body medicine into all areas of healthcare. 

Self-reliant food is also a big topic of interest for Henry. He looks for collaborative efforts at the local level in this regard. Arts and cultural support is fairly broad, as long as it enriches the communities the foundation services. And child development funding is also pretty broad, encompassing education, the arts, and some athletic programs, too.

2. Boston Organizations Are Top Priority

It's important to note that this family foundation does regularly give to some a few national organizations, such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the American Red Cross. But the bulk of grants go to Boston-based groups and elsewhere in Massachusetts and the Northeast region.

Local grantees have included the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, Boston Public Library Association, Boys and Girls Club of Boston, Opera Boston, and YWCA of Boston. Statewide, the Henry family has supported United Way of Massachusetts Bay, the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, Special Olympics Massachusetts, and National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts.

Meanwhile, a few grants here and there have escaped the region to support things like little league baseball in Florida and a soccer association in Boca Raton.  

3. This is a Good Source for General Operations Grants.

Unlike lots of small and mid-size family foundations, this one doesn’t shy away from general operating support. In fact, operations funding has dominated Henry’s recent grantmaking.  

To give you a better sense of the types of organizations that the John W. Henry Family Foundation supports, here are some recent Boston grantees that received operations support:

  • Boys and Girls Club of Boston ($50,000)
  • The Boston Home ($100)
  • Millennium Campus Network ($10,000)
  • Boston Harbor Island Alliance ($5,000)
  • Urban Beekeeping Laboratory and Bee Sanctuary ($2,500)
  • Berklee College of Music ($10,000)

A list of other foundation grants can be found here, and last year's grants ranged in size from $100 to $1 million. That $1 million grant went to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston to fund operations, by the way.

But unfortunately for grantseekers, this foundation only accepts grant applications by invitation. You can follow the Henry couple on Twitter at @John_W_Henry and @Linda_Pizzuti.