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In the news header

Passion & Purpose
A Landmark Study on the Nonprofit Sector

Passion and Purpose cover photo

At a major forum on June 11th, the Boston Foundation released the most comprehensive study ever conducted of the nonprofit sector in Massachusetts. Titled Passion & Purpose: Raising the Fiscal Fitness Bar for Massachusetts Nonprofits, the sweeping and detailed report identifies the sector’s expansive range of organizations and the myriad roles it plays. The report also issues a “call to action” in the form of recommendations designed to address significant financial and organizational weaknesses in the sector.

“This report confirms how vitally important the nonprofit sector is and how intertwined it is with every aspect of life in the Commonwealth,” said Boston Foundation President and CEO Paul S. Grogan, opening the forum. “It also makes clear what an important source of innovation nonprofits are.”

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There for the Arts
The Boston Foundation Celebrates Achieving
Its Goal for the Boston Foundation Arts Fund

CEOs photo

The celebration brought together three generations of Boston Foundation leaders. From left: Fred Glimp, who served from 1969 to 1978; Anna Faith Jones, President and CEO from 1984 to 2001; and Paul Grogan, the current President and CEO.








In 1997, the Boston Foundation launched an ambitious campaign to build a $20 million permanent fund to support the arts in Greater Boston. With an initial commitment of $1.2 million from The Wallace Foundation, the Foundation's Board of Directors agreed to match every contribution made. Ten years later, in 2007, a gift from the estate of Brother Thomas Bezanson, a world-renowned ceramic artist, helped the Foundation not only reach—but surpass—its goal.

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The Boston Foundation Announces
$750,000 for Summer Programs

Grogan Menino photo
Mayor Menino (right) and Paul Grogan spoke of their commitment to keeping youth safe.

On June 18th, the day after the Boston Celtics won the NBA championship, hundreds of youth and adults came together at the Roxbury YMCA for an upbeat event. For the third year in a row, foundations and government, led by the Boston Foundation, with a major commitment from the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, the City of Boston and the Commonwealth, have made an investment beyond their usual funding to help prevent youth violence this summer. Some $750,000 in grants were announced.

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Preparing Foster Kids for Education, Work and Life

Preparing Our Kids for Education, Work and Life report cover
Click cover to download a PDF of the report.
Della Hughes and the other authors of an Understanding Boston report on youth ‘aging out’ of the state’s foster care system refer to the youth as “our kids,” because they believe that the Commonwealth, and by extension all of us, should consider ourselves the parents of youth in foster care.

On June 5th, the report, Preparing Our Kids for Education, Work and Life, which describes the challenges facing our kids, and offers a set of recommendations to improve their situation, was presented at a forum at the Boston Foundation. Young people who have been in the state’s foster system are especially vulnerable as they “age out” of supervision of the Department of Social Services (DSS), which happens to some 700 youth ages 18 to 21 every year.

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Rogerson Legacy Society
Members Take a Boston Harbor Cruise

Boat photo
Members of the Rogerson Legacy Society and Friends aboard the Henry Longfellow.

Every year, the Boston Foundation holds a special event to express its thanks to some of the most important members of its family—those who make up the Rogerson Legacy Society. Named for the father and son team who launched the Foundation in 1915, the Society honors those who make arrangements to leave a charitable legacy in the form of a planned gift to the Foundation. Many participants choose to support the Permanent Fund for Boston, which provides the Foundation with crucial resources to meet the contemporary needs of Greater Boston’s residents.

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For more information about planned giving, the Rogerson Legacy Society and the Permanent Fund for Boston, contact Nadia Yassa, Esq., Director of Estate and Gift Planning, at 617-338-4268 

Into the City with the Boston Foundation

Into the City photo

The Boston Foundation hosted a festive spring event for its closest friends and donors at the Jorge Hernandez Cultural Center of Inquilinos Boriquas en Accion (IBA), a South End organization that was launched 40 years ago with help from the Foundation.

“We named this event ‘Into the City’,” said  Foundation Board Chair the Rev. Ray Hammond, “not only because we were inviting you to an important gathering place in Boston—but because we know that you care deeply about this city—you understand its importance to you, to your families, your businesses and our entire region.”

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The Civic Leadership Fund Raises More than $1 Million




All of the reports and forums covered in this newsletter and many other initiatives, are supported in part by the Foundation’s The Civic Leadership Fund. Every year, the Fund is contributed to by hundreds of civic-minded people who support the Boston Foundation’s role as a major civic leader. During the 2008 Fiscal Year, the total raised topped $1 million—exceeding the Foundation’s fundraising goal for the fifth year running.

To learn about exciting opportunities to co-invest in Boston Foundation grants, please contact Philanthropic Services at (617) 338-2670.




For information on how to support the Civic Leadership Fund, please contact the Development Office at (617) 338-1218.

For information on planned and legacy giving, please call the Director of Estate and Gift Planning at (617) 338-4268.

Call to Revolution
The Latest NECN Series Comes to a Close

Chet Curtis photo Indicators cover
Chet Curtis moderated the series with Paul Grogan. The NECN series was inspired by the Boston Indicators Report titled A Time Like No Other: Charting the Course of the Next Revolution.






The Boston Foundation-sponsored series on NECN, Call to Revolution, moderated by NECN anchor Chet Curtis and Foundation President and CEO Paul Grogan, completed its season with three provocative shows. The episodes, which included conversations with a dozen experts in various fields, focused on the issues of Diversity, the Environment and Innovation.

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SkillWorks Launches Phase II

Dr. Gottlieb photo

On June 3rd, at a meeting of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, the Boston Foundation, the City of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and other funders announced the next phase of the SkillWorks initiative, which works with employers to provide education and training to low-income individuals throughout the state.


A Conversation with Dr. Carol R. Johnson

 Dr. Carol Johnson photo

Dr. Carol R. Johnson, Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools, engaged in a wide-ranging dialogue with the award-winning broadcast journalist David Boeri at a special spring forum sponsored by the Boston Foundation and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

Dr. Johnson spoke frankly about the challenges she faces in the role she took on less than one year ago. “What I’ve learned, traveling around to many schools, is that we actually are meeting the needs of some of our children,” she began. “The challenge is that we are not meeting all the needs of all the children in the ways we must if we are to be a really successful community.”

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Information in the Digital Age
Alberto Ibargüen Speaks to Local Media Leaders

Alberto Ibargüen photo
Alberto Ibargüen, President and CEO of the Knight Foundation, spoke to Greater Boston media leaders.
Alberto Ibargüen, President and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, spoke at a dinner held at the Boston Foundation with the heads of Greater Boston’s media outlets. The dinner was organized by Mary Jo MeisnerBoston Foundation Vice President for Communications, Community Relations and Public Affairs and a former long-time newspaper journalist. The Knight Foundation has several initiatives addressing journalism’s transition into the digital age, including one to be launched soon that will involve partnering with community foundations.

Addressing the financial woes of newspapers, Mr. Ibargüen said: “The question we at Knight ask is not how to save newspapers, but how to save the communication that communities need to manage their affairs in this democracy. In other words, how do we save journalism in the digital age?”

Mr. Ibargüen does not believe that there is much to



be gained by joining the chorus of laments.“The more time we spend trying to hold onto the old ways,” he explained, “the longer it will take to create the new tools and techniques that we need. A more productive approach, we think, is to embrace change and make it ours, infusing it with our values. We at Knight believe that technology can strengthen community information and, through that information, communities themselves.”

Journalism and Democracy Grant




In June, MassINC received a $200,000 grant from the Boston Foundation for a three-year effort to expand and deepen the role and reach of its CommonWealth magazine by building online resources and adding in-depth investigative reporting on key issues. Bruce Mohl, former Boston Globe reporter and new editor of CommonWealth will lead the effort. The major grant reflects the Foundation’s concern about the information needs of Greater Boston.

Public Policy Watch header

Public Policy Watch logo

This column reports on activities related to public policy, such as pending and passed legislation, that is informed by or rooted in the work of the Boston Foundation through its grantmaking and civic leadership.

The Massachusetts
Cultural Facilities Fund

Fifty-eight arts and cultural organizations from across the Commonwealth were honored at the State House on March 11 and June 25 as the latest recipients of grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund. The Fund, created in 2006 by legislative leaders, such as Speaker of the House Salvatore DiMasi and Senate President Therese Murray,has now provided nearly $25 million in funds to 120 cultural organizations which represent a major portion of the tourism industry, the state’s third largest sector. The Foundation has been a lead advocate of the Fund, co-chairing the Massachusetts Campaign for Cultural Facilities and sponsoring seminal research on the infrastructure needs of cultural institutions that threaten to undermine their competitiveness.



Recipients run the gamut from small neighborhood-based cultural organizations to large museums, theaters and performance groups. Several state legislators spoke at the ceremonies, co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and Mass-Development. More than $575 million has been leveraged to date, and the House, Senate and Governor each included the Fund in their FY09 budgets.

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Hope Groves Named Vice President for Finance




Hope Groves photo
Hope Groves, who was made Chief Financial Officer of the Boston Foundation just one year ago, has been named Vice President for Finance and CFO. “Hope is a seasoned veteran of the Boston Foundation,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the  Foundation. “Her impeccable work, professionalism and integrity have led to roles of increasing responsibility over the last 21 years. We are delighted that she has agreed to play this extremely important role in our Senior Management team.”

There at the Beginning header

The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

Rachel Kaprielian sm photo

Over the course of three years, close to 1,000 representatives of the state’s nonprofit sector worked together to develop the mission and goals of the first statewide membership organization for nonprofits.

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