Boston Foundation Unveils Plans for Future Grantmaking, Regional Impact

The Boston Foundation has announced a significant change in its grantmaking as well as newly articulated goals and objectives to enhance the impact of its work.

Going forward, the foundation will align its resources — from grantmaking and public policy work to research and convenings — around strategies designed to increase the impact of its work in important areas of community life, including education, health, safe neighborhoods, and arts and culture, as well as being a catalyst for growing the regional economy. At the same time, the foundation will shift more of its grantmaking dollars to general operating support and will make fewer purely programmatic grants in the future. The foundation also will place increased emphasis on measuring the impact of its resources, including grants.

In addition, the process by which organizations apply for funds will be streamlined, allowing nonprofits to apply for grants on a rolling basis rather than by set deadlines. The foundation will continue to review and approve grants on a quarterly basis, however. While roughly the same number of organizations is expected to receive foundation funding next year, the foundation will provide larger, multiyear grants to those organizations and initiatives closely aligned with its strategic priorities.

The shift in grantmaking coincides with the foundation's recent decision to increase the amount of money available for competitive grants. In the upcoming fiscal year, for instance, it expects to distribute $17.2 million in discretionary grants, a year-over-year increase of about $300,000.

"We see great opportunity for productive change, from the way we think about education to our region's expanded capacity for collaboration," said Boston Foundation president and CEO Paul S. Grogan. "This new approach has been crafted to bring our resources to bear where we are convinced we can make a meaningful and lasting difference in the culture of the region and the lives of those who live here."