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The Boston Foundation i n th e City of Ideas 1915-2015

Since 1915 the Boston Foundation has served as the primary eater Boston—from its earliest days of responding to the human needs of immigrants and the poor, to seeding innovation e at the beginning” grants for new nonprofits and fresh

Responding to Need

ideas, to helping change the very systems that affect the lives of everyone

Seeding Innovation Changing the Game For its first four decades, the Foundation responded to the dramatic events of the times, including two world wars, the Spanish flu, the Great

ge social justice movements of the enching desegregation of its public schools in the 1970s.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the Foundation launched its own antipoverty initiatives and changed the structure of the organization to put it on firm footing for the future. And in 2001, it added civic leadership and policy work to its mission against the backdrop of Designed by Kate Canfield Published by The Boston Foundation 75 Arlington Street Boston, Massachusetts 02116 617-338-1700 www.tbf.org Special Centennial Website www.tbf100.org

eat Recession and the Boston Marathon bombings.

This book is published on the occasion of the Foundation’s Centennial and describes the evolution of Greater Boston’s community foundation in the context of the historical events that have shaped and inspired its work over the last 100 years.


The Boston Foundation in the

City of Ideas 1915-2015 Responding to Need Seeding Innovation Changing the Game

PREFACE Paul S. Grogan AUTHOR Barbara Hindley EXECUTIVE EDITOR Mary Jo Meisner EDITORIAL CONSULTANTS Jim Vrabel Susan Wilson


First published in 2015 by The Boston Foundation 75 Arlington Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02116 www.tbf.org COPYRIGHT Š 2015 by The Boston Foundation This special-edition history of the Boston Foundation was published in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Boston Foundation. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from the publisher. For information, contact the Boston Foundation at 617-338-1700. FIRST EDITION Printed in the United States ISBN 978-0-692-36423-9 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2015900347 Written by Barbara Hindley, edited by Mary Jo Meisner and produced by the Boston Foundation, Boston, Massachusetts Design by Kate Canfield Printed and bound by Kirkwood Printing, Wilmington, Massachusetts


Boston is precious because it lives in the national imagination, and increasingly the world’s…as a still brilliant map of America’s good hope.

James Carroll from Norman B. Leventhal’s Mapping Boston


Contents

Preface by Paul S. Grogan

7

Responding to Need

8

Seeding Innovation

50

Changing the Game

102

Acknowledgments 152

Bibliography 153

(Left) Beacon Street in 2015 with inset from 1915

Photo Credits

155

Index 157


For the Boston Foundation’s donors, who have made ever ything described in these pages possible.


Preface

I

f there is one thing that stands out in this history, it is that the Boston

Foundation has always been bound up in the life of the city, this fascinating place that has experienced such great swings in fortune over the last century. It is no coincidence that the Boston Foundation was founded when it was, at the tail end of a forty-year period of tremendous, wrenching change in our country that saw big cities rise and big urban problems materialize right along with them. One factor made the Boston Foundation unique among all of the community foundations that were being formed around the same time: From its earliest days, and thanks to a generous donor named James Longley, there was capital, flexible capital. It meant that even its earliest leaders had the resources to support the most innovative solutions to those big urban problems, such as the settlement houses that were helping newcomers arriving in Boston to seek the American Dream. Boston is renowned for its innovation in the areas of business, law, medicine, science and technology. But this history tells us that a spirit of innovation has always existed in the social sector as well—in health care, education, housing, the arts and the social services. Bostonians from all walks of life have looked around and imagined ways to build a better city. In so many cases, the Boston Foundation was there to support those leaders. And, from the 1960s forward, it began participating in the city-building itself. A deep dedication to social justice connects everything the Boston Foundation has done over the last 100 years—the impulse to help people who are trying to get a foothold on the ladder of opportunity. And, as the dedication to this book conveys, this work would not have been possible without the generosity and vision of our donors. Our donors are, and always have been, the lifeblood of the Boston Foundation. Paul S. Grogan President & CEO, The Boston Foundation

BOOK ONE

Responding to Need

7


Responding to Need 1915 –1959

The Turbulent 11 Early Years The First 15 Large Gift to a Community Foundation

Confronting 19 Poverty and Funding Advocacy

The Great 25 Depression and the Overflow of Distress

Wartime 31 Prosperity and Resilience Neighborhoods 35 Falling and Rising

A Focus on 43 Youth Services

Responding 45 to the Polio Epidemic

Helping to 47 Launch WGBH

A Stunning 49 Bequest Changes Everything

Soldiers were happy to be returning home to Boston during World War I. The Foundation funded psychiatric social workers to help them deal with their traumatic experiences and made grants to groups that found them jobs on the home front.


Responding to Need


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The Turbulent Early Years

G

reater Boston’s community foundation came into being in 1915, when

Boston was on the cusp of one of the most turbulent eras in its history. That same year, the British ocean liner RMS Lusitania was sunk by German U-boats, swaying public opinion in favor of joining the war in Europe. By 1917, the United States would declare war against Germany and Boston Harbor would become a major point of embarkation for American troops. An early donor to the Boston Foundation, Carroll J. Swan, commanded one of the first army engineering companies that sailed to France to build the infrastructure the allies needed to win the war. It was a time when immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe were pouring into the city through the Port of Boston—more than 11,000 in 1915 alone, primarily Italians, Eastern European Jews, Poles, Armenians and Greeks. Most brought nothing with them beyond a single trunk of clothes, had few English language skills, and lived in crowded tenements, struggling to find work. The North End was so overcrowded with poor Italian immigrants that one observer compared its density to that of Calcutta.

Immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe poured into the Port of Boston, 11,000 in 1915 alone. Many immigrants came with few resources beyond a single trunk of clothes.

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Boston was an intellectual center for the suffrage movement, serving as home to The Woman’s Journal newspaper.

In the midst of dramatic influences from foreign shores, Boston was also a primary hub for the struggle for human rights in America. The city that had been an important force for abolition just decades before now played a central role in the women’s suffrage movement, serving as home to what would become the country’s major suffrage newspaper, The Woman’s Journal. The defeat of a referendum to give Massachusetts’ women voting rights in 1915 was a crushing blow to suffragists and their supporters. The Nineteenth Amendment, granting the right of all American women to vote, wouldn’t pass for another four years. And, at a time when the “Great Migration” of African Americans from the South to the North was just beginning, a number of the country’s most prominent African-American activists focused their attention on Boston. One of the most outspoken was the Harvard-educated William Monroe Trotter. In 1915, Trotter was outraged when Boston Mayor James Michael Curley allowed D.W. Griffiths’ silent film about the Civil War and Reconstruction era, Birth of a

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Nation, to open at the Tremont Theater because it portrayed the Ku Klux Klan in a positive light. In protest, Trotter led a march through the streets of Boston that was joined by thousands of African-American men and women. In 1915, Curley had been Mayor for just one year, the first of his four Prominent African-American activists, including William Monroe Trotter, focused their attention on Boston.

tumultuous terms in office. Dubbed the “Mayor of the Poor,� he was often a polarizing figure in the city, loved by poor and working class people throughout the city but reviled by much of the business community. His initial term in office would span World War I, an era of growing labor unrest and the devastation of the Spanish flu pandemic. Against this dramatic and volatile backdrop, the Boston Foundation quietly became the first major philanthropy in Boston. It was the original brainchild of a father and son pair named Charles E. and Charles M. Rogerson. The father was president of Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company, a venerable bank founded in 1867. The son, a 28-year-old attorney, drafted the document that created the Foundation. Initially called The Permanent Charity Fund, the

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LEADERSHIP PROFILE

Charles M. Rogerson was born in 1885 in Fall River, but grew up primarily in the Boston suburb of Milton. He attended Milton Academy, Harvard College and Harvard Law School—receiving his law degree in 1911. He was just twenty-eight years old when he and his father, Charles E. Rogerson, pooled their considerable talents to create the Boston Foundation. The younger Rogerson drew up the legal papers that were signed on September 7, 1915, and served as the Foundation’s part-time director for almost three decades, while also practicing law. He created the Foundation’s entire approach to grant making, with no precedents to guide his work.

papers were signed on September 7 of 1915, naming Boston Safe Deposit and Trust the sole trustee bank. The younger Rogerson would become the Foundation’s first director and continue to guide the organization for thirty years. The inaugural community foundation had been founded in Cleveland in 1914 by a lawyer and banker named Frederick Goff. His vision was to combine the charitable resources of Cleveland’s philanthropists, living and dead, into a single pool for the good of the city. The funds would be distributed by a group of knowledgeable citizens representing the public interest and the management of the funds would be in the hands of institutional investors—one or more local banks or trust companies. It was an idea that quickly captured imaginations across the country. The Boston Foundation was one of a flurry of community foundations created just a year later, in 1915. The Boston model differed from Cleveland in several ways, but the most significant was that, unlike many other community foundations, there was no provision for spending principal. Income only was to be spent. As the original name implied, this was to be a permanent endowment fund.

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The First Large Gift to a Community Foundation DONOR PROFILE

James Longley, who was born in Boston’s West End in 1840, was educated at the city’s innovative Chauncy Hall School, which he graduated from at the age of

W

hat quickly and

dramatically set Boston’s

fifteen. Rather than

community foundation apart from

going on to college,

those in other cities in the early

he followed his father

20th century was a major bequest

into the world of

of $4 million in 1917 from James

business—eventually

Longley, a socially minded director

becoming a director of

of Boston Safe Deposit and Trust,

major financial insti-

who lived most of his adult life

tutions and the owner

in the South End, beyond the years

of some of the largest

when it was a fashionable address for

textile mills in New

Boston’s elite. He was a wealthy man with

England. He loved

no children and no close ties to any educational

Boston and helped to

or charitable institutions. He decided that the Boston

develop new fireproof

Foundation was the ideal instrument for leaving his estate in a way that would

materials and canvas

ensure its future use for the benefit of the community he so dearly loved.

fire hoses after the devastating fire that leveled the downtown area in 1872. Known for his concern for others, when he died in 1917, he left the first large bequest to the Permanent Fund for Boston at the Boston Foundation.

The significance of Longley’s bequest cannot be exaggerated. It was the first large gift to any community foundation in the country—in today’s dollars, some $85 million—and it made the Boston Foundation the very first with the capacity to make grants. The Cleveland Foundation received no significant bequests until 10 years after its founding. Longley’s gift was totally unrestricted, meaning that Rogerson and the committee that approved distributions to charities had free rein to focus on the causes they decided were most important. From the beginning, the Foundation included women on its grant-making committee. Sarah Louise Arnold, Dean of Simmons College, was appointed because of her special understanding of the needs of educational institutions.

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She couldn’t vote for President of the United States, but she could vote on the distribution of the Boston Foundation’s funds. The young Rogerson had few models to guide him as he began to recommend charities to support. America’s first great private foundations, the Rockefeller Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York, had only been operating for several years. This meant that there were no tried and true systems in place or precedents for requesting proposals, determining the worthiness of an institution and making grants. While the Longley bequest was large, it wasn’t significant enough for the Sarah Louise Arnold, Dean of Simmons College and the first woman on the Foundation’s board, could vote on grants but not for the President of the U.S.

Foundation to do much more than respond to human need. And immediately, the needs were enormous. For Boston, World War I was a frightening and palpable presence. The threat of German submarines was very real—and nets were stretched across the harbor to stop them from approaching the city, while mines were planted to stop any that made it through. Boston was seized by a wave of patriotism and support for the war, sending thousands of young men

Boston was seized by a wave of patriotism during WW I, as it became a major point of embarkation for thousands of troops.

over to Europe. Families were being torn apart and so one of the Foundation’s initial grants went to the Boston Legal Aid Society to publish a pamphlet on “legal suggestions for soldiers and sailors and their dependents” to help them with the basic issues, such as preparing a will. Travelers Aid of Boston received support for helping refugees and Bostonians disrupted by the conflict. And when soldiers returned home, funds went to a psychopathic hospital to train psychiatric social workers treating the disturbing effects of the soldiers’ unprecedented war experiences. The Foundation made grants to virtually all of the city’s hospitals and health care organizations, but those institutions were stretched to the breaking point when soldiers returning from the war brought with them the Spanish flu. In the fall of 1918, it struck Massachusetts hard, resulting in some 200 deaths every day by early October. The hospitals and health care workers supported by the Foundation were overwhelmed and tents were set up on the lawns outside to accommodate the overflow of patients. Before the pandemic ran its course, thirty percent of the city would contract the illness and 4,000 Bostonians would die—part of a worldwide death toll estimated at between thirty and fifty million people.

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Clockwise from top: During the Spanish flu pandemic, Boston City Hospital and other hospitals supported by the Foundation erected tents on their grounds to treat patients. | The Foundation gave major annual support to every medical institution in the city for many years. | The hospitals the Foundation funded had to respond to injuries resulting from the Molasses Disaster in 1919 and a serious epidemic of infantile paralysis in 1920.

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Confronting Pover ty and Funding Advocacy

I

n addition to responding to the events of the times, Rogerson also focused

the Foundation’s resources on longer-term challenges, primarily confronting the causes and consequences of poverty in Boston. In the second and third decades of the 20th century, the poorest of the poor were immigrants. Their plight was made worse by strong anti-immigrant feelings in Boston. By 1920, the North End held 40,000 people, mostly Italian immigrants, crowded into its brick buildings and narrow streets. Living conditions were

Beginning in 1922, the Foundation provided annual funding to Boston’s Urban League to advocate for the rights of African Americans.

abysmal, with poor ventilation spreading tuberculosis and other diseases through the tenements. All of the health institutions funded by the Foundation sought to alleviate the problems immigrants encountered. From the Foundation’s earliest days, the North Bennet Street School received substantial and regular grants to support its work helping immigrants adjust to their new country and learn the skills they needed for employment.

DONOR PROFILE

Fanny Wharton was the daughter of Salem merchant William Pickman, who created the Fanny Wharton Helping Fund in her memory when she died in 1880. The Fund was for the “relief of sick young women and children” and administered by family members for many years. In 1919, the Fund was given to the Boston Foundation by Fanny’s husband, William F. Wharton, a Boston lawyer and Assistant Secretary of State under Benjamin Harrison. The purpose of the fund remained focused on the health of women and children. Next to James Longley’s huge bequest, it was the Foundation’s primary source of funding in the early years.

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Amelia Earhart worked at Denison House, which served the South Cove area of Boston, and once flew over Boston distributing flyers to advertise an event there.

Funding also went to advocacy organizations, such as the Boston Urban League, which the Foundation supported annually from 1922 on, to support the needs and further the rights of Boston’s African Americans. From the beginning, the Foundation supported the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union, which advocated on behalf of women, while matching clients with community services and helping them to find jobs. By far, its most famous client was Amelia Earhart, who applied to the Union to work in a settlement house and was placed in one of the most famous—Denison House, which served the South Cove neighborhood. Once, taking off from the new airport in East Boston, she flew over Boston in a plane scattering leaflets about an event at Denison House. While Denison House, founded by Emily Greene Balch, a Wellesley College professor and anti-war advocate who later won the Nobel Peace Prize, was the best known, there were settlement houses in virtually every immigrant neighborhood in the city—including Dorchester, South Boston and Roxbury. The Foundation funded all of them for years because it saw within them the hope for not just alleviating, but actually ending, urban poverty. The neighborhood with the most settlement houses was the South End, which had been dubbed “the most charitied district in Christendom” by the historian Edward Everett Hale in the late 19th Century. South End House, originally called Andover House, was the first settlement house in Boston. Soon, it was joined by Haley House, Lincoln House, the Harriet Tubman House and Ellis Memorial and Eldredge House.

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Day nurseries serving immigrant children were supported as well as programs for children at the North Bennet Street School. Settlement houses also advocated on behalf of the rights of immigrant workers.

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Ellis Memorial and Eldredge House sent urban families to the countryside for recreation and relaxation.

The South End, which was created in the 1850s when a vast tidal marsh was filled in with gravel, was originally built with an eye to wealthy residents, but when the Back Bay was created some twenty years later from what literally was a “bay,” it became a more popular location for Boston’s elite. The South End evolved into a tenement district, first attracting immigrants from other countries and later African Americans from the South, who established a strong middle-class presence in the neighborhood. Rogerson was impressed by the experimental strain in the settlements, where idealistic staff members, many college-educated women, tested new solutions to problems, lobbied city hall for improved services, and above all, helped people find ways to help themselves. They usually lived in the houses and worked side-by-side with immigrants to provide education and skills training and improve their living and working conditions. As the 1920s drew to a close, however, Boston’s settlement houses and all of the human services agencies funded by the Foundation would be tested by an unexpected era of almost overwhelming need.

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In the South End, settlement houses provided music instruction to the children of immigrants.

Settlement houses helped immigrants assimilate in an atmosphere of suspicion and hostility that culminated in the 1927 execution of Sacco and Vanzetti, with sympathizers around the world calling their funeral procession a “March of Sorrow.�

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The Great Depression and the Overflow of Distress Translux screens signaled Bostonians that an era had ended: in the autumn of 1929, the Great Bull Market collapsed. Soon, the shock waves felt by investors along State Street were rippling outward, and men with self-inflicted wounds staggered into Boston City Hospital to get themselves three meals and a bed. — Boston, the Great Depression, and the New Deal by Charles H. Trout

Close to one-third of Bostonians lost their jobs during the Great Depression.

A

ny dreams the Boston Foundation had about making a dent in urban

poverty were summarily thrust aside as the reality of the Great Depression

gripped the city. Boston had entered the 1930s in a weakened economic state All of the Foundation’s funding during the Great Depression went to direct relief for families.

and major parts of its infrastructure already were in disrepair, but more urgent problems demanded attention. Now, the Boston Foundation’s focus—and that of its grantees—was almost solely on what Rogerson called “direct relief,” with the largest grants going to social welfare agencies and the relief work carried out by virtually every hospital in the city. The Foundation supported a booklet published by one of its primary grantees, the Family Welfare Society, which stated that, “every species of domestic difficulty and embarrassment” was being encountered in Boston, as “the flood tide of unemployment rises, sucking into its swirling waters families higher and higher on the social scale.”

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In 1932, the election of Roosevelt (with Boston Mayor Curley) gave hope during the Great Depression, but that same year Charles Rogerson wrote “another winter of distress is before us.”

While the election of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932 brought some hope to those hardest hit in Boston, Rogerson wrote in that year’s annual report, “Another winter of distress is before us.” It would be just one of many more such winters. Two years after Rogerson’s entry, Martha Gellhorn, one of the journalists Roosevelt dispatched to report back to him on the Depression, described the people she encountered in Massachusetts as “more intelligent and better educated” than the unemployed people she saw in other parts of the country. “The price of this intelligence is consciousness,” she added. “They know what they are going through. They can’t live on the work of relief wages; they can’t live on the public welfare grocery orders. They can’t pay rent and are evicted. They are shunted from place to place, and are watching their children grow thinner and thinner; fearing the cold for children who have neither coats nor shoes; wondering about coal … Their pride is dying, but not without due agony.” Knowing that the Boston Foundation alone could do only so much to alleviate the kind of agony Gellhorn described, Rogerson was determined

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DONOR PROFILE

Captain Carroll J. Swan was commanding officer of the 101st United States Engineers. In 1917, he and his men were among the first Americans to go to France during World War I. In his book, My Company, he describes marching down Huntington Avenue with his men on their way to Boston Harbor to board the ship that would take them there. Their assignment was to construct roads, dig trenches and build the infrastructure that would help the Allies defeat the Germans. When he died, in 1935, he left a fund “for summer vacations for needy children of Greater Boston,” which has sent thousands of inner-city children to summer camps ever since.

DONOR PROFILE

Edward Glines, who was born in 1849 in Somerville, held numerous positions in government—first as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and then as a State Senator. He also served as the Mayor of Somerville, from 1901 to 1904, and was a highly successful businessman, running the Glines Company, which provided supplies to the best hotels in Boston. He was known as a generous contributor to charities and widely admired. “Few if any men in business in Boston stand higher in the estimation of their associates,” said one newspaper article. When Mr. Glines died in 1938, he left a generous, unrestricted bequest to the Permanent Fund for Boston.

DONOR PROFILE

Anna C. Frothingham, who was born in 1849 in Pittsfield, married Reverend Paul Revere Frothingham in 1892. They resided in New Bedford until 1900, when her husband became pastor of Boston’s historic Arlington Street Church. While her husband was busy with his new role, which included assisting the poor, she was active in organizations that were launched and run by women. She volunteered at the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union, which had been established to respond to the miserable labor conditions experienced by many women of the time. She died in 1939 at the age of 90, leaving a major bequest to the Permanent Fund for Boston.

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to fulfill a dream he had had for years, which was to play a part in launching a large-scale united fundraising campaign, similar to community chests popping up in other cities. There were several false starts during the 1920s, when the community failed to respond to pleas for large-scale fundraising. It took the Great Depression to precipitate real action. Rogerson played a major role in the United Boston Unemployment Relief Campaign of 1932, which was the first successful community-wide effort in cooperative fundraising, raising $3 million. He served as “secretary,” which in those days usually meant “director,” and shared the Foundation’s offices and files containing detailed information about the city’s most effective charitable organizations. Other united emergency campaigns followed in 1933 and 1934, Families in the overcrowded North End were particularly hard hit by the Great Depression.

eventually providing the deep roots for the development of today’s regional United Way. But the Great Depression proved to be much longer than anyone had anticipated. Over the course of the 1930s, unemployment in Boston reached 36 percent, with thousands more underemployed. Mayor Curley initially resisted the public spectacle of soup kitchens and bread lines, but eventually threw up his hands and allowed them. In desperation, he scrambled to pay men five dollars a day to participate in municipal services, such as shoveling snow. Mayor Curley was a comforting presence for many Bostonians during the Depression years, but Washington did not take comfort in the perceived infighting among the city’s politicians. As a result, Boston received fewer federal dollars than other major American cities for the New Deal programs that began to take effect in 1935, providing employment and protection against foreclosures and other assistance. Still, the city benefited from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which eventually employed more than onethird of Boston’s jobless. And all Americans benefited from the Social Security Act, providing pensions and other benefits to the elderly, which was signed into law by President Roosevelt in 1935. While there were rewards in responding deftly to the evolving needs of the people of Boston, by the close of the 1930s Charles Rogerson was deeply frustrated by the burdens and limitations of the kind of philanthropy he and his colleagues were practicing. He expressed his concerns in a letter to a friend. “I began this work nineteen years ago,” he wrote, “and soon found that what we were largely doing was holding a bucket to catch the overflow of distress rather than reaching up to shut off the spigot.” He added, “I suppose we are making progress, but it is painfully slow.”

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Out of desperation, Mayor Curley put unemployed men to work shoveling snow for five dollars a day.

Coal was one of the many resources in short supply during the Depression.

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War time Prosperity and Resilience As women went to work building ships during World War II, for the first time grants went to “child care for working women.”

O

ne year later, in 1940, with ominous events occurring abroad,

including the Nazi invasion of France and the Netherlands, Rogerson reported that the Foundation’s work remained largely unchanged. Grants still were going primarily to “the same problems and conditions that had prevailed during the Depression,” he wrote, “with some disturbance and modification

USS Mason, built in the Boston Navy Yard, was the first U.S. Navy ship to have a predominantly African-American crew. Victory Gardens blanketed the Emerald Necklace, providing close to one-third of Boston’s produce during World War II.

caused by the war.” All of that changed on December 7, 1941, when Japanese bombers attacked Pearl Harbor and America joined World War II. For the second time during his tenure, Rogerson observed the city rally around a war effort. Once again, Boston Harbor was alive with activity. Reminiscent of precautions taken during World War I, mines were planted in the Harbor to defend the city against the German submarines that were spotted regularly along the New England Coast—and blackouts and air raid drills were a constant reminder of the war. But while food shortages and ration books made for hard times, Boston rallied to the cause with gusto, launching metal drives to build tanks, ships, planes and weapons, and raising funds to support the armed services. Soon victory gardens blanketed the city like a patchwork quilt covering Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace—from Boston Common to the Fenway to the rooftops of garages and small buildings. Eventually the gardens would provide close to one-third of the vegetables and fruit consumed in the city, helping to reduce widespread anxiety about food shortages.

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The golden dome of the State House was painted dark gray so that it wouldn’t attract the attention of German bombers at night, but the spirits of Bostonians were high because suddenly there were jobs. The city’s shipyards were abuzz with activity repairing British ships damaged by the Germans and building two major destroyers. And those engaged in the work were not only men. For the first time, women were employed in large numbers—and the North End Union and other agencies were given grants from the Boston Foundation “to During World War II the gilded State House Dome was painted dark gray for air raids.

help care for the children of working mothers,” a category of activity that had never appeared in the Foundation’s previous annual reports. A great deal of support also went directly to war work, including large

As in World War I, the Foundation supported Travelers Aid and other organizations helping military families disrupted by the war.

grants to the Red Cross. The Boston Center for Adult Education received funding for “war courses to assist those going into the armed services and war work.” Grants were made to train the volunteers needed to replace the medical personnel who were drawn into work for Army and Navy hospitals. Once again, significant funding went to Travelers Aid Society because of the increased travel challenges facing soldiers, sailors, war workers and their families. Support also went to the YMCA, the Boy Scouts and other organizations serving the needs of boys and young men. To counter the necessary attention being paid to boys and young men, the Foundation also focused its funds on youth camping programs for girls—and said so in its annual report. There were also grants to organizations that placed children in foster homes because war work was taking prospective foster parents away from their homes. In November of 1942, news about the war was forced off the front pages of Boston’s newspapers by two of the worst fires in the city’s history. The first was on November 15, at Luongo’s Restaurant

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The Foundation opened a special fund to benefit the families of six firefighters who died in a 1942 fire at a restaurant in East Boston, which was eclipsed by the Cocoanut Grove fire less than two weeks later.

in East Boston, where a wall collapsed and killed six firefighters. The Foundation quickly opened a special fund to benefit the families of the fallen men. In less than two weeks, that fire would be eclipsed by the horrific tragedy of the Cocoanut Grove Night Club. While most of the stories about the Cocoanut Grove fire focus on the 492 souls who lost their lives, 270 others were injured. All of the hospitals supported by the Foundation did what they could for them, especially Boston City Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, both of which were well stocked with supplies because of the war. It was estimated that one fire victim reached Boston City Hospital every eleven seconds at the height of the response. Following that experience, the city stiffened fire safety regulations and the Foundation helped to fund the development of a sophisticated burn unit for Massachusetts General Hospital. In 1942, Rogerson, who had begun his tenure writing rather stiff and formal reports to the city, revealed the profound impact his role in the city had on him. “All over the world there is a

During the war, the Foundation supported programs serving the needs of boys and young men.

reawakening,” he wrote in that year’s annual report, “a demand

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for social readjustment, for more even distribution of the products of labor, for social security and new freedoms.” He went on to address the impact these movements might have on philanthropy. “It is impossible to foresee to what extent these demands will be satisfied, and, if satisfied, to what extent they will render no longer necessary charitable and social work as we know it today.” He added that he anticipated that Greater Boston’s community foundation would be “as useful in the future as we believe it has been in the past,” especially because the Foundation’s income was “not rigid—not limited to specified and relatively narrow objects, but may be given to any charitable purpose which it deems most worthy.” While Charles Rogerson would live to see D-Day on June 6, 1944, he died before the war actually ended. He had served the Foundation for close to 30 years. A future director of the Foundation wrote, “His high intelligence, clear and orderly mind and shrewd judgment made him eminently qualified for the complicated, pioneering role he filled. He quickly became the best-informed layperson on the charitable agencies of Boston.” There had been no precedents to guide him. The precedents had been his to set.

Boston celebrated the end of World War II, but faced a discouraging outlook for the city’s future.

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Neighborhoods Falling and Rising

W

hile employment remained high after the war, it was clear that

years of hardship during the Great Depression had further eroded Boston’s place in the constellation of important American cities. The city that Oliver Wendell Holmes had once called the “Hub of the Solar System” was dying. The textile, shoe and other industries that had made Boston a thriving commercial center had long since moved to the South, where labor was cheaper

Boston’s Fish Pier showed signs of decline in 1950 as it was congested with delivery trucks, pushcarts and the hulks of a oncebusy fleet of fishing boats.

and unions less powerful. Years of infighting between Mayor Curley and the business community had hampered any forward-looking plans for putting the city back on a successful track. As early as 1933, Fortune magazine carried an article that sounded a kind of death knell for the city’s business community: “…there can be no doubt but that the Bostonian has suffered a decay and disintegration of tragic proportions…,” it pronounced. “He has lost the active management of his industries.” The dramatic events of the Depression and World War II had obscured the city’s desperate plight, but by 1949 it was clear that Boston was in deep trouble. It was no longer a thriving shipping port; in fact the entire waterfront and wharf area was in a serious state of decay. Residents were pouring out

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of the city for the suburbs and many inner-city neighborhoods were shabby and neglected. While neighborhood-based groups were launching efforts to improve conditions from within, the business community pronounced many of them “slums” that needed to be renewed. The Boston Globe dubbed Boston “a hopeless backwater, a tumbled-down has-been among cities.” That same year, James Michael Curley lost one of his final campaigns for Mayor of Boston to John B. Hynes, who previously had played an almost invisible role as city clerk of Boston. Hynes had substituted for Curley as Mayor while he served time for mail fraud in a federal penitentiary. Thomas H. O’Connor, in his sweeping history of Boston, titled The Hub, tells the story of Curley returning to City Hall after prison, spending several hours in his office, and then insulting Hynes by announcing to the press, “I have accomplished more in one day than has been done in the five months of my absence.” Hynes promptly began to put together a team to help him run for Mayor. During the campaign, he was perceived by voters as someone who could end the petty politics and divisions that had characterized the Curley years and bring the business community back into the life of the city. He beat Curley and would

John B. Hynes launched plans for the “New Boston” with the support of “The Vault” and the Boston College Citizen Seminars.

go on to serve as Mayor over the course of the entire 1950s. The Boston Foundation had a new leader as well. Following Charles Rogerson’s death in 1944, a man named Arthur Rotch was made director and would continue to serve for the next seventeen years. As a former Commissioner of Public Welfare for Massachusetts and an active trustee and officer of several Boston teaching hospitals, he brought to his work an unrivaled knowledge of the health and welfare agencies of Boston, which he would draw on in the years to come.

LEADERSHIP PROFILE

Arthur G. Rotch became director of the Boston Foundation in 1945 and served until 1961. As a former Commissioner of Public Welfare for Massachusetts, a pioneer leader and Honorary President of the United Community Services of Metropolitan Boston and a trustee of several Boston teaching hospitals, he brought to his work a deep knowledge of the health and welfare agencies of Boston. A memorial to him in the Foundation’s 1963 annual report remarked on his unique understanding of community needs combined with qualities of sound judgment, integrity and tough-mindedness.

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LEADERSHIP PROFILE

Ralph Lowell, a World War I veteran and banker, became President of Boston Safe Deposit and Trust in 1943—automatically placing him in a powerful position on the Boston Foundation’s board. Dubbed “Mr. Boston,” the years of his work as a civic leader and philanthropist parallel a time of transformation for the city of Boston. The ubiquitous Lowell served on scores of nonprofit boards, led the powerful Boston Coordinating Committee, also known as “The Vault,” worked closely with Mayors Hynes and Collins to plan the “New Boston,” and was a founder of WGBH in 1954.

In the 1946 annual report, Rotch described a return to some of the pre-war anxieties. “We have passed from a war economy to the beginning of a peace economy,” he wrote. “Employment is at a fairly high level but with the return of our service men and women and the closing and partial contraction of work in many war plants, unemployment has increased and we find a large increase in claims for unemployment compensations and a rise in relief loads.” Perhaps even more significant than Rotch’s appointment was the fact that Ralph Lowell had become President of Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company Arthur Rotch expanded the Foundation’s institutional support to cultural organizations, including major funding for the new Museum of Science at Science Park.

in 1943, which automatically placed him in a position of power as the head of the committee that voted on the Boston Foundation’s grants. Ralph Lowell was a ubiquitous figure in Boston during the 1950s and beyond. He served on a dizzying number of boards, was a productive fundraiser, and eventually headed up the Boston Coordinating Committee—a powerful group of business leaders known as “The Vault.” Many simply referred to him as “Mr. Boston.” During the 1950s, in its bid to improve the city’s prospects, the Boston Foundation funded the Boston Coordinating Committee as well as Boston College Citizen Seminars, which sought to bring together the disparate parts of Boston that had not been communicating for years—especially the business community, academia, nonprofit institutions and local government. Both Mayor Hynes and Ralph Lowell would play powerful roles in creating

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plans for what came to be called the “New Boston.” They worked together to create the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), which designed plans for the redevelopment of a large portion of the city—from the South End’s “New York Streets” area to the West End, the latter of which has become a national Boston’s first urban renewal projects were in the “New York Streets” section of the South End and in the West End, displacing thousands of families.

symbol for the worst kind of approach to urban renewal. During some of the darkest days of urban renewal in Boston, the West End’s modest homes were labeled slums, buildings were destroyed, and 7,000 people, including many Italian and Jewish families that had lived there for generations, were displaced. The neighborhood’s razed buildings made way for a high-rise complex of apartments that very few of the West End’s original tenants could afford. Joe Fiorello, a Boston Foundation donor who grew up in the West End, said that his grandfather was one of the last holdouts. “He waited until the wrecking balls arrived before he would leave,” he remembers. He added that what was

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lost when the old West End was “renewed,” was “the kind of place where virtually everything you needed—and most people you knew—were all within walking distance.” His family and many others moved to lower-priced neighborhoods outside of the city. Chinatown was another neighborhood that was devastated by what the city thought of as “progress” during the 1950s and early 1960s. When the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, which had limited immigration to men, was loosened in the 1930s and then lifted entirely during World War II, Chinatown saw Chinatown’s Hudson Street was destroyed during the construction of the Central Artery.

a tremendous growth spurt, including a one thousand percent increase in the number of Chinese women. The neighborhood became—and remains today—a close-knit community of homes, shops, business groups and extended families. But in the 1950s and 1960s, Chinatown experienced a wrenching period of displacement, when Hudson Street and other blocks central to its identity were torn down during the construction of the Central Artery and the extension of the Massachusetts Turnpike. Residents and small businesses were offered just thirty percent of the worth of their properties as they scrambled to relocate. Neighborhood groups attempting to organize against the devastation were unsuccessful, but their efforts began to nurture a powerful sense of community advocacy, which has served Chinatown well ever since.

DONOR PROFILE

Arthur L. Williston was the first director of Boston’s Wentworth Institute, which opened its doors in 1911. He was a dynamic leader who coined the term “technical institute” and built the school into one of the leading technical institutions in the country by combining technical training with the liberal arts. In 1954, two years before his death, Williston established the Arthur L. and Irene S. Williston Trust for Education at the Boston Foundation to support future generations of students at “other than the usual four-year colleges.” The Fund has benefited technical institutes and community colleges for years.

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Throughout the city, a number of neighborhoods were quietly establishing mechanisms for organizing their communities from within. Muriel and Otto Snowden were residents of the largely African-American neighborhood of Otto and Muriel Snowden started Roxbury’s Freedom House in 1949 with a small group concerned about the ways discrimination was affecting the lives of black residents.

Roxbury. At the time, Boston was experiencing a dramatic increase in AfricanAmerican residents as a result of the “Second Great Migration” from the South after World War II. Between 1940 and 1960, the number of African Americans in the city increased from some 24,000 to more than 63,000. In 1949, the Snowdens faced a heart-wrenching decision. “We had to decide whether we would stay and raise our child here,” said Muriel Snowden in a Boston Foundation newsletter published in 1986. “We recognized that if this community wasn’t good enough for our daughter, it wasn’t good enough for anyone else’s either.” The Snowdens decided to remain in Roxbury and dedicate their lives to making the city a better place to live. They assembled what Muriel Snowden called “a small interracial, interreligious group of people” who shared their concern about the ways in which prejudice and discrimination were blighting the lives of Boston’s black residents, especially children. The result was Freedom House, Inc., a unique

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experiment in community organizing that would go on to play a significant role in improving the educational, economic and social climate for Boston’s black population. Muriel Snowden eventually served on the Boston Foundation’s Board of Directors—and today, the Foundation holds an endowment fund for Freedom House in honor of the Snowdens. Just one year later, Elma Lewis, who also would go on to serve on the Boston Foundation’s Board of Directors, founded the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts to “meet the social, cultural, and artistic needs of Boston’s AfricanAmerican community.” Lewis’ goal was to foster the arts, not only in the Roxbury-Dorchester community where the school was located, but among African Americans across the city. The Boston Foundation made numerous grants to Freedom House in the mid-1950s for services for youth and supported the Elma Lewis School as well. But for the most part, Rotch continued the Foundation’s tradition of offering annual operating support to Boston’s large institutions, including its hospitals, social welfare organizations and traditional settlement houses. However, the Foundation also continued significant, annual funding to the Urban League and a large percentage of its grants went to institutions serving African Americans in Roxbury and the South End, with a special focus on children.

In the 1950s, young people met at Freedom House in Roxbury to discuss ways to improve their neighborhood.

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Juvenile delinquency was considered the “number one social welfare problem� in the city in the 1950s.

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A Focus on Youth Services

B

oston’s children in general, especially adolescents and teenagers, became

a major focus for Rotch in the 1950s. He was extremely preoccupied with the problem of juvenile delinquency, calling it the “number one social welfare problem” in the city. Perhaps he was influenced by the research of Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck, professors at Harvard Law School, who had published a 400-page paper on the topic and conducted a study of 1,000 Boston boys, half considered to be juvenile delinquents and the other half non-delinquents. In 1951, the Boston School Committee unanimously approved a plan to train teachers to detect signs of juvenile delinquency in elementary-school students, which the Gluecks primarily maintained began within families. Boston wasn’t alone in its focus on the issue. In the Cold War atmosphere of the 1950s, juvenile delinquency became a national obsession in cities and suburbs, reflected in the films of the day, such as Blackboard Jungle and Rebel Without a Cause. Numerous Boston Founda-

The Foundation supported Girl Scout troops to help build the confidence of young girls.

tion grants went to the YMCA, Big Brothers Association of Boston and Boys Clubs of Boston for “recreation and character-building.” The Foundation also funded Denison House and Roxbury Neighborhood House for their work with young people, both longtime grantees. By 1958, of the $725,000 the Foundation made in grants every year, more than $200,000 went to youth services in the Greater Boston area.

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Responding to the Polio Epidemic

I

f the actions of boys and young men were alarming to Rotch and others in

the city, nothing gripped Boston’s attention more than the polio epidemic of the 1950s—a crippling disease that could strike with lightning speed at any age, but was particularly frightening to parents with young children. From the late 1940s to the early 1950s, polio crippled an average of 35,000 people every year in America. Even as the Cold War gained steam and the specter of an atomic mushroom cloud took hold, the polio epidemic was perceived by many people as the greatest threat to the country’s well-being. In 1954, just prior to the development of the vaccine, there were so many cases of polio in Boston that parents who had driven their sick children to Boston Children’s Hospital were asked to wait in line in their cars, while doctors examined the children to decide which ones should be brought into the hospital for treatment. The Boston Foundation funded Children’s Hospital heavily during this period and for years supported the research arm of the hospital, which had played a central role in developing the polio vaccine. In 1949, three Children’s Hospital doctors discovered a method for growing the poliomyelitis virus, which contributed to the development of the vaccine by Dr. Jonas Salk in 1955. Boston was also the site of the first successful use of the “iron lung” to treat a polio patient, which took place at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, another insti-

Children’s Hospital used “iron lungs” the size of rooms to treat multiple patients, as parents lined up outside in their cars to have their sick children triaged by doctors.

tution that received annual support from the Foundation. During the height of the epidemic in the 1950s, iron lungs the size of rooms treated multiple children suffering from the disease. Grants for physical rehabilitation became commonplace for the Foundation. In addition to providing major annual grants to hospitals and organizations focused solely on children, the Foundation continued to fund all of the city’s settlement houses, although the original fervor of the movement had waned and the agencies were struggling with tight budgets. As early as 1951, the

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Nothing gripped Boston’s attention more than the polio epidemic of the 1950s.

Foundation began to provide grants to assist settlement houses that wanted to merge, with the goal of using their resources and funding more effectively. That year, the Foundation made a grant to help five South End settlement houses and the Children’s Art Centre merge to form what would eventually become United South End Settlements. Rotch also began making capital grants to large institutions, which Rogerson had never done, and offering support to cultural institutions, such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Museum of Science—another first.

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Helping to Launch WGBH

I

n 1951, Rotch described, “a somewhat unusual grant” to support the first

year’s operating expenses of a proposed FM radio station to be erected on Great Blue Hill in Milton, a cooperative undertaking of six Greater Boston colleges, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Lowell Institute. “It is believed,” he wrote, “that with this new station, a large amount of cultural and educational material, free from commercial announcements, will

The Foundation made unprecedented grants to help launch WGBH in the mid-1950s.

not only go into our schools and colleges, but will also be available to a great many listeners generally and constitute an important addition to Boston’s educational facilities.” He ended with a rather breathtaking announcement. “Beginning with the fall season, the full performances of the BSO will be broadcast for the first time since 1926.” That year, to help “toward the first year’s operating budget” of the proposed FM radio station, the Foundation made a grant of $10,000, a very large sum during those days. And in 1954, “to expand Boston’s educational horizons,” the Foundation made another grant of $10,000 to WGBH-TV, which started broadcasting the next year. By 1959, the station was producing programs such as Prospects of Mankind, in which Eleanor Roosevelt interviewed world leaders.

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DONOR PROFILE

Albert Stone

A Stunning Bequest Changes Everything

shocked Bostonians when in 1959 he left the largest bequest anyone had ever made to a community foundation, doubling the Boston Foundation’s assets

dust settled, it was close

W

to $20 million. Stone

slowly, only reaching $10 million in 1952, then $14 million in 1959. In other

overnight. Newspaper headlines blared “$17 million from a man no one knew.” When the

was an intensely private man who received an inheritance from his father in 1897 and

hile Rotch and Lowell were strong fundraisers, and a number of

major bequests came in during the 1950s, the Foundation’s endowment grew words, it took almost 40 years for the initial $4 million Longley bequest to be tripled. All of this would change in 1959, the final year of Rotch’s tenure as

spent the rest of his

director, when a stunning bequest of $17 million, eventually totaling to close

life managing his own

to $20 million, came from a mysterious financier named Albert Stone. The

investments. He lived in

Boston papers loved the story, running headlines saying that the gift came

the same home on Bay State Road for his entire adult life with his sister

from a “mystery financier,” “a man no one knew,” which was actually the case. The only person reporters could find to tell a personal story about him was

Mary, and vacationed

an elevator operator in the Scollay Square building where he had worked. He

in a one-room cabin in

had given her a tangerine every day. One paper ran a photo of an extremely

Wellfleet. In 1937, he

modest “shack” on the beach in Wellfleet where Stone summered, alone,

visited the Foundation’s offices and asked how the operation was run. That same year, Stone wrote his will, just

without electricity or running water. They compared him to the anonymous stranger depicted on a popular television show who transformed people’s lives by making them millionaires. It should not have come as a complete surprise to the Foundation. Stone

four paragraphs long,

had engineered a $2 million bequest from his sister, Mary, a number of years

leaving everything to

earlier, which was the largest gift since James Longley’s in 1917. And, he had

the Permanent Fund for Boston at the Boston Foundation.

stopped by the Foundation’s offices one day to pick up an annual report. Apparently he liked what he found in it. No photos can be found of Albert Stone, an extremely private man who would have been horrified by the publicity his gift generated. But his generosity and apparent love for the city where he had made his fortune would launch a new era for Greater Boston’s community foundation, one that would break away completely from the kind of grant making that had characterized its work since 1917.

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Seeding Innovation 1960 –2000 Philanthropy as a 53 C atalyst for Change

“Human Renewal” 57 in Boston Walking the Trail 62 with Housing Pioneers Investing in a 65 World-Class City A Year of 67 Violence and Loss

The Crucible of 69 Public Education

Testing Dreams of 74 a Better Future Long-Held 77 Expectations Shattered Sparking 81 Innovation A Move Toward 85 Diversity

A Matter of 89 Justice for All

Poverty in the 95 Midst of Plenty

A Legacy of 100 Strength and Influence

South End residents celebrate Festival Betances, organized annually by IBA (Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción), which was founded with seed funding from the Boston Foundation. 50

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Seeding Innovation

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Philanthropy as a Catalyst for Change

B

y 1960, there was a growing awareness that cities across the United States

were in serious trouble—and Boston was struggling more than most. With the flight of the middle class to the suburbs, the population was just 697,000, a decrease of more than 100,000 in just one decade. Aside from some wealthy residents of Beacon Hill and the Back Bay, Boston was now primarily a city of poor and working class people living in rundown tenements and deteriorating public housing. Signs of urban blight were everywhere. Traditional private welfare agencies and settlement houses, longtime grantees of the Boston Foundation, were ill-equipped to respond to the enormity of the challenges. New tools and fresh approaches clearly were needed. But, with the election of native son John F. Kennedy as President in 1960 and reports from the front lines of the civil rights movement in the South, there also was a spirit of youthful idealism in the air. Neighborhoods and people were organizing and the Boston Foundation was in the perfect position to tap into that energy and help them. The staggering sum bequeathed to the Boston Foundation by the mysterious Albert Stone in 1959 had more than doubled the endowment overnight. Remarkably, Charles M. Rogerson and Arthur Rotch had led the Foundation

The Foundation was instrumental in establishing ABCD, which helped innercity residents apply for jobs and job training programs through Freedom House and other neighborhoodbased groups.

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Aside from some residents of Beacon Hill and the Back Bay, Boston was primarily a city of poor and working class families living in rundown tenements.

while working only part time. Now, the board, still under the leadership of Ralph Lowell, had the resources to appoint the Foundation’s first full-time director. Anthony Lukas, in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Common Ground, described the man Lowell handpicked for the job—a former Harvard University dean of admissions named Wilbur J. Bender. “It was a shrewd choice,” he wrote, “for Bill Bender was in perfect tune with those strenuous times, having done more than anyone to transform Harvard from a ‘finishing school for the St. Grottlesex crowd’ to a more representative institution.” LEADERSHIP PROFILE

Wilbur “Bill” Bender was raised in Indiana in a devout Mennonite family. He graduated from Harvard College and later did graduate work at Harvard in history. After teaching history at Phillips Andover Academy and serving in the Navy during World War II, he returned to Harvard in 1945 to take on a series of administrative positions, eventually becoming dean of admissions. He is credited with encouraging Harvard to attract a more diverse student body and to be more responsive to its students. During his tenure as director of the Boston Foundation from 1961 to 1969, he transformed the Foundation’s grant making to encourage innovation and position its work in the forefront of metropolitan reform in the 1960s.

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The election of native son John F. Kennedy gave Boston in the early 1960s a sense of youthful optimism.

Bender was a highly intelligent and dynamic man full of enthusiasm for change. Early in his tenure, he announced that the Boston Foundation would cease the annual operating support it had given more than one hundred agencies for many years, including the city’s hospitals, settlement houses and welfare agencies. He went on to announce to the community that, “Anyone with a new idea is welcome to come in and talk, and will be listened to no

Mayor John Collins, shown with Boston school children, worked with the Boston Foundation and civic and business leaders to create ABCD.

matter how cockeyed the ideas may seem.” Bender believed philanthropists should do “more than react to what comes to us.” They should be “catalysts, with a questing, questioning, non-doctrinaire openness to community.” He wanted the Foundation to support programs that would give the people of Boston’s neighborhoods, especially those struggling with poverty, a voice in the “New Boston” plans that were developed under Mayor John Hynes and were being carried out by Mayor John Collins. In his first annual report, he wrote, “Boston is a community on the move, a community beginning to face up to the necessities and opportunities of urban living in the last half of the twentieth century and deeply concerned about its race and poverty problems. A better city is being slowly and fumblingly built.”

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Top: The great community organizer Melnea Cass (at microphone) was appointed as the only female charter member of ABCD, which became Boston’s official anti-poverty program. Right: Melnea Cass (center).

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“Human Renewal” in Boston

U

rban renewal, which had been stoked by the availability of massive

federal funding in the 1950s to clear “slums” in metropolitan areas, was ongoing in the 1960s. But the blunders made in Boston’s West End were sparking resistance and a growing sense of activism on the part of residents in low-income neighborhoods. One of the first things Bender did was work with Mayor Collins and civic and business leaders to launch a forerunner to what would become Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD). It would be his first bold step toward supporting Boston’s homegrown movement of “human renewal,” the social counterpart to urban renewal. It also positioned Boston to be eligible for the federal funding that was starting to flow into cities across the country in the

In 1964, President Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act authorizing the formation of local Community Action Agencies as part of the War on Poverty.

1960s. With grants of close to $400,000 between 1961 and 1963, the Foundation took the local lead in funding the new organization. ABCD created “Area Planning Action Councils” in Boston’s neighborhoods to help poor people organize to help themselves. Bender wrote in an annual report, “ABCD is a uniquely promising venture, one of the most important developments in the area of social planning and action in recent years.” One year after the Boston Foundation made its initial investment in ABCD, the Ford Foundation began to provide major financial support to the organization through its Great Cities program. And in 1964, when Congress passed the Economic Opportunity Act, as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society campaign and the War on Poverty, Boston designated ABCD as its official anti-poverty agency. In addition to organizing against urban renewal, residents also began organizing for their civil rights. The civil rights movement had gained steam nationally in 1960, when four black college students in Greensboro, North Carolina staged a sit-in at a segregated lunch counter, sparking a national campaign by black and white college students, including those from Boston’s

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campuses. The movement reached its peak in 1963, when President Kennedy announced his intention to submit dramatic new civil rights legislation—and 2,000 Bostonians traveled to join the historic March on Washington and hear Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The African-American population of Boston had grown by sixty percent from 1950 to 1960 because of the continuing migration of blacks from the rural South—and now made up more than nine percent of the population. Early in his tenure, Bender supported a number of civil rights organizations, especially those organizing

The NAACP’s Ruth Batson testified before the Boston School Committee to protest discrimination in the city’s schools.

to improve public education. The Foundation continued to fund the Boston branches of the Urban League and the NAACP, as well as organizations like the St. Mark Social Center, which was critical to planning a series of “School Stay Outs” to protest discrimination in the Boston Public Schools.

While Bill Bender suspended annual support of many large institutions in the 1960s, he continued to fund programs for inner-city children.

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Operation Exodus, a pioneering Boston program funded by the Foundation, bused African-American children from overcrowded schools in Roxbury and Dorchester to underenrolled schools in other neighborhoods.

In 1965, parents and activists in Boston’s African-American community founded Operation Exodus as a way to get their children into better, less crowded schools. Taking advantage of a policy that allowed students to attend any under-enrolled school in Boston, in its first year Operation Exodus bused 400 African-American students from Roxbury and Dorchester to the predominantly white Faneuil School in the Back Bay. The Boston Foundation stood squarely behind African-American families during this period by funding Operation Exodus and providing a pool of $200,000 to support a dozen other programs addressing issues of educational equity, job training and economic opportunity. In 1965, Boston’s African-American community was energized by a historic visit from Martin Luther King Jr. On April 22, he addressed a packed joint session of the Massachusetts Legislature, saying that segregation must end in the South and in the North. The next day, he led a march from Roxbury’s

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DONOR PROFILE

Edith M. Ashley was born in Boston in 1872 and attended the Boston Public Schools. When her parents died, in 1912, she inherited a considerable fortune and moved to an apartment at the Copley Plaza Hotel, a popular residence for wealthy single people of the era. She lived there almost forty years, making regular trips to New York City to manage her investments, and died in 1960 at the age of 88, leaving her books to the Boston Athenaeum, her clothes to Morgan Memorial and a large percentage of her fortune to the Boston Foundation for aiding people with disabilities. Since then, her fund has provided millions of dollars to nonprofits serving those with disabilities.

DONOR PROFILE

John McCann was born in 1899 in Bangor, Maine, and became a trial lawyer with the Boston law firm that defended Alger Hiss in the late 1940s. In addition to his work, he had a flair for living well and owned the historic Locke-Ober restaurant, which was patronized by John F. Kennedy and other well-connected politicians, civic leaders and businessmen. He survived the dramatic if not deadly sinking of the Andrea Doria off Nantucket in 1956. Before his death in 1964, he created a designated fund through a charitable trust at the Boston Foundation, providing generous support of institutions for children with special needs.

DONOR PROFILE

George H. Eastman was born in 1881 in Boston and graduated from English High School and Harvard College. A successful insurance broker, he was a bachelor, who made a fortune through wise investments, but never left his home in Dorchester. According to his friends, his life was lived entirely in the realm of the intellect and he enjoyed stimulating conversation more than anything. When he died in 1970 at the age of 89, he left a major bequest to the Permanent Fund for Boston, writing, “after I’m gone I must rely on the good judgment of others for any good I might be able to do.”

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At the rally Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Boston must become a testing ground for the ideal of freedom.”

Carter Playground to Boston Common to protest “the sufferings endured by the citizens of Boston,” as the march’s flyer proclaimed. He spoke to a diverse crowd of 22,000—ranging from African-American parents of children in Boston’s schools to white college students and suburbanites. “I was educated here and it is one of the cities which I call home,” King said to the crowd. “I come here not to condemn, but to encourage. I would be dishonest to say Boston is Birmingham or that Massachusetts is Mississippi. But it would be irresponsible of me to deny the crippling poverty and injustice that exist in some sections of this community. The vision of the New Boston must extend into the heart of Roxbury. Boston must become a testing ground for the ideal of freedom.” Based on the kinds of grants the Boston Foundation was making in the 1960s, it is clear that Bender agreed with King’s analysis. King’s visit also drew attention to the poor living conditions in Boston’s South End, Dorchester, Roxbury and other neighborhoods. One Boston Globe photo showed King with a mother whose child had been bitten by a rat in her apartment in a poorly maintained Roxbury building. Her story touched on another of the major themes of the Boston Foundation’s work during the 1960s and beyond—safe and affordable housing.

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Walking the Trail with Housing Pioneers

P

erhaps the most unusual of the capital grants this year,” wrote Bender

in his 1964 annual report, “was the $75,000 given to United South End Settlements for South End Community Development, a pioneering experiment to find out whether substandard housing can be rehabilitated to rent at prices which low-income families can afford. If this experiment succeeds it will make a major contribution to the solution of one of the most important and difficult problems faced by American cities today.” South End Community Development was launched by Bob Whittlesey, considered by many to be the father of community-based housing Bob Whittlesey, considered the father of communitybased housing development in Boston, said that the Boston Foundation “has walked the trail with us side-by-side since the very beginning.”

development in Boston. “I remember the award letter from Bill Bender,” said Whittlesey, which read, ‘In making this grant, the Foundation realizes

Townhouses were renovated by South End Community Development.

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that there is no assurance that the goal of the project will be achieved. Nevertheless, we believe that the problem with which this new enterprise is concerned is of vital importance to the future of Boston.’ “It is not an exaggeration to say that the Boston Foundation has walked the trail with us side-by-side since the very beginning,” said Whittlesey. “It has played a tremendously significant role in the nonprofit housing development phenomenon in the city.” Many of the community development corporations spawned in the early 1960s were riddled with problems, but the organization funded by Bender and led with skill by Whittlesey was strong Villa Victoria was built through the tenacity of Puerto Rican activists in the South End who gained the early support of the Boston Foundation.

and has evolved into The Community Builders, Inc., today one of the largest nonprofit development corporations in the United States. “No nos mudaremos de la Parcela 19.” “We will not be moved from Parcel 19” was the rallying cry for another seminal moment in the history of affordable housing and for the power of community organizing in Boston. It was a cry the Boston Foundation heard. In 1965, Congress had passed the Immigration and Naturalization Act, which led to a dramatic increase of immigrants from Central and South America, the Caribbean and Asia. Political refugees also began arriving in Boston from Cuba and economic refugees from Puerto Rico. By 1968, a group of predominantly Puerto Rican residents had developed a strong sense of community in Boston’s South End and was engaged in a standoff with Mayor Collins and the Boston Redevelopment Authority, which, under the direction of Edward Logue, had already leveled blocks of housing in one section of the South End. The activists were determined not to let their neighborhood go the way of Boston’s West End, which had become a national symbol for the worst kind of urban renewal. Forming Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, the activists received a start-up grant from the Boston Foundation. The result, after years of development, was a 435-unit affordable housing community in the South End called Villa Victoria.

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Investing in a World-Class City

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n addition to its investments in low-income neighborhoods, the Foundation

also made sizable grants to restore the facilities of local hospitals and universities, which had suffered years of disinvestment, and made grants for other projects to help restore Boston to its former glory. In the 1960s, Boston’s waterfront was in a desperate state of decay. “It was all parking lots back

(Left) In the 1960s, Boston’s waterfront was in a desperate state of decay.

then,” said David B. Stone, a local businessman and civic leader. “Pedestrian traffic along the waterfront? There was none.” Stone and a small group of other business leaders envisioned something quite different: a waterfront that would be home to a world-class aquarium and where new businesses would replace crumbling piers. But no one would listen.

The Foundation’s $100,000 grant to the New England Aquarium provided a muchneeded endorsement.

“Few people in the city would support a major new public amenity in that part of town,” explained Stone. “When we broke ground in 1965, fundraising was still limping along. Then the Boston Foundation stepped in. The Foundation’s $100,000 grant that year was huge, both in terms of our cash flow and the endorsement it provided for the whole enterprise.” When the Aquarium opened four years later, it was an immediate success. Finally, there was pedestrian traffic along Boston’s waterfront again. Also in 1965, construction was completed on the new Prudential Center, located in the Back Bay. The “New Boston” that had been envisioned by Mayor John Hynes was beginning to take shape.

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Bender made a grant toward the cost of a feasibility study for the “restoration…of the handsome old buildings in the Faneuil Hall Market area.”

The “New Boston” envisioned by Mayor John Hynes and being realized by Mayor John Collins was taking shape.

By 1968, Boston even had a new, albeit controversial, City Hall, designed to reflect a contemporary spirit of civic revival. While Mayor Collins briefly worked in an unfinished office there, it was the newly elected Mayor Kevin White who truly inhabited the new building. The view from his office, however, was a distressing one—he looked directly down on the dilapidated Faneuil Hall Market area. That same year, Bender made a grant of $5,000 toward the cost of a feasibility study for the “restoration and future use of the handsome old buildings in the Faneuil Hall Market area.” It was a small, but timely show of confidence in the project. Almost no one thought the development of Faneuil Hall Marketplace was, in fact, feasible, but when it finally came to pass, it became a model for revitalizing marketplaces in other cities across America.

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A Year of Violence and Loss

Boston City Council member Tom Atkins, James Brown and Mayor Kevin White discuss the concert that helped to keep Boston calm after the assassination of Martin Luther King.

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ne of the first issues Mayor White had to confront in the early

months of his administration was Boston’s response to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4 of 1968—a tragedy that profoundly affected the city’s African Americans and many others. As in other major metropolitan areas, there was some rioting that night in inner-city African-American neighborhoods. The Mayor considered canceling a James Brown concert that was scheduled for the Boston Garden the next evening, but an African-American member of the Boston City Council named Tom Atkins urged him not only to go forward with it, but to ask WGBH, which now was a thriving public television station—to broadcast it. Mayor White appealed to the powerful group of businessmen known as the Vault for the additional funds Brown wanted for the televised concert. The Vault was still under the control of Ralph Lowell, who finally had retired from the Boston Foundation’s board but continued to wield influence in the city. The money was procured and the plans went forward. That night, the James Brown concert helped to make Boston one of the few major American cities that didn’t erupt in violence. In Bill Bender’s introduction to the Foundation’s 1968 annual report, he wrote

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eloquently about his own reaction to the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy as well as the rioting in America’s inner-cities and the movement against the war in Vietnam, which was reaching its peak that year—calling it “the most hated and divisive war in our history.” “The American genius for pragmatic adaptation to change is clearly at work,” he wrote, “but inevitably it works slowly and in diverse and unpredictable ways, not The 1960s saw numerous civil rights marches in Boston and other cities.

in one clear, straight, right line. Meanwhile the young are impatient, the poor are impatient, the mood of violence exists, and we are in a race between the ability of a lumbering, perplexed, imperfect society to move fast enough—and catastrophe. Perhaps what we most need, therefore, beyond commitment and action, is stamina, the ability to stick it out through turbulent times with patience, courage, tolerance and reasonable faith in the basic decency and good will of most Americans, black and white, and in our ability to build a better society by rational, peaceful means.” It was the last annual report letter Bender would write. He died in 1969, having led the Boston Foundation through one of the most tumultuous decades in American history. During the course of his tenure, he had seen the civil rights movement and the women’s liberation movement capture the imagination of the country. He had witnessed anti-war demonstrations at Boston’s renowned universities and watched as college students and other young adults engaged in a countercultural revolt against much that America had stood for in the past. He had watched with rapt attention as the first human being walked on the moon. From his earliest days, he had aligned the Boston Foundation squarely with those who were discriminated against by the larger society and supported efforts to expand opportunity to everyone—in his words “to build a better society.”

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The Crucible of Public Education

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f there was a single area in which the Boston Foundation concentrated its

hopes for a better society, it was in achieving equal opportunity for poor and minority youth through education. Following the sudden death of Bill Bender in 1969, while he was still director of the Foundation, the board appointed another dean of admissions at Harvard, Fred Glimp, to succeed him. One of the first issues Glimp would confront foreshadowed a major theme of his entire tenure: the crucible of public education in Boston. In 1970, Boston educator and social activist Hubie Jones published a shocking report developed by graduate students from Tufts University, which showed that there were some 10,000 children not being educated by the Boston Public Schools because of disabilities or lack of English language skills. “We had the proof,” said Jones, “but no way to sustain our efforts so that we could do something about it. So we went to the Boston Foundation and asked for help.” Glimp immediately made a grant of $25,000 to launch a new organization that would keep the issue in front of education and civic leaders.

LEADERSHIP PROFILE

Fred Glimp was born in Idaho and attended Harvard College after serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II. Following a year as a Fulbright Scholar in economics, he returned to attend graduate school at Harvard, but decided instead to apply for an administrative position. Bill Bender, who was Harvard’s dean of admissions, hired him to help him recruit a more diverse student body. When Bender left to work at the Foundation, Glimp took his place. In 1969, Glimp again succeeded Bender, this time as director of the Boston Foundation. He served with great compassion during the turbulent times of the desegregation of Boston’s public schools and worked to strengthen Greater Boston’s entire nonprofit sector.

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The organization, which continues to fight on behalf of all children today, is called Massachusetts Advocates for Children. Within two years, Massachusetts would enact Chapter 766, the state’s groundbreaking law guaranteeing education for children with disabilities—which served as the model for federal legislation. Fast on the heels of that legislation came the Massachusetts Transitional Bilingual Education Act, the first such law in the nation. Another defining issue that shaped the Boston Foundation’s approach to public education in the 1970s—and tested the will of the entire community—was racial segregation in the Boston Public Schools. Despite the Supreme Court’s Brown versus the Board of Education ruling of 1954, which made segregated schools unconstitutional, African-American activists in Boston maintained that the Boston School Committee was engaging in de facto Boston educator and social activist Hubie Jones asked the Foundation to fund a sustained effort to educate 10,000 children who were excluded from Boston’s public schools because of diagnosed disabilities or lack of English language skills.

segregation. The issue came to a head when school officials, who opposed desegregation, faced a lawsuit filed by black parents, a constituency the Foundation had supported for years. The families were outraged by the second-rate education their children were receiving in neighborhood schools that were inferior in almost every way to those serving primarily white children. The lawsuit proceeded through the courts and on June 21, 1974, Federal District Judge W. Arthur Garrity issued the first of his desegregation orders. He had concluded that the Boston School Committee and the school department “had knowingly carried out a systemic program of segregation affecting all of the city’s students, teachers and school facilities, and had intentionally brought about or maintained a dual school system.” Judge Garrity ordered the School Committee to implement a system-wide busing plan to desegregate the schools. When the buses began to roll, they were heavily guarded by motorcycle police—and a number of the journeys sparked dissent and even violence on the part of neighborhood residents.

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Judge W. Arthur Garrity ordered the Boston School Department to implement a system-wide busing plan to desegregate the schools.

The Massachusetts Transitional Bilingual Education Act was the first such law in the nation.

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The Boston Foundation did everything it could to alleviate the tensions sparked by Garrity’s order. Feverish efforts were made to channel funding quickly to School Volunteers for Boston to enlist and train new volunteers, as well as programs that coordinated and informed bus monitors on how to cope with the violence. And the Foundation supported Freedom House for the neutral ground it provided for black and white young people and adults to engage in dialogue during a time of unprecedented stress. The Foundation saw an opportunity to make an even larger contribution when Judge Garrity also forced the creation of partnerships between the Boston Public Schools and area colleges and businesses. In support, the Foundation funded the Tri-Lateral Task Force for Quality Education, which for the first time brought businesses together with the city’s school department in an open dialogue about how to support the schools. Funding also went to the Lincoln Filene Center at Tufts University to coordinate the first partnerships between universities and Boston’s public schools. And the Foundation provided start-up funds for the Citywide Educational Coalition, a grassroots organization created by, among others, Hubie Jones, to press for education reform. Taken together, all of these efforts helped to establish a new framework through which the community would become involved in the public schools in a way it never had before.

The Boston Foundation supported a number of programs designed to relieve tensions during the court-ordered desegregation of the Boston Public Schools, including those that trained bus monitors.

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Testing Dreams of a Better Future

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nother issue that captured the Foundation’s attention in the

1970s was equal access to affordable health care. As early as the 1960s, the Foundation was supporting a Harvard Medical School “Hospital Planning Committee” to study ways to bring hospitals together “in new and contiguous facilities.” It also granted more than $200,000 to “Affiliated Hospitals Group” to plan a joint venture of three eminent teaching hospitals to form what would become Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Glimp added to those investments

Boston’s neighborhood health centers were described as a “success story unmatched by that of any other health care system in the country.”

by making grants totaling $250,000 toward the actual construction costs of the new hospital. To increase access to affordable health care in Boston’s neighborhoods, between 1970 and 1974 the Foundation made start-up grants to new community health centers in Allston-Brighton, Chelsea, the North End, Revere, Uphams Corner and other Boston area neighborhoods. At the time,

Health centers in Allston-Brighton, Chelsea, the North End, Revere, Uphams Corner and other Boston neighborhoods received seed funding from the Foundation.

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The Foundation provided regular support to the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts in the 1970s and Elma Lewis became the first AfricanAmerican member of its board in 1974.

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Glimp wrote, “There is a good deal of uncertainty about the viability and effectiveness of these methods of providing primary care.” But the Foundation went ahead anyway, and made dozens of grants to health centers across the city. The bet paid off. A comprehensive research study by Boston’s Trustees of Health and Hospitals in the early 1980s described Boston’s neighborhood health centers as “a success story unmatched by that of any other health care system in the country.” While the Boston Foundation was making these innovative grants, it was also acutely aware of the pulls and tugs on its resources. For the first time, thanks to bequests from generous donors, it had more than $3 million to distribute annually, allowing Glimp to hire two assistant directors, including Anna Faith Jones, the Foundation’s first African-American staff member and first woman to work at the Foundation. During the 1970s, more and more American women were benefiting from the liberating effects of the women’s movement and working at jobs once reserved for men. Like Bill Bender, Fred Glimp had been committed to diversity while at Harvard and at the Boston Foundation. But Glimp’s tenure also took place in the midst of a time of national malaise, as the Watergate scandal slowly but surely brought down the administration of President Richard M. Nixon. It was also a decade that experienced the worst economy since the Great Depression—a time of slow economic growth, alarming inflation and high unemployment, with manufacturing jobs disappearing before the very eyes of those who had held them for decades. The pages of his annual reports were filled with writing about the anguish The Boston Center for the Arts, the BosTix kiosk and American Repertory Theater were among the arts organizations to receive seed funding in the early 1970s.

of choice—between strengthening the best of what exists or backing forays into the untried and untested. “We need our very best efforts and some luck,” he wrote, “in developing good judgment in assessing the proposals of those who, in Terry Sanford’s phrase, want ‘to test the dreams of a better future against the hard facts of reality.’ But it would be a distinct loss if we were to cease or diminish seriously our investment in possibilities yet unrealized.” Despite his soul searching, Glimp embraced Bill Bender’s emphasis on seeding innovation—especially in the arts. In his first year, he invested in the fledgling Boston Center for the Arts in the South End. Later in the decade, he awarded seed funding to ArtsBoston’s first “BosTix” kiosk to sell half-price tickets on the day of dance, music and theater performances. A large grant also went to help bring Robert Brustein’s innovative theater company from New Haven to Cambridge, forming American Repertory Theater.

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Long-Held Expectations Shattered

B

y the time Fred Glimp left the Boston Foundation in 1979 to return to

Harvard as a vice president, he had added another assistant director to the staff and the first associate director, Geno Ballotti, who would succeed him as director. Ballotti had a background as an academic and literary editor, but more central to his new role was that he had grown up poor in an orphanage just outside of Chicago. He brought with him a hard-won empathy for those living in poverty. By this time, Boston’s population was becoming more and more diverse. African Americans made up more than twenty-two percent of the population and Latinos more than six percent. There was also a growing Southeast Asian population made up of refugees from the wars in Vietnam and Cambodia. On a national level, the country was in the throes of President Reagan’s “revolution,” which involved cutting taxes and reducing the size and scope of federal programs. Early in Ballotti’s tenure, Boston’s nonprofit community not only faced massive Reagan-era cuts in government programs for the poor,

LEADERSHIP PROFILE

Geno Ballotti grew up in an orphanage outside of Chicago and worked his way through college, earning a master’s degree in American studies at the University of Wyoming. He served as managing editor of Daedalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in Cambridge, for fifteen years. When he was made director of the Boston Foundation in 1979, he viewed the Reagan-era massive cuts in government funding as an opportunity to mobilize the intellectual, economic and voluntary resources of the community to rise to the challenge of meeting the needs of the nonprofit sector and the people it served. He played a major role in the cleanup of Boston Harbor and oversaw historic contributions to the Boston Public Schools.

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including $20 billion in cuts to the federal food stamp and welfare programs, but Massachusetts’ own Proposition 2 ½, which limited property tax increases and tightened resources even further. In his 1981 annual report, the year Ronald Reagan took office, Ballotti wrote: “Responsiveness, effectiveness, commitment to community service— Early in Geno Ballotti’s tenure, Boston’s nonprofit community reeled from cuts to government programs for the poor.

these have long been the hallmarks of Greater Boston’s charitable organizations and institutions. Now radical new national and state economic policies have shattered the long-held expectations of program administrators, service providers and consumers, and threaten the certainty that for many years made these qualities possible. Boston’s nonprofit sector finds that it cannot look to the future with assurance.” The good news was that the Boston Foundation was growing thanks to generous bequests from a number of Bostonians and a new law passed in 1978 that allowed community foundations to hold “current use” funds. In 1980, it had the resources to make close to $5.5 million in grants—twice as much as a decade earlier. Ballotti would use these increased resources in a variety of ingenious ways. One of the first things he did was make a series of large challenge grants to ensure that Boston’s struggling cultural institutions could continue to offer free or inexpensive activities that, as he wrote, “have made Boston unique among American cities.” The Foundation made the first in a series of $100,000 matching grants from its Permanent Fund for Boston to establish special designated funds that would yield annual support on a permanent basis. Most designated funds held

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DONOR PROFILE

Johanna Pauline Schenkl was born in 1861, the daughter of a German immigrant who operated a Boston munitions factory during the Civil War. When she died in 1921, she left her entire estate to create an institution on Deaconess Street in Boston for “elderly gentlewomen,” called the Frederika Home, in honor of her mother. When the institution closed in 1979, the board decided that its entire assets of nearly $2 million should come to the Boston Foundation for a special fund to benefit the elderly. Since then, the Frederika Home Fund has generated millions of dollars for a diverse range of programs for the elderly throughout Greater Boston.

DONOR PROFILE

Harriett Bartlett was one of America’s pioneers in the field of social work. Born in 1897, she received her bachelor’s degree from Vassar in 1918 and went on to study at the University of Chicago. Her deep connection with Boston took root in 1921 when she began serving as a caseworker for Massachusetts General Hospital. Later, she taught at Simmons College and continued to write and publish during her retirement. When she died in 1987 at the age of 90, she left a major bequest to the Permanent Fund for Boston. Her gift was virtually unrestricted, except that she wanted it to be used for “community building.”

DONOR PROFILE

Edward Hyde Cox, (on left), was born in 1914 and graduated from Harvard College in 1938. With an inheritance from his grandfather’s estate, he moved to a large house named “Crow Island” in Manchester, Massachusetts in 1945 and lived there for the rest of his life. He was a lover of art, a friend and admirer of Andrew Wyeth and a close friend of Robert Frost (on right in photo), eventually editing books of Frost’s poetry. When he died in 1998, at the age of 84, the proceeds from his estate, which included Crow Island, went to a number of charities, including a major bequest to the Boston Foundation Arts Fund for “programs involving classical music, painting and sculpture.”

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by the Foundation were established by donors to support specific institutions or areas of community life. In this case, the Foundation took the initiative. Over the course of the 1980s, ten such funds were established for most of the city’s primary cultural organizations, from the Boston Symphony Orchestra to the Boston Ballet to the city’s Museum of Science. Since those funds were established, millions of dollars in reliable annual grants have flowed to these organizations.

In the 1980s, the Foundation started special designated funds named in honor of great organizational leaders to provide annual support for Boston’s cultural organizations. Clockwise from left: Arthur Fiedler, E. Virginia Williams, Jorge Hernández and Brad Washburn.

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Sparking Innovation

G

eno Ballotti believed that philanthropists

should be active “agents of change” and he personally played that role in several large-scale initiatives, including an ingenious approach to strengthening community development corporations (CDCs), not only in Boston, but across the country. During the 1970s, Boston’s CDC movement had evolved from the early efforts of the 1960s into one of the most thriving affordable housing and economic development movements in the country. In 1980, Mike Sviridoff, the president of a new organization called Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), which was funded by the Ford Foundation to build the capacity of CDCs in America’s cities, met with Geno Ballotti to discuss the possibilities in Boston. Ballotti listened and then suggested something quite brilliant. If LISC would bring $500,000 in Ford Foundation funding to establish a local branch of the organization in Boston, the Boston Foundation would match those funds, dollar for dollar.

With the support of Geno Ballotti, the first local branch of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) was started in Boston to build the capacity of community development corporations.

“When Mike Sviridoff came to the Boston Foundation, this was not the plan,” said Bob Wadsworth, who joined the Foundation in 1981 as another assistant director. “When he left, it had been decided.” The idea went on to shape LISC’s entire approach to its work going forward. Another ambitious initiative tackled by Ballotti during his tenure was the cleanup of Boston Harbor. Despite federal legislation in the 1970s to end the nation’s pollution of its air and water, in 1980 Boston Harbor was still one of the most contaminated urban harbors in the country, primarily because of

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Geno Ballotti played a major role in the cleanup of Boston Harbor by supporting Conservation Law Foundation and helping to launch Save the Harbor/Save the Bay.

grossly inadequate sewage treatment facilities that were regularly spewing filth into the water. In response, Boston’s Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) brought suit against the state and the federal government in 1983 to stop the pollution. That year, and again in 1985, the Boston Foundation funded CLF to help with the legal struggle. “The litigation was very expensive,” said CLF’s director Douglas Foy. “It was also extremely controversial. Nevertheless, the Boston Foundation helped fund our work from the start.” The result of the suits was a court order for the short-term cleanup of the Harbor and an Environmental Protection Agency plan for long-term waste disposal that would discontinue pollution of the Harbor’s waters. In order to monitor the process and ensure its success, the next year the Boston Foundation would support the launching of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay with the goal of restoring and preserving Boston Harbor and the Massachusetts Bay by 2000— a goal that ultimately was reached. Education reform was another area Ballotti determined the Boston Foundation should play the role of change agent. In the early 1980s, there was growing concern about the state of America’s public schools. The undercurrents

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The Foundation was central to launching and funding the Boston Compact and the Boston Plan for Excellence.

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came to a head when President Ronald Reagan was presented with a report called A Nation at Risk, which seethed with moral indignation about the state of public education. It included lines that would be quoted for years to come. “The educational foundations of our society,” it read, “are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a nation and as a people.” The report added a sense of urgency to education reform in Boston and helped pave the way for the Boston Foundation to support the creation of two innovations that would advance education reform and benefit the Boston Public Schools for years to come. The first was a landmark agreement called the Boston Compact. In 1982, with the Foundation’s encouragement and $100,000 in funding, the city’s business leaders joined together with the Mayor of Boston, the Boston Public Schools and local higher education institutions to sign the Boston Compact, with the goal of improving student achievement in the city’s public schools. The flagship Boston Foundation staff member Wendy Puriefoy and board member Paul Ylvisaker suggested to Bank of Boston that it make a major gift to the Boston Public Schools.

agreement formalized a partnership among business, industry, higher education, community groups and others—all committed to strengthening Boston’s schools. The next year, two representatives of the Boston Foundation—assistant director Wendy Puriefoy and board member Paul Ylvisaker—met with the leadership of Bank of Boston, knowing that the bank intended to make a major gift to the city to celebrate its 200th birthday. The purpose was to suggest establishing a major endowment for public education. As a result, in 1984, the bank presented a $1.5 million endowment for the city’s schools. It was the largest contribution of its kind ever made to an American public school system. When the gift was announced, the Foundation simultaneously made a $100,000 contribution to the new fund. The result was the Boston Plan for Excellence, which has been a source of innovation for the Boston Public Schools ever since.

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A Move Toward Diversity

Dwight L. Allison Jr., who chaired the Foundation’s board, encouraged Anna Faith Jones to become the first African-American woman to direct a major American community foundation.

I

n November of 1984, the nonprofit community of Boston was shocked and

saddened by the news that Geno Ballotti had died suddenly of a heart attack. He had accomplished a great deal, but his tenure had been brief—he had led the Foundation for just five years. During that time, he not only had a profound impact on the city, but on the Foundation itself, expanding its staff to nine professionals and almost doubling its assets, which now stood at $118 million. The financial growth was partially due to bequests to the Permanent Fund for Boston, but also an increase in funds for “current use.” Now individuals, families and companies could establish donor advised funds and conduct their philanthropy through the Foundation. The Foundation was positioned to have a more powerful impact than ever on Greater Boston. After reeling from the news of Ballotti’s death and considering carefully who should succeed him, Dwight L. Allison Jr., the thoughtful and visionary chair of the Foundation’s board, saw an opportunity. He encouraged Anna Faith Jones, who had been an assistant director at the Foundation for ten years—and served as associate director under Ballotti— to take the position and become the first African-American woman in the country to lead a major community foundation. “Anna’s appointment was a very significant event,” said Allison. “Her sensitivities as a woman of color added new dimensions to

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LEADERSHIP PROFILE

Anna Faith Jones grew up in Washington, D.C., one of five children of Mordecai Johnson, when he was President of Howard University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music history from Wellesley College and a master’s in musicology from Columbia University. She began work at the Boston Foundation as an assistant director, then served as associate director under Geno Ballotti. In 1985, she became the first African-American woman to lead a major community foundation. During her tenure, she launched major poverty initiatives, increased the Foundation’s assets and grant making and led the effort to make the Foundation an independent corporation with the capacity to invest its own funds and elect its own board.

the Foundation’s efforts to define its responsibilities.” Those efforts would concentrate, almost immediately, on issues of race and of poverty. The beginning of Jones’ tenure coincided with the Foundation’s 70th Anniversary, which was marked by the first public meeting ever held by the Foundation. During her remarks, Jones announced the Foundation’s first special initiative—the Poverty Impact Program. At the time, the Foundation’s staff was acutely aware that, because of massive federal and state cuts in programs to assist poor and low-income people, not only was poverty increasing in Boston, but those affected were the most vulnerable members of the community—children. In all, twenty-one percent of Bostonians lived below the poverty line and more than thirty percent of those were children. The program was designed to stimulate efforts to address the problem, but also to look beyond the statistics to the actual people—an approach Jones and her staff would take to all of their work. After examining the underlying causes of poverty in Boston, the Foundation allocated $10 million over five (Right) Maternal and infant health care was one focus of the Poverty Impact Program.

years. It focused on four primary areas of interest: maternal and infant health care; teenage pregnancy (which was growing at alarming rates in the 1980s); employment and training; and urban parks and public spaces. Jones knew the parks investment would be viewed as unusual, but it was designed to emphasize the importance of “place” in people’s lives. In the wake of Proposition 2 ½, cuts in municipal spending had left Boston’s Parks and Recreation Department with funding equivalent to its budget in 1912. The Foundation gave early seed funding to the Boston GreenSpace Alliance in 1985, which played a key role in the revitalization of Boston’s parks and empowered a permanent constituency for Boston’s green spaces. Two years later, a report

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by the Carol R. Goldberg Seminars, The Greening of Boston: An Action Agenda, helped to bring about a doubling of the city’s maintenance budget and a quadrupling of its capital budget for parks. It led to what a Boston Globe editorial eventually called a dramatic “parks turnaround.” The Goldberg Seminars had been established at the Boston Foundation in 1983 by donor Carol R. Goldberg, who was closely associated with Tufts University and wanted to “build a bridge between the strengths of the Boston Foundation donor Carol R. Goldberg worked with the Foundation and Tufts University on a special seminar series named for her in the early 1980s, publishing a landmark study called The Greening of Boston.

University and the needs of the community.” The first seminar focused on the vulnerability of low-income and poor people to gaps in the health care system, with some 55 health leaders meeting over two years with the guidance of urban experts from Tufts. The result was a report called Boston at Risk, which detailed the struggles of the working poor in securing health insurance.

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A Matter of Justice for All

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nspired in part by Boston at Risk, the

The Foundation gave seed funding to the AIDS Action Consortium, led by Larry Kessler, far right.

Foundation proceeded to make a major investment in promoting health equity by seed funding Health Care for All in 1985. Working with community-based coalitions and organizations, the nonprofit was designed to focus on those most at risk of falling through the cracks of the health care system. Eventually, it would go on to play a central role in rallying support for passage of the Commonwealth’s pioneering health care reform law. The Foundation was also deeply involved in responding to a health crisis that activist Larry Kessler called “the problem no one wanted to deal with.” It started by seed funding AIDS Action Consortium, led by Kessler, who had been tracking the epidemic for five years. By 1988, there were more than one thousand people being devastated by the epidemic and the Foundation was supporting a wide range of efforts focused on those most affected—gay men, intravenous drug users, poor women and children. Two other disenfranchised groups attracted the fervent support of the Boston Foundation in the 1980s— the homeless and the city’s growing immigrant and refugee population. As early as 1981, the Foundation had helped to launch The Greater Boston Food Bank and other programs responding to hunger, while keeping its eye on the growing problem of homelessness. In 1983, there were

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The Boston Foundation helped to raise more than a million dollars for the Fund for the Homeless.

hundreds of homeless people wandering the streets of Massachusetts and only three state-supported shelters to accommodate them. Governor Michael Dukakis put out a call for help, and the Boston Foundation responded by establishing the Fund for the Homeless. With Kitty Dukakis as its chair, the fund raised more than a million dollars. By 1989, in the wake of billions of dollars in cuts for low-income housing in America—and the deinstitutionalization of people from the state’s mental health care system—Massachusetts’ homeless population had swelled to close to 10,000 and there were more than 100 shelters trying to keep up. The Foundation not only supported shelters directly, but funded advocacy organizations determined

The Boston Foundation was “There at the Beginning” for the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition.

to prevent more homelessness and develop permanent solutions. The challenges facing Boston’s immigrants and refugees demanded an even more ambitious and nuanced response. In 1986, the federal government passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which marked the most dramatic change in immigrant regulations in thirty years. The Act legalized some immigrants who had been in the country for at least four years, but it also criminalized the act of knowingly hiring undocumented employees.

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The next year, the Foundation helped to launch the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) to see that the law was implemented fairly in the state. At an early press conference organized by MIRA, Mayor Raymond Flynn said, “Are we still the proud nation willing to hang the lantern of liberty next to the Golden Door? Or are we to retreat to the status of narrow-minded people proclaiming, ‘No Irish need apply’ or ‘no Asians, no Caribbeans, no Hispanics?’ It’s a matter of justice for all.” The Boston Foundation had been finding Ray Flynn to be a fair-minded and forward-thinking mayor and worked closely (From left) Candidates Mel King and Ray Flynn debated substantive neighborhood issues during the 1983 mayoral campaign.

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with him on a number of issues, including immigration and homelessness. Mayor Flynn had taken office in 1984 after running against the great community organizer Mel King in a campaign that focused on many of the

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social justice issues the Boston Foundation cared about deeply. In his inaugural speech in 1985, Flynn took a firm stand against discrimination, saying, “The full weight of city government will be brought down on anyone who denies equal access to any home, any school, any street, any park or any neighborhood.” That same year, the Boston School Committee hired Laval Wilson, the first African American to serve as school superintendent. By this time, so many white families had left the system, often moving to the suburbs, that more than half of the city’s students were children of color. The majority of students were black, at more than 28,000, but a hefty percentage were also Latino, at close to 11,000. Boston’s Latino community grew by more than seventy percent during the 1980s and the Foundation responded by Mutual assistance agencies, such as Centro Presente, received support to help immigrants and refugees from Central America and other parts of the world.

funding groups that served immigrants from South America and Puerto Rico, as well as those helping Central American refugees fleeing brutal wars in Guatemala and El Salvador. It also provided support to a network of small mutual assistance agencies organized by immigrants and refugees from Cambodia, Vietnam, Haiti, Ethiopia, Ireland and other countries.

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The Foundation funded community organizing on behalf of residents and workers in Chinatown and other neighborhoods as well as women, people with disabilities and the elderly.

Newcomers in the 1980s were experiencing the same kind of discrimination that immigrants had always suffered in Boston. For instance, Asians as diverse as Boston-born Chinese residents and new refugees from the killing fields of Cambodia told the Foundation they were experiencing racism on the streets of the city that lumped them into one group. In addition to new mutual assistance agencies, some of the groups working with Asians were well established, such as the Chinese Progressive Association, which had been founded in the 1970s to organize the residents and workers of Chinatown. The Foundation did not shy away from supporting community organizing. In fact, it launched a special initiative to help fledgling groups fight for the rights of women, children, the elderly and residents of neighborhoods struggling with poverty. For Jones, it was a natural extension of the Poverty Impact Program. “Our support of community organizing acknowledges the fact that you cannot effectively address poverty without increasing the ability of poor and low-income people to help themselves,� she explained.

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Pover ty in the Midst of Plenty

B

y the late 1980s, things were finally looking up for Boston. The

A survey supported by the Foundation revealed that poverty was primarily a phenomenon of women, single parents, people of color and people with disabilities.

renaissance of the waterfront, downtown and financial districts that Mayor White had envisioned in the 1970s was actually coming to pass. The city was also benefiting from the “Massachusetts Miracle,� a period of economic vitality that was helping the state bounce back from many decades of decline.

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Growth in the high-tech industry and the financial and service sectors was beginning to create new wealth for those lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time with the right skills. The rising tide was not lifting all boats, however. In 1989, the Boston Foundation released a report called In the Midst of Plenty, a survey from the University of Massachusetts, which described the hurdles poor children and families faced in the city. It found that while overall poverty decreased during the economic boom of the early 1980s, substantial distress still existed—and it was primarily a phenomenon of women, single parents, people of color and people with disabilities. A special 75th Anniversary annual meeting held at Old South Meeting House included a panel discussion about visions for Boston in the 1990s moderated by Julian Bond.

Some 71,500 people in Boston were identified as poor in the survey, and three out of four of them were women. The vast majority of those living in poverty, seventy-five percent, were employed or had recently worked. Almost everyone surveyed said they wanted to work. The survey also revealed the fact that Latinos were experiencing the highest rates of poverty. Almost half of Boston’s Latinos, forty-six percent, were poor, compared to twenty-three percent of blacks and just eight percent of whites. A particularly stark finding was that three-quarters of Latino children were living in poverty. Armed with this fresh information, the Boston Foundation launched the Boston Persistent Poverty Project in the early 1990s, designed to take on poverty in new and enlightened ways. By this time, President Bill Clinton had taken office and America was entering one of its longest periods of economic expansion. Jones was determined that it was the right time to make a dent in poverty. In keeping with the Foundation’s emphasis on the people behind the statistics, the Boston Persistent Poverty Project formed a Strategy Development Group of neighborhood people to guide it, many of them grassroots leaders who were closely in touch with the populations the Foundation cared about most. The group decided to begin its work by embarking on a series of unprecedented roundtables in all of Boston’s low-income neighborhoods, among every racial and ethnic group and with special populations, such as single mothers. The Project followed its period of listening by announcing a series of “Principles” in a publication called To Make Our City Whole. The principles emphasized incorporating those directly affected by policies at the heart of any dialogue about the future and building on the “strengths and assets” of the people and places of Boston. As Jones put it: “Community-building strategies take an investment approach to people and neighborhoods. They call for a

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shift from thinking of the poor as clients to investing in the strengths and assets of the poor as citizens.” One of the greatest examples of the Foundation’s “community-building strategies” was its response to the epidemic of youth violence in the early 1990s. In 1992, youth violence related to gangs and drugs was rending the fabric of Boston’s low-income neighborhoods. There were 152 homicides that year alone. When the violence spilled into a funeral service at a Mattapan church, clergy and lay leaders decided to mobilize and form the Boston TenPoint Coalition to address the crisis. The Boston Foundation gave the group start-up funds from a special pool of funding it created to respond to youth violence. Other grants went to groups such as the Dorchester Youth Collaborative that were working directly with young people to increase the peace. In the spring of 1997, President Bill Clinton traveled to Boston to announce The Foundation funded most of the nonprofits that contributed to the “Boston Miracle.”

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a national community safety and anti-crime initiative based on Boston’s model, which by then was called the “Boston Miracle.” Following years of

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In the late 1990s the Foundation worked closely with Mayor Thomas M. Menino on a major afterschool initiative.

soaring crime statistics and violent murders, more than one and a half years had passed since Boston had lost a young person to violence on its streets— and President Clinton came to praise Boston and to learn. He emphasized that the key to the “Boston Miracle” was partnership—among city government, under Mayor Thomas M. Menino, the Boston Police Department and a myriad of community-based groups. By this time, Mayor Flynn had left office to accept a position as Ambassador to the Vatican and Thomas M. Menino had been elected Mayor. The closest alliance the Foundation would have with Mayor Menino was in the wake of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act, which established a common curriculum and statewide tests for students. Boston’s Mayor now had the power not only to appoint the School Committee, but also the Superintendent, and Mayor Menino had chosen a nationally known educator named Thomas W. Payzant, who became a familiar face around the Foundation. In order to help meet the demands of the new MCAS test and to continue its tradition of supporting public education, the Foundation was one of the original partners of Mayor Menino’s Boston 2:00-to-6:00 After-School Initiative, helping to raise more than $34 million for the program.

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A Legacy of Strength and Influence

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hile Anna Faith Jones strengthened the Boston

Foundation’s relationship with people living in Boston’s inner-city neighborhoods, she also worked to transform the organization from within. She developed the capacity of the Foundation’s fundraising by hiring experienced development staff—for the first time reaching out to cultivate new donors to the Permanent Fund for Boston, the Foundation’s endowment, and adding to the number of donor advised funds. In 1987, she spearheaded the move to transform the Foundation into a corporation that could hold funds in its own name. At the same time, her title was changed from director to President and Chief Executive Officer. Then, in 1994, Jones hired the Foundation’s first controller and moved all financial activities in-house. Those functions had been handled by Boston Safe Deposit and Trust since it had served as the founding trustee bank in

Frieda Garcia, president of United South End Settlements, became chair of the Foundation’s board in 1993.

1915—although in 1982, four additional Boston banks had been added as trustees, offering those with donor advised funds more varied investment options. At this point, the Foundation’s board was made up of twelve members, five appointed by each of the trustee banks and seven judicially appointed. Jones was frustrated that she often had to meet with appointing judges to encourage them to provide the Foundation with leadership that reflected the diversity of Boston. The Foundation had made some progress in that area by electing Frieda Garcia, a highly regarded nonprofit leader who had been born in the Dominican Republic, as its chair. Now the Foundation was led by two women of color. In 1996, Jones hired the Foundation’s first chief financial officer and, with the help of Robert Glassman, a donor and board member, led the move to make a number of other changes to the organization’s structure. The result

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was that all five trustee banks decided to break the original trust, giving the The Boston Foundation Arts Fund was created to support arts and cultural programming for people of all ages.

Foundation the power to make grants not only from interest but from principal— and doubling the total amount of grants that could be made every year. The move also freed the Foundation to create a more diverse and larger board, which would be self-appointing. In the late 1990s, Jones turned her attention to an area of community life that was close to her heart. The Foundation had supported the arts enthusiastically while she was at its helm, ranging from programs that broadened access to large cultural institutions to those created by small grassroots arts groups. In 1997, it launched an ambitious campaign to build Boston’s only $20 million permanent fund to support the arts in Greater Boston.

(From left) Anna Faith Jones, Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Foundation chair Helen Spaulding at the announcement of the Boston Foundation Arts Fund, Boston’s first permanent endowment for the arts.

With an initial commitment of $1.2 million from The Wallace Foundation, the Foundation’s board agreed to match every contribution made. In keeping with the deep connection Jones had nurtured between the Boston Foundation and community members since her very earliest days as director—especially those struggling with poverty—toward the end of her tenure she explained why the arts were so important to her. “The arts capture the uniqueness of our own experience,” she said, “and simultaneously help us to discover our fundamental connectedness to others.” Because of her deep devotion to the arts, when Jones announced her retirement in 2000, a special fund was established in her honor within the larger Boston Foundation Arts Fund. Under the 15-year leadership of Anna Faith Jones, the Boston Foundation had increased its assets and grant making six-fold, partially due to the changes in the Foundation’s structure, but also because of her emphasis on attracting a new generation of donors. Jones’ legacy was a Boston Foundation that was much larger and more influential that ever—an organization that was deeply respected by the community—and led by a diverse board of engaged civic leaders, all poised to expand the organization’s mission far beyond grant making and into completely uncharted waters.

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Changing the Game 2001–2015

The Boston 105 Renaissance

An Expansion 109 of Mission

There at the 115 Beginning Understanding 116 Boston

A Focus on 120 Human Capital

The Good City 123

Thinking Globally 126 and Acting Locally A Perfect Storm 130 for Boston’s Vulnerable Residents The First Education 133 Report Card Time for 137 Education Reform

A Refinement 140 of Strategy

Strengthening 143 Philanthropy for the Future

Boston Responds as One

146

Taking Stock 148

Graduates of Bunker Hill Community College celebrate following their graduation ceremony. Community college reform would become a major focus of the Boston Foundation’s work. 102

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The Boston Renaissance

A

s early as 1998, the New York Times ran an article titled “Boston

leading a renewal of old Northern cities.” The article began, “Boston, of course, would never do anything so uncouth as to boom.” Then it proceeded to describe the multi-billion-dollar “Big Dig,” a thriving new Seaport District and an unmistakably big-city skyline—as examples of Boston doing exactly that. By 2001, local economist Barry Bluestone was referring to a Boston “renaissance.” Over the previous three decades, the flight out of the city to the suburbs finally had subsided and the population was stabilizing and increasingly diverse. Now, fewer than half of the residents were white and almost one-quarter were black or African-American. Another fourteen percent were Latino. Economically, the city had evolved from a fading mill-based hub to an energized powerhouse for high technology, financial services, health care and higher education—and was driving the entire New England economy. Boston was better positioned than almost any other city to take advantage of the fact that America was poised to play a key role in a new century that clearly would be dominated by technological innovation and communication. The city’s power landscape had changed dramatically too. Mayor Thomas M. Menino, dubbed the “urban mechanic,” had been ensconced in City Hall

(Far left) By the turn of the 21st century, Boston was leading a renewal of old Northern cities, with its big city skyline, revitalized waterfront and the Big Dig. (Left) Census figures from 2000 showed that people of color now made up a majority of Boston’s population.

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Close to twenty percent of Boston’s residents were still living in poverty with much higher rates for people of color.

since 1993 and was popular with the people of Boston’s neighborhoods and with the business community. But there was no “Vault,” which—under the leadership of the Boston Foundation’s former chair, Ralph Lowell—had helped to shape the “New Boston.” The group’s strength had been derived from the fact that its members were the top-echelon leaders of Boston’s banks and major

(Right) Under Mayor Thomas M. Menino, blight was virtually eliminated from the city, but many Bostonians were still struggling.

firms. Now, many of those companies had been purchased or merged with others—and some of their headquarters were no longer based in Boston. What had not changed was that there were still too many people living in poverty in Boston, just as there had been over the entire span of the Boston Foundation’s history. And most of those who were struggling were not in a position to take advantage of Boston’s remarkable rebirth. The term “digital divide” was being used to explain the fact that one-third of Massachusetts’ working people were completely unprepared for jobs in what was being called “the new economy.”

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The term “digital divide” was being used to explain the fact that one-third of Massachusetts’ working people were unprepared for jobs in the new economy.

Since the drastic cuts to social programs in the 1980s, the federal government had never returned to the kinds of investments that were made during President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration, when resources had poured into cities for social experiments designed to alleviate poverty and empower those experiencing it. The large initiatives launched by the Boston Foundation in the 1980s and 1990s, such as the Poverty Impact Program and the Boston Persistent Poverty Project, had sparked innovation, drawn attention to infant mortality and teen pregnancy—and brought about a revitalization of the city’s parks. A tremendous amount of information had been gathered about the people behind the statistics, but the statistics themselves had not changed. Overall, close to twenty percent of Boston’s residents were still living in poverty, with much higher rates for people of color.

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An Expansion of Mission

W

hen Anna Faith Jones announced her retirement after fifteen years

as President and CEO, the Boston Foundation’s board saw an opportunity. Under Jones, the Foundation had gained the respect of the entire nonprofit community, developed relationships with a new generation of donors, many of whom were actively involved in their philanthropy through donor advised funds. The assets, now totaling more than $650 million, were being managed by the Foundation itself through a pool of investment management products called the Fund for the 21st Century. The staff had expanded along with the Foundation’s resources and now numbered some forty people, including program, development and donor services professionals. To accommodate the growing staff, the Foundation had moved back and forth between two high rises in downtown Boston at Sixty State Street and One Boston Place. Now it was poised to occupy a new home

A new generation of highly involved donors were working with the Foundation.

in the Back Bay. Thanks to the restructuring of the Foundation under Jones, the board was now diverse and self-appointing, with members from the nonprofit, business and philanthropic communities taking an active role in guiding the organization. Under the leadership of philanthropist Helen Spaulding, the board considered the kind of person who should succeed Jones. In addition to thinking about how best to advance the Foundation’s philanthropic mission, conversations focused on the leadership vacuum in the city. The goal was to find someone who would not only continue to make the kinds of strategic grants that were a hallmark of the organization and build even closer relationships with donors, but also expand the mission to take on a proactive civic leadership role. As board members conducted a search for the Foundation’s next leader, one person emerged who had everything they were looking for. In 2001, Paul S. Grogan was at Harvard University, where he was Vice President for Government, Community and Public Affairs. He had cut his teeth on the

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LEADERSHIP PROFILE

Paul S. Grogan was born near Chicago in Illinois in 1950. He went on to graduate with honors from Williams College and receive a Masters in Administration from Harvard Graduate School of Education. His passion for cities was sparked when he served in the administrations of Boston Mayors Kevin H. White and Raymond L. Flynn, eventually leading neighborhood revitalization efforts in the early 1980s. From 1986 through 1998, he was President and CEO of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the nation’s largest community development intermediary. He returned to the Boston area to serve as Vice President for Government, Community and Public Affairs at Harvard University and is co-author of the book Comeback Cities. Since 2001, his leadership has transformed the Boston Foundation into a major civic leader.

public sector as one of the young talents nurtured by Mayor Kevin White in the 1970s and later worked with Mayor Ray Flynn. Before Harvard, he had served as President and CEO of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the nation’s largest community development intermediary, which, under his leadership had raised and invested more than $3 billion of private capital across the country and contributed to a string of policy successes. With an unabashed passion for cities, especially Boston, Grogan had recently co-authored the book Comeback Cities: A Blueprint for Urban Neighborhood Revival, which captured the tenor of the times. “Read this and regain your hope,” had written journalist Tom Brokaw. Boston was one of the cities profiled in the book as an example of an urban phoenix rising from the ashes. Grogan’s new role coincided with the Foundation’s move to new offices, which were designed to accommodate the expanding staff, but also had large public meeting rooms that could hold hundreds of people. The space on the tenth floor of 75 Arlington Street was light and modern—a welcoming place for staff and community members alike. Members of the Foundation’s staff were still in the process of unpacking and settling into their new offices when the planes began hitting the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11 of 2001. Office administrators had to hastily consult the building’s blueprints to identify fire exits in case the attacks were the beginning of something more expansive. As the immediacy of the horrific attacks began to fade and Americans were trying to adjust to an unsettling “new normal,” it became clear that one of the ramifications of what was now called “9/11” would be another era of economic

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Paul Grogan’s book, Comeback Cities, written with Tony Proscio, praised the community development movement in Boston as one of the best in the country.

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Boston Foundation staff members had just moved in to new offices in Boston’s Back Bay when they learned of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

uncertainty as a deep recession began to take hold. The federal government launched into a new round of de-funding programs that were critical to families living in poverty. It became clear that the new, expanded mission the Foundation envisioned would have to be forged during tight times. One of the first things Grogan did was engage in numerous conversations with other Bostonians about the region, their city and its community foundation. He asked one simple question: “What do you want this city to be and how can the Boston Foundation help get us there?” The answers confirmed the new direction—Boston needed to fill a yawning gap in its civic leadership. The next thing he did was look at the organizational capacity of the Foundation to determine how to restructure it to play a more active civic leadership role. The Foundation had a public relations director, but the previous mandate had been to maintain a low profile. Now, it needed a new department that would integrate public relations with public affairs functions in order to drive the process of change the board wanted. About this time, Mary Jo Meisner was considering her next move after twenty-five years in the newspaper business and a series of high profile

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Reverend Ray Hammond became chair of the Foundation’s board in 2002 and praised the Foundation’s decision to play a larger policymaking role.

positions, including city editor of the Washington Post, managing editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and editor and vice chair of Community Newspaper Company of Boston. The latter role had given her a strong grasp of the city and its suburbs. She became the Foundation’s new Vice President for Communications, Community Relations and Public Affairs with primary responsibility for expanding the Foundation’s civic leadership role, including raising the visibility of its work in the community. The first annual report under Grogan struck a somber tone. He called 2002 a “grim year,” adding, “As I write this, the economy is in deep recession, government at all levels is cutting programs crucial to the needy, and we may be on the verge of war in the Mideast. Not to mention the deep, continuing unease in every American’s heart in the wake of the unprecedented terrorism of September 11.” But, while still mourning the victims of September 11, 2001, Grogan added that Boston was also looking to the future as the construction of the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge drew to a close. Reverend Ray Hammond, the new chair of the Foundation’s board, encouraged Bostonians to remain resilient. “In a time of diminished resources and a slowing economy,” Hammond wrote, “the temptation is to retreat, to retrench—to hunker down and wait for the winds of ill economic fortune to blow over. I am convinced that is the wrong reaction. For that reason, I am grateful to be a part of an organization committed to playing a larger and more effective role in Greater Boston. If we ever needed the Boston Foundation, it is now.”

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After experiencing a concert by the Chicago Children’s Choir, Hubie Jones received “there at the beginning” funding from the Foundation to launch the Boston Children’s Chorus.

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There at the Beginning

K

nowing that Boston’s

nonprofit sector was one of the most innovative in the country, Grogan also decided to mine the Foundation’s records for stories about entrepreneurial leaders who had created successful nonprofits with the help of early seed funding from the Foundation. As he studied the grants that had been made over the decades, he was astonished by the number of times the Foundation had been “there at the beginning” for so many of Boston’s iconic Year Up, founded by Gerald Chertavian to train inner city young people in jobs in the high tech and finance fields, received seed funding from the Foundation.

institutions—from WGBH in the 1950s to the New England Aquarium in the 1960s to American Repertory Theater in the 1970s. During Anna Faith Jones’ tenure, the trend had continued, with early support for trailblazing ideas like the youth services program City Year. Members of the Foundation’s program department were continuing to make start-up grants for nonprofits such as Year Up, the pioneering job-training program for inner-city young people founded by Gerald Chertavian, who eventually would join the Foundation’s board. The Foundation also supported Hubie Jones’ dream of launching a Boston children’s chorus. Most of the grants had been made quietly and with little fanfare, but they were a key element in building a powerful case for donations to the Permanent Fund for Boston, the Foundation’s endowment. It was that fund which had made all of the venture-capital-like grants possible.

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Understanding Boston

T

he Boston Foundation began putting the elements into

place that would establish it as a civic leader. The underpinning for this new role would be data. “When everyone is looking at the same information,” Grogan suggested, “the conversation is more productive and ideological boundaries are less pronounced.” He quoted Michael Bloomberg, then Mayor of New York City, who once said, “In God we trust. Everyone else: bring data.” Part of Meisner’s new job was to elevate the Boston Indicators Project and give it a more prominent and visible role in the Foundation’s internal and external affairs. The Project had been launched in the 1990s as one of the first indicators projects in the country. Working in close partnership with the City of Boston and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, it had engaged hundreds of experts in identifying

(Above) The first public forums were held at the John F. Kennedy Library and focused on the aftermath of 9/11, introduced by Caroline Kennedy. (Right) The Boston Indicators Project focused on access to fresh data about the city and region.

the ten most important categories of community life and then gathered a wealth of data about all of them from universities and government. Under the direction of Charlotte Kahn, it released its first report in 2000 at a Boston College Citizen Seminar, the same seminar series that Mayor John Hynes had chosen to announce his plans for the “New Boston” in the 1950s. Called The Wisdom of Our Choices, it was released at the height of the Boston renaissance, a time when the booming economy had fueled growth and reduced unemployment. September 11, 2001 had changed all of that. The Foundation began teeing up the next report by partnering with another Boston College Citizen Seminar focusing on Greater Boston in the new “global era,” with keynote speaker Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, a best selling book at the time. The project was now looking systemically at the various sectors, with the idea of synthesizing the data and mapping trends.

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As a step toward expanding its role as a convener, in 2002 the Foundation mounted two series of public forums. One, held at the John F. Kennedy Library, focused on the events of September 11, 2001 and included a televised “town meeting.” Another, called “Beyond the Big Dig,” addressed the evolving shape of the city as a result of the new land being created by the depression of the Central Artery—culminating in a Town Forum televised live from Faneuil Hall and moderated by Governor Michael Dukakis. By 2002, the Foundation was also commissioning original reports from Boston’s think tanks and academic research institutions. It called its series of published research and convenings Understanding Boston. One of the earliest reports was the 2002 Greater Boston Housing Report Card, researched and written by economist Barry Bluestone and his team at Northeastern University. Released at one of the Foundation’s first forums, it presented key data on the housing crisis in Boston. Its conclusion was that, while attempts had been made to build more affordable housing, they had not been ambitious enough. Housing prices were rising in lower-income communities and rents were well above what tenants earning the median income could afford. The next year, the Foundation’s program staff, which had been providing major funding to community development corporations and the organizations serving them, decided to expand its support to include a $2.5 million Program Related Investment (PRI), an approach that involves lending as well as grant (Top) Mayor Thomas M. Menino spoke at a Boston College Citizen Seminar, which teed up the next Boston Indicators Project Report. (Above) The Foundation engaged diverse voices in conversation and dialogue as part of its Understanding Boston series.

making. The investment was in a foundation and corporate partnership called Home Funders, which was designed to increase the supply of housing for low-income families. The housing crisis also spawned another element of the Foundation’s civic leadership strategy. In 2003, the Commonwealth Housing Task Force was formed by the Foundation, made up of representatives from business, community development, academia and the public sector. Its goal was to seek ways to spur housing production in order to recruit and retain the workforce the state needed

The “Beyond the Big Dig” forums focused on the future shape of the city and culminated in a televised Town Meeting moderated by Governor Michael Dukakis.

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to remain competitive in the growing knowledge economy. The group drafted and helped to pass the Smart Growth Housing Act (Chapter 40R), to provide financial incentives to towns and cities that develop dense housing near transportation nodes and town centers.

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In 2002, the Foundation’s program staff began funding innovative charter schools, which have autonomy over staffing, curriculum and the length of the school day.

Education was another area that the Foundation was deeply committed to, as it had been since the 1980s. The Foundation’s donor services department was working closely with donors who wanted to support public education—the most popular area of focus for donors with advised funds. Grants were also made to support charter schools, which are public schools that have autonomy in areas such as staffing, curriculum and the length of the school day. Funding also went to pilot schools, which are part of the Boston Public Schools, but have more autonomy than traditional schools. One of the earliest reports published by the Foundation also focused on education. It was called Mapping School Choice, and reflected all of the options available to One of the earliest Understanding Boston reports, the first Greater Boston Housing Report Card, drew attention to a crisis in affordable housing.

students and families in the state. “We see education as an equity issue,” said Grogan at the forum, putting a stake in the ground for an issue that eventually would take main stage for the Foundation. To support all of the reports, forums and task forces, a special Civic Leadership Fund was created.

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A Focus on Human Capital

B

y 2002, the reverberations of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001

were being keenly felt by everyone in Boston. From a suddenly ailing economy to job losses in many sectors, a plummeting stock market and a statewide fiscal crisis, there were few areas of community life that had not been affected—and, in some cases, transformed. That year, the Foundation’s Boston Indicators Project released a report

called Creativity and Innovation: A Bridge to the Future, at a Boston College Citizen Seminar featuring Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web. The 2002 Boston Indicators Project Report drew attention to the exodus of talented young people from Boston.

One of the findings set the tone for the report: Because of the high cost of living in Boston, the city was beginning to lose young adults, while other cities were attracting them. It emphasized the importance of addressing the exodus of talented young people from Boston, who were key to maintaining a competitive edge in the innovation economy. The project also launched a state-of-the-art website, an important distribution mechanism for an initiative that was built on democratizing data and bringing it to a wide audience. The Boston Globe called it

DONOR PROFILE

David R. Pokross, shown with his wife, Muriel Pokross, was born in 1906 in Fall River among people of modest means who worked in the mills. He went on to attend Harvard Law School but, in spite of his magna cum laude record, encountered a seemingly impenetrable wall of anti-Semitism when he applied to law firms. Finally, he was hired by Peabody & Brown—now Nixon Peabody— where eventually he became a partner. He was a philanthropist as soon as he had ten dollars to give away and volunteered countless hours to nonprofit organizations, including the Boston Foundation. He died in 2003, but a special fund established in his honor to benefit children in need, will live on forever.

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(Right and opposite) In addition to retaining highly-educated young people, Boston’s homegrown talent was becoming more important than ever to the city’s future.

“an intoxicating information-age enticement.” The site was especially helpful to small, neighborhood-based nonprofits that could not afford to conduct their own research, but wanted to analyze the needs of their constituents and build a case for support with the information available to them on the site. With an eye on the city’s all-important competitive edge, the Foundation turned its attention to the desperate need employers had for educated, trained workers—and the corresponding need that unemployed and underemployed Bostonians had for education and training. In 1998, the federal Workforce Investment Act had radically shifted and reduced funding for workforce development. The Foundation wanted to design an initiative that was not dependent on the mercurial flow of public funding— and would have a lifespan of more than a few years. It convened a group of potential funders to plan an ambitious workforce development initiative. The initiative that emerged in 2003 was called SkillWorks, a $15 million partnership among local and national funders and government. Originally envisioned as a five-year effort, it was designed to strengthen the workforce development system in Massachusetts. It created workforce partnerships to train people in industry-specific programs. SkillWorks also advocated for enlightened public policy—which eventually would garner more than $50 million in new, federal workforce funding for the state. More than a decade later, the initiative is still training Boston’s young adults and has become a model for cities across the country.

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The Good City

B

oston has not experienced many

summers as heady as the one in 2004, when the city was set to serve as the site of the Democratic National Convention and the Red Sox seemed to be heading toward breaking the “Curse of the Bambino.” The superstitious curse had been blamed for locking the team out of winning the World Series since 1918 after Babe Ruth was traded to the New York Yankees. It had straddled almost the entire length of the Boston Foundation’s history. The 2001 recession had eased by this time and the Iraq War, although providing a distressing national backdrop, wasn’t having the kind of direct impact that World War I, World War II or even the Vietnam War had on the people of Boston.

Boston Unbound called on the city to meet its destiny by becoming a world-leading “citistate.”

In the spring of 2004, the Foundation released a report, researched and written by metropolitan experts Neal Peirce and Curtis Johnson, that called on Boston to meet its destiny by becoming a world-leading “citistate.” Titled Boston Unbound, the report maintained that Greater Boston had all of the qualifications to become one of the most rewarding places on earth to live, work, learn and prosper. “Complacency” was identified as the greatest threat to Boston’s potential—along with the challenge of meeting the need for human capital. It also called for a new kind of civic leadership involving “boundary crossers,” who were willing to work across sectors to fulfill Boston’s potential. Fast on the heels of this optimistic report, the Democratic Convention, destined to nominate Boston’s own Senator John Kerry, drew national attention

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to the city for one of the first times since the soul-wrenching era of school desegregation in the 1970s. Concerned that too many of the delegates would be coming to the city with an outdated sense of its current character, the Boston Foundation decided to do something very unusual for a community foundation. It worked closely with the revered Boston-based Beacon Press, a nonprofit book publisher that was known for publishing The Pentagon Papers as well as numerous other books, to produce a book of essays by Boston area writers called The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston. With the convention going off without a hitch and the Red Sox going on to win the World Series in the fall of that year, Boston experienced a sense The Foundation partnered with Beacon Press to publish The Good City, with essays by Boston area writers—from Michael Patrick MacDonald to Anita Diamant—and distributed it to every delegate attending the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.

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of renewed pride in its history and a profound sense of optimism about the future. That year’s annual meeting, which had become a regular fixture attracting hundreds of diverse constituents to the Foundation’s offices, was celebratory, although board chair Rev. Ray Hammond challenged those gathered, by saying, “Together, you and I are in the process of breaking some other curses. The curse of ethnic and racial diversity that becomes the occasion for confrontation instead of celebration. The curse of a region rich in resources, but too often poor in partnership and collaboration. The curse of decision-making and

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Culture is Our Common Wealth presented an action agenda for significant investment in Massachusetts’ cultural facilities, resulting in tens of millions of dollars in state funding. One recipient was the Institute of Contemporary Art.

policy-making tables with too few seats around them, and almost no diversity. Together, we are committed to making those curses a part of our past history instead of our bright future.” That same year, another task force convened by the Boston Foundation that focused on culture in Massachusetts unveiled an Understanding Boston report titled Culture is Our Common Wealth, an action agenda that called for a significant investment in the state’s cultural facilities and other improvements to strengthen the sector. An earlier Understanding Boston report had revealed that the cultural sector was severely hampered by the low level of support it received from corporate, foundation and government sources. This new report illustrated the importance of a deeper investment on the part of the state. Indeed, the report called for a sustained state investment in a capital grants program that would address the crumbling infrastructure of more than 100 cultural institutions. Within two years, state legislation would pass to create a Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund that eventually would pump tens of millions of dollars into the state’s cultural institutions.

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Thinking Globally and Acting Locally

I

n 2005, the Boston Foundation celebrated its 90th Anniversary with special

grants to nonprofits that it had supported in its very first round of grant making back in 1917, such as the Boys and Girls Clubs, the YMCA and YWCA, Perkins School and North Bennet Street School. As always, it took the opportunity to make a statement about the work ahead. “Boston has made itself into one of the most vital and attractive cities in America, if not the world,” said Grogan at the annual meeting. “That’s the good news. The bad news is that these advantages are occurring in the midst of continuing disparities for far too many children and families—disparities in education, in income and in health care. Masked by our achievements is the

A new focus was placed on the need for strengthening K-12 education.

heartbreaking tragedy of generations of children who are not being prepared to succeed. And today, more than ever, our future prosperity depends on preparing our young people for success.” His remarks would foreshadow a full-court press the Foundation would launch to improve K-12 public education.

DONOR PROFILE

A. Page Browne was born in 1932 in Boston and attended schools in Concord, but left the state to go to Yale University. He went on to work in the international department of a New York bank and traveled extensively. Inspired by the poverty and suffering he saw abroad, he returned to Concord and became a tutor for learning disabled children. For many years, he owned the Apple Tree Farm in Concord, which gave him a deep sense of appreciation for the natural world. When he died in 2005, he left a major bequest to the Permanent Fund for Boston in honor of his parents to “provide for the needs of the poorest of the poor in Greater Boston.”

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In 2006, the Foundation gave major funding to the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy to plan a series of parks and open spaces made possible by the Big Dig.

That same year, the Boston Indicators Project released what it called a “regional wake-up call.” Its report, Thinking Globally/Acting Locally, identified competitiveness issues that were facing the region and warned that technological and demographic changes were accelerating, with profound implications for the future. It also included a civic agenda with plans to track progress through the year 2030, Boston’s 400th anniversary. The Foundation, in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and Sovereign Bank of New England, launched a series of convenings, called the John LaWare Leadership Forum, which brought together business and civic leaders to respond to the region’s competiveness challenges and opportunities. Just a few months before the Indicators report was released, the giant tsunami that hit South and Southeastern Asia in December of 2004 had sparked a massive American philanthropic response, with some $1.5 billion in cash donations. A total of $220,000 had been given by Boston Foundation donors alone. The Foundation turned to Paul Schervish, Director of Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, to develop an Understanding Boston report

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titled After the Tsunami: Philanthropy in the Global Era. The conversation at the forum focused on the shrinking globe and the interdependence of all people. Schervish would go on to produce several other reports for the Foundation, including one debunking the myth that the people of Massachusetts were less philanthropic than those in other parts of the country. At the same time, the Foundation was also shining a light on individual rights at home with a three-year, $1.5 million community safety initiative aimed at improving the Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) system in the state. The Foundation’s close partner in the work was the nonprofit Crime and Justice Institute. While the CORI system was seen as an important aid to The Boston Paradox: Lots of Health Care, Not Enough Health report revealed that preventable chronic diseases, such as diabetes and asthma, were reaching epidemic proportions.

law enforcement, it was also proving to be a serious barrier to the successful re-entry of incarcerated individuals into the community, and, as such, not only a workforce issue, but a human rights issue. Eventually, the initiative’s efforts, which included four reports and five forums, contributed to positive changes in the state’s CORI system. Next, the Foundation turned its attention to the health arena. From the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 to the polio epidemic of the 1950s to the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s, the Foundation had always made the health of the people of Greater Boston a top priority. In 2007, it drew attention to a range of preventable diseases that were having profound consequences for the people of Boston. The findings of an Understanding Boston report, called The Boston Paradox: Lots of Health Care, Not Enough Health, prepared by the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation (NEHI), were shocking to many. Despite Boston’s status

DONOR PROFILE

Brother Thomas was born in Nova Scotia in 1927 and became a Benedictine monk and world-renowned ceramic artist whose work elevated the status of ceramics from craft to fine art. As his life was drawing to a close, he decided that he wanted the future sale of his work to support other artists, in the way that his friends had helped him. As a result, the Brother Thomas Fund was established as part of the Permanent Fund for Boston’s Arts Fund in 2007. His fund supports Brother Thomas Fellowships, which are awarded to a diverse group of Greater Boston artists working at a high level of excellence in many disciplines—with the goal of enhancing their ability to thrive and create new work.

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as a world-class health care hub, a rising tide of preventable chronic disease was not only threatening the physical health of Greater Boston’s residents but crowding out investment in all other regional priorities because of outof-control spending on health care. The report revealed that more than fifty-five percent of Massachusetts residents were overweight—and that preventable or controllable diseases, such as diabetes and asthma, were reaching epidemic proportions. In short order, the Foundation and NEHI formed the Healthy People/ Healthy Economy Coalition with the goal of making Massachusetts a national leader in health. The initial report was followed by the launch of a series of detailed annual “report cards” on all aspects of health in the Commonwealth. The new emphasis on the importance of healthy eating and activities was also reflected in the Foundation’s grant making, with major funding going to Playworks, a program that provides healthy activities in Boston’s schools, many of which had eliminated physical education programs. In addition, grants went The Foundation provided seed funding to bring the Playworks program to Boston’s schools to boost physical education offerings.

to Mass in Motion and other programs encouraging exercise and healthy eating as well as nonprofits that were growing fresh fruits and vegetables in the city’s neighborhoods and selling them at affordable prices to families.

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A Perfect Storm for Boston’s Vulnerable Residents

B

y the spring of 2008, it was clear that Boston

was facing the most severe global financial crisis since the Great Depression. The collapse of the housing market and the subsequent subprime mortgage crisis was making international news—and wreaking havoc at home. A tidal wave of foreclosures was hitting homeowners hard, especially those in low-income neighborhoods. A number of the nonprofits supported by the Boston Foundation’s grants were working directly with homeowners to help them avoid foreclosure or, short of that, to salvage what they could of their assets. The Foundation was hearing from its grantees about the hardships that the foreclosure crisis was causing Boston’s families and began working closely with Governor Deval Patrick to ease the pain. Governor Patrick had been elected the previous year as the first African American to lead the Commonwealth. Now, in

(Above and right) The Foundation responded to the foreclosure crisis by helping to create the Neighborhood Stabilization Loan Fund.

the first of a number of collaborations, he and the Foundation stood together with housing experts, government officials and other funders to announce a major program designed to address the devastating impact of foreclosures on the state’s homeowners. The Foundation made a $2 million Program Related Investment in the Neighborhood Stabilization Loan Fund, a public-private partnership designed to purchase foreclosed properties clustered in low-income areas in seven communities across the Commonwealth, including Boston. The program was sparked by the fact that foreclosures were concentrated in specific neighborhoods that had taken decades to improve through the work of

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community development corporations and now, because of boarded-up houses and abandoned properties, were in danger of unraveling overnight. In the fall of 2008, the Greater Boston Housing Report Card delivered sobering news for both homebuyers and homeowners—some 34,437 households were paying more than half of their income for housing, leaving extremely limited resources for everything else. Paradoxically, even during what eventually would be dubbed the “Great Recession,” housing prices were remaining high enough to continue to drive away young residents and homebuyers while simultaneously prices were falling too fast, undermining the equity that so many area residents had built up over the last decade. Shortly after the report card was released, Barack Obama, who had gained national attention through his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, was elected the first African-American President of the United States. Much of his campaign had focused on improving the lives of low-income people, but the financial crisis was only making the plight of those individuals and families even more desperate. Locally, food banks and other programs designed to help the city’s poorest residents were seeing middle-class families using their pantries in images reminiscent of the bread lines of 1930s. That winter, for the first time since the Great Depression, the Foundation committed major funds to direct relief. At a special forum, called “The Coming In the winter of 2008, the Foundation held a forum called “The Coming Winter,” and committed major funds for direct relief for the first time since the Great Depression.

Winter,” the discussion centered on what experts were calling a “perfect storm” that was threatening economically-distressed households. Emergency grants were announced totaling $500,000—a combination of immediate aid and longer-term support for vulnerable households. Funding from the Permanent Fund for Boston, the Foundation’s endowment, was strengthened by generous contributions from the Foundation’s donors, as the pool of funds reached close to $1 million. Agencies receiving grants included The Greater Boston Food Bank and the Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay. All of the nonprofits represented at the forum expressed an eagerness to work together to prevent more of the state’s residents from joining the ranks of the hungry and homeless.

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The First Education Repor t Card

W

hile responding to the immediate needs

of those struggling through the Great Recession, the Foundation was simultaneously increasing its commitment to public education, which the staff and board believed held the greatest promise for pulling Bostonians out of poverty over the long term. Large grants were made to open and strengthen innovative pilot schools, which are part of the Boston Public Schools, but have autonomy over budget, staffing, curriculum and scheduling. As early as 2004, the Foundation had held a forum featuring William G. Oucchi, author of Making Schools Work, which posited that schools, like businesses, perform best under decentralized management systems in which

Carol R. Johnson succeeded Tom Payzant as Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools in 2007 and attended the first of many education forums at the Foundation.

autonomous principals control budgets, personnel and other parameters. Grogan had opened that forum by saying that, in his opinion, “the most important issue facing the city and the Commonwealth is education reform.” In November of 2007, the Foundation held another forum on pilot schools. The first person to arrive for the early morning session was Carol R. Johnson, who recently had succeeded Tom Payzant as Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools. “All of us want better schools and a portfolio of opportunities,” she said at the forum. “We are meeting the needs of some students, but we are not meeting all of the needs of all of the children in the ways we must if we are to be a really successful community.” The Boston Foundation was heartened by her words. In 2008, the Foundation’s Boston Indicators Project released Boston’s Education Pipeline: A Report Card, the first comprehensive view of the city’s system of educational opportunities and outcomes. It was, by far, the most

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detail-rich report on the Boston Public Schools and other education

In 2008, the Foundation’s Boston Indicators Project published the first comprehensive education report card for the city.

resources in the city ever published and it told a compelling story. Its major conclusion was that while Boston has one of the best urban public school systems in America— even winning the Broad Prize for the most improved urban public school district two years earlier—it still was not seeing the results needed to break the stubborn link between socioeconomic status and educational attainment. The report maintained that high educational outcomes for all children,

Getting to the Finish Line revealed grim college persistence statistics for graduates of the Boston Public Schools, leading to the creation of the “Success Boston College Completion Initiative.”

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regardless of background, was the new gold standard—not only for moral reasons, but for the long-term economic health of Boston and the region it anchors. Its conclusion was that, because of the pressing need employers had for educated workers, the talents and aspirations of each child in Boston were more precious than ever. Despite measurable progress, however, promising

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educational outcomes were remaining elusive. Key indicators for success, such as third-grade reading and the racial/ethnic achievement gap, had plateaued since 2001. It was clear that Boston had one of the best urban school systems in America, but, like all cities, it was not yet achieving the results that ultimately would break the connection between poverty and poor results. Superintendent Johnson said, “The power of this report is that it calls on all of us to do something spectacular.” Another study, published in 2008 by the Boston Private Industry Council and funded by the Foundation, called Getting to the Finish Line, found that only 35.5 percent of students who graduated from the Boston Public Schools in the class of 2000 and had enrolled in college, had earned a two-year or four-year postsecondary degree by September of 2007. In response to this grim news, Mayor Menino issued a community-wide challenge to support a new initiative that would prepare more Boston graduates to earn a college degree. In the first of several partnerships between the Boston Foundation and Mayor Menino, the Foundation committed $1 million annually for the new initiative—called Success Boston—providing StreetSafe Boston’s approach was to deploy street workers to seek out and engage young people in neighborhoods experiencing the most violence.

office space for the new effort as well as staff support. The Foundation was not only focusing on the experiences young people were having in school. It was increasingly concerned about the frightening experiences they were having on the city’s streets. The Boston Miracle was a thing of the past and too many young people were once again losing their lives to gun violence. With impetus provided by its then Vice President for Program, Robert Lewis Jr., who had grown up during the tough days of school desegregation and knew many of the youth first-hand through his volunteer work as the founder of an inner-city baseball league, the Foundation decided to take a very targeted approach. Research revealed that a significant percentage of the city’s youth homicides, assaults and gun violence was occurring in just five neighborhoods—located along the “Blue Hill Avenue Corridor,” encompassing Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan, as well as the South End. It decided to commit an unprecedented annual grant of $1 million over five years to tackle the problem. On December 4, 2008, a front-page story in The Boston Globe announced a new youth anti-violence initiative—a partnership of the Boston Foundation,

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Mayor Thomas M. Menino, the Boston Police Department and other public and private civic leaders and organizations. Called StreetSafe Boston, its main strategies were to deploy street workers to seek out and engage young people considered most at risk for committing violent offenses and provide an array of services to the youth, including job training. A number of Boston Foundation donors came on board, adding to the Foundation’s investment. That same year, the Foundation announced $750,000 for summer programs at an event at the Roxbury YMCA. It was the third year in a row The Foundation regularly supports summer programs and jobs for young people as part of its approach to neighborhood health and safety.

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that foundations and government, led by the Boston Foundation, would make a deep investment in summer programming and jobs for teens, also with an eye to reducing violence. Eventually, the program would be called “My Summer in the City” and involve not only activities for youth, but large events for entire families.

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Time for Education Reform

I

n January of 2009, the Boston Foundation

published a rigorously controlled examination of student performance in three types of schools in Boston—traditional, pilot and charter schools—prepared by a team from MIT and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Called Informing the Debate, the report, released at a full-to-capacity forum, generated intense dialogue about the results. It showed that students in charter schools were consistently outperforming their peers at traditional schools on both the middle school and high school levels. According to the study, results in math achievement for middle-school students were nothing short of remarkable. The results for pilot schools were inconclusive. The report provided the Boston Foundation with its first public setback, since it been a

A surprising report in 2009, titled Informing the Debate, showed that students in charter schools were consistently outperforming their peers at traditional schools.

strong advocate for pilot schools for seven years, supporting them with grants, advocacy and its own reputation. This was a blow to a key part of its strategy in education. The Foundation was frank about the findings and transparent about what they would mean for the strategy going forward. At the forum, Grogan made it clear that lifting the current cap on opening more charter schools would now be a priority. “It is unconscionable to hold off on extending new charters,” he said, “when so clearly these schools are succeeding. This is a time of real opportunity. Let us seize it.” Quickly, the call for action was transformed into a movement, which gained steam throughout the year, spurred in part by President Obama’s

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Race to the Top federal funding strategy for education, which was designed to spur solutions to the pernicious achievement gap between white students and students of color in America. The strategy emphasized innovation and encouraged establishing more good charter schools. Inspired in part by the potential for millions of dollars in federal funds for education, in the spring of 2009, Governor Patrick announced support for in-district charters. On the local level, Mayor Thomas M. Menino, a longtime charter school opponent, filed legislation that would allow local school districts to open new districtrun charter schools. (Above and right) The Act Relevant to the Achievement Gap was signed on Martin Luther King Day in 2010.

In October of 2009, sensing that the time was ripe for education reform, the Boston Foundation convened a consortium of Massachusetts business, civic and education leaders and parents who shared the goal of closing the state’s persistent achievement gap. The Race to the Top Coalition held press conferences at the State House, worked behind the scenes to shape the Senate and House versions of an education reform bill and then helped to develop a compromise bill that was passed by the House and Senate in January of 2010. The new legislation, An Act Relevant to the Achievement Gap, doubled the

The legislation was instrumental in winning $250 million in federal Race to the Top funding under President Barack Obama.

number of charter school seats in the state’s cities and provided superintendents with new intervention powers in underperforming districts. It also established Innovation Schools, as proposed by Governor Patrick, and Horace Mann Charter Schools, as recommended by Mayor Menino. In a letter Governor Patrick wrote to Grogan to thank him for the Foundation’s leadership, he added a handwritten postscript: “This was our finest hour.” Later that year, Massachusetts placed first in the contest for Race to the Top federal dollars, receiving $250 million in funding that would have a powerful impact on more than 685,000 students in 1,375 schools.

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A Refinement of Strategy

B

y the time the education reform legislation was signed, the Foundation

had gone through a change in board leadership, with attorney and civic leader Michael Keating taking over as board chair from Reverend Ray Hammond, who had served for eight years. That same year, the Foundation announced major changes in its approach to grant making. A year earlier, an Understanding Boston report on the nonprofit sector, called Passion and Purpose, had been released at a heavily attended forum. It was the most wide-ranging study ever conducted of the Massachusetts nonprofit sector and it showed how vitally important the sector was and how intertwined it was with every aspect of life in the Commonwealth. But the report also pointed out the challenges faced by the

(Above and right) In the fall of 2009, the Foundation announced a new framework to guide future grant making and policy work, called “Thriving People/ Vibrant Places.”

sector, which was underfunded, overstretched and vulnerable to cuts by state government. It concluded that the sector was “in real peril.” The report had been published in the midst of the Great Recession, when nonprofits were struggling even more than usual. By 2009, the economy was improving for many people and the Great Recession was officially dubbed “over.” But the report—and a series of focus groups with nonprofit leaders— had helped to galvanize new thinking on the part of the Foundation’s board and staff. For many years, grants had been going for specific projects that were considered innovative. Now, nonprofit organizations were saying that what they needed most was operating support that was not tied to a particular project, but would allow them to conduct their work with a sense of stability and the capacity to plan for the future. As a result, in the fall of 2009, the Foundation announced an entirely new framework, not only for its competitive grant making, but for its policy work as well. Called Thriving People/Vibrant Places, it would focus on five areas— Education, Health, Jobs, Neighborhoods and Arts and Culture. Grants would be made for operating expenses. They would also be larger and a number

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of them would be multi-year commitments. Data, which was now a tool the Foundation used in all of its work, would be used to evaluate the need for the grants and their effectiveness. The Foundation also decided to focus much of its grant making on the geographic area surrounding the new Fairmount Commuter Rail Line, which for many years had bypassed the people living and working in the surrounding neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan. Already, over the previous decade, the Foundation had invested millions to help the campaign to restore service on the line and revitalize the corridor’s neighborhoods. Residents in the Fairmount Corrider were grappling with high rates of poverty, low employment and virtually every other serious impediment to success that the Foundation had been concerned about for years. The Foundation decided to focus most of its Greater Boston grant making on the neighborhoods surrounding the new Fairmount Commuter Rail Line.

In 2010, the Foundation helped to organize another partnership with a very ambitious goal. For several years, the Foundation’s staff had been meeting with the City of Boston, other major charities and area foundations about supporting a comprehensive education pipeline—spanning from early education through post-secondary achievement. The goal would be nothing less than to make Boston the premier city for upward mobility. In addition to the massive programmatic challenges of such an undertaking, the group was bucking a long-held view that Boston, as the national columnist Neal Peirce once had said, “lacked the collaborative gene.” But the leaders worked closely together for many months to hammer out

An auditorium at the Lilla G. Frederick middle school was the setting for the launch of the Boston Opportunity Agenda.

an agenda that was bold, driven by data and carried with it a deep commitment to public accountability. The Boston Opportunity Agenda was announced, with an initial collective commitment by the partners of $27 million, on June 22, 2010, at a middle school in Dorchester. The auditorium was packed with students, teachers, city officials and representatives of the nonprofits that ran the programs. It received not only local, but national attention. The launching of the Boston Opportunity Agenda and the signing of the achievement gap legislation both took place thirty-eight years after a grant from the Boston Foundation had played a key role in passing Chapter 766— the Massachusetts law which guarantees the rights of all young people with special needs to education. Now, the Foundation’s approach to education reform and other areas of community life used not only proactive grant making, but civic leadership.

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Strengthening Philanthropy for the Future

B

y the time the Boston

Foundation was marking a decade of “changing the game” by adding civic leadership and public policy to its work in the community, it was clear that donors to the Foundation approved of the new role it was playing. The Foundation’s donor services department was working closely with individuals and families who were actively involved in their philanthropy and seeking opportunities for real impact. New donors and contributions had remained high. Even in the midst of the Great Recession, annual giving totals topped $100 million. The Civic Leadership Fund was raising some $1 million annually and new donors

The Boston Opportunity Agenda is designed to make Boston the premier city for upward mobility.

were attracted to the idea of being involved in an organization that was seen as a hub for positive change. The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the major national newspaper of the philanthropic world, ran a story in June of 2011 titled “A Boston Fund Mixes Research and Advocacy with Writing Checks.” Community foundations in other parts of the country were expressing interest in following the same course. “When Paul and I attend national conferences for community foundations,” said board chair Michael Keating, “he is swamped with

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questions about how the Boston Foundation went about becoming Board chair Michael Keating attended national conferences and found great interest on the part of community foundations across the country in the Boston Foundation’s civic leadership model.

a civic leader in Boston. There’s tremendous interest everywhere.” In 2011, the Foundation decided to enhance the services it could offer to its donors by merging with The Philanthropic Initiative, which had been a pioneer in the field of philanthropic consulting for two decades. It was the first merger of a community foundation with another philanthropic entity that offered expertise in designing, executing and evaluating philanthropic programs for donors, families, foundations and

The Giving Common is an innovative, web-based resource that promotes personal philanthropy in Massachusetts, by making it easy for people to make donations to nonprofits.

corporations—not just in Boston, but globally. That same year, the Foundation formally launched a web-based resource called the Giving Common. For the first time, people could view and analyze missions, programs, impact and financial information about nonprofits all on one website—and immediately target their donations to the organizations of their choice. It was a boon both for donors and nonprofits because the detailed organizational profiles on the site were quickly accepted by a number of other foundations for their application process, meaning that nonprofits would not have to write new proposals for all funders. To publicize the site, a Giving Challenge was organized that raised more than $1 million for the nonprofits involved.

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DONOR PROFILE

Nonnie and Rick Burnes opened a donor advised fund at the Boston Foundation in 1994, named for Butler’s Hole, a magical spot where Nantucket Sound meets the Atlantic Ocean. Rick Burnes co-founded the venture capital firm Charles River Ventures and is very active in Boston area nonprofits, currently chairing the board of WGBH. Nonnie Burnes has been a Senior Fellow at Northeastern’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, a Massachusetts Commissioner of Insurance and a Superior Court Judge. Much of her nonprofit work has centered on strengthening Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts. Their volunteerism and philanthropy has inspired their three adult children, all of whom have opened their own donor advised funds at the Foundation.

DONOR PROFILE

Karen and Jim Ansara have deep roots in the Greater Boston community. Jim grew up in Boston and started a successful construction business and Karen attended Wellesley College and earned a Masters in Divinity at Andover Newton Theological School. The Ansaras married in 1983 and adopted four children—three from impoverished parts of Latin America, which has led them to focus their philanthropy on helping to eradicate poverty here and abroad through a donor advised fund at the Boston Foundation. With the assistance of donor services staff, they established a special fund in response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and have worked with The Philanthropic Initiative to support a group of New England’s international givers.

DONOR PROFILE

Paul and Sandra Edgerley were born in different parts of the country but are joined now by their love of Boston. Both received an M.B.A. with distinction from Harvard Business School and met when they worked at Bain & Company. Today, Sandra Edgerley serves on many nonprofit boards, including the Boston Foundation’s. Paul Edgerley is Managing Director of Bain Capital, Inc. and on the board of several nonprofits. They both focus much of their philanthropy on children and education. Their dedication to the work of nonprofits has led the Edgerleys to step forward and make a leadership gift to the Permanent Fund for Boston, which supports all of the Boston Foundation’s grant making in Greater Boston.

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Boston Responds as One

O

n April 15, 2013 two powerful bombs went off near the site of the

(Right) An Arlington Street Church memorial honoring the victims of the Marathon bombings included messages from around the world.

finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people, including eight-yearold Martin Richard, the son of a community-minded Dorchester family known by a number of Boston Foundation staff, and injuring 282. It shocked the entire community of Greater Boston and the nation. Occurring just blocks from the Foundation’s offices, the tragedy had a profound effect on the staff. Less than ten days later, the Foundation co-sponsored, with WBUR-FM, a community conversation at the Cutler Majestic Theater. Eleven panelists participated in Boston After the Bombings: A Public Conversation of Hope and Healing, an event open to the public and attended by hundreds of people looking for a platform to process the meaning in the horrific event. The moving discussion was

(Below) First responder Dr. Natalie Stavas spoke at the Boston After the Bombings community conversation.

moderated by WBUR’s Tom Ashbrook and broadcast live. In a joint introduction to the Foundation’s 2013 annual report, Paul Grogan and Michael Keating wrote: “This year, the character of the people of Greater Boston revealed itself to the world. We saw it in the response of the trained medical personnel who rushed to the site of the Boston Marathon bombings without thinking about their own safety. We saw it in the families who reached out to comfort their neighbors and the children who mounted fundraising drives for the victims. We saw it every time a bus sign alternated between its destination and the words Boston Strong.” Not surprisingly, the Boston Foundation’s donors responded generously to the One Fund drive for the victims of the Marathon bombings— helping to raise the Foundation’s total contribution to more than $1 million.

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Taking Stock

I

n 2014, with its Centennial year approaching,

the Boston Foundation began taking stock of its 100-year history. Grants made by the Foundation and its donors now totaled some $1.5 billion—and over the years it had been “there the beginning” with seed funding for more than 100 new nonprofit organizations and innovative ideas. The Foundation’s assets had passed the $1 billion mark

Thousands of units of Smart Growth Housing have been built since passage of the smart growth housing legislation.

and annual grants were at record levels. Since 2001, the Foundation had shaped and then solidified its role as a civic leader for the city and the region. Legislation to reform the state’s criminal record system was giving non-violent ex-offenders a better chance of gaining employment and a toehold on a new life. Municipal health care reform had saved hundreds of millions of dollars for municipalities and school districts. The state’s Cultural Facilities Fund, which emerged from the Foundation’s cultural task force, had provided tens of millions of dollars to revitalize cultural facilities across the Commonwealth. Thousands of new multifamily units had been built under the Smart Growth Housing legislation, passed with the help of the Foundation’s housing task force, with zoning in place for many thousands more.

(Right) The Foundation’s research and policy work informed the passage of community college reform, which included $20 million in new state funding.

As a result of reforms in K-12 education, 10,000 more students across the state were attending charter schools and other high-quality schools. The Foundation and its partners had made a mark on higher education as well. In 2013, a coalition spearheaded by the Foundation had helped to pass farreaching reforms for the state’s community college system. Legislation signed by Governor Patrick had aligned the mission of the entire system more closely with the workforce needs of Massachusetts’ employers and added millions in new funding for colleges.

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And in the fall of 2014, the Foundation was awarded a large grant from the highly(Right) Mayor Martin J. Walsh was elected after a substantive campaign with a diverse slate of candidates.

competitive federal Social Innovation Fund for the Success Boston college completion initiative. The investment meant that Success Boston could triple the number of young people it served through its unique coaching model—with the potential for several more years of support. Research was showing that Success Boston was helping graduates of the Boston Public

(Left) The late Mayor Thomas M. Menino is said to have personally met at least half of Boston’s residents.

Schools persist in, and graduate from, college at higher rates than other students. Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh spoke at the local announcement of the Success Boston funding. He had been in office for less than a year, having been elected after a campaign that involved a diverse set of candidates discussing substantive issues in numerous debates. In the early months of his new administration, the Boston Indicators Project presented him with two reports providing the latest data on changes in public education and the city as a whole. On October 30, 2014, the people of Boston were devastated by the death of their beloved Mayor Thomas M. Menino. As the entire city mourned and remembered the man who had served longer than any previous mayor—and

(Below) Municipal health care reform has saved close to $200 million for Massachusetts towns and cities, helping to preserve community services.

had personally met at least half of the city’s residents—many contributed to a special fund established by the Boston Foundation in Mayor Menino’s honor. Through the fund, his family will continue to support the causes he cared about most. An era had ended and a new one was beginning. The Foundation’s leadership over the years had guided it through two major eras during which it was “responding to need,” as Boston coped with two world wars and a Great Depression, and “seeding innovation” during the turbulent 1960s and beyond, with grants for great ideas and new nonprofits. Now, the “changing the game” formula was starting to give it the tools it needed to begin to change the very conditions that philanthropy was created to alleviate. In 1934, in the midst of the Great Depression, the Foundation’s very first director, Charles M. Rogerson, expressed despair about the kind of philanthropy he was forced to practice. He felt that it was a reactive kind of charity that held no hope of real progress. He bemoaned the fact that he was “holding a bucket to catch the overflow of distress rather than reaching up to shut off the spigot.” It seems likely that if Charles Rogerson were alive today, he would say that the Boston Foundation finally has its hand on that elusive spigot.

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Acknowledgments

T

he Boston Foundation is deeply grateful to our editorial consultants,

Jim Vrabel and Susan Wilson. Jim provided us with his scrupulously researched and detailed database of Boston events, many entries of which are in his book When in Boston: A Timeline & Almanac. As the author of A People’s History of the New Boston, Jim also offered invaluable editorial advice about a period during which the residents of Boston’s neighborhoods worked together to build a better and more equitable city. Susan Wilson contributed her vast knowledge of Boston’s history, some of which is reflected in her book Boston Sites and Insights, and her familiarity with the city’s very best photo archives and collections. Most of the photographs in Books One and many in Book Two were identified and provided by Susan, who has a keen eye for finding images that reflect the humanity of Boston’s residents through the years. We owe a deep debt of gratitude to those who have written about the Foundation’s history in the past. Special thanks go to the late Wilbur Bender, who led the Foundation during the 1960s and wrote an unpublished history, and to Patricia Brady, who researched and wrote a marvelous published history of the Foundation for its 75th anniversary. Patricia has also done groundbreaking research and writing about the many times the Foundation was “there at the beginning” for new nonprofits and great ideas as well as donors who were “there from the beginning.” For the history and the other publications she has written for the Foundation, she also unearthed wonderful old photos of Boston and portraits of the founders of the Boston Foundation and a number of its donors. Finally, thanks to the talented Kate Canfield, who has designed all of the Boston Foundation’s publications since 1985 with creativity and a peerless eye for detail, and to Richard Howard, who has been the Foundation’s brilliant photographer since 1985. You can read more about Richard in the Photo Credits section of this book. Together with the author and editor of this book, this team has produced hundreds of publications and won numerous awards from the Council on Foundations for their work over the last 30 years.

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Bibliography

In addition to the publications listed here, Boston Foundation annual reports and publications from 1917 through 2014 were major sources for this book.

Batson, Ruth. The Black Educational Movement in Boston: A Sequence of Historical Events: A Chronology. Boston: Northeastern University School of Education, 2001. Beatty, Jack. The Rascal King: The Life and Times of James Michael Curley (1874-1958), An Epic of Urban Politics and Irish America. New York: Da Capo Press, 1992. Bluestone, Barry, and Mary Huff Stevenson. The Boston Renaissance: Race, Space, and Economic Change in an American Metropolis. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2000. DiCara, Lawrence S. Turmoil and Transition in Boston: A Political Memoir from the Busing Era. Lanham, MD: Hamilton Books, 2013. Deutsch, Sarah. Women and the City: Gender, Space and Power in Boston, 1870-1940. Cambridge, MA: Oxford University Press, 2000. Grogan, Paul S. Changing the Game: Civic Leadership at the Boston Foundation, 2001-2012. Canada, Duke University Center for Strategic Philanthropy & Civil Society, 2013. Grogan, Paul S., and Tony Proscio. Comeback Cities: A Blueprint for Urban Neighborhood Revival. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2000. Handlin, Oscar. Boston’s Immigrants 1790-1880: A Study in Acculturation. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1941. History Project. Improper Bostonians, Lesbian and Gay History from the Puritans to Playland. Boston: Beacon Press, 1998. Krieger, Alex, and David Cobb and Amy Turner. Mapping Boston, a Norman B. Leventhal Book. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2001. Kunstler, James Howard. The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition. New York: The Free Press, 2001. Lukas, Anthony. Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985. MacDonald, Michael Patrick. All Souls: A Family Story from Southie. Boston: Beacon Press, 1999. MacDonald, Michael Patrick. Easter Rising: An Irish American Coming up from Under. Boston: Beacon Press, 2006. O’Connor, Thomas H. Bibles, Brahmins, and Bosses: A Short History of Boston. Boston: Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston,1971. O’Connor, Thomas H. Building a New Boston: Politics and Urban Renewal 1950 to 1970. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1993. O’Connor, Thomas H. The Boston Irish: a Political History. Boston: Back Bay Books, 1995. O’Connor, Thomas H. The Hub: Boston Past and Present. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2001.

BIBLI OGR APHY

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Osterman, Paul. In the Midst of Plenty: A Profile of Boston and Its Poor. Boston: The Boston Foundation, 1989. Puleo, Stephen. The Boston Italians: A Story of Pride, Perseverance, and Paesani, From the Years of the Great Immigration to the Present Day. Boston: Beacon Press, 2007. Thernstrom, Stephan. The Other Bostonians: Poverty and Progress in the American Metropolis, 1880-1970. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1973. Vrabel, Jim. A People’s History of the New Boston. Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, 2014. Vrabel, Jim. When in Boston: A Time Line & Almanac. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2004. Warner, Sam Bass Jr. The Way We Really Live: Social Change in Metropolitan Boston Since 1920. Boston: Boston Public Library, 1979. Whittlesey, Robert B. Social Housing Found. Acton, MA: Whittlesey Publishing Company, 2013. Whittlesey, Robert B. The South End Row House: Its Rehabilitation for Low Income Residents. Boston: South End Community Development, Inc., 1969. Wilson, Susan. Boston Sites and Insights. Boston, Beacon Press, 2003 (second edition).

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Photo Credits

Two photographers play a special role in this book. Leslie Jones was a photographer for the Boston Herald-Traveler newspaper from the year the Boston Foundation first began making grants, 1917, through 1956. A modest man, he liked to call himself a “camera-man” rather than a photojournalist, but a more accurate title would be artist. His luminous images bring the earliest years of the Foundation’s and city’s history to life. We have chosen thirteen to share with our readers. His entire collection may be found in the Boston Public Library’s Print Department. Richard Howard has been the photographer for the Boston Foundation for thirty years as well as numerous other organizations and national magazines. Many of the photos in Book Two of this history and almost all in Book Three are Richard’s. His images have graced the pages of scores of annual reports and hundreds of newsletters and other publications. Richard’s talent for capturing the humanity of his subjects is only matched by his kindness and buoyancy of spirit. Thanks to all of the institutions that provided the other photos for this book, with special thanks to Children’s Hospital and Ellis Memorial for opening their archives to Susan Wilson. Every effort has been made to credit or contact image sources. Courtesy Arts Boston: page 76 middle Courtesy American Repertory Theater: page 76 bottom Courtesy Ashburnham-Westminster Public Schools: page 128 top Associated Press: page 61 The Boston Athenaeum: inside cover and page 14 bottom Courtesy the Boston Public Library, Print Department: pages 13 (inset), 24, 26 Courtesy the Boston Public Library, Print Department, Leslie Jones Collection: cover left and pages 8, 9, 10, 13, 16 bottom, 20 top left, 23 top, 25, 28, 29, 31 bottom, 32 top, 33 top, 34 top and bottom, 54 top Courtesy the Boston National Historic Park: page 30 Courtesy Cape Ann Historical Association: page 79 bottom Courtesy Boston Ballet: page 80 top right Boston Foundation Archives: pages 11 bottom, 14 top, 17 bottom and middle, 32 bottom, 33 bottom, 36 bottom, 37 bottom, 42, 48, 54 bottom, 58 middle and bottom, 68, 75, 77, 79, 83 Courtesy Boston Symphony Orchestra: page 80 top left Courtesy Children’s Hospital: pages 44, 46 Courtesy Chinese Historical Society of New England: page 39 top Courtesy the City of Boston Archives: pages 36 top, 38, 55 bottom, 64, 66 Courtesy The Community Builders: page 62 bottom Courtesy Ellis Memorial: page 22 Getty Pictures: page 67, 71 top, 92 Courtesy Fred Glimp: page 69

P H O TO CR EDI TS

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Courtesy Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Boston University: page 17 top Courtesy Harvard University Archives: page 60 bottom Courtesy Barbara Hindley: page 147 Courtesy Historic New England: page 18 Richard Howard: middle and right cover photos and pages 50, 51, 62 top, 63, 70, 71 three bottom photos, 74 bottom, 76 top, 78, 81, 82 top, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 124, 126 top, 127, 129, 130, 131, 132 bottom, 133, 134 135, 136, 137, 140, 141,142, 143, 144 top, 145, 146, 148, 149, 150, 151 bottom Courtesy Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción: page 80 bottom right Courtesy Museum of Science: page 80 bottom left Courtesy Institute of Contemporary Art: page 125 Courtesy John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum: page 55 top Courtesy Library of Congress: pages 23 bottom left and right, 57, 59 Courtesy New England Aquarium: page 65 Courtesy Northeastern University Archives: pages 40, 41, 43, 52, 53, 56, 72, 73 Courtesy Peabody Essex Museum: page 19 Courtesy Playworks: page 129 Courtesy Pucker Gallery: page 128 photo of Brother Thomas Tony Rinaldo: page 151 top Courtesy Collection of William Rogerson: page 15 Angela Rowlings: pages 138 top and 139 Courtesy the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College: pages 12, 20 top right, 21, 58 top Courtesy Simmons College: page 16 top Courtesy Somerville Museum: page 27 middle Courtesy Uphams Corner Health Center: page 74 top Courtesy U.S. National Archives: pages 31 top, 35 Courtesy Wentworth Institute of Technology: page 39 bottom Courtesy WGBH: page 47 Courtesy Bellagia Williams, former student, TechBoston Academy: page 138 bottom Note: Photos from the Boston Foundation’s archives were taken from past annual reports that did not credit the photographer, so those images are attributed simply to “Boston Foundation archives.” Others have been in the Foundation’s files for years with no indication of who took them. Please contact us if there is an error or omission and we will correct the entry in future editions.

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Index

Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), 53, 55, 56, 57 African Americans, 19, 20, 22, 31, 67-68 activism of, 12-13, 40-41, 57-61 (see also Urban League) in Boston Foundation leadership positions, 41, 76, 85, 86 (see also Jones, Anna Faith) and education, 59, 70-73, 93 migration of, from South, 12, 22, 40, 58 as share of Boston population, 58, 77, 105

Bender, Wilbur J., 54-55, 67-68, 76

Boston Plan for Excellence, 83, 84

background of, 54, 76

Boston Police Department, 99, 136

death of, 69

Boston Private Industry Council, 135

funding priorities of, 55, 57, 58, 61, 62-63, 66

Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), 38, 63

Berners-Lee, Tim, 120

Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company, 13, 15, 37, 100

Big Brothers Association, 43 “Big Dig,” 105, 118, 127 Birth of a Nation, 12-13 Bloomberg, Michael, 116 Blue Hill Avenue Corridor, 135

After-School Initiative, 99

Bluestone, Barry, 105, 118

After the Tsunami: Philanthropy in the Global Era (2006), 127-28

Board of Directors (of Boston Foundation), 54, 84,100-101, 109, 112, 113, 115, 124, 133, 140, 143, 144

AIDS Action Consortium, 89 Allison, Dwight L., Jr., 85-86 Allston-Brighton, 74 American Repertory Theater, 76, 115 Andover House, 20 Ansara, Jim, 145 Ansara, Karen, 145 Arnold, Sarah Louise, 15-16 ArtsBoston, 76 Arts funding, 41, 76, 101 Ashbrook, Tom, 146 Ashley, Edith M., 60 Asian immigrants, 39, 63, 77, 94 Assets, 85, 109, 148. See also Permanent Fund for Boston Atkins, Tom, 67 Back Bay, 22, 53, 54, 59, 65, 109, 112 Balch, Emily Greene, 20 Ballotti, Geno, 77-78, 81, 82, 85 Bank of Boston, 84 Banks, 13, 14, 84, 100-101, 106, 127. See also Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company Bartlett, Harriett, 79 Batson, Ruth, 58 Beacon Hill neighborhood, 53, 54 Beacon Press, 124

Boston School Committee, 43, 58, 70, 93, 99 Boston’s Education Pipeline (2008), 133-34 Boston Symphony Orchestra, 46, 47, 80 Boston TenPoint Coalition, 98 Boston Unbound (2004), 123 Boys Clubs, 43, 126 Boy Scouts, 32

appointments made by, 69, 85-86, 109-10

Brokaw, Tom, 110

people of color on, 41, 75, 100

Browne, A. Page, 126

Ralph Lowell and, 37, 54, 67 women on, 16, 41, 75, 100 “BosTix” kiosk, 76 Boston at Risk, 88, 89 Boston Ballet, 80 Boston Center for Adult Education, 32 Boston Center for the Arts, 76 Boston Children’s Chorus, 114-15 Boston Children’s Hospital, 45 Boston City Hospital, 17, 25, 33 Boston College Citizen Seminars, 36, 37, 116-18, 120 Boston Compact, 84 Boston Coordinating Committee (“the Vault”), 37, 67, 106 Boston Globe, 36, 61, 88, 120, 121, 135 Boston GreenSpace Alliance, 86-88, 108 Boston Harbor, 11, 27, 31, 77, 81-82 Boston Indicators Project, 116, 118, 120 reports issued by, 120, 127, 133-34, 151 Boston Legal Aid Society, 16 Boston Marathon bombings (2013), 146 “Boston Miracle,” 98-99, 135 Boston Opportunity Agenda, 142 Boston Paradox, The (2006), 128-29 Boston Persistent Poverty Project, 97, 108

Brown, James, 67 Brown v. Board of Education (1954), 70 Brustein, Robert, 76 Burnes, Nonnie, 145 Burnes, Rick, 145 Carnegie Corporation, 16 Cass, Melnea, 56 Centro Presente, 93 Challenge grants, 78-80 Chapter 766, 70, 142 Charter schools, 119, 137-38, 148 Chelsea, 74 Chertavian, Gerald, 115 Children’s Art Centre, 46 Chinatown, 39, 94 Chinese, 39, 94 Chinese Exclusion Act (1882), 39 Chinese Progressive Association, 94 Chronicle of Philanthropy, The, 143 City Hall, 22, 36, 66, 105 Citywide Educational Coalition, 73 City Year, 115 Civic Leadership Fund, 119, 143 Civil rights movement, 53, 57-61, 68 Cleveland Foundation, 14, 15

I NDEX

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Clinton, Bill, 97, 98-99

Fairmount Corridor, 142

Grogan, Paul S., 112, 115, 126

Cocoanut Grove Night Club fire (1942), 33

Family Welfare Society, 25

annual reports by, 113, 126, 146

Cold War, 43, 45

Faneuil Hall Market area, 66

background of, 109-10, 111

Fanny Wharton Helping Fund, 19

and education reform, 119, 126, 133, 137-38

Collins, John, 37, 55, 57, 63, 66

Federal government, 57, 77-78, 81-82, 86

Comeback Cities, 110, 111 Commonwealth Housing Task Force, 118

and education, 70, 138, 151

Community Builders, Inc., 63

funding cutbacks by, 77, 86, 108, 112, 121

Community college system, 102, 148

in the Great Depression, 28

Community development corporations (CDCs), 63, 81, 118, 132

and immigration, 39, 63, 90

Community health centers, 74-76

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 127

Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), 82 Cox, Edward Hyde, 79 Creativity and Innovation (2002), 120 Crime and Justice Institute, 128 Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) system, 128, 148 Culture is Our Common Wealth (2004), 125 Curley, James Michael, 12-13, 26, 28, 29, 35, 36 “Current use” funds, 78, 85

in 1960s, 57, 108 Fiedler, Arthur, 80 Fiorello, Joe, 38-39 Fires, 32-33 Flu pandemic of 1918, 13, 16-17, 128 Flynn, Raymond, 92-93, 99, 110 Ford Foundation, 57, 81 Fortune magazine, 35 Foy, Douglas, 82 Freedom House, Inc., 40-41, 53, 73 Frothingham, Anna C., 27

Democratic National Convention (2004), 123-24

Fund for the Homeless, 90 Fund for the 21st Century, 109

Denison House, 20, 43

and Boston Foundation’s public role, 112-13, 116 selection of, as director, 109-10 Gun violence, 135 Hale, Edward Everett, 20 Haley House, 20 Hammond, Ray, 113, 124-25, 140 Harriet Tubman House, 20 Harvard University, 12, 14, 43, 54, 60, 69, 74, 76, 77, 79, 109, 110, 120, 137, 145 Health care, 16-17, 89, 105, 128-29 and community health centers, 74-76 and poverty, 86, 88, 89, 126 See also hospitals Health Care for All, 89 Healthy People/Healthy Economy Coalition, 129 Hernández, Jorge, 80 Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 35 Home Funders, 118

“Digital divide,” 106-8

Garcia, Frieda, 100

“Direct relief,” 25, 132

Garrity, W. Arthur, 70, 71, 73

Donor advised funds, 85, 100, 109, 145

Gellhorn, Martha, 26

Donor profiles, 15, 19, 27, 39, 49, 60, 79, 120, 126, 128, 145

Getting to the Finish Line (2008), 134, 135

Dorchester, 41, 59, 60, 61, 135, 142, 146

Girl Scouts, 43

Housing, 53, 61-63, 81, 90, 118, 130-32, 148. See also homelessness

Boston Foundation funding in, 20, 59, 98, 135, 142

Giving Common, 144

Hynes, John B., 36, 37-38, 55, 66, 116

Dorchester Youth Collaborative, 98 Dukakis, Kitty, 90 Dukakis, Michael, 90, 118 Earhart, Amelia, 20 East Boston, 20, 32-33

Girls Clubs, 126

Immigrants, 11, 19-23, 63, 89, 90, 92, 93-94

Glimp, Fred, 69, 74-76, 77

Asian, 39, 63, 77, 92, 94

Glines, Edward, 27

and federal legislation, 39, 63, 90

Glueck, Eleanor, 43

Latino, 63, 93

Glueck, Sheldon, 43

Immigration and Naturalization Act (1965), 63

Goldberg Seminars, 88

Edgerley, Sandra, 145 Education reform, 73, 82-84, 99, 133, 13740, 142, 148 Ellis Memorial & Eldredge House, 20, 22 Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts, 41, 75 Emergency grants, 132

Good City, The (2004), 124 Great Depression, 25-29, 35, 76, 130, 132, 151 “Great Migration,” 12 Greater Boston Food Bank, 89, 132 Greater Boston Housing Report Cards, 118, 119, 132

Endowment. See Permanent Fund for Boston Environmental Protection Agency, 82

Hospitals, 16-17, 25, 32, 33, 36, 41, 45, 55, 65, 74, 76, 79

Glassman, Robert, 100

Goldberg, Carol R., 88

Edgerley, Paul, 145

Horace Mann Charter Schools, 138

Gladwell, Malcolm, 116

Goff, Frederick, 14

Eastman, George H., 60

Homelessness, 89-90, 92, 132

Immigration Reform and Control Act (1986), 90 Informing the Debate (2009), 137 Innovation Schools, 138 Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, 50, 63 Institute of Contemporary Art, 125 In the Midst of Plenty (1989), 97 Italians, 11, 19, 38

“Great Recession,” 130-32, 133, 140, 143

Job training, 53, 59, 115, 121-22, 136

Great Society, 57

John LaWare Leadership Forum, 127

Greening of Boston, The (1987), 88

Johnson, Carol R., 133, 135 Johnson, Curtis, 123 Johnson, Lyndon B., 57, 108

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Jones, Anna Faith, 76, 86, 109

Museum of Science, 37, 46, 80

Puerto Ricans, 63, 93

appointment of, as director, 85-86

“My Summer in the City” program, 136

Puriefoy, Wendy, 84

and Foundation’s restructuring, 100-101, 109

NAACP, 58

Race to the Top, 138

Nation at Risk, A, 84

Reagan, Ronald, 77, 78, 84

Neighborhood Stabilization Loan Fund, 130

Red Cross, 32, 132

Network for Excellence in Health Innovation (NEHI), 128-29

Revere, 74

funding priorities of, 86, 94, 97-98, 101, 115 Jones, Hubie, 69, 70, 73, 114, 115 Juvenile delinquency, 42-43 Kahn, Charlotte, 116 Kennedy, Caroline, 116 Kennedy, John F., 53, 55, 58, 60 Kennedy, Robert F., 68 Kennedy Library, 116, 118 Kerry, John, 123 Kessler, Larry, 89 King, Martin Luther, Jr., 58, 59-61, 67, 68

“New Boston,” 36, 37-38, 55, 61, 65-66, 106, 116 New Deal, 25, 28 New England Aquarium, 65, 115 New York Times, 105 9/11 attacks, 110-12, 116 Nineteenth Amendment, 12 Nixon, Richard M., 76

King, Mel, 92-93

North Bennet Street School, 19, 21, 126

Latinos, 63, 77, 93, 97, 105. See also Puerto Ricans

North End, 11, 19, 28, 32, 74

Northeastern University, 118, 145 North End Union, 32

Lewis, Elma, 41, 75 Lewis, Robert, Jr., 135

Obama, Barack, 132, 138

Lincoln Filene Center, 73

O’Connor, Thomas H., 36

Lincoln House, 20

Operation Exodus, 59

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), 81, 110

Oucchi, William G., 133

Logue, Edward, 63

Passion and Purpose (2008), 140

Longley, James, 15, 16, 19, 49 Lowell, Ralph, 37-38, 49, 54, 67, 106 Lowell Institute, 47 Lukas, Anthony, 54 Luongo’s Restaurant fire (1942), 32-33

Patrick, Deval, 130, 138, 148 Payzant, Thomas W., 99, 133 Peirce, Neal, 123, 142 Perkins School, 126

Mapping School Choice, 119

Permanent Fund for Boston, 15, 27, 49, 60, 78, 79, 85, 100, 115, 126, 128, 132, 145

Massachusetts Advocates for Children, 69-70

growth of, 49, 53, 85 Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, 45

Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund, 125, 148

Philanthropic Initiative, The, 144, 145

Massachusetts Education Reform Act, 99

Playworks, 129

Massachusetts General Hospital, 33, 79 Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Coalition (MIRA), 90, 92 “Massachusetts Miracle,” 95 Massachusetts Transitional Bilingual Education Act, 70, 71 Mass in Motion, 129 Mattapan, 98, 135, 142 McCann, John, 60 Meisner, Mary Jo, 112, 113, 116 Menino, Thomas, 99, 101, 105, 106, 118, 135, 136, 138, 151 Metropolitan Area Planning Council, 116 Molasses Disaster of 1919, 17 Municipal health care reform, 148, 151

Pilot schools, 119, 133, 137 Pokross, David R., 120 Pokross, Muriel, 120 Polio, 45-46, 128 Population of Boston, 53 increasing diversity of, 58, 77, 93, 105 Poverty, 19, 94-98, 106-8 Boston Foundation’s efforts to combat, 19, 20, 22, 25, 55, 57, 61, 77, 86, 94, 95, 97, 101, 106, 108, 112, 144 and education, 133-35, 142 Poverty Impact Program, 86, 94, 108 Program Related Investments (PRIs), 118, 130 Proposition 2 ½, 78, 86

Refugees, 16, 63, 77, 89, 90, 93-94 Richard, Martin, 146 Rockefeller Foundation, 16 Rogerson, Charles E., 13 Rogerson, Charles M., 13-14, 28, 33-34, 46, 53-54, 151 death of, 34, 36 and Great Depression, 25, 26, 28, 151 and launching of Boston Foundation, 13-14, 15, 16, 34 and settlement houses, 19, 22 and World War II, 31, 33-34 Roosevelt, Eleanor, 47 Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 26, 28 Rotch, Arthur, 36-37, 47, 49, 53-54 background of, 36 funding priorities of, 41, 43, 45, 46 Roxbury, 20, 59, 61, 135, 136, 142 community activism in, 40-41, 59 Roxbury Neighborhood House, 43 Sacco and Vanzetti execution (1927), 23 Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, 82 Schenkl, Johanna Pauline, 79 Schervish, Paul, 127-28 Schools: community activism around, 58-59 desegregation of, 70-73, 124 See also education reform “School Stay Outs,” 58 School Volunteers for Boston, 73 “Second Great Migration,” 40 Settlement houses, 20-23, 41, 45-46, 53, 55. See also United South End Settlements Sewage treatment, 81-82 SkillWorks, 121 Smart Growth Housing Act, 118, 148 Snowden, Muriel, 40-41 Snowden, Otto, 40-41 Social Security, 28, 34 South Boston, 20 South Cove neighborhood, 20 South End, 15, 38, 41, 61, 76, 135 community activism in, 62-63 settlement houses in, 20, 22, 23, 46

Prudential Center, 65

I NDEX

159


South End Community Development, 62-63

West End, 15, 38-39, 57, 63

South End House, 20

Wharton, Fanny, 19

Sovereign Bank of New England, 127 Spanish flu, 13, 16-17, 128

WGBH, 37, 47, 67, 115 White, Kevin, 66, 67, 95, 110 Whittlesey, Bob, 62-63

Spaulding, Helen, 101, 109 Special needs education, 60, 70, 142 St. Mark Social Center, 58

Williston, Arthur L., 39 Williams, E. Virginia, 80 Wisdom of Our Choices, The, 116

Stone, Albert, 49, 53

Woman’s Journal, The, 12

Stone, David B., 65

Women, 39, 97

Strategy Development Group, 97

in Boston Foundation leadership positions, 15-16, 41, 76, 85-86, 100 (see also Jones, Anna Faith)

StreetSafe Boston, 135-36 Suburbs, 36, 43, 53, 93, 105, 113 Success Boston initiative, 134-35, 151 Summer programming, 136 Sviridoff, Mike, 81

programs focused on, 20, 32 See also women’s liberation movement; women’s suffrage movement Women’s Educational and Industrial Union, 20

Swan, Carroll J., 11, 27 Thinking Globally/Acting Locally (2005), 126 Thomas, Brother, 128 Thriving People/Vibrant Places (2009), 140-42 To Make Our City Whole (1994), 97

Women’s liberation movement, 68, 76 Women’s suffrage movement, 12 Workforce development, 121 Workforce Investment Act (1998), 121 Works Progress Administration (WPA), 28 World War I, 11, 13, 16, 37, 123

Travelers Aid of Boston, 16, 32

World War II, 31-35, 39, 40, 123

Tri-Lateral Task Force for Quality Education, 73

Year Up, 115

Trotter, William Monroe, 12-13 Tufts University, 69, 73, 88

Ylvisaker, Paul, 84

Understanding Boston convenings and reports, 116, 118, 119, 125, 127-28, 140

to combat violence, 98-99, 135-36

Unemployment, 37, 76, 116, 121

in 1950s, 41, 43, 45-46

in the Great Depression, 25-26, 28, 29

Youth violence, 98-99, 135-36

United Boston Unemployment Relief Campaign, 28

YWCA, 126

YMCA, 32, 43, 126, 136

United South End Settlements, 46, 62, 100 United Way, 28 Uphams Corner neighborhood, 74 Urban League, 19, 20, 41, 58 Urban renewal, 38-39, 57, 63 “Vault, The” See Boston Coordinating Committee Victory Gardens, 31 Vietnam War, 68, 77, 123 Villa Victoria, 63 Wadsworth, Bob, 81 Wallace Foundation, 101 Walsh, Martin J., 151 War on Poverty, 57 Washburn, Brad, 80 Waterfront, 35, 65, 95, 105 WBUR-FM, 146

160

THE B OST O N F O U N D AT I O N

1915-2015

Youth programs, 32, 41, 73, 115


Published by The Boston Foundation 75 Arlington Street Boston, Massachusetts 02116 617-338-1700 www.tbf.org Special Centennial Website www.tbf100.org

The Boston Foundation in the City of Ideas 1915-2015

Designed by Kate Canfield

The Boston Foundation i n th e City of Ideas 1915-2015

Since 1915, the Boston Foundation has served as the primary philanthropy for Greater Boston—from its earliest days of responding to the human needs of immigrants and the poor, to seeding innovation through “there at the beginning” grants for new nonprofits and fresh

Responding to Need Seeding Innovation

ideas, to helping change the very systems that affect the lives of everyone in our region.

Changing the Game For its first four decades, the Foundation responded to the dramatic events of the times, including two world wars, the Spanish flu, the Great Depression and the polio epidemic. In 1960, it began funding new ideas and nonprofits in the context of the large social justice movements of the day, then went on to help Boston cope with the wrenching desegregation of its public schools in the 1970s.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the Foundation launched its own antipoverty initiatives and changed the structure of the organization to put it on firm footing for the future. And in 2001, it added civic leadership and policy work to its mission against the backdrop of 9/11, the Great Recession and the Boston Marathon bombings.

This book is published on the occasion of the Foundation’s Centennial and describes the evolution of Greater Boston’s community foundation in the context of the historical events that have shaped and inspired its work over the last 100 years.

The Boston Foundation in the City of Ideas 1915 -2015  

Since 1915, the Boston Foundation has served as the primary philanthropy for Greater Boston from its earliest days of responding to the huma...

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