The Boston Foundation was founded in 1915 by Charles E. and Charles M. Rogerson, who were father and son. It was the first community foundation based on the novel idea of collecting funds from across an entire region, and building an endowment to improve the life of the community.
Serving the Greater Boston area, it is made up of some 900 separate charitable funds established by thousands of donors over more than 90 years. Funds are set up either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes, such as supporting individual nonprofit organizations in perpetuity. Since 2001, the Boston Foundation has also served as a civic leader by commissioning and publishing research and providing a platform for discussion and progress related to a wide range of challenges facing Boston and the region.
All of the work of the Boston Foundation is guided by two main strategic goals that reflect their deep commitment to strengthening their communities:
Greater Boston residents are successful and thriving
Greater Boston communities are vibrant
Through these goals, they seek to have a profound impact on important areas of community life—including dramatic improvements in education and health attainment; safe and vibrant neighborhoods; robust arts and cultural opportunities; and a regional economy that enables everyone to thrive.
The Boston Foundation devotes its resources to building and sustaining a vital, prosperous city and region, where justice and opportunity are extended to everyone. It fulfills this mission in three principal ways:
Making grants to nonprofit organizations and designing special funding initiatives to address this community’s critical challenges.
Working in partnership with donors to achieve high-impact philanthropy.
Serving as a civic hub and center of information, where ideas are shared, levers for change are identified, and common agendas for the future are developed.
In 2012, the Boston Foundation and The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI) merged, with TPI operating as a distinct unit of the Boston Foundation. TPI pioneered the field of strategic philanthropic advising over 20 years ago and remains a national leader today. Through its consulting services and its work to advance the broader field of strategic philanthropy TPI has influenced billions of dollars of giving worldwide. TPI’s Center for Global Philanthropy promotes international giving from the U.S. and local philanthropy around the world.