With crucial support from our Annual Campaign for Civic Leadership, we work with partners in the business and nonprofit communities, as well as numerous public officials, to have a real impact on issues that are critical to the economic competitiveness and civic health of Greater Boston. We consider this civic leadership—especially bringing together analysts, problem solvers and funders to understand and act on matters of local concern—to be core to our mission.
Each year, generous donors make this civic leadership work possible through their donations to the Annual Campaign for Civic Leadership. In 2021-2022, nearly 500 individuals, companies and organizations donated more than $3 million to the Annual Campaign, supporting our research, convenings, advocacy and communications.
Civic Leadership is a critical element of the new Boston Foundation strategic vision: Our New Pathway.
Our New Pathway places equity at the heart of why we work. If we are to address the historic and systemic inequities that feed into today's gaps in wealth, justice and opportinity, we must use the Foundation's ability to convene important voices, research key issues, challenge assumptions, and advocate for meaningful change in partnership with the community leaders and nonprofits.
Donations to the Annual Campaign for Civic Leadership provide the needed funds to take on this necessary work - repairing past harms and building and nourishing ideas and programs that contribute to an equitable and just society for marginalized communities.
Learn more at tbf.org/ournewpathway.
Our in-person and remote events are free and open to the public. We invite you to sign up for news and event invitations and to check out our past events.
In June 2021, Dr. M. Lee Pelton began his tenure as President and CEO at the Boston Foundation, stewarding the Annual Campaign.
"Civic leadership is what brought me to the Boston Foundation. Our civic leadership model is built on collaboration and partnership with others to collect data, commission research, convene conversations and use our shared knowledge to advocate for deep systems change. At its best, it’s not just what we do, it's how we approach problems – with humility, determination, generosity, and shared purpose."
On October 25, Boston Foundation President and CEO Lee Pelton sat down for a virtual conversation with American historian and journalist Jill Lepore as a special event honoring donors to TBF’s Annual Campaign for Civic Leadership. Using history as a way of discussing the “deep divide in our nation,” Pelton asked Lepore to place our current politics in the context of other times.
On April 27, the Boston Foundation was pleased to host an Annual Campaign for Civic Leadership special event: A Conversation on Leadership between President and CEO Lee Pelton and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. The two spoke for an hour about the Mayor's first month in office and the leadership lessons they each have taken in during the course of their time in public service and civic leadership
Reports published since 2001, including well over 100 "Understanding Boston" series reports
Public forums held since 2001
People have attended forums since the series inception
Boston Indicators, the research center of the Boston Foundation, works independently and with partners to explore the core issues facing Greater Boston and its people.
With over 40 public events online each year, our events bring researchers, community leaders and advocates together to share ideas and insights on dozens of issues.
We have the honor of partnering with grassroots and community leaders from across the spectrum to advocate for changes that create a region that works for everyone.
On challenging issues from reparations, to climate justice, to addiction and homelessness, our civic leadership highlights opportunities and offers room for debate.
Support for the Annual Campaign for Civic Leadership helps the Boston Foundation knit our grantmaking and research together with critical advocacy and policy work from our community and nonprofit partners, helping them drive real change in areas from the arts to education to housing and more. Below are just two examples of the work in action.
The Boston Foundation used its research and resources to advocate for needed funding to support the health and wellbeing of children. From our Health Starts at Home initiative, to our When the Bough Breaks research and advocacy for the Common Start legislation to improve child care access and affordability, to our monthly 'Early Childhood Coffee and Conversations', we are working in partnership with parents, child care workers and care providers to repair and rebuild this fragile, yet critical system.
For two decades, the Greater Boston Housing Report Card has been a must-read for housing advocates and policymakers. The annual reports have helped advance advocacy for needed changes, such as Chapter 40R and Housing Choice to improve zoning opportunities for affordable, transit-oriented housing. Funding from the Annual Campaign for Civic Leadership has also made possible significant work against housing discrimination, and lifted up the connection between stable housing and other positive outcomes.
Recent reports and videos are listed below. You can access all of the Foundation’s reports and watch archived videos of forums at News + Insights.
We invite you to join us for upcoming events and forums.
The Annual Campaign for Civic Leadership is a recipient of a $100k for 100 grant from the Cummings Foundation.