2010 Report on Foundation Activities

2010 Report on Foundation Activities

In 2010, the Shapiro Family Foundation continued to face the financial challenges that had presented themselves in 2009.  Staying the same course it had adopted last year, the Foundation maintained its pledge to fulfill all previous commitments to its nonprofit grantees and made special efforts to assist its community-based grantees with support “beyond the grant”.

In 2010, the Foundation made grants totaling $12,806,221 to 52 organizations. Eighteen organizations received new grant support through the Foundation’s Disability Inclusion Initiative.  In addition, the Foundation’s College Scholarship Initiative supported 18 students at 13 colleges.  Capital grants to Boston area hospitals and cultural and educational institutions were made to fulfill existing pledges of support.

Early in the year, the Foundation again conducted an online survey of its approximately 75 community-based grantees to solicit ideas on how the Foundation could be most helpful in providing “beyond the grant” assistance.  The Foundation assessed this input, developed a work plan and reported back to its grantees.  Among the activities undertaken were the issuing of monthly bulletins listing key information about Boston nonprofit capacity-building workshops, the provision of individualized reviews of proposals to be submitted to other funders and the sponsorship of three workshops on topics of highest interest as indicated in the online survey.  Workshop topics were Board Development, Advanced Evaluation and Fund Raising.  The Advanced Evaluation workshop also included the opportunity for workshop attendees to receive a few hours of related technical assistance from the workshop consultant.  Another activity undertaken by the Foundation in 2010 was the facilitation of a group of organizations providing sports and recreation opportunities to people with disabilities.  This group, which calls itself Greater Boston Access to Recreation, met almost monthly and sponsored a larger gathering for its field in September.  Collectively, it is focused on how the organizations can work together better, improve services and expand the participation of people with disabilities in Boston area sports and recreation.

The end of 2010 brought to a close for the Foundation the legal issues that emanated from the Madoff fraud.  The Foundation looks forward now to a more certain future and to developing a new plan for how it can continue to be an effective player in Boston’s nonprofit and philanthropic communities.   Despite the unique circumstances that significantly hampered the Foundation’s grant making role over the past two years, it is hopeful that its efforts to listen to its grantees and to stay current in the philanthropic community have been good preparation for the resumption of new grant making, expected to occur in 2011.

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