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Do More Than Give in the Boston Community

Recently, the Boston Foundation hosted a book event featuring "Do More Than Give" by Leslie Crutchfield, John Kania, and Mark Kramer of FSG. The book reframes the way we think about philanthropy, from simple giving with good intentions to tangible impact on social change, and I am proud that the Boston Foundation was one of the success stories profiled in this book.

At the Boston Foundation, we have made it our mission to collaborate with donors, funders, and stakeholders in the public and private sectors to achieve high-impact philanthropy. A key part of our work is our service as a civic data hub, developing research which identifies the real issues facing Boston and our Commonwealth. This data and research fuels our grantmaking and key strategic objectives. FSG recognized that our work is not simply giving money, but rather is working to solve social problems.

Following the book presentation, I joined Blake Jordan, Executive Director of the Highland Street Foundation, for a panel discussion on catalytic philanthropy, emphasizing direct impact and tangible results on issues social change. The Highland Street Foundation began with the very simple goal of providing an opportunity for everyone in Massachusetts, which they turned in to Free Fun Fridays – a program which invites Massachusetts residents and tourists to visit cultural attractions every Friday in the summer with free admission. The program has been hugely successful, with an impact beyond simply opening the doors to these institutions and into economic development, educational support, and community engagement.

The event and discussion shared a fresh perspective on philanthropy. If you were not able to join us, I encourage you to watch the video from last night: Do More Than Give on UStream, October 13, 2011. Many of these events are streamed live on the web via UStream, and the Boston Foundation often livetweets from these events (at @bostonfdn). I hope you can join the dialogue in person or online as we innovate philanthropy.

Paul's post originally appeared here.

Paul Grogan is the President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. With assets of almost $800 million, the Boston Foundation awarded nearly $79 million in grants to nonprofit organizations throughout the Greater Boston community in 2008.  Paul is a board member of FSG.