Our Mission

The Barr Foundation's mission is to invest in human, natural, and cultural potential, serving as thoughtful stewards and catalysts.

Our Values

The Barr Foundation is guided by a set of core values, which emanate from our founders, articulate our beliefs about what constitutes effective philanthropy, and describe how we carry out our mission of service.

  • Strive for excellence: We aim for the highest standards of performance, integrity, and service in all dimensions of our work.
  • Invest in leaders: We support effective, visionary, and collaborative leaders, who motivate others, drive change, and produce results.
  • Act with humility: We approach our activities with respect for our partners, recognizing the privilege inherent in philanthropic work.
  • Demonstrate curiosity: We actively solicit new perspectives to inform our work, understanding that solutions reside with those we serve.
  • Adopt a long-term perspective: We take an expansive view, considering the implications of today’s decisions for future generations.
  • Embrace risk: We pursue ambitious goals, which requires comfort with the possibility of failure and a commitment to learning

Our Areas of Focus

Our domestic work focuses on providing quality education, mitigating climate change, and enhancing cultural vitality. Our education and arts investments are focused on Boston. Our climate work includes statewide, regional, and some national investments.

Since 2010, Barr has also been exploring opportunities for global investments. The Barr Global team is building a portfolio of projects that delivers measurable improvements in the interconnected areas of livelihoods, health, environment, and education, predominantly in rural areas. Investments are currently focused in sub-Saharan Africa, Haiti, and India.

To learn more about Barr’s strategies and approach, visit our Strategies page.


Our co-founders and trustees


Who we are and what we do

Contact Us

How to reach us and find our office