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Barr Awards $34.9 Million in First Quarter of 2024

New grants will support a shared services program for nonprofits, build climate resilience in Boston’s Dudley neighborhood, and position the region’s largest planning agency as a leader in the arts.

On March 7th, the Barr Foundation Board of Trustees met in person and approved three grants totaling $5.7M. This adds to grants approved by the Trustees, President, Vice President for Strategy and Programs, and Program Directors since the last Trustee meeting in December for a total of $34.9M.

Learn more about some of our partners and their work below.

In Arts & Creativity, Barr awarded 28 grants totaling $9M. A grant of $570,000 was awarded to Arts Connect International to support the Cultural Equity Incubator, a collective action initiative and shared workspace formed by an emergent network of Boston-based arts organizations committed to intersectional racial equity and justice. A $1M grant supports the Metropolitan Area Planning Council Arts & Culture Department to leverage its position as the region’s largest planning agency to deepen its impact with municipalities, increase its visibility as an arts leader, and maximize its influence on the policy environment to better support the arts sector.

In Climate, Barr awarded 20 grants totaling $8.2M. An $80,000 grant to Maine Climate Action Now will support a Gulf of Maine offshore wind educational campaign. A $75,000 grant to the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) will support a delegation of municipal and MBTA leaders from Massachusetts to attend the 2024 Designing Cities Conference. In addition to its grants, Barr awarded contracts totaling $250,800 to support a collaboration between Resilient Marketing and Denterlein to provide a communications and media relations capacity building program for Mobility grantees.

The Education Program awarded 24 grants totaling $8.2M. A three-year, $900,000 grant to Generation Teach (Invest In Educators) will provide core support for its New England regional activities including expanded trainings, summer programming, evaluation, and alumni support. A 12-month, $95,000 grant to Georgetown University's Edunomics Lab (Build Public Will) will support their efforts to provide additional training, analysis, and consultation to the New England education sector to navigate the end of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding—with some analysis for particular districts in order to support other Barr partners. A two-year, $450,000 grant to Mohawk Trail Regional School District (Catalyze New Models) will support the continued redesign of Mohawk Trail Regional School in Shelburne Falls, MA, focusing on supporting distributed leadership opportunities for staff and students to lead various parts of their school transformation journey.

Sector Effectiveness and Racial Wealth Equity Initiative joined forces to award a one-year, $1M grant to Third Sector New England, Inc. (TSNE) to support a new Shared Services program. Set to launch later this calendar year, the Shared Services program will serve small and medium nonprofit organizations seeking a trusted, mission-aligned partner to help manage back-office organizational finances and operations, as well as front-office consulting in organizational development, strategy, and operations. This one-stop solution will aim to combine high-quality service delivery with a focus on racial equity.

Additionally, Climate Resilience and Racial Wealth Equity Initiative partnered to award a $1M grant over three years to Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative to support its exploration of a resilience hub and other resilience activities as well as provide capacity building support for its Greater Boston Community Land Trust Network program.

Barr’s Waterfront Initiative awarded a one-year, $200,000 grant to Mystic River Watershed Association to support the analysis of the current state and future potential of Boston’s working port as conducted by the Boston Waterfront Partners. A $168,000 grant over two years will provide core support to Boston Harbor Women of Color Coalition—a collaborative, solutions-driven, supportive group of people who identify as women of color who work on or for the Boston Harbor, the Boston Harbor Islands, and/or work to get our communities engaged in green and blue spaces. This quarter, the Waterfront Initiative also renewed a number of core partners including a $1.4M grant over two years to the Conversation Law Foundation to support advocacy and communications efforts to achieve an accessible, equitable, and climate-resilient Boston waterfront.

Grants Awarded in First Quarter of 2024


Click on the diagram sections for information specific to each of our program areas listed below.

View all grants data


In Education, Barr awarded $8.2 million through 24 grants.
View all Education Grants


The Climate Program awarded 20 grants totaling $8.2 million.
View all Climate grants

Arts & Creativity

In Arts & Creativity, Barr awarded 28 grants totaling nearly $9 million.
View all Arts & Creativity grants

Special Initiatives

Through its Special Initiatives, Barr awarded 16 grants totaling $8.7 million.
View all Special Initiative grants

Sector Effectiveness

In Sector Effectiveness, Barr awarded 6 grants totaling $401,500.
View all Sector Effectiveness grants


This category includes dues for Memberships & Sponsorships and employee gift matching.
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