Reinforcing Barr’s core programs and commitment to the region.

As a complement to our core programs of Arts & Creativity, Climate, and Education, Barr supports a range of activities to reinforce the strategies guiding that work and to deepen our commitment to the region.

Cross-Program Initiatives focuses on three broad goals:

1. Invest in leaders.

Investing in leadership is a core value of the Foundation that permeates all of our activities. Through Cross-Program Initiatives we aim to:

  • Advance extraordinary leadership through the Barr Fellowship: Since 2005, Barr has recognized and invested in close to 60 Boston leaders through the Barr Fellowship. We refined the program based on lessons from its first decade and selected a new cohort in 2017.
  • Support Barr grantee leadership: With the engagement of our program team leads, we provide targeted and tailored support for individual leaders and leadership teams of select existing Barr grantees. We also support select grantees during times of leadership transition, which can be critical for organizations.
  • Enhance nonprofit and public-sector leadership in the region: Given the ongoing shifts in demographics and emerging models of leadership, we aim to help cultivate a strong and diverse pipeline of nonprofit and public-sector leaders in New England. In 2017, we will explore and evaluate multiple approaches, existing and new, to strengthening and expanding development opportunities for next-generation and diverse leaders.

2. Inform sound decision-making.

Foundations can play an important role in supporting credible, objective research and analysis, as well as robust public engagement, that lead to informed decisions. We support such work within each of Barr’s core programs, and through Cross-Program Initiatives we aim to:

  • Support research capacity in the region: We support organizations that provide research, polling, and/or data analysis on a range of issues critical to our region and the nonprofit sector. In identifying such organizations, we look for high degrees of credibility, objectivity, sophistication in approach, and reach.
  • Stimulate informed public discourse: We support organizations that ensure credible, objective information reaches the public in timely ways and that facilitate thoughtful, productive engagement on the key challenges and opportunities facing the region.

3. Support the nonprofit and philanthropic sector.

Barr embraces a shared responsibility to support infrastructure for a healthy, effective, and resilient nonprofit and philanthropic sector. We believe that a strong sector requires:

  • Proactive public policy engagement by charitable organizations of all kinds to inform a policy environment that best allows those organizations to pursue their missions.
  • Best practices and actionable knowledge shared across the field by strong and respected organizations.
  • Organizational cultures that welcome and support diverse perspectives and talents, particularly those of organizations’ constituencies, in service to equitable outcomes for communities.
  • Organizations and leaders who regularly connect and collaborate to maximize impact.

Barr principally provides general operating funds to a limited number of organizations that support these critical functions for the field nationally and in our region. Our grantmaking decisions are informed by the Foundation’s core values, our work with grantees and other partners, and collaboration with peer funders.

Cross-Program Initiatives Grantmaking Process and Inquiries

Grants awarded by the Barr Foundation originate in different ways. The majority are initiated by our staff. Additionally, given the value we place on long-term partnerships, many grants are renewals for current grantees.

However, we welcome inquiries from those who feel their work may align with Barr’s priorities and who wish to introduce themselves to us. The best approach is to email Maryam Hamedany, program assistant, with a brief description (we suggest 300–400 words) of your organization and the funding opportunity you would like us to consider. While we commit to reviewing all inquiries, given the high volume we receive and a relatively small staff, we reply only to those we intend to explore further.

Click here to learn more about our grantmaking process.

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Introducing Cross-Program Initiatives
In this post, Jim Canales outlines our early thinking and priorities for this area of focus, which aims to reinforce Barr’s core program strategies and commitment to the region.

Meet our Cross-Program Initiatives Team

Recent Cross-Program Initiatives Posts