Working in partnership with nonprofit and civic leaders across the region.

The Barr Foundation focuses on three areas: Arts & Creativity, Climate, and Education. This is complemented by grantmaking to strengthen New England’s social sector, and by targeted, time-limited Special Initiatives.

Founded in 1997, Barr has contributed more than $838 million to charitable causes. The Foundation’s grantmaking budget for 2018 is $85 million.

What We Don't Fund

Barr does not make grants to individuals or for scholarships. It is also rare for Barr to fund capital projects, event sponsorships (except on occasion for longstanding partners), program-related investments, or organizations not classified as public charities and tax-exempt under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Our Grantmaking Process

Grants awarded by the Barr Foundation originate in different ways.

Staff-initiated grants

Most grants awarded by the Foundation result from research by our program staff, who spend much of their time in conversations with people dedicated to and impacted by Barr’s issue areas. Our staff engage with nonprofit practitioners, field experts, and peer funders, as well as public-sector, civic, and business leaders, all with the goal of remaining attuned to what’s happening in their fields.

Continuing or new support for current grantees

Barr places great value in long-term partnerships with those who share our aspirations and have demonstrated impact. Accordingly, many of our grants provide support over multiple years, and we do not set term limits for our grantees. When one grant comes to an end, we sometimes follow it with additional support—either to steward continuing work or to help catalyze change and/or growth for our current partners, or to do both.

Request for proposals

Over the last couple of years, Barr has increasingly issued requests for proposals for select funding opportunities. We expect to continue this trend. The best way to stay informed about these opportunities as they arise is to subscribe to our newsletter.

Intermediary partners

Barr partners with other grant-making organizations in order to effectively distribute grant dollars where and when they are needed most. With Barr's region spanning across the Northeast, intermediary partners play an important role in providing hyperlocal expertise.

Submit feedback about our grantmaking process

Open Requests For Proposals

Inquiries From Potential New Partners

We welcome inquiries from those who believe their work may align with Barr’s priorities and who wish to introduce themselves to us. The best approach to submit an inquiry is to email us with a brief description (we suggest 300–400 words) of your organization and the funding opportunity you would like us to consider.

Our Grantees

Barr supports a diverse set of grantees across our program areas.

Search our grants database

Grant Announcements