Our mission is to invest in human, natural, and creative potential, serving as thoughtful stewards and catalysts.

Matt Conti

There is so much potential all around us. We aim to serve as both stewards and catalysts of that potential. As stewards, we nurture and enhance vital community assets. As catalysts, we cultivate and advance the breakthrough ideas that will shape our collective future.

Watch the following video where Barr's president and trustee, Jim Canales speaks about the Foundation's mission.

"We aspire to be both stewards and catalysts."

In all that we do, we focus on achieving impact as a constructive partner, willing to exercise leadership.

Based in Boston, Barr focuses regionally, and selectively engages nationally, working in partnership with nonprofits, foundations, the public sector, and civic and business leaders to elevate the arts and creative expression, to advance solutions for climate change, and to connect all students to success in high school and beyond. Founded in 1997, Barr now has assets of $1.7 billion, and has contributed more than $838 million to charitable causes.

Our Core Values

We are guided by core values defined by our founders. These values are fundamental to who we are and what we believe constitutes effective philanthropy.

  1. Strive for excellence

    We aim for the highest standards of performance, integrity, and service in all dimensions of our work.

  2. Invest in leaders

    We support effective, visionary, and collaborative leaders, as they motivate others, drive change, and produce results.

  3. Act with humility and modesty

    We approach our activities with respect for our partners, an understanding that solutions reside with those we serve, and recognition of the privilege inherent in philanthropic work.

  4. Adopt a long-term perspective

    We take the long view, considering the implications of today’s decisions for future generations.

  5. Embrace risk

    We pursue ambitious goals, which requires a comfort with the risk of failure.

  6. Demonstrate curiosity

    We actively solicit new perspectives to inform our work and are committed to collaboration and partnership.

Our Trustees

The Barr Foundation is governed by a board of trustees who provide strategic direction and fiscal oversight for the Foundation’s affairs in service of its mission.

In September 2017, the board expanded from three to five members, and it is anticipated that, over time, the board will include others to share in the governance of the Foundation.

Barr Foundation Board of Trustees

Barbara W. Hostetter

Co-founder and Chair of the Board
Barbara’s Bio

Amos B. Hostetter, Jr.

Amos' Bio

M. Lee Pelton

President, Emerson College
Lee's Bio

Susan F. Tierney

Senior Advisor, Analysis Group
Sue's Bio

James E. Canales

Jim's Bio

Our Team

Racial and Ethnic Diversity of Barr Staff

Racial and Ethnic Diversity

32 Staff Members

We value diversity and inclusion in our workplace. Learn more about who we are by exploring this chart.

Asian or Asian American (4)

Staff members who identify as Asian or Asian American.

Black or African American (4)

Staff members who identify as Black or African American.

Hispanic, Latinx (3)

Staff members who identify as Hispanic or Latinx.

Multiracial or multiethnic (2)

Staff members who identify as Multiracial or Multiethnic.

White (16)

Staff members who identify as White.

Interested In Joining Our Team?

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