Thank you for your interest in the Barr Foundation, and welcome to our website.
Barr hired its first staff in 2000. Since then we have worked to advance a vision of a vibrant, just, and sustainable world with hopeful futures for children. As we reflect on Barr’s first decade and step forward into the next, our dependence on and gratitude for the work of our grantees is uppermost in our minds.
Barr grantees are an uncommon lot. From the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative to the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance to the Huntington Theatre, they work tirelessly on issues as divergent as early childhood development, energy efficiency, and Boston’s artistic soul. What these organizations have in common are highly skilled, committed, hard-working staffs, volunteers, and leaders, who often make great personal sacrifices – financial and otherwise – to achieve their missions.
In order to thrive, these nonprofits have to navigate a capital market that can be highly unpredictable and, at times, even undermine their capacity to achieve their missions. With a penchant for supporting new programs, new buildings, and scale, foundations sometimes unwittingly leave organizations overextended and undercapitalized. When a foundation changes its strategies, it only adds to the angst. Government funding further contributes to the instability by underpaying for services. Fortunately, many nonprofits are led by mission-driven leaders, who deftly navigate this landscape, delivering results far beyond what seems possible. When foundations are at their best, we make time to listen to such leaders, to learn from them, and to build relationships with them. The Barr Fellows Program, which began in 2005, represents our signature effort to do just this.
As you explore our site, you will find information about our strategies, our grantmaking, and what we are learning from our work. You will also discover ways to share what you find with others in your network. As always, we welcome your guidance and insights. And we look forward to another decade of community building and fellowship.
Pat Brandes, Executive Director
* For recent News posts by Pat, click here.