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Miller Innovation Fund: Supporting New Approaches to Community Organizing

The Herman and Frieda Miller Foundation recently awarded its second round of grants for its new Innovation Fund.

The Innovation Fund is broadly conceived as a resource that supports innovations, tools, and practices that help social justice organizations and their allies improve conditions and institutions in pursuit of an involved, informed, and active public.

The Fund complements the core grantmaking program of the foundation that funds organizing and advocacy in Greater Boston and Eastern Massachusetts.

The seven grantees represented a diverse set of organizations that were experienced at community organizing and advancing public policy. Most represented strong coalitions and all were working in concert with other community partners. Nearly all of the projects had a regional or statewide emphasis.

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Planet Health: Focus of Conservation, Food, & Health Grants in 2012

The health of forests, farms, and people continued to be the main theme in the Conservation, Food, and Health Foundation’s grantmaking in 2012.

Foundation grantees regularly receive recognition for their work as social innovators.  Examples include:

International Rivers’ partner, Ikal Angelei won the 2012 Goldman Environmental Prize winner for Africa for her work with Friends of Lake Turkana.  The foundation is helping fund work to stop the Gibe III dam that flows into Lake Turkana – the world’s largest desert lake. The lake is home to the world’s largest population of Nile crocodiles, hippos, and hundreds of bird and fish species. Continue Reading »

Impact, one life at a time


In the field of philanthropy we talk a lot about impact.  A walk around the photograph and art exhibit currently on display at Boston’s City Hall and a talk with the teenaged photographers teaches vividly about the impact of just one life on another.

My Life, My Choice is a small but mighty organization that works to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children – the prostitution of minors. The organization conducts prevention activities with girls at risk, and helps girls and young women in Greater Boston who have been exploited to escape, heal and find new direction for their lives. The hallmark of the model is survivor mentorship by adult women who were exploited as minors, and who have turned their lives around.  I recently met some of the teenagers at a stunning exhibit of their photography. Continue Reading »

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