Boston Founding Members innovating on traditional notions of the “Foundation” & “Incubator”

10 Nov
Boston Rising, Greenlight Fund and CropCircle Kitchen fall under the headings of “foundations” and “incubator”, respectively, but each of them is generating impact in a new and innovative way.
Boston Rising is a fund to end the cycle of poverty in Boston by clearing a path for the next Rising Class. Taking a new approach to an old problem, the organization is fairly new in the Boston foundation landscape, but is already generating waves. The Boston Rising team believes that by tapping into the power of local communities, providing access to the right resources and empowering the Rising Class, they can break the cycle of poverty in urban neighborhoods. The organization recently launched the first-of-its-kind resident-led fund, the Grove Hall Trust, to bring choice and control to the residents of a Boston neighborhood.  Grove Hall Trust is funded on two core beliefs: communities know what they need to improve their outcomes, and sustainable impact comes from shared risk and responsibility. Learn more about the groundbreaking work that Boston Rising is doing here and read CEO Tiziana Dearing’s recent article for the Huffington Post.
The Greenlight Fund seeks out innovative, high-performing nonprofits in cities across the country and supports their successful expansion into the local Boston community.  Primarily, these organizations address issues affecting low-income urban children and families in key areas such as education, youth development, workforce development, and health. The Greenlight Fund was conceived to address the obstacles that prevent innovative, high-impact nonprofit models in other cities around the country from spreading. While social entrepreneurs across the US are creating powerful solutions to the many daunting challenges of our time, communities do not hear about innovations in other places that could effectively address the challenges they face. The spread of social innovations is limited because there is no vehicle dedicated to identifying unmet local needs, finding and replicating innovative approaches to meet these needs, and adapting the approaches for success in the local community. Greenlight seeks to achieve this for Boston, and eventually for other cities as well. Another innovative approach Greenlight has adopted to help their members build capacity is to support them for Catchafire membership. This year, Greenlight provided partial sponsorship for two of their members, Raising a Reader and Youth Villages, to join Catchafire as Founding Members.  Read more about their unique approach here.
CropCircle Kitchen is Boston’s only shared use kitchen and culinary business incubator. Founded as a new 501(c)3 non-profit in August 2009,  CropCircle currently supports about 25 culinary entrepreneurs and their fledgling businesses, providing technical support, training, oversight, and mentoring through the early stages of a new food business. Most importantly, CropCircle Kitchen has a deep commitment to sustainability and truly believes in the local food movement and rebuilding the original food economy through an “organic renaissance”. By nurturing entrepreneurs, their mission is to support the local economy and small businesses, a truly unique cause in our class of Founding Members. Read more here.

In tomorrow’s profiles – Boston Founding Members who are behind women’s issues

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