Long known for keeping its gifts anonymous and its invitation-only grant process closely guarded, Boston's Barr Foundation is emerging into an active and public role in the city's philanthropic and policy circles, writes The Boston Globe.
Established by cable-TV mogul Amos Hostetter Jr. and his wife, Barbara, in 1997, Barr is the largest family foundation in Massachusetts with $1.6 billion in assets. It began lifting the veil five years ago with its first publicized gift - $50 million for organizations fighting climate change — and the opening-up process has accelerated under President Jim Canales, who joined the foundation a year ago.
Mr. Canales, formerly the CEO of the James Irvine Foundation in California, blogs, tweets, and works closely with Boston policy leaders on key efforts. The foundation now has a searchable database of its grants and several tax returns on its website, and it has joined Glasspockets, a national effort to encourage openness in philanthropy.