March 28, 2024

20 Years, 20 Friends: Founding Funders

Our next honoree in our 20 Years, 20 Friends series in celebration of our 20th anniversary in 2024 is a special group of donors who laid the financial foundation for the establishment and continued success of Friends-Boston. They were the initial investors in our program – our Founding Funders.

Congratulations to our Founding Funders for being a part of our 20 Years, 20 Friends countdown!

Last month, we highlighted Margaret Hall – the person who led the organization’s start-up before hiring our first Executive Director. That start-up was made possible by a group of investors – individuals and institutions – who provided the initial funding that was needed to begin the work that has continued over the last 20 years.

Our group of Founding Funders is made up of 274 donors – 255 individuals and 19 organizations – who have done so much more for our organization than just providing those much-needed early funds. They’ve built connections for us with their own organizations and others within their spheres. They’ve helped to spread the message throughout those crucial early years and ever since. And, most importantly, they were a part of the driving force that laid the groundwork for us to become the multi-million-dollar organization we are today.

Of that group of 274 donors, 20 of them are still with us today. They include former board members and other dedicated supporters. This is particularly impressive because the average lifespan of a donor with a nonprofit organization is only around five years.

Here’s why they continue to give to Friends-Boston:

“Duncan and Cindy Campbell (founders of the first Friends of the Children) personally knew the value of having someone who cares to be there. Friends of the Children started in Portland in 1993, and I have been associated with Friends since 1994. The lives of children labeled “most at risk” at age five who have been positively changed is a testament to their vision. To say thousands of people have been given hope and had their lives changed is the outcome of Friends.” - George and Jacquie McClelland, Founding Funders and a Founding Board Member

“The choice to support Friends-Boston was easy. Their commitment to the children and their families was immediately apparent right at the beginning, and they have since shown that it works! The success that their students and graduates have demonstrated over the past 20 years is nothing short of remarkable. And it is all thanks to the tireless efforts of all the people at Friends-Boston. The teachers, staff, children, and families deserve our support, and we are happy to continue it!” - Daniel Chandler and Won Lee, Founding and Current Funder

“There are lots of great organizations in the city that make a huge difference for children, but Friends-Boston is truly transformative for those that they work with. The idea that twelve years of support was being offered was key in making us interested as we really believed that the outcomes would be great. Twenty years later, we still believe and there is a lot more data behind it. Small but mighty, Friends-Boston is making a big difference for our city.” - Rob Small and Christine Olsen, Founding Funder

With the support of our Founding Funders, Friends-Boston has been able to make lasting impacts on the lives of youth throughout the Boston area for 20 years. We’re grateful to these initial investors for laying the financial foundation that has made the work we do each day with our Achievers possible. We would not be here celebrating 20 years of impacting the lives of youth without them. Thank you from all of us at Friends-Boston to our Founding Funders!