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Island Foundation, Inc.


Last Updated: 2016-09-13

At A Glance

Island Foundation, Inc.

589 Mill St.

Marion, MA United States 02738-1553

Telephone: (508) 748-2809


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Family foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2015-12-31)

Assets: $55,691,534

Total giving: $2,870,000






Incorporated in 1980 in MA as Ram Island, Inc.; current entity formed in 1986 by merger with Green Island, Inc.

Purpose and Activities

Giving primarily for: 1) coastal water protection in New England environmental projects: right whale research, impact of toxins on wildlife research, land use conservation in southeast Massachusetts, and 2) building the capacity of individuals and neighborhoods in the city of New Bedford, Massachusetts; and 3) alternative education programs.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Alternative Education

The foundation supports a limited number of experiential education programs, after-school programs, and alternative education schools. Drawing on its tradition of seeking alternative and unconventional approaches, the foundation looks for informal and school-based programs that connect young people to their natural world, foster an appreciation for community service, and respect individuals with diverse backgrounds and learning styles. Maritime trades, hands-on marine education, and programs that increase access and opportunity for at-risk youth are of particular interest.


In Southeastern Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island, the Island Foundation promotes the conservation of marine and coastal resources. The Board's current interest: 1) link climate change, renewable energy, and regional planning and support those most impacted by cliamate change; 2) support working landscapes (sustainable agriculture and community-based fisheries) and the people who rely on them for their livelihoods; 3) help local conservation organizations strengthen their own capacity; 4) connect community health, quality of life, and environmental conservation; and 5) promote environmental justice and seek to include the voices of those most affected by environmental harms.


The foundation supports a small number of global programs that mirror the values in its other priority areas, and it also supports projects that: 1) ensure the rights of indigenous peoples and women; 2) protect those most vulnerable to climate change; 3) empower local communities to drive their own development; 4) provide access to quality healthcare for the poor; and 5) promote sexual and reproductive health education and rights.

New Bedford

The foundation works with organizations that promote progressive social change and combat discrimination in all its forms in New Bedford by supporting youth programs, community development, arts and culture, and basic needs. The foundation funds groups that have community-wide recognition and support and demonstrate a positive vision for the present and future of New Bedford. The Board currently seeks proposals addressing: 1) youth educational attainment, life skills, and career preparation, with an emphasis on workforce development for at-risk youth ages 16-24; 2) strategies to address food insecurity; 3) assistance for immigrants; 4) activities that increase civic engagement, access, and inclusion; 5) appreciation for for the history and cultures represented in this community; and 6) professional development/capacity building for the nonprofit sector.

Program-Related Investment

Historically, the foundation has occasionally made PRIs to support education, the environment, and community development. PRIs have provided interim financing, supported facilities renovation, and capitalized housing development projects.

Fields of Interest

  • Biochemistry
  • Biodiversity
  • Community and economic development
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Marine science
  • Natural resources
  • Nonprofits
  • Public policy
  • Sustainable development
  • Wildlife rehabilitation
Population Groups
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Low-income and poor people
  • Public charities

Financial Data

Year ended 2015-12-31

Assets: $55,691,534 (market value)

Expenditures: $3,250,050

Total giving: $2,870,000

Qualifying distributions: $3,214,324

Giving activities include:

$2,870,000 for grants