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The Mabel Louise Riley Foundation


Last profile update: 05/23/2017
Last grant data update: 01/31/2018

At A Glance

The Mabel Louise Riley Foundation

(also known as The Riley Foundation)

77 Summer St., 8th Fl.

Boston, MA United States 02110-1006

Telephone: (617) 399-1850


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation




Established in 1971 in MA as the Mabel Louise Riley Charitable Trust - The foundation was established under the provisions of the will of Mabel Louise Riley, the only child of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Edward Riley of Newton, MA. Mr. Riley took an active part in the development of the cotton textile industry, particularly in the south, and later formed the C.E. Riley Co., which purchased and sold textile machinery and also functioned as a financial management organization. Mabel Louise Riley inherited a substantial fortune from her parents, as well as a strong interest in local charities which she supported generously. In her will, signed ten years before her death, Miss Riley designated over 100 charities which received bequests totaling over $2,000,000, as well as 84 relatives and individuals. The residue was left in trust "for public charitable uses" with three individual trustees (who had long-time connections with the Riley family), and with Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Co. as the fourth time trustee.

Purpose and Activities

Giving primarily for 1) education and social services for disadvantaged children and adolescents; 2) preschool reading programs; 3) community development that will benefit low-income and minority neighborhoods, including job development and training, and housing; 4) citywide efforts in Boston and vicinity that promote cultural improvements and the arts; 5) grants that, despite some risk, offer a potential of high impact or significant benefits for a community, (the foundation is especially interested in leveraging its grants by funding new programs that can become self-sufficient or which may serve as a model in other geographic areas); and 6) improvements of race relations and neighborhood safety issues.