Eastern Bank Foundation

Eastern Bank’s Foundation Announces Expansion Of Its Work

May 17, 2021


  • A New Name – the Eastern Bank Foundation – Reflects A Philosophy Of Investing In The Community To Create Systems Change
  • Long-Standing Support Of Grassroots Community Donations Remains A Core Strategy
  • Increased Commitment To Advance Economic Inclusion and Mobility
  • Additional $2 Million For COVID-19 Support Is Announced, Bringing Total COVID-19 Support To $15 Million Since 2020

BOSTON, MA, May 17, 2021 – The Foundation and philanthropic arm of Boston-based Eastern Bank today announced an expanded approach to its work including:

  • A name change, from Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation to Eastern Bank Foundation, eliminating the word “charitable” to reflect the recognition that its work is not charity for those less fortunate, it is an investment in systems change for and with our communities; as part of a growing movement in the philanthropy sector to partner with rather than only provide for communities in need;
  • Continued support of grassroots Community Donations as a core strategy, which provide millions of dollars in assistance to community nonprofit organizations addressing a variety of needs across eastern Massachusetts, southern and coastal New Hampshire, and Rhode Island;
  • A significant commitment to eliminating inequities in the region by supporting local organizations dedicated to affecting systemic and sustained change to advance Economic Inclusion and Mobility; and
  • An additional $2 million in COVID-19 support for equity in access to vaccines and culturally-inclusive outreach to communities of color; bringing its COVID-19 Relief total to $15 million.

“We believe the way to achieve sustainable change is through listening and responding to the lived experiences of people in our communities, trusting their priorities, and partnering on innovative ways to dismantle centuries-old social and economic hierarchies that produce and reinforce inequities,” said Nancy Huntington Stager, President and CEO of the Eastern Bank Foundation.

Eastern Bank Foundation uses its voice to advocate for systemic change that advances equity and rally community partners and corporations to broaden support for change. Eastern colleagues volunteer their time, which includes more than 500,000 volunteer hours since 1994, passion and expertise to causes and organizations across the region. Stager continued, “Our philanthropy fuels our corporate volunteerism and advocacy and is, in turn, influenced by them. Collaborations with community partners and other companies deepen our collective impact. The combination of our philanthropy, volunteerism, advocacy and collaboration with community partners is the best way we can support our region, and we thank our employees and community partners for all that they do and for embracing opportunities to work together to make meaningful positive change.”

Community Donations – A Grassroots Focus
Each year, Eastern Bank Foundation supports more than 1,500 local organizations providing a variety of vital community services.

  • Community Donations remain a significant part of the Foundation’s funding, amounting to millions of dollars each year.
  • Their grassroots focus has enabled long-lasting relationships across the region and an opportunity to listen to the lived experiences of community members, improving the Foundation’s understanding of the issues being faced every day.
  • In addition, Eastern Bank employees donate their time to many grant recipients through many volunteer programs provided by the Bank or sourced on their own, including service on Boards, further enhancing Eastern’s understanding of the needs of the people in the cities and towns it serves.

Economic Inclusion and Mobility – Affecting Systems Change

Recognizing the scarcity of resources available and the tremendous work ahead for organizations focused on the critical drivers of Economic Inclusion and Mobility, Eastern Bank Foundation is committing a significant portion of its giving to sustain and advance their work. The Foundation seeks to eliminate inequities by supporting local organizations dedicated to advancing equity and affecting systemic and sustained change, and joining with community partners supporting this work.

Eastern Bank Foundation has identified mutually reinforcing strategy areas where the combination of its philanthropy, volunteerism and advocacy can have the greatest impact:

  • Advancing equity in the small business ecosystem;
  • Enriching early childhood development;
  • Securing safe and affordable housing;
  • Promoting workforce development; and
  • Innovations in Economic Inclusion and Mobility.

“We are more committed than ever to Economic Inclusion and Mobility, as a set of strategies that we know are far too under-resourced in our region, and vital to our purpose to help people prosper,” added Stager. “Our communities, particularly our Gateway Cities, are facing enormous challenges: the racial wealth gap is widening, economic opportunity is declining, and economic mobility—which has historically been fleeting for communities of color—is stalled. Housing and career opportunities are limited especially for people of color, women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, Veterans and people who are disabled.”

One of the earliest examples of this larger support of Economic Inclusion and Mobility was in 2017 with the creation of the Foundation for Business Equity (FBE) as an approach to advance equity in the small business ecosystem. Other examples include in 2020, when the Eastern Bank Foundation committed $5 million over five years, five times its previous largest donation to any organization, to the New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund. And in 2021 in partnership with the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, the Massachusetts Business Coalition for Early Childhood Education was launched with five Co-Chairs including Bob Rivers, CEO of Eastern Bank. The coalition now spans 77 companies and 14 business organizations, with a mission of improving outcomes in early child care and education across Massachusetts.

Additional $2 Million For COVID-19 Support
In 2021, the Foundation is committing an additional $2 million in COVID-19 support for equity and access to vaccines and culturally-inclusive outreach in communities of color. Added Stager, “As widely reported, the COVID-19 vaccine rollout across our region has exacerbated significant disparities in communities of color, with many Gateway Cities being most impacted by the virus. We are working with community organizations, community health centers, foundations, companies and others to learn where the gaps persist, and how we can help efforts to move quickly to address them.” The Foundation will be notifying organizations selected to receive a COVID-19 grant and will not be soliciting requests.

In 2020, the Foundation provided more than $13 million in COVID-19 support. More than 500 conversations with community partners identified where the Foundation’s support was needed the most.

About Eastern Bank Foundation
Created in 1994, the Eastern Bank Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Boston-based Eastern Bank. Through philanthropy, employee volunteerism, advocacy and collaborations with other businesses and community partners, Eastern Bank Foundation responds to community needs and supports sustainable solutions to our communities’ most vexing challenges across eastern Massachusetts, southern and coastal New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. To learn more, visit its newly launched website at

About Eastern Bank 
Founded in 1818, Boston-based Eastern Bank has more than 110 locations serving communities in eastern Massachusetts, southern and coastal New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. As of March 31, 2021, Eastern Bank had approximately $17 billion in total assets. Eastern provides banking, investment and insurance products and services for consumers and businesses of all sizes, including through its Eastern Wealth Management division and its Eastern Insurance Group LLC subsidiary. Eastern takes pride in its outspoken advocacy and community support that includes $240 million in charitable giving since 1994. An inclusive company, Eastern employs approximately 1,900 deeply committed professionals who value relationships with their customers, colleagues and communities. Join us for good at and follow Eastern on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Eastern Bankshares, Inc. (Nasdaq Global Select Market: EBC) is the stock holding company for Eastern Bank. For investor information, visit

Media contact:
Andrea Goodman
Eastern Bank

[email protected]


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