The Hestia Fund is a women’s grant-making organization operating in the greater Boston Area. Our mission is to support programs that create opportunities for children from underserved families to thrive in school and realize lasting change in their lives.

The group is comprised of approximately 50 women. Since its inception in 2000, Hestia has distributed over $5 million in grants to organizations in the Boston area.

We share a commitment to philanthropic giving as well as a desire to become more conversant with and engaged in the challenges faced by low-income communities. We strive to support programs that address those problems with both time-tested and innovative solutions.

In addition to Hestia’s grant-making function, Hestia seeks to be both a source of social connection and an opportunity for lifelong learning for our members, particularly in the areas of strategic philanthropy and education policy.

Our Impact: Hestia by the Numbers

19
years in operation
50
annual active members
90
organizations awarded grants
over $5,000,000
awarded
over 100,000
children impacted through our grants

Our History

  • In January 2000, Founder Susan Priem launched a collaborative giving circle with goals of increasing women’s participation in philanthropy and achieving greater impact through combining their intellectual talents and pooled resources.
  • Within the first year of operation Susan and the founding members defined the parameters of the giving circle. The group as a whole developed a broad mission and identified a specific grant making focus to address the needs of low-income women and their children. Within the year, they awarded $100,000 to their first group of grantees.
  • They set an annual financial contribution level for each member to be aggregated and distributed to grant recipients each year. They also established a three-year membership commitment to give stability to the association and to the organizations they support.
  • Finally, the early group chose the name ‘Hestia Fund’, after the Greek goddess of home and hearth.
  • For almost two decades, Hestia has maintained this group at approximately 50 members, allowing for interactive meetings at which members learn about social issues together, exchange points of view, and use collaborative decision-making throughout the grant making process. These operating principles are all tenets of our unique, high-engagement philanthropy model.