Ansara Family Fund: Grants for Global Development

OVERVIEW: The Ansara Family Fund supports groups addressing root causes of global poverty.

IP TAKE: Ansara takes a bottom-up approach in its grantmaking, meaning this is a good funder for small, grassroots and local groups that work directly with vulnerable populations.

PROFILE: In 2005, Jim Ansara, founder of Shawmut Design and Construction—one of the top 25 construction companies in the country—sold his company. The proceeds from the sale helped to establish the Ansara Family Fund, which seeks to “help eradicate global poverty so that no parent would feel compelled to give up a beloved child.”

Ansara takes a bottom-up approach in its international grantmaking, and prefers to work with organizations that empower vulnerable populations to take control of their futures. The foundation also pays attention to diaspora groups, referring to them as an “often overlooked” population.

While Ansara does not specify geographic locations in which it funds projects, it tends to favor Nepal and Haiti. Incidentally, Jim and Karen Ansara cofounded the Haiti Fund in 2010. The couple also founded Build Health International, a private operating foundation working in conjunction with Partners in Health to help rebuild the University Hospital of Mirebalais.

Ansara grants typically range from $10,000 to $25,000 and appear to be single year grants. The fund's website notes that it occasionally makes multi-year commitments.

Grantseekers should note that this is a donor-advised fund at the Boston Foundation. So, grantseekers may have to take some extra steps to get funding here. Ansara makes it relatively easy for grantseekers to get their foot in the door.

Since  September 2016, the fund accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry; however, grantseekers are advised to check the status of its policies regarding letters of inquiry. While the deadlines have yet to be announced, the fund typically requires grant proposals due by September 15. Grantseekers can also contact the fund via email at


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