Nurtury Raises $135K at Gala and Announces $255K in Grants

May 13, 2018 — Nurtury, a Boston nonprofit that provides services to children up to age 5 by getting them ready for school and promoting healthy development, recently raised $135,000 at its annual fundraising dinner to celebrate its 140th anniversary, at which it also announced receiving $255,000 in new grants.

This year's Night for Nurtury, held May 9 at The Nurtury Learning Lab, the organization's flagship center, attracted 150 attendees, exceeding its fundraising goal by 35%, which was also 35% more than it raised last year.

Wayne Ysaguirre, CEO of Nurtury, New England's first early childhood care center and preschool, said the introduction of a matching gift appeal, in tandem with the organization's milestone anniversary, enabled it to spark increased support this year.

Nurtury said the event, net of expenses, enable it to reach 10% of its goal to raise $1 million this year.

Funds were raised through a live and silent auctions, corporate and individual sponsorships, the matching gift program, and ticket sales. Matching gift funds will support Nurtury’s Family Engagement Program, while the remaining funds will support ongoing education programs.

Following are five new grants announced at the gala:
  • $100,000 from the Mabel Louise Riley Foundation to support the Nurtury Learning Lab.

  • $80,000 from the Liberty Mutual Foundation to support the Family Engagement for School Success program.

  • $55,000 from the Family Nurturing Center and the Boston Family Engagement Network to provide family support services for underserved populations.

  • $10,000 from Life Science Cares to help purchase laptops for each of Nurtury’s 18 preschool classrooms to give students access to STEM education.

  • $10,000 from American Tower to fund technology system upgrades that support enrollment, attendance, nutrition, finance, and child screening statistics.
At the event, Nurtury bestowed its Nurturer of the Year Award to Michael Durkin, CEO of United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.

“We’re so excited to honor Mr. Durkin for his unwavering commitment to supporting underserved children and their families,” said Ysaguirre. "For the past 50 years, the United Way has been by our side, advocating for the work we do each and every day, to help ensure the children we serve build a strong educational foundation to prepare them for a lifetime of learning.”

Nurtury and the United Way collaborate to help advance early childhood education and programming in Boston. Through United Way’s DRIVE initiative, the two nonprofits seek to attain universal child development screening for young children. Both organizations are also involved in Thrive in Five, Boston’s citywide movement to ensure children from families of all races, ethnicity, incomes, and abilities have the opportunities and support to succeed in school and in life.

Key developments during Nurtury's 140 years include establishing the precursor to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, which is the leading professional organization in the field; advocating for the first basic Child Care Standards law in Massachusetts; and establishing the first early education center designed specifically to care for abused and neglected infants and toddlers.

In 2014, Nurtury opened the Nurtury Learning Lab at the Mildred C. Hailey (formerly Bromley-Heath) housing development, a state-of-the-art early learning center.