The new Cambridge is defined by a powerful and growing innovation economy. Our emerging work on equity and opportunity is developing partnerships with innovation economy businesses and institutions. One such effort, the Talent-Ed Initiative is focused on ensuring opportunities for Cambridge residents to participate in the innovation economy. The Foundation supports programs that help them find pathways into this landscape of opportunity. Finding pathways was the subject of a forum in the spring that drew interested participants from schools, industry, nonprofits the funder community and the city as well. The other, an emerging partnership with the Boston Foundation is seeking to engage startups to give back to the community through Pledge 1%, a growing global effort  of startups that have committed 1% of their company (either through individual pledges or corporate pledges) to support their communities.

The Talent-Ed Initiative

Cambridge is the core of the region’s innovation economy with global impact. It is home to a concentration of more than 300 high-tech, bio-tech and clean-tech businesses, over 700 start-ups, several research and development institutes, venture capital firms and other support functions.  Cambridge’s growth generates jobs and entrepreneurial opportunity, which drives the demand for talent — a demand that requires focus, intervention, systemic coordination, and public accountability to ensure a workforce is prepared to fuel this growing, dynamic cycle that will, in turn, benefit the city and its residents, especially the children of Cambridge.

Designed along the concept of “pathways” into the innovation economy and informed by conversations across academia, industry and community partners the Talent-Ed Initiative will focus on the intersection of education, workforce and entrepreneurship, and community:

  • Education: The goal is to ensure that children and youth in Cambridge have the opportunity to participate in the area’s rich and vibrant innovation economy, and that pathways to higher education are strengthened. At the outset, the Initiative will support integrated approaches that offer immersion in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) programs and exposure to STEAM careers through hands-on and on-line learning that offer depth and continuity of exposure.
  • Workforce and Entrepreneurship:The Talent-Ed Initiative will support efforts that open doors for adults and immigrants to participate in the innovation economy. Using a combination of workforce training and entrepreneurship programs to meet short-term industry needs that offer economic opportunity, while also ensuring that adults and parents increase their own awareness of possibilities for themselves and their children.
  • Community: Help Cambridge become a STEAM-literate city. Cambridge is home to many innovations.  Its universities are committed to solving major world problems such as the energy crisis, climate change, world hunger, and creating a more equal, peaceful world. To ensure that our own community is educated and is a participant in an active dialogue on such grand-scale issues, the Talent-Ed Initiative will seek to support Public Forums on key issues facing humanity, and foster cross sector collaborations that challenge us to explore new ideas and break new ground.

To enable this work, the Cambridge Community Foundation invites donors and innovation companies to participate in the collaborative Talent-Ed Fund.


Liz Ackerson, Development Associate
Email: [email protected]
Phone:  (617) 576-9966


Pledge 1% is a global movement that is creating a new normal where giving back is integrated into the DNA of companies of all sizes. Over 750 companies in 20 countries have pledged 1% to support nonprofit causes and programs. To find out more visit:

In September of 2016, the Cambridge Community Foundation joined with The Boston Foundation to launch Pledge 1% Boston. Greater Boston is the “Innovation Hub” of the country. Pledge 1% Boston makes it possible for individuals and companies to pledge 1% equity of their company for the benefit of Greater Boston or anywhere in the country or the world. Pledge 1% Boston also encourages companies to pledge employee time, products, or profit to worthy causes. Pledge a small portion of your future success today and have an enormous impact tomorrow.


Step 1: Pledge your intent at (Indicate the Cambridge Community Foundation/The Boston Foundation as your referral source; it only takes 2 minutes).

Step 2: Meet with the Pledge 1% Boston team to activate your pledge. While not required for participation, you can learn about opportunities to engage in the community, as much or as little as you would like.

Step 3: Spread the word! Pledge 1% Boston makes it easy. Pledge companies and individuals are in total control. You decide the causes and nonprofits you want to support based on your own company and employee interests. We will work with you to build a strategy, engage your employees, and have fun in the process.

Learn about community needs and innovative social change work in Cambridge and Greater Boston —from hunger and homelessness, to education, workforce, housing, health, economic development and the arts. We are available to connect you with local communities, institutions, schools, and innovative nonprofits to understand, engage with, and effect change through site visits, volunteer efforts, mentorships, and sustained social change.


Geeta Pradhan
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (617) 576-9966