Welcome to The Shapiro Foundation

About Us

Our Work


We are proud to be a leader in serving the world’s most vulnerable population: The 66,000,000 refugees, internally displaced people and asylum-seekers. 

Through meaningful partnerships across five continents, we are trying to both ameliorate suffering in the most extreme situations as well as actively pilot creative resettlement opportunities for those most fortunate among the population.    

Our philosophy is simple. We find the best NGO partners and we fund them. We find holes where other philanthropists won’t go and government’s can’t go. And we seek leverage because we believe that 1+1 can equal 3.   

In addition to our primary focus on the international refugee crisis, we also care passionately about other critical areas which are highlighted on the next two pages.


Our history


Launched in 2001, with Ralph Waldo Emerson's quote in mind:

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

We have been aiming to leave a trail in partnership with the best non-profits the world knows for 17 years. Our specialty has been bringing together non-profits from complementary backgrounds to serve refugees and other vulnerable populations in deeper and more meaningful ways.

Our Family


We are Ed & Barbara Shapiro, and along with our two teenage children, we make up The Shapiro Family. Our philanthropic work through the foundation is an incredible labor of love and each one of us invests considerable time into the meaningful projects that we help to lead.

How We Work

Our Foundation seeks to be the most collaborative, nimble and forward-thinking partner to great NGOs. With that, we do not have a formal RFP process nor specific timelines. We are happy to engage with anyone who is changing the lives of refugees and we hope to hear from you if you have creative, highly-leveraged, critical projects you're launching. 

A driving framework for us is Solve vs. Serve. There are moments when we need to serve the most vulnerable and there are other moments when we can make a meaningful dent in solving a challenge.

Our strong request to new and existing partners is to NOT ask us for a specific ask amount. We have found that a specific ask has uniformly hindered our relationships, and more often than not we end up wanting to invest more anyways. Additionally, we look at projects from the bottom-up along with our partners, so please be sure to frame any ask within the overall budget for the organization and specific project.

Contact Us

Want to make the world a better place?

Please reach out to our Foundation Director Larry Tobin by clicking the button below!

The Shapiro Foundation

661 Highland Avenue, Needham Heights, Massachusetts 02494, United States

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