Trust Fund offers grants, may close

April 15, 2011
By
 

The Hyde/Jackson Square Community Benefits Trust Fund is accepting applications for its 14th annual—and possibly final—round of grants.

“This may be the last year we’re awarding grants,” said Trust Fund board member David Worrell.

The Trust Fund, which has supported scores of local non-profits and businesses, does not have enough money to sustain itself and may just give it all away this year, said Worrell and board treasurer Dave Kenyon. The fund currently has about $76,000.

The Trust Fund formed in 1998 as part of a community benefits package from the Jackson Square Stop & Shop development. Mordechai Levin, the developer, pledged $500,000 to the fund, which was paid in five annual installments of $100,000.

That was not enough money to build self-sustaining interest income, because the fund grants about $35,000 to $50,000 a year, said Worrell. Also, economic downturns impacted the fund’s value—though that also “made our grants more effective” as other funding sources dried up, he said.

Kenyon said that another issue has been difficulty in getting new members on the board.

Despite the challenges, the Trust Fund has supported a wide range of causes over the years. Grant recipients include such well-known local non-profits as City Life/Vida Urbana, Ethos, Bikes Not Bombs and the Regan League youth baseball teams. The fund recently paid for security improvements to local businesses through Hyde/Jackson Square Main Street, and provides scholarships to college students through the Hyde Square Task Force.

Trust Fund grants are available to community-based non-profit organizations, or other groups that have a non-profit as a financial agent, working in the Hyde/Jackson Square area. The application deadline is May 20.

For more information, contact Worrell at 617-445-8515.