Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund: Boston Area Grants

OVERVIEW: The Peabody Fund awards grants to health, arts, environment, and social services organizations in New England, with preferential treatment given to Massachusetts. The foundation's small staff reviews applications twice a year, and you don't even need to bother with a Letter of Inquiry.

FUNDING AREAS: Health, animal health, visual arts, land conservation, historic preservation, social services, youth services

IP TAKE: Although Peabody Fund grants aren't as large as those from some other foundations around the city, Massachusetts-based health and arts organization have a great opporunity here. The application process is easy and much more straight-foward than you'd expect.

PROFILE: What the world needs today is more women like Amelia Peabody. Amelia has been described as a very private woman with a public conscious, since she distributed her family-inherited wealth to tens of thousands of people who never even knew her name.

This "lady of society" passionately studied sculpture in Boston, New York, and Paris, and her work has been distributed throughout the world. She taught wounded World War I and II veterans how to do occupational arts and crafts, and she spent many years raising and breeding horses, cattle, and pigs on the farm that became her favorite place in the world. One of Peabody's first philanthropic endeavors was the Amelia Peabody Pavilion, which housed a large animal clinic at Massachusetts' Tufts-New England Veterinary Medical Center. During her lifetime, Peabody gave large generous donations to medical institutions in the Boston area and to one of the world's first solar energy projects.

Peabody made her philanthropy official in 1964, when she established the Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund. Between that time and Peabody's death in 1984, she personally directed over $8 million in grants. Since that time, the fund's small board of directors and staff have reviewed over 5,7000 grant applicaiton and awarded an additional $182 million. Only New England-based organizations are considered for health, arts, conservation, and preservations grants. However, only Massachusetts organizations are considered for the fund's social services and youth program grants. The Peabody Fund doesn't consider proposals for multi-year funding grants, and it doesn't provide funding for individuals, start-up organizations, educational institutions, scholarships, events, religious groups, or political causes.

The Peabody Fund generally gives out $5 to $8 million each year, but it doesn't frequently publicize who the lucky grant winners are. To apply for a grant in any of the above program areas, you'll need to complete an online grant request summary form and a proposal checklist. The staff is nit-picky, so you'll need to make sure your text is double-spaced, your pages are numbered, and a table of contents is included. There's no need to mess with an initial Letter of Inquiry here, because you can jump right to the application phase. Grant proposal narratives can be up to ten pages long and must include a number of specified bullet points.

Make sure to submit your grant proposal before close of business on either February 1st or July 1st. The foundation is transitioning to an online propsal system to replace it's old mail-in option. If you adhere to the February deadline, you should hear back from Peabody by May, and by October for the July deadline. You can reach the staff at 617-451-6178.


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