Jane's Trust via Hemenway & Barnes LLP: Boston Grants

OVERVIEW: This funder supports health and welfare organizations in the Boston area. The trust is administered by the law firm of Hemenway & Barnes LLP, with most grants in the $50,000 to $150,000 range.

FUNDING AREAS: Underserved populations, disadvantaged communities, nonprofit collaborations

IP TAKE: Don’t bother submitting an initial grant inquiry for anything other than a health and welfare cause, if you’re in the Boston area (some grants go outside the area.) It’s a smart idea to pitch a program that serves a vulnerable population, addresses basic needs, or promotes disease prevention.

PROFILE: Hemenway & Barnes LLP is a Boston-based law firm that's been around for nearly 150 years. Legal services the firm provides include estate planning, probate and trust, business law, real estate and land use planning, nonprofit representation, tax planning and reporting, technology and licensing, and litigation and dispute resolution. But what sets this law firm apart from others in the city, at least to us here at IP, is Jane’s Trust.

This trust was created by Jane B. Cook, who passed away in 2002 and left behind a legacy of generosity. Jane’s Trust is administered at Hemenway & Barnes, and has five trustees. The greater Boston area is a large focus of this funder’s grantmaking; however, grants are also awarded in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and southwest and central Florida.

Boston nonprofits should know that only health and welfare grants are awarded here, and no local proposals are accepted for arts and culture, education, or environment in the Boston area. Jane’s Trust defines the Boston area as the cities and towns within Route 128, as far north as Lynn and as far south as Braintree.

Most Jane’s Trust grants are between $50,000 and $150,000, however, a few grants fall below or above that range. Most awards are project grants, operating grants, and capital grants. Endowments and challenge grants are made on a case-by-case basis. Most grants are single-year grants, or two years maximum. Jane’s Trust does not allocate specific dollar amounts to its areas of interest or to particular geographical areas.

Boston grantseekers should know that these are the objectives of Jane’s Trust health and welfare grants:

  • Efforts to directly improve the health and welfare of vulnerable and underserved populations
  • Efforts to alleviate human suffering and provide for basic human needs
  • Projects and organizations that promote individual and community wellness, disease prevention and equal care for all
  • Efforts to understand links between human and animal health and welfare

Applications are a two-step process, involving first the submission of an initial inquiry, then, upon invitation, the submission of a full proposal. The trustees meet several times per year to consider requests, although payment of all approved grants is made annually in December. Initial concept papers are typically due in late January for consideration in March and in mid-July for consideration in September. Communications by mail, hand delivery, and email are accepted.

You can find a list of recent grants with amounts and descriptions on the foundation website.

Grantmaking inquiries should be directed to Philanthropic Advisory Services, Hemenway & Barnes LLP (not to the trustees directly.) There are two program officers that serve as staff for the funder at Hemenway & Barnes. Gioia C. Perugini can be reached at 617-557-9777 and gperugini@hembar.com, and Caroline G. Slocum can be reached at 617-557-9774 and cslocum@hembar.com. But plan to submit an online application before reaching out to the program officers, unless you have a specific question that wasn’t answered by the guidelines in the FAQ.


  • Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only.)