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Jane's Trust

Guidelines and Policies

Last updated January 8, 2019. This site changes periodically. Please check back frequently for updates.

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2010 Program Summary
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Frequently Asked Questions

Online Concept Paper Application


Thank you for your interest in Jane’s Trust. If you would like to apply for funding, please read the following Guidelines and Policies carefully. Due to the large volume of requests, we will not be able to review applications that are incomplete or that do not conform to the guidelines set forth below. We urge you to read the Frequently Asked Questions document as it contains important information about the application process.

Jane’s Trust was created through the beneficence of Jane B. Cook, who died in July 2002. Mrs. Cook was known in the communities where she lived as a down-to-earth woman who was generous to the core. The Trust aims to continue the legacy of generosity that she established during her lifetime.


Jane’s Trust is administered at Hemenway & Barnes LLP, 75 State Street, 16th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts. The Trustees are:

Martha S. Robes
Jean B. Stevenson
Elizabeth Steele
Nancy B. Gardiner, Esq.
Kurt F. Somerville, Esq.

All inquiries regarding Jane’s Trust should be directed to Philanthropic Advisory Services, Hemenway & Barnes LLP. Contact information is listed below. Applicants should not contact the Trustees directly.



Jane’s Trust will make grants to address important issues in the Trust’s fields of interest and areas of geographical focus described below. The Trustees are interested primarily in organizations and projects which benefit underserved populations and disadvantaged communities. The Trust supports collaborations among nonprofit organizations and welcomes joint applications. The Trustees encourage grant requests and collaborations that bridge two or more areas of interest. The application process, described in more detail below, is a two step process involving first the submission of an initial inquiry and then, only upon request from the Trustees, the submission of a full proposal. The Trustees meet several times per year to consider requests, although payment of all grants approved by the Trustees is made once a year, in December.

The Trust will work collaboratively with other funders to support projects in its areas of interest. For this reason, and to maintain the integrity of the grants program overall, the Trustees will endeavor to retain flexibility to respond to special circumstances or changing conditions. From time to time, this may result in modifications to these guidelines.

Tax Exempt Eligibility

An applicant must be exempt from federal tax under section 501(c)(3) or as provided in section 4945 of the Internal Revenue Code and not a private foundation within the meanings of section 509(a) of the Code. If this is not the case, you may partner with a fiscal sponsor, an organization meeting these requirements that is prepared to certify that the project is a worthwhile endeavor, undertake responsibility to ensure that the grant terms are carried out and that the funds are properly expended. Fiscal sponsorship must be in place at the time of application.

Size of Grants Program

The amount of funding available from Jane’s Trust will vary from year to year. Multiple year grants will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Grants will generally range in size from $50,000 to $150,000, although the Trustees in their discretion may from time to time make awards outside of that range. The Trust does not allocate specific dollar amounts to its areas of interest or to particular geographical areas.

Types of Funding

The Trust will primarily make project, operating and capital grants. The Trust will consider endowment requests on a case-by-case basis. The Trust may make challenge grants where appropriate.

Multiple year awards will be rare, and generally will not exceed two years in length. Objectives and goals will be established by the applicant and the Trustees at the time of the initial award.


Jane’s Trust will make grants to qualifying nonprofit organizations in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont; in southwest and central Florida; and in the greater Boston area of Massachusetts. Please review the Frequently Asked Questions for information on how the Trust defines greater Boston.

Grants in southwest and central Florida and in the greater Boston area will focus exclusively on health and welfare. The Trust will not accept proposals for arts and culture, education or environment in those regions.

Fields of Interest

Grants will be made for the following purposes

1. Arts and Culture

The Trust aims to further quality artistic and cultural development in northern New England. Grants for arts and culture will be made to support a variety of objectives, including:

  • Increased access to artistic expression and education in the arts for underserved populations
  • Impact of artistic and cultural exposure on communities

Please note: Jane's Trust will not make direct grants to support individual artists.

2. Education

The Trust seeks to advance educational opportunities and educational quality in northern New England. Grants for education will be made to support a variety of objectives, including:

  • Access to educational opportunities, resources and programs, both inside and outside of the traditional classroom, with particular focus on underserved populations
  • Support for nonprofit organizations and public/private partnerships to serve educational needs of underserved communities

3. Environment

The Trust aims to protect and enhance the natural environment and to conserve natural resources in northern New England. Grants for the environment will be made to support a variety of objectives, including:

  • Meaningful and innovative contributions to protection of critical or historically significant rural and urban natural resources
  • Efforts that have a beneficial impact on the quality of life for underserved populations
  • Environmental programs that involve or educate youth

4. Health and Welfare

The Trust aims to improve the health and welfare of human and animal populations in all of its geographical areas of interest. Grants for health and welfare will be made to support a variety of objectives, including:

  • 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


Jane’s Trust will not support:

  • Direct loans to charitable organizations;
  • Attempts to influence legislation;
  • Requests from individuals.

Please note: Jane’s Trust will normally not support public entities, such as municipalities, municipal departments, or public schools directly, but will entertain applications from tax-exempt fiscal sponsors or partners for collaborative projects with municipalities or schools (described above). This limitation does not apply to public colleges and universities.

Application Procedures

1. Concept Papers

As mentioned above, there is a two step process for application to the Trust. All applicants interested in funding should first carefully read these guidelines and accompanying Frequently Asked Questions document to determine eligibility and fit with the Trust’s current priorities. Please complete the online concept paper application, which may be submitted at any time, but must be received by the following dates in order to be considered by the Trustees at their next regular meeting:

January 25 for consideration in March
July 15 for consideration in September

In case of a weekend or holiday, the deadline is the next regular business day. You will receive a confirmation of your submission. Note: please do not send an additional hard copy.

In order to be considered, all online submissions must be received and complete by 5 p.m. on the deadlines listed above. These deadlines are firm.

Applications that do not include the required information will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed. We request that applicants not submit supplemental materials. The application will be reviewed by the staff of Jane’s Trust and the Trustees, following which the Trustees will request full proposals from a limited number of applicants.

2. Full Proposals

Submission of full proposals is by request only after the concept paper application (described above) has been reviewed by the Trustees.

Organizations which submit an Application Form in January will be notified early in March whether they will be invited to submit a full proposal. Invited proposals are due April 1 for consideration in May. Organizations which submit an Application Form in July will be notified early in September whether they will be invited to submit a full proposal. Invited proposals are due October 1 for consideration in December.

Once an organization has been invited to submit a full proposal, the applicant will receive additional information from the staff concerning full proposal form and content. Grants are announced within two weeks of each regular meeting and are paid in December of the year in which approved. Challenge grants and multi-year grants will be paid in accordance with the initial terms of the award, established by the applicant and the Trustees.

3. General Requirements for Concept Papers and Full Proposals

Staff availability for interviews is limited and interviews will be initiated only by staff invitation. During the application process, an applicant or potential applicant may telephone staff at Hemenway & Barnes LLP to ask questions regarding the application process or the appropriateness of a proposal.

An organization may submit only one application at a time. If denied, at either the concept paper or full proposal stage, an organization must wait one year (12 months) to reapply. If a grant is received, an organization should wait at least one year after the date of the last payment before submitting another application. Concept paper applications from prior grantees will not be considered until a final report on the prior grant has been received.

Contact Us

For further general information or for assistance with the online process, please contact:

Rita R. Goldberg
Grants Manager
Family Office and Philanthropy Services
Hemenway & Barnes LLP
75 State Street, 16th Floor
Boston, MA 02109
(617) 227-7940 x775

For more specific questions regarding the grants program, please contact the following staff at Hemenway & Barnes:

Communications Policy for Hemenway & Barnes

Thank you for your interest in Hemenway & Barnes, but merely communicating with Hemenway & Barnes LLP or a Hemenway & Barnes lawyer or employee will not create a lawyer-client relationship. Such a relationship will not arise unless and until the firm agrees with you in writing to handle a particular matter. Unless and until this has occurred, you should not convey to us any information you regard as personal or confidential, because any such information will not be treated by us as confidential or subject to any confidentiality requirements.

Our website offers several opportunities for visitors to request information. We use this contact information to send users information about our firm and their selected areas of interest. We may not be able to respond to your request for a variety of reasons, but appreciate your interest in our firm.

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