George Alden established the George I. Alden Trust on August 24, 1912, for the general purpose of ‘the maintenance of some charitable or philanthropic enterprises’ with specific interest in ‘the promotion of education in schools, colleges, or other educational institutions.’ He had a particular interest in Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), vocational education in Worcester, and the work of YMCAs.

Given the perpetual character of the Trust and the certainty that needs and priorities change over time, the Trust further provides that ‘Trustees shall have the widest discretion in their interpretation of the purposes of this Trust...’

The current Trustees continue the Trust’s historical grantmaking focus in five primary areas and in pursuit of Alden’s desire ‘to do the greatest good for the greatest number.’ In the first four areas, the Trustees concentrate on support for capital needs:

George I. Alden, 1843-1926

  1. Higher education, in support of independent undergraduate education in smaller institutions with full-time undergraduate enrollments (headcount) of at least 1,000 students and with total undergraduate and graduate student populations (full-time equivalents) of 5,000 or fewer. This support is directed to institutions in the six New England states and in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania…  View Guidelines

  2. In support of Alden’s interest in doing good for his community of Worcester, Massachusetts, the Trustees seek to provide grant support for important and timely efforts in the Worcester community and the educationally-related nonprofit organizations that are undertaking them.  View Guidelines

  3. Consistent with Alden’s historical interest in the work of YMCAs, the Trustees provide significant support for the YMCA of Central Massachusetts, as well as lesser levels of support for other Massachusetts YMCAs. View Guidelines

  4. The Trustees carry on Alden’s interest in vocational education, predominately through support of the Worcester Technical High School. The Trustees also support independent secondary education in the immediate Worcester area. View Guidelines

  5. At a much more modest level, and when disbursable funds allow, the Trustees have undertaken an annual program of year-end, unsolicited, unrestricted grants to a broad spectrum of Worcester area nonprofit organizations that fall outside the four primary grantmaking areas. For additional information

Established by George Alden in 1912


During 2020 the George I. Alden Trust has focused its grant making primarily to address COVID-19 disruptions and related financial distress experienced in the local Worcester community. As the year draws to a close, the Trustees are attempting to anticipate what ongoing impact COVID-19 will have here in Worcester and elsewhere. While the prospects for effective vaccines create reason for some optimism, the current upsurge in coronavirus infections would seem to indicate that COVID’s repercussions will almost certainly extend well into 2021 and, as a result, will probably continue to affect the Trust’s historic giving patterns. Given these uncertainties, the Trustees would ask that all eligible higher education institutions, Massachusetts based YMCAs, and all previously eligible local Worcester nonprofits that are considering submitting grant proposals in 2021, first contact the Trustees by email ( so the Trustees can provide guidance on the Trust’s grant making focus with respect to any specific possible proposal during the quarterly distribution cycle in question. While the Trust would hope to return to past practices in the future, the timing of that return is still very much up in the air. In the meantime, our thoughts and best wishes are still with you.