Frequently Asked Questions

What types of organizations does the Alden Trust support?
The Trust supports independent colleges and universities with full-time undergraduate enrollments of at least 1,000 students (headcount) and total undergraduate and graduate student populations (full-time equivalents) of 5,000 or fewer in the six New England states, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, plus a few grandfathered institutions inside and outside the nine-state region. It also supports vocational and independent secondary schools in the immediate Worcester area; a group of Trust-determined major organizations with educationally related missions in Worcester; and YMCAs located in Massachusetts.              
How does the Alden Trust define a full-time student?
A full-time student as defined by the Alden Trust is a student who is degree seeking, takes the preponderance of his or her courses at the school's primary campus, and is enrolled for the number of hours or courses the school considers to be full-time attendance.
Does the Alden Trust support individuals?
The Trust supports only tax-exempt, non-profit organizations. The Trust cannot support individuals.
What kinds of projects does the Alden Trust support?
With respect to institutions of higher education, the Trust supports capital projects that directly impact the quality of the delivery of the school’s undergraduate academic offerings across its academic disciplines, including the liberal arts and sciences, the fine and performing arts, technology, and professional programs. This has included grants to upgrade or construct classrooms, libraries, laboratories, auditoriums, learning centers, and new and/or renovated academic buildings as well as the purchase of equipment and furnishings for any of these academic settings. Support given to YMCAs is for occasional capital projects. Grants provided for educationally-related organizations in the Worcester area focus on occasional capital project support.
Does the Alden Trust make multi-year grants?
Not ordinarily.
Does the Alden Trust make challenge grants?
Occasionally the Trust does make challenge grants (typically one Alden dollar to three matching dollars). Ordinarily, the match must be met in full within 18 months. The Trust only pays when the challenge is met in full. The Trust makes no interim or partial payments.
If an applicant is awarded a challenge grant, will the amount granted be different than if the application requested an outright grant?
Not ordinarily.
What does the Alden Trust look for in a proposal?
The Trust looks for a grant purpose consistent with the interests of the Trust; responsible leadership and management of the institution; an effective and timely implementation plan for the proposed project; a history of balanced institutional operating budgets; positive trends in institutional performance; benefits to greater rather than limited numbers of students, clients, or users; and how the project, if funded, would make a positive difference at the institution. See Application Guidelines.
What if the applicant has multiple proposal ideas to submit for funding?
It may be beneficial for a prospective applicant in this circumstance to discuss the options with the Trustees in advance of submitting an application. Email your options to the Trust if you would like guidance regarding which has the greatest chance of success.
Does the Alden Trust make site visits to applicant or recipient institutions?
The Trustees find that it is helpful and instructive to visit recipient schools periodically and they are committed to doing so. The Trustees make site visits in Massachusetts throughout the year and make out-of-state, multiple-day trips twice annually.
Does it help for representatives of the applicant institution to visit the trust?
Visits to the Trust are not required. Such visits, however, are frequently useful to applicants in refining their proposals and to the Trustees in gaining a clearer understanding of the institution seeking support. This is especially the case with institutions or institutional leaders who are previously unknown to the Trustees.
We have found it beneficial to utilize virtual meetings for those at a distance. Contact us if you wish to inquire about scheduling an online session.
Does the Alden Trust accept any of the common proposal forms?
Does the Alden Trust accept electronic proposals?
What size grants does the Alden Trust award?
It is helpful for prospective applicants to review their recent grant history with the Trust to determine an appropriate range of request for a particular application. Colleges and universities that are first time applicants, if funded, may anticipate a grant of up to but not more than $100,000. Applicants should not look to grants made to the three named beneficiaries (WPI, YMCA of Central Massachusetts and Worcester Technical High School) or other educationally-related organizations in the Worcester area for guidance.
What are the deadlines for submitting proposals?
Proposals must be received by the fifteenth day of February, May, August and November. See Application Guidelines.
When will an applicant learn of the Alden Trust's decision?
Applicants are typically informed by the end of the month of the applicable distribution meeting (for example, by March 31 for the February 15 application deadline).
What are the Trust’s reporting requirements of successful applicants?
The Trust typically requires a report on the funded project at some appropriate time following completion of the project. There is no grant completion report form. The Trustees are interested in the implementation timetable, the final budget, major sources of funding, and the impact of the completed project.
How soon after receiving a grant or the announcement of a challenge grant may an institution apply again?
An applicant may normally apply three years after the first payment of a successful grant, but no sooner than one year after the final payment unless otherwise stipulated. If a challenge grant is made and accepted where the successful match takes significantly longer to achieve than the stated time frame for achieving the match, the Trust may delay any possible new approach to the Trust to three years following the notice of achieving the match.
If an application is denied funding, when may the applicant submit another proposal?
An unsuccessful applicant may normally submit another proposal after one year.
Does the Alden Trust ever make grants outside its traditional educational focus areas?
For more than a decade, the trustees have made a number of modest unsolicited grants to Worcester organizations whose work is important to the community yet whose focus does not fall within the Trust’s specific areas of interest. In such cases, the selected organizations do not make application to the Trust. Receipt of such a grant is confirmation that the organization is not eligible to submit a proposal for the Alden Trust’s regular grant making process.
How does a prospective applicant contact the Alden Trust?
George I. Alden Trust
100 Front Street, 5th Floor
Worcester, Massachusetts 01608                                                                  
Phone:    (508) 459-8005   |    Fax: (508) 459-8305    |     Email:
Trustees are regularly in the office Monday through Thursday mornings.