Application Guidelines

Grant Focus  
The Alden Trust supports YMCAs in Massachusetts due to George Alden’s particular interest in the YMCA over his lifetime.
The Trustees focus their grantmaking on capital needs. The Trustees primarily make outright grants, but will issue occasional challenge grants with the goal of helping an institution generate increased and broader philanthropic support from its constituencies.
Intervals between Applications  
The Trust policy is not to consider grant requests more frequently than three years from the date of the last grant or one year from the date of the last payment, whichever is later. An institution whose proposal has been rejected may normally be eligible to apply again after one year. YMCAs with more than five branches should contact the Trust to ascertain whether they may be eligible to apply more frequently. 
Schedule of Distribution Meetings  
The Trustees consider proposals at four distribution meetings a year. Complete, hard copy proposals for the March, June, September, or December meetings must be received by the fifteenth of the month prior to the meeting (e.g., February 15 for the March meeting).  Note: The Trust does not accept electronic proposals.
Proposal Requirements
  1. A summarizing cover letter, which includes the requested amount, signed by the CEO of the YMCA. It is expected that the project for which funding is requested is among the organization’s highest priorities.
  2. The name, telephone number, and email address of a contact person
  3. The proposal, in brief narrative form, should help the Trustees understand the purposes to be achieved through the grant and the reasons why the proposing institution is capable of achieving those purposes. In addition, the Trustees want to know how the grant will positively impact the community and help the institution to fulfill its mission.
  4. A project revenue and expense budget and implementation timetable
  5. Fundraising goals, success-to-date for the project, and specific plans for raising the remaining funds needed
  6. The institution's mission statement
  7. Summary of the organization’s strategic plan with progress achieved to date, and its key strategic priorities (up to three) going forward
  8. If the project is part of a capital campaign, information about the volunteer leadership 
Required institutional information
Three-Year Trends in Chart Form
  • Number of members, with demographic information to the extent available
  • Number of program participants, with demographic information to the extent available
  • Board percentage participation rates to capital and/or annual (unrestricted) fundraising each year (expected to be 100%)
  • Capital Fundraising with board member, board of governors, and member participation rates, each reported separately
  • Annual Fundraising (unrestricted) with board member, board of governors, and member participation rates, each reported separately
  • Endowment amount, investment return, and annual draw policies and practices 
  • Summaries of the two most recent fiscal year operating budgets and the next fiscal year board-approved operating budget, if available (with explanation, if in deficit)  
  • Copies of the audited financial statements from the two most recently completed fiscal years or the financial statements required by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office
  • List of trustees with affiliations
  • Evidence of appropriate tax-exempt status
  • Optional: Such other information that the applicant believes may give the Trustees a better understanding of the organization, its distinctive mission, and its specific proposal
Applicants should consult the Trust’s Frequently Asked Questions page and are welcome to contact the Trust by telephone, email, or make a visit prior to submitting an application. A first-time applicant is encouraged to contact the Trust prior to doing so. It is often helpful to explore in advance the nature of the project, the need or opportunity that drives it, and the size of an intended request. The Trustees have found that such discussion generally results in the submission of a more effective proposal or forestalls a formal proposal for which there is little or no likelihood of success.

A single copy of the application and attachments is sufficient and should be submitted by mail to:

George I. Alden Trust
100 Front Street, 5th Floor
Worcester, Massachusetts 01608

Phone: (508) 459-8005   |    Fax : (508) 459-8305   |   Email:

Massachusetts YMCAs

YMCA on Elm Street,
c. 1910-1920. From the collection of Worcester Historical Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts.