How to Give

The Types of Funds We Offer

With a $10,000 gift, you can create your own charitable fund with Greater Worcester Community Foundation.

Establish your fund in your name or in the name of your family—or let its title honor a cherished person or recognize a valued group or cause. Each grant from your fund will carry its name in perpetuity.

To find out more about establishing a fund, please contact Maureen George, vice president of philanthropy, by phone at (508) 755-0980 or via e-mail at mgeorge@greaterworcester.org.

Following are the types of funds available to you through the Foundation:

By creating a discretionary fund, you enable the Foundation to meet immediate and emerging needs in our region. We support programs addressing all aspects of community life, including arts and culture, the environment, health, neighborhood revitalization and education.

The flexibility of your discretionary fund gives the Foundation freedom to address changing conditions in our community as well as urgent priorities such as children and families in want, unsafe neighborhoods, arts programs in jeopardy, and after-school tutoring and health clinics in need of expansion.

You identify one or more areas of interest and leave grant selection to the Foundation. We apply your grants to programs that focus on the cause(s) you specify such as homelessness, hunger, services to the blind, music, art, or a particular town or neighborhood.
Specify one or more 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations as the recipients of annual grants from your fund and the Foundation makes the grants in the name of your fund in perpetuity. Should the designated organization cease to exist as a nonprofit charitable entity, the Foundation is authorized to select an alternate beneficiary whose service to the community is consistent with the original intentions of your fund.

You take an active, ongoing role in making grant recommendations with a donor advised fund. We can help you identify potential grantees that fulfill your charitable goals. You may also appoint successor advisors for one generation beyond yourself, and involve your children or other family members in continuing your philanthropy. You determine the ultimate purpose once the advising period ends. The Fund may become discretionary, field of interest or designated.

DonorCentral provides holders of donor advised funds with secure online access to fund information, including fund balance, gift and grant history and pending grants. This service also provides donors with tools to recommend grants, name successor advisors and specify instructions for future use of the fund.  

For additional information visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Among our most popular funds, scholarships help our community’s high school graduates further their education. You decide the purpose of your scholarship fund and the criteria for selecting students.

The Foundation handles the scholarship process from start to finish. We conduct outreach to recruit eligible candidates, accept and screen applications, and select recipients. We then verify enrollment, distribute checks and monitor student progress.

A nonprofit organization can create an agency fund with the Foundation to support its operations and programs. The nonprofit gains a professionally managed endowment and a vehicle for its donors to make tax-deductible gifts. The Foundation provides these services in perpetuity, enabling the organization to focus on serving its constituents.

To  Start a Fund

Contact Maureen George with any questions regarding beginning a fund at Greater Worcester Community Foundation.  The fund application can be downloaded, completed and returned to:

Greater Worcester Community Foundation 370 Main Street, Suite 650 Worcester, MA 01608-1738


The Katharine Higgins Riley Fund supports National Education for Assistance Dog Services (NEADS), which provides independence to deaf and physically disabled people through the use of canine assistance. 

The ingenuity of using dogs to help people enjoy productive lives appealed to Rosamond (Roz) Riley Bennett, a granddaughter of Worcester industrialist Milton Prince Higgins and, like her mother, Katharine Higgins Riley, a vigorous philanthropist.

 “Mom instilled in us her love of animals,” says Becky Crocker, one of Roz’s five children. “Through the Foundation, she contributes to what she loves in perpetuity.”