BOSTON, MA 02110-1700

Purpose and Overview:

The Thompson Trust limits its distribution of funds to organizations located in Windham County, Vermont, (primarily the Town of Brattleboro) or in Dutchess County, New York (primarily the Town of Rhinebeck) which predominately serve residents located in those areas. The Will of Thomas Thompson was executed in 1867 and defined his charitable purposes rather narrowly as was the practice with 19th Century philanthropy. By successive court decrees in the 20th Century, the Trustees are now authorized to make grants to charitable organizations whose work and purposes promote health, education or the general social or civic betterment in the stated geographical areas; but the Trustees will continue to place particular emphasis on healthcare and other social services.

General Guidelines and Policies

  • The Trustees generally meet quarterly in January, April, July and October. Applications are due by January 5, April 1, July 1 and October 1.

  • Grant applications should be submitted on-line at Detailed instructions on the web page will guide you through the process. All questions should be directed to Susan Monahan.

  • As a general rule, the Trustees will not fund organizations in consecutive years. Therefore, organizations should wait two years from the date of their last funded grant request before reapplying to the Trust.

  • Proposals should be as concise and brief as possible.

  • Additional materials pertinent to the proposal may be submitted to the grants coordinator by mail. Please do not send DVD's or videos.

  • Applications for grants to cover operating expenses are generally declined. The Trustees recognize, however, that funds provided for special purposes may be a factor in balancing the budget for that year. "Special purposes" include innovative programs instituted by the organization or projects that are designed to enhance its future viability and the continuity of its work. It is anticipated that such programs and projects will, if successful, receive ongoing support from sources other than the Trust.

  • The Trustees look favorably upon collaboration and synergy that may exist between small organizations operating in the same geographic area, particularly if they have common purposes and routinely share ideas, referrals, staff and facilities to gain operating efficiencies and strengthen program outcomes.

  • The Trustees will pay particular attention to the composition of an organization's governing board which should include people from diverse backgrounds, professions and occupations who are active and visible in the community served.

  • The Trustees will frequently require an applicant organization to seek funds to match a grant from the Trust. Such challenge grants have proven to be an incentive to organizations to develop other funding sources in the community and at the same time, to raise public awareness of their programs and activities.

  • Grant requests will generally not be considered if the organization has not been in continuous operation serving the community during the three years immediately preceding the application. The Trustees will give careful consideration to the perceived ability of the organization's management to maintain a balanced budget and to gather expanding support from the community at large.

  • Assistance is not provided to individuals except to women from an occupation mentioned in the 1867 will of Thomas Thompson.* It is expected that any qualifying applicant must have been a long-term resident of the Town from which she applies and over a prolonged period shall have derived a substantial part of her income from such occupation. (* The applicable provision of the will reads in part as follows: "...for, or towards the relief and support of poor seamstresses, needlewomen and shop girls who may be in temporary need from want of employment, sickness or misfortune, in the Towns of Brattleboro, Vermont, and Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, New York..." In the parlance of that day, "shop girls" were factory workers.)

  • Applicants may be asked to submit, by email: (i) a federal tax determination letter stating that the organization qualifies as an IRC Section 501(c)(3) organization; (ii) Form 990 for the organization's most recent fiscal year; and (iii) a financial statement signed by a CPA for the organization's most recent fiscal year. The tax determination letter should state that the organization is not a private foundation.

» Online Grant Application «

» Grant Report «


  Susan T. Monahan
Rackemann, Sawyer & Brewster

Maura E. Murphy, Esq.
Rackemann, Sawyer & Brewster

Michael F. O'Connell, Esq.
Rackemann, Sawyer & Brewster

Grants Coordinator:

  Susan T. Monahan
Phone: 617-951-1108