Barrett Fund - Grant Guidelines

William J. & Margery S. Barrett Fund for Adams, Cheshire & Savoy

Grant Guidelines


Nonprofit organizations, public agencies or community organizations that provide services to the residents of Adams, Cheshire or Savoy, MA.


The William J. & Margery S. Barrett Fund for Adams, Cheshire and Savoy was initially created by Margery Barrett in 1995. Mrs. Barrett was born in North Adams on July 11, 1910 and moved to Adams as a child. She graduated from the former Adams High School in 1927 and from the former North Adams Normal School (now the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts) in 1929. She was a teacher in the Conway School System and the former Howland Avenue School in Adams. She married William Barrett, with whom she shared her life in Adams until he died in 1969.

In 1995, Mrs. Barrett, with the help of her attorney, used Pfizer stock (inherited from her father and husband, both of whom had worked at Specialty Minerals) to establish the fund through the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and to increase her income through a charitable remainder trust. The Fund awarded grants anonymously for several years, giving her the joy of seeing her generosity support organizations around her. Upon Mrs. Barrett’s death in 2000, the remainder of the trust was added to the Fund and, at her instruction, her name was publicly announced for the first time. Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation is proud to serve as steward for the William J. & Margery S. Barrett Fund for Adams, Cheshire & Savoy, seeking to improve the quality of life for the residents of those communities, today and in years to come.


The William J. and Margery S. Barrett Fund seeks to support organizations that incorporate innovation in their methods or are initiating improvements to existing programs. Proposals will be considered for organizational development, projects, programs, or capital improvements. Grants from the fund are not to be construed as an ongoing method for funding programs.

Nonprofit organizations, public agencies or community organizations that provide services to the residents of Adams, Cheshire or Savoy are eligible to apply for grants. An organization may submit only one application per year for one or more projects. If an organization is applying for more than one project, the projects should be prioritized.

Nonprofit organizations or teachers may apply for projects that enhance the educational experience for the children of Adams, Cheshire or Savoy. Projects must provide school- or system-wide education and enrichment opportunities. Grants shall not replace public funding, but rather augment the educational experience for the students. All requests must be accompanied by a letter of support from the superintendent.

Public agencies may apply for projects that enrich the experience of their communities. Grants will not replace tax dollars but rather offer additional opportunities for public improvements.

Neither the Barrett Fund nor Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation supports organizations which in their constitution, by-laws or practice discriminate against a person or group on the basis of age, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation or religious belief.


The Barrett Fund prioritizes programs or projects that enhance early childhood development for children between the ages of 0-6. However, funding is not restricted to ECD programs, and other organizations are encouraged to apply.

Eligible programs might promote:

  • Pre-reading skills or pre-literacy skills
  • Cognitive skills including problem solving, math and science
  • Positive parent-child interactions
  • Mental health of children
  • Parent involvement activities at a center or family child-care home
  • Better nutrition and activities that reduce obesity in young children

Eligible activities may include (but are not limited to):

  • Book sharing for parents to read to their children
  • Staff training or intervention to reduce aggressive behavior of children
  • Parent Education
  • Dental Clinics
  • Staff training in child care settings
  • Enrichment activities or field trips that are not purely recreational
  • Screenings/assessment and referrals services for children with identified needs
  • Improved newsletters (or social media) for parents with education tips
  • Improved curriculum in child care settings
  • Home visiting programs
  • Case management services to connect betters to community resources
  • Gardening activities at child care settings with accompanying curriculum

The Barrett Fund will not support proposals supporting individuals, annual campaigns, general operating expenses or religious institutions, other than for their provision of non-sectarian services for public benefit.


The number and size of grants awarded will depend on the amount of funding available from the Barrett Fund, as well as the number and quality of applications received. The Barrett Fund Committee may decide to award only a few large grants if a project is deemed to be of seminal importance to the Adams, Cheshire, Savoy community. All grants will require a one-to-one match either in cash, services or in-kind donations. Berkshire Taconic reserves the right to modify this policy on a case-by-case basis.


Applications will be reviewed by the advisory committee of the Barrett Fund. Members of this committee are residents of the three communities. The Committee’s recommendations will be reviewed by Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s board of directors

  • Excellence: How worthy is the project or service? Is it the right time for the project? Does it involve qualified individuals/groups?
  • Impact: What is the potential impact of the project or service on the community? Who will it serve and how? Are there methods in place to assess the effectiveness of the project? What are the measurable outcomes for youth and their communities?
  • Ability: Can the applicant complete the project? Is the applicant capable of meeting the matching requirement? Does the organization exhibit a demonstrated capacity to initiate and successfully execute this project? Are appropriate staff members or volunteers involved?




September 15

How to Apply

Please read these important instructions.


Public Service Award

The William J. & Margery S. Barrett Fund for Adams, Cheshire and Savoy also offers a Public Service Award to celebrate individuals who make a significant contribution to the well-being of these towns through paid or volunteer work.