Barrett Fund - Grant Guidelines

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

The Barrett Fund committee acknowledges that nonprofits are facing unique challenges due to the implications of COVID-19 and will consider applications for critical needs of nonprofits in this grant cycle. 

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.


Nonprofit organizations, public agencies or community organizations that provide services to the residents of Adams, Cheshire or Savoy are eligible to apply for grants. 

Projects that benefit the community in any of the following areas will be considered: arts and culture, education*, the environment, and health and social services. Requests will be considered for projects, programs, capital improvements and general operating support. 

*Education: one current area of focus for the fund is early childhood development. The Barrett Fund’s intentions are to promote the well-being and overall development of young children in all areas, including cognitive, language, pre-literacy, social-emotional and physical, so that children are ready to learn when they enter kindergarten.
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 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.