Abel D. Makepeace, who founded the company that bears his name in 1854, initiated a long legacy of giving back to the community.
Today, that takes the form of the Makepeace Neighborhood Fund, a competitive grant program that provides funding to worthwhile projects in the communities where the A.D. Makepeace Company does business, including Plymouth.
The deadline for applications to the Fund was this week. About 60 applications were received for projects that benefit the residents of our area. Now begins a review process that will result in the distribution of more than $120,000 to important and creative community programs.
The applications will be reviewed by company employees who volunteer their time to evaluate and rank them. The Makepeace process is different from some corporate foundations because everyone – from cranberry farmers to mechanics to accountants – has a chance to participate in the review and help determine how the company’s charitable dollars will be spent. Most members of the Makepeace team live in the community where they work, and have a good sense of local needs.
Final decisions are made by the Makepeace Neighborhood Fund Board of Trustees in late April, and public announcements come in May.
Last year’s 14 grants to Plymouth organizations were diverse. The Plymouth Harbormaster received funding for recreational shellfishing restoration which brought clamdiggers back to Plymouth beaches for the first time in 40 years. The Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce received funding to support its College Jumpstart program. And a grant to the Plymouth Philharmonic will bring professional musical performances and instruction to the town’s schools. In many cases, the Makepeace Neighborhood Fund supports programs that wouldn’t receive funding from other sources.
The Makepeace Neighborhood Fund has proudly distributed more than $1.8 million in grants since its inception in 2005. For more information, visit the company’s website.