George I. Alden established the George I. Alden Trust on August 24, 1912. The Trust was established for the general purpose of "the maintenance of some charitable or philanthropic enterprises" with specific interest in "the promotion of education in schools, colleges, or other educational institutions," as well as a particular interest in Worcester Polytechnic Institute, vocational education in Worcester, and the work of Massachusetts YMCAs.
The Trust document, in its final form, consists of the original and twelve amendments, the last of which was made on August 19, 1926. Given the perpetual character of the Trust and the certainty that the needs of charitable or philanthropic enterprises change over the years, the Trust further provides that "the Trustees shall have the widest discretion in their interpretation of the purposes of this Trust. . . ."
The current Trustees continue the historical grantmaking focus of the Trust in five primary grantmaking areas and in pursuit of Mr. Alden's desire to "do the greatest good for the greatest number." In the first four grantmaking areas below, the Trustees concentrate almost exclusively on support for capital needs:
Higher Education, predominately in support of independent undergraduate education in smaller institutions with full-time undergraduate enrollments (headcount) of at least 1,000 students and with a total undergraduate and graduate student population (full-time equivalents) of 5,000 or fewer. This support is directed to institutions in the six New England states and in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Support for Worcester Polytechnic Institute, with which Mr. Alden was long involved, continues to be the Trust's most significant grantee institution.
In support of Mr. Alden's demonstrated interest in doing good for his community of Worcester, Massachusetts, the Trustees seek to provide grant support for important and timely efforts in the Worcester community and the educationally related nonprofit organizations that are undertaking them. Some of these grants may be one-time special situations.
Consistent with Mr. Alden's historical interest in the work of YMCAs, the Trustees provide significant support for the YMCA of Central Massachusetts, as well as lesser levels of support for other Massachusetts YMCAs.
The Trustees carry on Mr. Alden's interest in vocational education, predominately through support of the Worcester Technical High School. The Trustees also support independent secondary education in the immediate Worcester area.
At a much more modest level, and for more than a decade, the Trustees have undertaken an annual program of year-end, unsolicited, unrestricted grants to a broad spectrum of Worcester area nonprofit organizations that fall outside of the four primary grantmaking areas. These organizations are ineligible to apply to the Trust for additional support. Through this program, the Trustees acknowledge the valuable services provided to the community-at-large through the work of nonprofit organizations.