Obadiah Brown’s Benevolent Fund


Hugh Gelch, clerk
Obadiah Brown’s Benevolent Fund
20 Oakland Avenue
Auburndale, MA 02466
PHONE: (617) 964-4220

Primarily focused on New England Friends and Friends’ organizations.


Grants must be for a Quaker purpose.

Request guidelines. Application requires written request of not more than two typed pages plus a budget page including: 1) Brief description of project/activity, including motivation, connection to the Society of Friends; how and when it will occur. 2) Information about the individual applicant or organization and their relationship to the Religious Society of Friends. 3) Budget for the project/activity including expenses and income from other sources, and resources the grantee is willing to commit to the proposed endeavor. Send original and 12 copies. Trustees may postpone consideration due to insufficient information or lack of funds. Follow-up reports should be sent within a year of funding.

Deadlines: 15th of January, April and September.


The committee meets 3 times per year in mid February, May and October. Current clerk is identified in the New England Yearly Meeting Directory.

In Providence in 1823 by bequest of Obadiah Brown to be a fund, independent of New England Yearly Meeting, to enhance the Religious Society of Friends through grants to individuals and Friends organizations. He stated in his will “I recommend…specially the printing and disseminating of useful books for the promulgation of the gospel and by that means, as well as, otherwise spreading our Religious Principals where they are little known.” Sara Swift, a Trustee from Massachusetts, established the Swift Fund in 1914 to be administered by the 12 Trustees of Obadiah Brown’s Benevolent Fund. She directed that grants may be made to individuals “of our religious faith who are in need and who shall be or have been engaged in gospel or philanthropic work.”

Discrete projects with a tendency to produce increasing benefits to the Religious Society are favored. Grants to organizations are not for regular expenses usually included in operating budgets. Does not support educational institutions for general operating funds, although in particular circumstances it may support Friends attending Friends institutions. Grants are generally limited to one-time applications for each project. Grant size is modest. Applicants are encouraged to find matching funds elsewhere and other collaborative funding strategies.


Last Updated: 2015.8.25