Application Guidelines

The Trust was established in 1939 by Dr. Richard C. Cabot , a pioneering and innovative Boston physician, to honor the memory of his wife, Ella Lyman Cabot, and the work of the Trust is carried on today by the Trustees of the Ella Lyman Cabot Trust. Dr. and Mrs. Cabot believed strongly in the individual’s ability to make a positive difference in the world. The criteria by which the Trustees make decisions on grants are based on the lives and ideals of the Cabots, who, during their lives, contributed greatly to the fields of medicine, social work, ethics, education and religious studies.

The ELCT, a tax-exempt organization, supports persons with charitable, religious, artistic, educational, and scientific projects that promote the good of others. Within this general guideline, the trustees strive to carry out Dr. Cabot’s original intent by giving paramount consideration in their evaluation of an application for a grant to the applicant’s demonstration of how the proposed grant will be essential to the applicant’s own growth and development. Important as the proposed project’s value to others and the probability of success may be, it is the impact of a proposed project on the individual carrying it out that the trustees consider most important in deciding which applicants to support.

While there is no formal limit on the size of an individual grant, the trustees expect grants to be in the range of $15,000 per applicant, and do not anticipate granting any individual support in excess of $25,000. The ELCT does not grant renewals or follow-up grants.

The interests of the Trust are broad, and not limited to any single area of endeavor or geographical location.

There are, however, some very specific limitations:

By virtue of its Grantor’s intent, the ELCT does not make grants:

  • To institutions, organizations, group endeavors
  • For scholarships, research, or vocational training
  • To artists, writers, or film makers soliciting support for artistic works, writing or publication of a book, or the production of a film, unless the project has a demonstrable charitable component.
  • To support development of a commercial enterprise

Applications can be submitted throughout the year, although grants are made only twice: in the Spring (usually May) and the Fall (usually December).

Consult the How to Apply section for instruction on submitting an application.

Review examples of previously sponsored projects in the Past Recipients section.