Grants support education as a means of bettering one’s station in life, as stipulated in the bequest of Benjamin Franklin.

Benjamin Franklin was an amazing American. An inventor, writer, statesman and printer, he was also one of the first to create an endowment for the benefit of his community. In his will, Franklin gave 1,000 Pounds Sterling each to the cities of Philadelphia and Boston.

Franklin left specific instructions about how the money should be invested, and then used for the benefit of the community after 200 years had passed. In the early 1990s, a portion of that money came to Berks County Community Foundation as its first bequest.

Of course, we never had a chance to thank Dr. Franklin for his generous gift, which we used to create the Ben Franklin Trust Fund. The fund makes annual grants in Franklin’s name for educational initiatives.

We’d like to be sure to thank you in advance if, like Dr. Franklin, you’ve left a bequest for the benefit of your community through the Community Foundation. To that end, we’ve established the Franklin Society to honor those who include a gift that will come to the Community Foundation through their will or other deferred giving vehicle.