The Woods Hole Foundation was formed to provide a vehicle for contributions by public spirited and charitable minded citizens of Falmouth and elsewhere to contribute to an endowment fund to be used to make gifts to charitable organizations that benefit the community.
The Woods Hole Foundation was conceived in 1976 by local residents. A 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, it is governed by a Board of Directors, which represents a Corporation comprised of local year-round and seasonal residents. The Board is entirely volunteer and the Foundation has no paid employees. The great value of the Woods Hole Foundation is that it is community based. Corporation members and directors have local roots and have their fingers on the pulse of the community; thus they can assess its changing needs accurately.
Since 1979, the focus of grants made by the Woods Hole Foundation has evolved to match the changing community needs. Grants have ranged from preservation of buildings used by area non-profits, to operating funds for local service organizations. All grants are intended to maintain and improve the quality of life and the character of our community. Thanks to the generosity of contributors, the number and the amount of the grants awarded annually has grown.
Need continues to outstrip resources available. Grant proposals regularly exceed the amount we have to distribute. Clearly, there is much to be done. Initially our focus was almost entirely on the preservation of community buildings. More recently, it has been a mix, with increased attention to the need for human services and local cultural activities. Our grant emphasis has shifted with need. In the past few grant cycles we have supported social services and education, cultural activities and preservation of the character and buildings of our local community.
Our by-laws allow us to purchase and maintain buildings for the community
good. In 1993, the Foundation purchased the Woods Hole Post Office (a
building that had been used to provide postal services to the village of Woods
Hole since 1928) when it was offered for sale with the possibility of postal
services being lost to Woods Hole. The Foundation continues to lease the
building to the U.S. Postal Service, and this important service and community
gathering place has been preserved.