A granting agency that advises and provides funding for grass roots, non-profit projects and organizations in order to bring about broad social change by addressing local issues and community needs. Records include minutes, reports, correspondence, successful and unsuccessful grant applications from Western Massachusetts organizations, grant source information, and grantee materials including organization reports, publications, member lists, clippings, and other materials.
The collection is open for research.
Background on Haymarket People's Fund
The Haymarket People's Fund (HPF), a granting agency that advises and provides funding for grass roots, non-profit projects and organizations, was founded in 1974 by George Pillsbury and other young people with inherited wealth interested in bringing about broad social change by addressing local issues and community needs. Specifically, HPF seeks to "help people understand the sources of social and economic injustice in our country and how to change them; to support people trying to take control of their lives through challenging established power, learning how to use leadership, and developing self-respect; and to work towards the shared vision of a non-oppressive, life-supporting society" (1983-1984 Annual Report).
Between 1976 and 1977, the structure of HPF evolved from one community decision-making board in Boston to eight autonomous boards, one for each New England state and two for Massachusetts and Connecticut. From 1977 until 1983, one member of each regional board sat on the New England Board which reviewed and approved grant proposals and served as a board of directors. In 1983, HPF established the Coordinating Council, responsible for general administration of the fund, developing financial and personnel policies, and fund-raising plans.
Since 1975, the HPF of Western Massachusetts has distributed grants and provided emergency loans to hundreds of grassroots organizations that serve food, clothing, shelter, health and education needs in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties. They have provided specialized services in the areas of AIDS education, substance abuse counseling, day care, elderly care, rape prevention and have worked to organize community support around the rights of women, minority or ethnic populations, workers, tenants, people with disabilities, and gay men and women. HPF has also educated and assisted potential donors in their investment and donation decisions.
The Haymarket People's Fund records document the breadth and variety of projects, organizations and coalitions supported by the fund throughout its history in Western Massachusetts and reveal social issues of concern to local communities and the broader region over a period of 25 years. The efforts of grantees and their impact both locally and nationally is well-represented for particular organizations. Records include minutes, reports, correspondence, successful and unsuccessful grant applications, grant source information, and grantee materials including organization reports, publications, member lists, clippings and other materials.
Accretions expected. Accretions in the Container Listing in 1994 and 1999.
Acquired from: Elizabeth Mock, 1990.
Processed by Linda Seidman, 1990.
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Cite as: Haymarket People's Fund, Western Massachusetts Records (MS 336). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.