The Ben Franklin Trust Fund
In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote his last will and testament. In that will, he directed that the sum of 2000 pounds sterling be set aside for a period of 200 years, allowing the principal to grow, untouched, over two centuries. At the end of that period, a percentage of his bequest was to be used to benefit the cities of Boston and Philadelphia, the adopted hometown that he loved, and the remaining percentage was to be used to benefit the residents of Pennsylvania.
In 1992, the Pennsylvania State Legislature determined that the latter intention of Franklin’s bequest could best be met if the assets-by then totaling more than $2 million-were distributed among Pennsylvania’s community foundations, creating Ben Franklin Funds from which grants could be made in perpetuity. Counties which do not have a community foundation are, for the purposes of the Ben Franklin Fund, covered by an adjacent county with a community foundation. For purposes of grantmaking from the Ben Franklin Fund of the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, the Fund serves Lehigh, Northampton, and Monroe Counties.
Gifts to the Fund can be made by submitting a check, payable to The Ben Franklin Trust Fund, to the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, 840 West Hamilton Street, Suite 310, Allentown, PA 18101. Gifts can also be made via credit card by clicking the PayPal link below. A PayPal account is not required to make an online gift to the Fund.