About the Permanent Endowment for Martha's Vineyard

In 1982 The Permanent Endowment for Martha’s Vineyard was established as a public charity dedicated to improving the quality of life for all of the Island’s communities and to promoting and increasing responsible and effective philanthropy. As the Island’s community foundation, our major goals are to:

  • Assist donors in building and preserving enduring assets for charitable purposes across the Island.
  • Provide grants for significant activities by Island-based public and charitable organizations.
  • Fund scholarships for Island students pursuing higher education.
  • Monitor and assess the Island’s changing needs and promote and act on important issues.

Young, old, wealthy, poor, and multi-ethnic: this community is diverse. Yet we all have something in common: we chose to live on an island where there are no chain stores, no fast food franchises, and no superhighways.

Paul Karasik

It is a blessing for all of us to live here, and important to give back to our community in any way we can. The Endowment helps make that possible!

Jennifer Marlin

As one of the largest philanthropic organizations on Martha’s Vineyard, the Permanent Endowment is dedicated to serving as an advocate for important issues and as a resource for organizations throughout the Island.  In 2015, the Endowment’s assets have grown to roughly $10.2 million, a figure that includes a large pass-through fund to aid in the Save the Gay Head Lighthouse.

The Endowment provides grants for programs and services in a broad range of areas including art and culture, community and civic affairs, education, the elderly, the environment, health and human services, housing, recreation and youth.  Last year, our grant making totaled over $117,000 supporting the work of 58 organizations, or approximately one thrid of the nonprofits on the Island.  We also awarded 99 scholarships to Island students in the amount of $220,000.

At the Permanent Endowment, we work to promote local philanthropy and welcome contributions from anyone wishing to make a difference on the Island.  When you partner with us, we work together to support the causes you care about through our General Discretionary Fund or a fund of your own.  We offer a simple, personal approach to giving, accepting a range of assets of virtually any size from individuals, families, businesses and other organizations.  These assets are invested by the Martha’s Vineyard Financial Group, our trustee bank’s investment services group, for long-term growth to ensure that funds are available now and in the years to come.


Established Funds

Etablished Funds

Established Funds

First Donation
Scholarship Recipients 2015