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Profile Last Updated: 06/12/2018 Grant Information Last Updated: 10/28/2018

The Hyams Foundation, Inc.

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Purpose and Activities

The mission of the foundation is to increase economic, social justice and power within low-income communities. The foundation believes that investing in strategies that enable low-income people to increase their communities will have the greatest social return in these times. The foundation will carry out its mission by: supporting civic participation by low-income communities; promoting economic development that benefits low-income neighborhoods and their residents; and developing the talents and skills of low-income youth.


Established in 1929 in MA as the Sarah A. Hyams Fund; in 1991 merged with the Godfrey Hyams Trust and adopted current name - Godfrey M. Hyams was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1859. As a child he moved with his family to Boston, where he graduated from Boston English High School and Harvard College. Metallurgist, engineer and financier, he was responsible for the growth of such companies as the Anaconda Mining Company. He also planned and managed the construction of the Virginia Railway, which made available large sources of bituminous coal to the eastern part of the United States. To assure that his money would be used for charitable purposes in perpetuity, Mr. Hyams established a charitable trust in 1921 to which the major portion of his estate was given upon his death in 1927. In 1929 the major distribution of assets was made by the estate of Godfrey M. Hyams to the Godfrey M. Hyams Trust. At that time the trustees organized two Massachusetts charitable corporations, the Sarah A. Hyams Fund and the Isabel F. Hyams Fund, and transferred approximately $1,500,000 worth of securities to each of these two corporations. For many years the Godfrey M. Hyams Trust and the smaller Sarah A. Hyams Fund had identical trustees and grantmaking purposes and processes. During 1993, the trustees voted to merge the Trust into the Sarah H. Hyams Fund and rename it The Hyams Foundation, Inc. The trustees of The Hyams Foundation, Inc. also serve as trustees of the Isabel F. Hyams Fund, a public charity which devotes all of its income to operations in East Boston. The grantmaker is a signatory to Philanthropy's Promise, an initiative of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP). By signing on, the grantmaker has committed to allocating the majority of its grantmaking dollars to marginalized communities and at least 25 percent to social justice strategies, such as advocacy, community organizing, and civic engagement.


The Hyams Foundation, Inc.

Independent foundation



Bridge Number



50 Federal St., 9th Fl. Boston, MA United States 02110-2509

Contact Information