The Charles Edison Fund
Charles Edison Fund (the "Fund") is an endowed philanthropic institution
dedicated to the support of worthwhile endeavors generally within the
areas of medical research, science education and historic preservation.
The Fund is an extension of the benefactions and aspirations of its Founder,
a man of discerning foresight, rare achievement and background.
Science Teaching Experiments
Teaching Experiments Kit
its public sector operations for the past quarter century is the providing
of science teaching kits outlining simple, proven experiments to teachers
throughout the United States. They are constantly updated and, to date,
over 60,000 kits have been distributed. They appeal to simplicity, are
in an attractive loose-leaf binder and contain instructions which can
be xeroxed easily thereby permitting a teacher to copy any of the 82 experiments
for classroom use by students. As a philanthropic, charitable foundation,
the Fund distributes these kits free (except for a $1.00 handling charge)
for grades 4 through junior high. The Fund's motto is "Keep it Simple"
providing the 1-2-3 in basic science experiments which last forever and
is never out of touch with current knowledge of science education needed
by everyone, past, present and future. Based on its database, the Fund
estimates that over 15 million students have used these kits.
Future Hypermedia Projects
Parenthetically, the Fund
is committed to producing its own programs for use on the Internet. The
"Best of Edison" Science Teaching Kits and its eighty museum programs
displaying Edison artifacts together with a walking tour of the Edison
National Historic Site are included in this project. Finally, the Fund
would like to link all seven Edison Sites in the United States so they
can share their respective contributions to Edison and his work.
Grants and "Seed Money"
Apart from dollars spent
by the Fund on its own programs, it has given financial support since
its inception to other charitable, scientific and educational organizations,
institutions and projects in an amount which exceeds $35 Million. It is
a seed money organization. It does not just make grants but makes grants
happen. It starts projects which would not otherwise "get off the ground."
Because the Fund remained relatively small until its inheritance from
the estate of Charles Edison, its record of providing financial assistance
to other organizations mushroomed following his death.
Patterns of Giving
In more recent years, a
pattern of giving has emerged within the Fund. Its contributions tend
to be almost equally divided among medical research projects, science
education and historic preservation. Additionally, but with some important
and increasing exceptions, institutions and organizations assisted are
based principally in the New York-New Jersey Metropolitan area. This concentration
of interest facilitates the efforts of the Trustees to evaluate the work
of recipient groups, frequently accomplished by personal visitations.
Applying To The Fund
The Fund recommends that
a grant request be submitted on the requesting organization's letterhead
and be signed by an official on behalf of the governing board. The Fund
does not require or supply application forms. The request should be detailed,
complete and include background information about the organization, a
full explanation of the project and its costs, and a financial report,
current budget and evidence of tax-exempt status of the requesting organization.
The Fund meets three times
a year, usually in February or March, June and December at which time
requests which have been submitted at least three weeks prior to the meeting
will be considered. Progress reports and a final accounting of the use
of grant funds will be required of all grant recipients.
Continuing grants over
a period of time are made in special circumstances; however, the Fund
reserves the right to accept or reject future contributions based on annual
performance reports, which it monitors closely