About Us


In 1983, some Stow residents were frustrated by the long and tedious process of reviewing social service funding requests at the Annual Town Meeting. They decided to establish an alternative funding vehicle and organized the Stow Community Chest, a tax-exempt charitable organization, managed by a volunteer board of directors.

Today, we continue that original mission. The Stow Community Chest is a 501(c)(3) organization. Our all-volunteer Board of Directors raises funds and reviews funding requests from non-profit service providers. Each fiscal year (August 1 through July 31), we conduct a fundraising campaign for residents and area businesses and often complement the campaign with additional fundraising programs. We allocate the money we raise to various organizations that provide social, health, and human services for Stow and neighboring communities. Both new and current agencies must complete a formal funding request application.


While we remain a small organization, we have had a significant impact on the programs we have supported. Get the facts about how our supported agencies have used SCC grants to directly improve their programs and services. 

A family receives items from Household Goods donation center in Acton, MA

A family receives items from Household Goods donation center in Acton, MA

See our Guide to Human Services for a phone listing of local and state human service agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other resources that are available to our residents.

Want to know more?

2019 campaign brochure

Our annual campaign brochure has now been mailed to every household in Stow. See it here →

Financial Statement

Review an accountant's report on our financial position, expenses, assets, and cash flow for fiscal year 2017. Read it here

latest needs analysis

We review the needs of our community every five years to ensure that the current agencies we fund are meeting those needs and to identify new agencies that could help as well. Read it here →


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the Stow Community Chest?
A. Stow Community Chest, Inc. is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization formed in 1983 to provide support for unmet health and human service needs for the people of Stow, Massachusetts. We receive support and revenue from individual and corporate donors.

Q. Is the Stow Community Chest a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization?
A. Yes, we are a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization in good standing. We have a Certificate for Solicitation from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and are current in our filings with the Attorney General’s Division of Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities. Donations are tax deductible in accordance with State and Federal guidelines.

Q. Is the Stow Community Chest a town or government body?
A. No, the Stow Community Chest is a private, not-for-profit organization.

Q. How does the Stow Community Chest differ from the United Way?
A. Both the Stow Community Chest and the United Way are not-for-profit organizations that raise funds to support philanthropic programs in the local community. The United Way is a worldwide organization that consists of 1,800 community-based United Ways in 45 countries and territories. Stow is not served by a community-based United Way, and many residents donate to the Stow Community Chest through their workplace-affiliated United Way.

Q. Can I get help from the Stow Community Chest?
A. The Stow Community Chest allocates funds to various agencies that provide health and human services. We do not provide direct services to residents. Please see our Guide to Human Services for a listing of organizations that do. You can also contact us, and we will try to connect you with an appropriate organization.

Q. Can I donate unneeded items or supplies to the Stow Community Chest?
A. The Stow Community Chest does not accept material donations. On the rare occasion that we receive items such as gift cards, we allocate them to one of the agencies that we fund.

Q. I need to do some community service or volunteer hours. Can the Stow Community Chest help me?
A. Please see our Volunteer page on our website. We always look for volunteers to serve on our Board of Directors or support our activities, such as public relations, website management, and social media support. If you want to volunteer for a number of limited hours, please contact one of our supported agencies.

Q. How much money do you raise every year?
A. The amount varies each year, but a typical campaign raises about $50,000 to $65,000 a year.

Q. What percentage of donations goes to agencies?
A. Ninety-four percent of donations goes directly to agencies. We are very fortunate that local businesses have funded nearly all the cost of printing our campaign materials in recent years. We also fund a few other items, such as mailings and the website.

Q. How many people donate every year?
A. The number varies by year, but a typical campaign has contributions from 250-300 Stow households.

Q. How many businesses donate every year?
A. Again, the number varies by year, but a typical campaign has contributions from 25-30 local businesses.

Q. What percentage of your donations comes from businesses?
A. It varies from year to year, but typically business donations represent about 25% of all donations.

Q. Can I make an anonymous donation?
A. We will acknowledge your donation to you with a receipt for tax purposes, but we will not publicize your donation. We only publicly acknowledge donations from businesses, and we will make business donations anonymous at your request.

Q. Are online donations safe?
A. Yes, Stripe enables secure transactions. From their website: "Stripe has been audited by a PCI-certified auditor and is certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1. This is the most stringent level of certification available in the payments industry. Read more about Stripe's security practices here.

Q. Can I earmark my donation for a specific agency?
A. No, it is against our bylaws. We use our regularly conducted Needs Assessment to determine allocations to agencies based on the current needs in the Town.

Q. Will I get a tax receipt for my donation?
A. Yes, we will acknowledge all contributions with a receipt for your tax records. When you donate online, you will receive an email receipt. All other donations will be acknowledged via a mailed receipt.