Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

Next open date for applications is 08.08.2017 View Grant Dates

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Helen Macpherson SmithHelen Macpherson Smith – philanthropist

Helen Macpherson Smith was a very private woman who left few insights into the type of person she was. Her close friends and relatives described her as thoughtful, kind and caring, and there would be little doubt that this spirit of generosity was central to her interest in philanthropy.

On her passing in 1951, Helen left £275,000, the majority of her wealth, to establish a perpetual philanthropic trust to benefit Victorian charitable institutions. Launched as the Helen M. Schutt Trust, the name was changed to the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust in 2001 to acknowledge the Macpherson and Smith families as the prime source of her legacy.

Wisely, Helen’s will instructed her Trustees to accumulate the major portion of HMSTrust’s income for the first 21 years. By 1972, her original bequest had grown to $3.95 million, providing a much stronger base from which larger and more effective grants could be made in the future.

In 2016, 65 years after her death, the value of HMSTrust’s investments totalled $99.6 million and almost $114 million of grants had been approved. Though she lived a very private life, the legacy of Helen Macpherson Smith’s spirit of generosity will echo through the State of Victoria in perpetuity.