Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

John Martin Trust

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Assistance to PYM Friends, administered by MMFP's JMT committee


To assist financially needy PYM Friends with either a grant or a loan.


Monthly Meetings within Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, on behalf of an individual member with financial need.


The John Martin Trust (JMT) most often provides grants to Friends in financial need. The maximum amount of a JMT grant currently is $7,500 per person per six-month period. These grants are generally but not exclusively made for living expenses of elderly Friends. Currently, there is no limit to the number of times a Friend may receive such a grant.

In cases of short-term financial crisis, JMT may make considerably larger grants or loans. These crisis funds go to families where there is a reasonable expectation that the funds will serve to avoid bankruptcy or dependency on public assistance.

JMT may make loans, rather than grants, when applicants have the ability to repay in the foreseeable future or substantial assets such as a home. Grants and loans are given for 6 month terms; January to June and July to December. The committee asks that requests be submitted at least one month before a term begins, but will consider later requests. Recipients may repeat their requests for assistance.


  1. In the interests of confidentiality, the JMT Distribution Committee requests each requesting Monthly Meeting choose only one person (usually the Clerk of Care or the Assistance Committee) to be the Meeting’s representative to correspond with the Trust.
  2. The requesting Monthly Meeting’s representative determines the member's financial need. The brief JMT application forms and guidelines are intended to assist with this determination. The Clerk of the John Martin Trust Distribution Committee is available for consultation as necessary.

    Application forms and guidelines can be downloaded here as an electronic document. (Each is a complete set.) See the links below. If necessary, obtain paper forms from the MMFP Secretary, and mail them to JMT Clerk at the meetinghouse.
  3. The Meeting’s representative
    1. completes the JMT application, including a cover letter explaining the applicant’s circumstances; and
    2. submits the completed application on behalf of its member to the JMT Clerk to [email protected], or by mail to 320 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA 19106. Using paper forms is likely to slow the process.
  4. The Clerk of the JMT Distribution Committee reviews the application and requests additional information as needed.
  5. The JMT Distribution Committee reviews the application and decides whether to approve the request as a grant, or a loan, to deny it, or to request additional information.
  6. The JMT Distribution Committee notifies the Meeting’s representative of their decision, and requests a check be sent to the Meeting’s treasurer.

In the event that funds are repaid, or returned, checks must be made payable to the Monthly Meeting of Friends of Philadelphia, and mailed to the address above.


Elizabeth Simms, a seamstress and once a servant of William Penn, married John Martin, a Quaker tailor. Penn gave Simms the property at 320 Walnut Street in Philadelphia, on which she and her husband built a small stone cottage. John Martin inherited this property from his wife, and at his death in 1702, left it to the Monthly Meeting of Friends of Philadelphia (now at 4th and Arch Streets) to be used to assist "poor and necessitous Friends." A succession of buildings on the property were devoted to the care of needy Friends, including a large two-story building known for many years as the Friends Almshouse. In 1841, when the Commonwealth took over the care of the indigent, Friends built an office building on the site as a rental property. This office building was sold in 1924, and the proceeds of that sale provided the funds for the John Martin Trust (JMT), with which we are able to assist needy Friends today.


Eric Wickstrom, Clerk of John Martin Trust Distribution Committee      EMAIL [email protected] (preferred for receiving forms)