Mary Baker Eddy’s philanthropy

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Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, was an avid philanthropist. Interestingly, she also established a few planned gifts of her own. Eddy drafted her will with one of the best attorneys in Boston at the time. In line with standard planned giving practices, the will provided for her family first, and then her closest associates and friends. Next she provided for the Church she had founded, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston.  Eddy’s will included some of the first planned gifts to benefit the Movement: gifts of life estates, personal tangible property, Endowment funds, and related-gift concepts to a Charitable Remainder Trust.

Some of the many other charities Eddy donated to in her lifetime included:

  • New England Society for the Suppression of Vice
  • Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
  • Millville Orphans Home at St. Paul’s School, Concord, New Hampshire
  • Soldier’s Aid Society
  • Firemen’s organizations in Concord, New Hampshire and in Massachusetts
  • Auditorium Fund of Concord
  • Donated to Concord to surface Pleasant Street and the engineering work
  • Wellesley College Education Fund
  • Dartmouth College
  • Pembroke Academy
  • YMCAs in New Hampshire and Massachusetts 
  • Women’s Press Association

In a message written to encourage fellow Christian Scientists to donate to The Mother Church Extension fund, originally appearing in the Christian Science Sentinel, May 16, 1903, Mary Baker Eddy writes in regard to her students:

“…because they recognize the importance of The Mother Church to the Cause. They realize that there must be a prosperous parent church, in order to insure the prosperity of the branch churches; indeed, they know that it is the prosperous growth of this movement which now necessitates this onward step. They know that their own individual welfare is closely interwoven with the general welfare of the Cause (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Miscellany, 10:23)”.